Jason Devore, Skky Brown, The Insects and Crusher Sound System at New Times Soundcheck, 2/11/12
New Times Soundcheck
Photo by William Westfall Jason DeVore sings with Aarin Lugar of Inept Hero for a song
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Two stages: check.
Fourteen bands: check.
The New Times Soundcheck Festival concluded last night at Club Red with 14 kickass local acts. Day two emulated Friday's kickoff with a varied musical palate that included an injection of Valley hip-hop flavor for your ear.
The bands were divvied up between the second and main stages and provided a welcome ebb and flow to the night.
The smaller Red Owl stage played host to the bouncing hip-hop fans, while rock and roll ska heads perused around the main stage.
Rob Randolph got the night started on the main side, but unfortunately we just missed his set. We'll have to make sure to show him some love in the future, but in the mean time you can check out his new album, The Truth We Tell Ourselves here.
As concertgoers slowly trickled in, Joshua Micheal provided some acoustic-driven rock which included some pretty nifty covers of The Coasters' "Down in Mexico," Incubus and Bill Withers. He also knocked out a couple of his own jams behind course vocals and sharp strumming. In the middle of making his pitch to the crowd to pick up his merch he somehow worked in a $5 blowjob offer which quickly sparked an auction for the dreadlocked Micheal's.
True Publiq opened up the second stage with a rousing rap-rock set that not enough people showed up in time to watch. DJ Bam Boogie laid down slow grooving beats and keyboardist Paul chimed in with timely key strokes. Lead MC John Q. shredded on guitar while flexing some aggressive rapping chops although he stretched his vocal capacities during, "Why." He quickly acknowledged that he was reaching during the verses that are normally sung by someone else. The five-piece band had good energy though and set a good pace for the next act.
With seemingly larger gaps over on the main stage, the Red Owl acts hogged most of the crowd early on, easily packing the smaller section of the venue.
As main lay dormant for a little more than an hour, rapper Span Phly followed True Publiq. With his DJ behind him laying down some wicked beats, Phly walked around the stage in a grey hoody and low-sitting Arizona Diamondback cap. His high-pitched vocals often sounded like desperate gasps for air as he spit rhyme after rhyme. Quickly following his 20-minute set, Everyday Affiliates members Choice One, Mike Paris and DJ Blesd 1, jumped on stage and further worked up the crowd. Instead of the slower methodical approach by Phly, the fellas combined rapid licks with deep reverberating backup vocals.
Around the same time reggae rock trio, Eye of Fire brought some life back to the other side with some ska-twang. Singer/guitarist Manny Anaya confessed, "We like a bit of the reggae, a bit of the rock." True to form, funky bass lines set a slow reggae rhythm with the occasional rocking guitar riff. Although Anaya's vocals took a back seat to the music (it was sometimes barely audible), the set inspired some slow-dancing by the stage.
Photo by William Westfall
Music collective The Writer's Guild had some early technical difficulties but quickly worked through them. The "top-notch poet and four fly emcees" aptly shared the stage, taking turns showing off their lyrical wit. They bounced around the stage, mugged in their best B-boy stances, and created some good vibes.