Top Five Must-See Shows This Week in Phoenix
It takes some bands months of playing shows to find an identity, but Tempe dance-punk act Doctor Bones skipped those awkward on-stage moments "feeling it out." Though the band has honed its skills with each passing performance, Doctor Bones' sound -- New Wave sensibilities, pop arrangements, dance-ready beats, and manic, punk-inspired verve -- was in place from the very start.
In just over a year and a half, Doctor Bones (singer Anthony Fama, guitarist Chad Stark, vocalist/keyboardist/violinist Hannah Bones, bassist Jess Pruitt, and drummer Mike Vigil) has toured extensively across the Southwest, including a stop at the famed South by Southwest annual music festival in Austin. They've developed a local fanbase, too, staging a residency at The Rogue Bar in Scottsdale and playing opening slots around town and sweaty house parties that often leave band members bruised, battered, and bleeding.
Their sound takes shape around influences such as The Cars, Talking Heads, and Dead Kennedys, and it bears stating that Fama's baritone vocals somewhat resemble those of Joy Division's Ian Curtis. Much as Joy Division did in the late '70s, Doctor Bones finds itself directly impacted by punk's electricity, even if the band's own sound owes as much to its poppier impulses.
"We're pretty aggressive on stage, even though you wouldn't think it," Pruitt says.
"One of the most common ways people describe us is New Wave," Vigil says. "That seems to be the place they go to, but . . ."
"The way people react to the live show and how much passion we put into everything -- it's more like punk rock," Fama says.
"At the end of our show, we want to be completely exhausted and worn out because we gave it every single thing we had on stage," Vigil says. "For some reason, people only equate that with punk rock." -- Anthony Sandoval
2155 E. University Drive, Tempe, AZ