A Plea For Phoenix Music Fans Concerning the Crescent Ballroom

Categories: Rebuttal

Thumbnail image for crescentballroomlogo.png
Editor's Note: We here at Up on the Sun are sad to announce that we are losing Michael Lopez as a staff blogger. Lopez is moving back to his hometown, Portland, Oregon. Over the past three years, M.Lo has been a distinct voice on this blog and in print. You may not always have liked what he said (especially if you were a local band he was ripping in his You Asked For It column), but his overwhelming passion for music has always been apparent. Lopez's views about Crescent Ballroom don't necessarily speak for the rest of the staff here at Up on the Sun and Phoenix New Times, though it's safe to say we are all excited about the future of the venue. Join us tomorrow for a Lopez's five favorite shows during his time at Up on the Sun, and in wishing Michael good luck in his future endeavors. I'm positive we'll be hearing more from him in the future. --Jason P. Woodbury

​If you haven't quite heard by now, downtown Phoenix is on the verge of opening a major music venue -- the Crescent Ballroom. It started as an interesting, then unknown name appearing on the tour schedules for such bands as Gang Gang Dance and St. Vincent, but the Crescent Ballroom has turned into a bona fide option for the live music scene in Phoenix.

Now that the Crescent Ballroom is a go, it has booked an insanely amazing initial lineup of shows -- M83, tUnE-yArDs, Washed Out, CSS, Miami Horror and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Seeing all of these bands live would have either a) taken about three years for all of them to decide to actually play Phoenix or b) require multiple trips to either Los Angeles or Austin.

Those responsible for the Crescent Ballroom -- Stateside Presents -- have thus done their part. I write this post, music fans of Phoenix, to say to you: get out, do your part and attend every show you possibly can at the Crescent Ballroom.

Let me preface what I have to say with two points: 1) I am in no way affiliated with anyone at the Crescent Ballroom or Stateside Presents. I gain nothing from endorsing their venue -- I merely have something to say and a limited time in which to say it. 2) This is my last week writing for Up on the Sun. I felt it necessary to say something about the Crescent Ballroom -- which I know doesn't open for another two months -- as I have watched it develop over the past month or so from a nascent, unrecognizable name into a full-fledged music venue with an impressive lineup of acts.

This post is no way a slap in the face of the Marquee Theatre, Rhythm Room or Clubhouse -- those are all still great venues with solid lineups of their own. There just hasn't been a venue like the Crescent Ballroom opening in Phoenix since I've been covering the local music scene -- a venue with such an impressive initial lineup of shows that has generated so much buzz. I see so much hope for the live music scene in Phoenix -- one that hasn't quite lived up to its potential in the past -- in the Crescent Ballroom. With this new venue, I believe Phoenix's live music scene can flourish. All it takes is that one, upstart venue willing to take a chance.

Located at 308 N. 2nd Avenue, the Crescent Ballroom will hope to resurrect what was once a fairly decent downtown music scene -- one that was, unfortunately, tenuously held together by Modified Arts. I say tenuous because no one ever left that venue thinking, "My, that was spacious!" or "The sound was truly fantastic tonight!" Modified, while it booked some rather impressive acts, always left something to be desired. It was an art gallery, after all, and the obvious constraints by hosting music in such a space only hindered the experience.

Now the Crescent Ballroom enters the picture and carries with it a tantalizing slew of initial shows. Sure, it's about two months away from opening, but I have to say what I feel is necessary right now, as I won't be in Phoenix to monitor the venue's progress once it opens. My message is clear -- support the Crescent Ballroom. Tickets range from $5 - $20, so going to a few shows every now and then won't break the bank. The venue is located one block west of the Van Buren Light Rail station. Now, some shows won't exactly cooperate with the last Light Rail train east for the night, but the Light Rail option is still there, thus making it all the more easier to go attend shows.

As I said earlier, music fans of Phoenix, all it takes is a spark -- one brave, enthusiastic venue to help usher in a new era for the live music in Phoenix. The Crescent Ballroom is that spark. I want nothing more than to see Phoenix's live music scene flourish in the next few years. Sure, I have had my doubts about the live music scene after repeatedly looking at tour schedules and seeing bands play Los Angeles or San Diego and then skipping Arizona completely en route to Austin or Dallas, but that was because there was no real solid option for those bands in downtown Phoenix -- now there is. I will be sad to have missed out on it all, but I will still be able to feel a vicarious sense of pride knowing that the Crescent Ballroom is alive and well, booking solid show after solid show.

The Crescent Ballroom's yet-untold future rests in your hands, Phoenix music fans. Go out and see shows at the Crescent Ballroom -- do all you can. Stateside has done their part in booking these incredible bands, so do your part by buying tickets and attending these great shows.

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Location Info

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music


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10 comments
Zero A
Zero A

I think we can see be the massive amount of responses that no-one cares if you are leaving...

Or what you have to say.

 

jeremx
jeremx

good luck, chuck!

BenGibbard'sHair
BenGibbard'sHair

Thanks for the good work here, best of luck with your future adventures. I respectfully disagree about the Marquee, that place is a shithole, which I can forgive. What I cannot forgive is that the security there treats you like you are an terrorist trying to sneak in some plutonium. Seriously, I will never see a show there again, the staff there is so shitty. I am a grown ass man, grad degree, real job, pay taxes, don't jaywalk, etc. I do not need to take off my shoes for some tweaker security guard so I can go into an INDIE ROCK concert, what the fuck? I can see if it is an Insane Clown Posse show, but indie rock? Fuck that. I BEG stateside, please don't let this new venue turn into that. There are indie rock fans who are adults, and know what shitty customer service feels like, and guess what, we won't come back.

P.S. Fuck you Marquee theater. I will be there clapping the day your doors are closed for good.

Ron Paul
Ron Paul

Some venues are better than others. Some bands are more popular than others. I don't think a venue make its mark by just being a 'venue' - it needs to be better in all areas than the other 'rock clubs' out there. Better bathrooms for the ladies, better drinks for the guys, better sound for the bands, and better (friendlier) security for the fans. Let's hope the bar gets raised at all the clubs in town. 

Quezo
Quezo

Yes, support all local venues. Support Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix.This article is not to dissuade concertgoers from Club Red or Chasers (both well established Phoenix Metropolitan venues), but to encourage those who would go to shows in Central Phoenix to attend Crescent Ballroom. Period. It doesn't say "don't go to Club Red or Chasers". The glass is half full, not empty my friends. Let's fill it up!

Jrolsen13
Jrolsen13

Chasers in south Scottsdale. I agree with you Mattx....SUPPORT ALL LOCAL VENUES

Mattx
Mattx

Also, there is a venue called Club Red in Tempe. Support ALL local venues.

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