Concert Review

Irwin Benefit Boasts Two Brash Female Voices

By Martin Cizmar

It was a bold move, putting Dry River Yacht Club on right before Black Carl. Here you have two of the biggest female voices in the Valley's indie rock scene -- Emma Pew of BC and DRYC's Garnet -- back to back. But, hey, when you're talking about a benefit show for the family of former New Times staff writer Megan Irwin, you can afford to be bold.

This past Labor Day weekend, the family of Megan Irwin -- former staff writer for Phoenix New Times-- was involved in an automobile accident near Yuma. The crash not only claimed the life of one family member, but seriously injured Megan's mother, Leesa Irwin, who spent more than six weeks in St. Joseph's Hospital and still faces a recovery process that is expected to take more than a year. A schoolteacher and the mother of three, Leesa has also faced financial hardships as a result of the accident, so 100% of the event's proceeds were donated to the Irwin family.

In addition to sets by DRYC and BC -- in the middle of the evening, they were the highlight for me -- locals What Laura Says, Dakota Jeane, and Sean Brennan and The Yellow Minute performed. DJ Kevin M.O.B kept things moving between sets with a nice mix of danceable music.

Dry River, which plays a worldly form of indie rock that's all about odd instrumentation (they have an acoustic guitar, then it's all bass clarinets and bassoons) won me over with a rendition of Ennio Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold." Black Carl, pretty much everyone favorite party band, played a predictably great set of soulful, bluesy rock. Garnet told me this isn't the last time the bands will be playing on the same stage in the coming months, either, so watch out for that.

The event was put together by our well-connected editorial assistant Lilia Menconi, with some of her friends: Katie K, Adriane Goetz (also a New Times freelancer) and Craig Citizen. The event did very well, she says.

But, of course, the need is more than one (even great) night can fix, so if you'd still like to donate you can send a check payable to the "Leesa Irwin Purpose Fund" to

Purpose c/o Lilia Menconi
1201 E. Jefferson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034