Concert Review

Violet Wild at Last Exit

It's nearly 1 a.m. and I'm a few drinks into the night. I'm at Tempe's Last Exit Bar & Grill to watch Violet Wild, one of my favorite local pop-rock bands who used to play anywhere and everywhere a year ago and pretty much whored themselves out in the local music scene - playing gigs almost every week. It's been awhile - at least three or four months - since I last caught them live and I can't help but get caught up in the cheesiness of the band tonight. It's everywhere!

Bobby Scott, the band's ultra-skinny singer, is wearing guy-liner and a striped shirt with a few buttons loose to display his chest hair and Scott Weiland-style figure. He almost resembles a poor man's Jared Leto, AKA one of the stars of the now defunct "My So Called Life" and the douche-bag singer from 30 Seconds to Mars.

Josh Kennedy, the band's g-tar player, one of the best guitarists in the Valley (in my opinion), rocks his crazy fro-locks while playing to a bleach-blonde underage girl decked in Uggs and her crew of what seems to be barely twentysomething friends. I can't help but feel like I'm a part of the movie "Almost Famous." While the crowd is pretty small, it's mainly comprised of a very young audience of girls (all in the front row). I almost feel as if I'm at a Jonas Brothers show. Almost.

Nonetheless, Violet Wild is on their game on this Saturday night and playing a tight set. And I love the fact that they recruited Let Go's bass player Chris Serafini who adds a dynamic new layer to the band.

The band performed a mix of songs - mainly from their latest disc-- along with a few new gems. Stand outs included "Water and Chemicals" and "Luna." While I've seen way better shows from this band, I've also seen worse. I stifled a few yawns during the set, but all in all, the band seemed to entertain the small crowd that came to watch them.

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Violet Wild at Last Exit Bar & Grill in Tempe

Better Than: Crappy local bands that don't lose any clothing during their set.

Personal Bias: This band should film a local version of "Almost Famous" because their groupie count is ridiculous. And seriously, is it me or does Steven Adler from "Celebrity Rehab" bare a striking resemblance to Violet Wild guitarist Josh Kennedy?!

Random Detail: The guitarist's (Josh Kennedy's) 20-year-old girlfriend was standing front and center and proudly wearing Uggs. Is it 2006?! Those boots should be banned.

Further Listening: "Abcde Ghijklmnopqrst Vwxyz"

By the Way: My friend special ordered a Melon vodka from the bar, which is the bomb. I only had a couple cocktails mixed with a Diet Coke, but this drink rocks. I'm a new melon vodka fan.

One More Thing: I noticed a couple of porta-potties outside the bar. Although these never came in handy, good to know the option is there for the more packed shows. -- Kelly Wilson

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Jonathan McNamara