Last summer, one of the coolest (and indeed, hottest) places to be seen was at the Hotel San Carlos for the weekly Star Swim pool party. An absolute throng of hundreds of hepcats and kittens crowded the tiny swimming area at the vintage auberge in downtown Phoenix for several weekends while an array of local indie bands and musicians like Miniature Tigers, Black Carl, and Mr. Meeble provided a summertime soundtrack.
Co-promoter Jen Deveroux sums up the scene last summer fairly succinctly: "It was fucking insane," she says. "It was half-naked people splashing around listening to great music. Definitely different than if you went to some Scottsdale party. We had the hipster crowd and a way different vibe." (Peep our slideshow from last year).
Deveroux is expecting this year's Star Swim to be equally as well-attended when it launches this weekend at the Wyndham Hotel (50 East Adams Street, 602-333-0000). The set-up remains much the same as last year, with a slate of local and touring indie talent performing poolside every Saturday night through Labor Day.
So what's with the change in venue? Read on for the answer, as well as a full rundown of who's scheduled to perform and some info on how score a pair of tickets to the launch party this weekend.
Deveroux says the event's popularity proved to be its undoing. Hundreds of bodies jamming into a space meant for 40, causing the Phoenix's fire marshal to pull the plug last August due to violations of the Hotel San Carlos' maximum occupancy for its pool area. As a result, Deveroux and partner "Psyko" Steve Chilton relocated the party to the much larger Wyndham, which will provide one of the season's most unique places to catch the Valley's biggest bands. (Full disclosure: Chilton is a contributor to Up on the Sun).
"Playing Yucca Tap or the Rhythm Room is kinda routine these days, and it's hard to make something seem different or special, which is what we want this to be," he says. "It really gets a lot of people to come out that wouldn't come out [to shows] normally. Every week has different bands, so it's a different crowd each time."
This Saturday's launch party offers the potent combo of Dear and the Headlights, Art for Starters, Wizards of Time, and Hooves performing. (Modern Art Records czar Ben Collins will also DJ between bands). Doors open at 5 p.m. with an $8 cover.
If you'd like to be in attendance, be the first to twitter the name of the DATH's first two albums to music editor Martin Cizmar (@martincizmar) and you'll be in like Flint. UPDATE: The tickets have been snatched up. Thanks to all who participated.
Here's the line-up for the rest of the summer:
The Rouge, & more