Music News

PSA: Supergroup Tears of Silver Are Coming to Downtown Phoenix

Tears of Silver L-R: Grasshopper, Ken Stringfellow, Jonathan Donahue, Jesse Chandler
Tears of Silver L-R: Grasshopper, Ken Stringfellow, Jonathan Donahue, Jesse Chandler Greg Dohler
On Friday, September 22, the supergroup Tears of Silver will make a stop in Phoenix as part of their short tour that started a week ago and wraps on October 8. The band comprises Ken Stringfellow (The Posies), Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper (Mercury Rev), and Jesse Chandler (Midlake).

And on this jaunt, they’re only performing at nontraditional venues. The band's Phoenix show will take place in downtown venue Trunk Space’s Basement Annex. The moderately sized underground room that the venue uses for intimate shows will give fans an up-close and personal experience.

The group will play songs from members' respective catalogs, bringing nuances to the mix with their combination of styles and skills.

For Stringfellow, who has also played with the recent incarnation of legendary band Big Star, the opportunity to create a unique sound with this combination of players is poignant.

“For me personally, despite working on many kinds of music, there's still a strong association with the power pop genre, since the earliest days of The Posies, really,” Stringfellow says. “And with Mercury Rev, their shoegaze guitar-laden dreamy sound is definitely not from the power pop world. The focus is on the depth and richness of feeling for the music we're making."

He adds that the blend of three guitars and the keyboard work to create “textures, that are almost cloud-like, that float around each song in the set, presenting a way to hear my solo work, songs from The Posies, Big Star’s music, Mercury Rev’s music, Midlake’s music, and more, in an ethereal, hymn-like soundscape.”

Rich, dreamy, and haunting soundscapes are certainly what this union delivers. The band has recorded an EP that features cover songs, including their take on Al Kooper’s ‘70s tune, “Quietly Going Mad.”

That song already hovers on the dark side, with its theme of mental turbulence. Tears of Silver’s take gives a depth that exemplifies the heartbreak of the mind.

Even more haunting is their cover of Big Star’s “Nighttime.” Their version has a breadth and lushness that is less evident in the original, but they manage to exemplify the song’s stark presence and haunting mood.

The Tears of Silver show is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, September 22, at The Trunk Space, 1124 North Third Street, in the Basement Annex. General admission tickets are $30; VIP tickets are $50 to $100, the latter offering a meet-up with the band. Visit Eventbrite for details.

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Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young