If you were to trace out how energy flows between a crowd and the performers, it would look like this: Crowd cheers loudly for musicians. Musicians get pumped up on the energy and become more confident in their body language and stage banter.
Peter Murphy - 7/13/2013
Smack dab in the middle of July 2013, the sweaty heart of the Phoenix summer, Peter Murphy hopped off a flight from his home in Turkey and onto the stage of the Crescent Ballroom. The granddad of goth has had an incredibly successful solo career, but this night was devoted to playing the music of Bauhaus, the gloriously gloomy, post-punk band that he fronted, which formed back in the late '70s.
The pre-show chatter was nothing but words of anticipation and excitement; the impatient crowd was loaded with hardcore fans. When he finally hit the stage, there were some faces streaked with runny eyeliner, and it wasn’t just from waiting below the warm lights or the summer season. Those were some emo tears, as Murphy ripped through Bauhaus classics, from the extra-dark and haunting like “King Volcano,” and “The Spy in the Cab,” to the beautiful, like “Silent Hedges,” right into relentlessly driving favorites like “Dark Entries.”
Even though it was just Murphy and not the rest of the original lineup (who have all reunited over the years for short tours), it was still pretty magical to hear him bellowing out those essential classics in such an intimate setting. AMY YOUNG
Now a platinum-selling band known for their crowd drumming and hamster-ball stunts,
Before “Car Radio” hit car radios, before “
The band’s light shows, introspective lyrics, and stage tricks look almost unreal in a big venue, but in Crescent, that show was just as exciting and had a more intimate feel to it. Throughout the night, the duo turned off the mics and Joseph pulled out his signature ukulele, playing songs like Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Yet they still retained their energy, diving into the crowd with flashing lights.
It was the kind of show that will likely never happen again the band’s
Highly Suspect - 4/15/2016
For the pace at which rock trio Highly Suspect took over the internet with controversial music videos and raw, honest Pink Floyd-
Highly Suspect sauntered on stage like they weren’t quite sure why they were there. The mix of hipsters, college students, Rastafarians, metal heads, DJs, and middle-aged couples made it clear that the connection to the music isn’t unwarranted. Blood, sweat, and tears; beautiful audacity; cigarettes and leather ... hope for the future of rock 'n' roll.
Highly Suspect inundated the crowd with the true feeling of rock and nostalgia for the devastating nuances of musicians giving all their energy to the people. Yes, the self-destruction of Highly Suspect is likely — the venues will get bigger, the fame larger.
The trio's instruments were like extensions of themselves, and singer Johnny Stevens thrashed the microphone while belting out his desperate, carnal vocals. Instrumentals weaved with the latter in a hypnotic, head-on collision-type manner. The band let songs like “Bloodfeather,” “
Vince Staples - 5/13/2016
God bless Crescent for letting us see spectacular artists in an intimate setting "before they get big," as the Vince Staples show I saw this May certainly felt like the last time the up-and-coming rapper would perform for such a small crowd in Phoenix. In fact, maybe a little too small, as we were packed like sardines in the sold-out venue. But when Vince took the stage, all 550 of us moved as one, bouncing and swaying to the pulse of the beat, whether we wanted to or not. The rapper's autobiographical, socially conscious debut album Summertime '06 translated into a set of bangers that Vince could deliver with overwhelming conviction and passion.
Some of the other artists on this list might have gotten here thanks to a particular gimmick or memorable happenstance, but Vince Staples didn't have any special lighting display, any costumes, any stunts, anything but himself and his music. It was this purity of performance, the amount of fun I had throwing myself into the shoulders of those around me while shouting along "Bitch you thirsty, please grab a Sprite" at the top of my lungs, that gave me a feeling of serendipitous connection to the other attendees and to the artist that only a handful of concerts ever have. This was one of those shows that made me realize anew what I love about live music, not to mention what I love about Crescent Ballroom. STEVE JOZEF