Top 20 Phoenix Concerts of 2012
The Walkmen @ Crescent Ballroom| 9/16/12
The Walkmen have always sounded worn. "Sometimes I'm just happy I'm older," singer Hamilton Leithauser belted on "We've Been Had," from the magnificent and wonderfully titled Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone, all the way back in 2002.
Ten years later, he's still writing about getting older, singing "I was the Duke of Earl, but it couldn't last/I was the Pony Express, but I ran out of gas" on "We Can't Be Beat," from 2012's Heaven, a song that serves as a sort of spiritual sequel to "We've Been Had." It's a rare kind of song, one that doesn't mourn for lost youth so much as champion the art of living right now, and The Walkmen are a rare kind of band, one that rages as well as they contemplate, with style and showmanship lacking from the downward-gazing mopers they often get lumped in with. The Walkmen proved this much at Crescent Ballroom last night. -- Jason P. Woodbury
Father John Misty @ Rhythm Room| 10/10/12
"I want to do what a stripper does, and in another way do what a carnival barker does, or a shaman, some kind of Pentecostal preacher," Josh Tillman, the singer/songwriter known by his alter ego Father John Misty, said when we spoke in advance of his show at Rhythm Room Wednesday night. "Those are all more interesting archetypes than a guitarist to me." -- Jason P. Woodbury