The Cave Singers and !!! Converge at Rhythm Room

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.

This show was supposed to be two shows. But, going up against Bon Iver in Mesa, promoters wisely combined the two very different sounds of !!! and The Cave Singers. In the end, !!! took the stage at Rhythm Room around midnight, following a long, long line of acts: Lightning Dust, The Cave Singers, Indian Jewelry and Sean Watson. As bizarre as the mix sounds, the night ended up transitioning with relative ease.

In tiny kakhi shorts and a worn red tee, Nic Offer could be anyone. His wardrobe showed not the slightest hint of his dance punk godliness, or the promise that he would strut the stage at Phoenix's premier blues club a la Jagger, accept underwear from an audience member and sport it as a face mask, or lead a pack of energetic Phoenicians through less than an hour of jams to the end of one hell of a long night in downtown Phoenix.

Offer's hip swivels could envelope the high level of ass-shaking in any Beyonce video. He's what Christian Siriano would call "fierce." In fact, so fierce, the only man worthy pitted against Offer in a dance-off would probably be our own Treasure Mammal.

See, Cave Singers and !!! aren't exactly cut from the same cloth. The former are largely stationary twang-singed simple rockers, while the latter have a front man who raves with his crowd, in his crowd. And between these co-headliners (or something like that) there was a goth dance outfit, Indian Jewelry, and a local DJ, Sean Watson.

The transition would've been damn near impossible if it weren't for the stomp along ditties played with the fury of a train chugging across the dusty plains that Cave Singers brought to the table. Passionate harmonica, a gravelly, soulful voice, entrancing guitars and spectacular drumming made them the absolute stand out. But, that's not to say the whole crowd was feeling it.

At Cave Singers' best they were dirty, gritty southern-inspired and capable of carring a serious groove. At their worst, the were a snoozeable pre-party nap, while some waited for !!!.

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: The Cave Singers and !!! (plus a few more) at Rhythm Room

Better Than: Bon Iver and !!! at Mesa Arts, which was not a real thing, but if it were, Cave Singers and !!! would still be better.

Personal Bias: I wasn't totally sold on Cave Singers after "Welcome Joy."

Random Detail: Amber Webber of Lightning Dust and Black Mountain is probably the coolest person ever. She hopped up and sang with The Cave Singers.

Further Listening: Depending on which camp one's leaning toward, check out Black Mountain and Pink Mountaintops if you're on team Cave Singers, and, if you belong to team !!!, go for Out Hud or Moving Units.

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.