Roger Clyne Delivers Solid Show At Frustrating Light Rail Debut

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Valley Metro pulled out all the stops for yesterday's debut of the 20-mile light rail system we've been writing about all month. They had parties scheduled at pretty much every stop on the line -- though, honestly, I'm not sure there was anything beyond an unmanned purple tent full of fliers at the ghetto fabulous 24th Street/Washington Stop, where I foolishly disembarked at one point -- the biggest in Tempe, where native son Roger Clyne managed to deliver a satisfying set in broad daylight.

So, like I said, Clyne and his band, The Peacemakers, were good. The festivities as a whole? Pretty awful. Seeing Roger for free is always cool, but it required braving Valley Metro's giant clusterfuck-of-an-opening-day, and it's hard for me to separate the two. While most media out there seems quick to dwell on the positive, I can't help but dream up a couple dozen ways this whole thing could have been handled better.

So there are already plenty of doubters about this whole light rail project, mostly oweing to the fact that in a car-and-booze-loving and DUI-dreading town like Phoenix the train is (beyond being an attempt to appear sophisticated to folks back east) and a billion dollar party bus.... albeit a billion dollar party bus that stops running at midnight, making it borderline useless.

Ostensibly, Valley Metro is well-aware of this criticism and is gearing up to win the hearts and minds of Valley residents, slowly convincing them that light rail is not a novelty, but, rather a legitimate transportation option. Their opening day dug them a pretty huge hole, as looky loos waited

Further Listening: Forget listening, you have been reading Night Train, our light rail bar crawl, right?

By the Way: I'm glad I went through all the hassle to ride the train the first day. It's a story I plan to tell for a long time. I just wish Valley Metro had made things easier on us by deflating some of the hype with a soft opening.

Top photo by Benjamin Leatherman, others by Martin Cizmar

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.