The Pre-Show Rituals of 10 Phoenix Musicians

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5. Joe Golfen (guitar/vocals) – The Lonesome Wilderness / (keyboards) – The Breakup Society

"We don't do anything too elaborate, but when The Lonesome Wilderness was first starting out, Andrea (Golfen, bass), Paul (Golfen, guitar/vocals), who are also my wife and brother, respectively, and I would eat an ungodly amount of pizza. Probably out of nerves or something, but eventually we realized that if you want to move around on stage with any speed or grace, having five slices before the show is not the way to go. Nowadays, Andrea always makes sure everyone has a "show beer" right before we play. Paul has spilled his nearly every time."

4. Jim Andreas (guitar/vocals) – No Volcano

"In our band, we like to dress each other before the show, and I like lots of Coke. Coca-Cola, I like to drink lots of it before I play." 

3. Serene Dominic (guitar/vocals) – Multiple bands

"I always tell myself the show is gonna suck, no one will show up, and it will be, at best, an exercise at building character. I make sure to inform two people of this and I'm generally always wrong. The simple act of lowering expectations to an act of public loitering always seems to make the show way better than I'd imagined it to be. Some of the best shows I've had were as a result of pre-show despondency and it also helps to have a bad rehearsal where everything sounds like complete shit. People, listen, it works!" Editor's note: Serene Dominic is a regular New Times contributor. Normally, we wouldn't run something like this, but it was too funny to cut.

2. Mark Allred (vocals/slide guitar/harmonica) – The Haymarket Squares
"I try to eat a bean and cheese burrito an hour or so before a show. I don't on tour because of logistics but try to eat regardless. Also, I pack up my gear as neatly as possible, rolling cables and such. And without fail, I always pee just before I go on stage. Kinda like when your parents told you to go before you got in the car for a long drive." 

1. Dana Stern (guitar/vocals) — JJCnV

"Our pre-show ritual, as a band, mainly revolves around creating a set list. We usually choose what we want on the list at the practice before a show. We have a lot of songs, so this can be involved at times. The majority are agreed upon, but there's usually at least one (or two) that at least one (or two) of us would rather not play. A discussion, often more like a debate, of this ensues. Then we move to the putting-them-in-order process, which can also cause some dissent as we are three really opinionated people. That part of the process often happens over email and/or text. Pete [Hinz, bass and vocals] and I usually get the final list in order, then it goes to Jeff [Barthold, drums] for further discussion. Once that’s done, it comes back to me to write out a separate list for each person. Sometimes we have a horn section that plays with us, which involves more set lists being written, but if they are playing with us that’s another step that factors into the creation of the set list and its subsequent order. We do every single time. The same way. For every show. We also sacrifice a few beers or cocktails prior to a show – an important ritual sacrifice."
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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