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Tonsil Yeti, Rockbar Inc., 7/26/12

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Tonsil Yeti Rockbar, Inc. Thursday, July 26, 2012

See also: Tonsil Yeti is In it To Win It, Dude A year ago, I got some scratchy, unlabeled demos in the mail from a band called Tonsil Yeti. I was confused, both by the band name and the untitled tracks, but I gave it a chance.

Since then, Tonsil Yeti have crushed shows throughout Northern Arizona, including a Cure tribute charity gig and the release party for their debut album, A Bomb and A Bull. Jason Livermore, who co-produced the last four Rise Against albums, mastered the tracks, resulting in a polished, grunge-infused album worthy of Pearl Jam mixed with Rage Against the Machine.

As band frontman Derek Born mentioned in his last interviewwith Up On The Sun, the album is gaining attention. Tonsil Yeti's first ever stop in Scottsdale proved to be an important night for the quintet, as well as new and old fans.

The first thing you'll notice about Tonsil Yeti is their sense of showmanship -- they commanded the stage like it was anyone's business. The crowd had already emptied out for the most part, given that it was a Thursday night and all, but that didn't seem to bother the Yeti gang. They played with enough thrash and rhythm for some kind of stadium show.

The band played a strong balance of their original material and a few covers, notably, "Possum Kingdom" by the Toadies and a few Rage Against the Machine tracks. Tonsil Yeti has never been shy about their roots and showing them off with their particular style just enhanced the night.

The main problem? The vocals weren't clear. I could clearly hear Chris Wargo and Will Joffroy as they tried to destroy each other's guitars, but I couldn't make out a single lyric, even on songs I heard dozens of times before.

It was nearing 2 a.m. when Tonsil Yeti let down the microphone, but even as people swarmed to pay their tabs, they stopped to congratulate Tonsil Yeti on making a great entrance into the desert music scene.

Critic's notebook: Last night: Tonsil Yeti with Shallow Point, Riot for Romance, and Manufactured Defects Personal Bias: I've stated a hundred times that I knew these guys since they first started teething themselves on demo CDs, but this was my first time seeing The Yeti live and I wasn't disappointed. The Crowd: Guys in blank t-shirts. The end. Totally a sausage fest, but I noticed it was mostly chicks (some dressed rockabilly, some dressed grunge) that were at the front of the stage. Yeah, girl power! Or, something...

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