Just over an hour ago. Three bands at The Marquee in Phoenix. The best concert I’ve been to all year – for the music alone. Each band had a keyboard player, which is more rare than you think.
Also rare? All three bands good enough to headline. Not popular – good. The Henry Clay People were first and you usually expect some kind of throwaway (you shouldn’t have to expect that by the way) but they surprised me and the crowd I think by how skilled they were. They were also there after the show, selling their own merch., friendly, talkative. (Look for a SoundLust review of their new CD, Somewhere On the Golden Coast soon!)
And the keyboard off to stage right, left as the audience looked. Against Me were next. Been around, been good forever with controlled chaos chops and enthusiastically attacking everything they get their white-knuckled hands on.
Fans of hard-driving punk rock? See ‘em. Jump. They deserve respect and earn it. Keyboard player. Off to stage left, right as the audience looked.
And then there’s the Silversun Pickups.
Look, they were what made the show something different, something up, something soaring above. How? Why? They keep an edge to their live music; an experimental energy and unpredictability that invigorates – at some level – anyone else with a creative bone in their body made alive by music.
If they can keep it, that’ll bode well. Not only for the crowds, but for their own sustainability as a band.
I’d never seen them live and except for a little too much reliance on the machine gun guitar pedal effect, they jellified my soul. Their hits were suitably highlights — Panic Switch, Lazy Eye, The Royal We – but to me the thrill was seeing them perform and interact and amaze with every single song, fast and slow. Keyboard player, off to stage right, left as the audience looked.
I want anyone who has a chance to go, to report back and to let me know their experience.
For a band considering themselves small-scale, they have a simplistic set, with stunningly effective lighting that strobes the band in lines of color but often puts them in silhouette.
Tight’s not the right word, but in control – every second.