Phoenix Rock Lottery - Crescent Ballroom - 2/9/14
Photos by Melissa Fossum Robin Vining perform with Auto-Tune Workout during the Phoenix Rock Lottery last night. See more photos via our slideshow.
What happens when you take 20 well-known (to varying degrees) local musicians, shuffle them around, and give them only 10 hours to start a band? Crescent Ballroom decided to find out, hosting the Phoenix Rock Lottery on Sunday night. Not only was this a pretty damn cool idea, it benefited Rosie's House, an educational nonprofit that helps kiddies learn piano. D'awwww . . .
Beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, the musicians involved were assembled into randomly selected pools and given the rest of the day to write three originals and practice them, as well as learn one cover. But what came out of this experiment was more than just four weird musical juxtapositions with bizarre names -- it was a testament to the hard work of this here music scene, and given the short turnaround, also proves these singers, guitarists, drummers, bassists, keyboardists, and what have you are some incredibly talented individuals.
Not a single musician that took the stage Sunday night escaped unscathed from exhaustion. With red eyes circled by bags, hair tussled, and makeup smeared, it looked like less like a concert and more like the hangover. Yet, as tough as it must have been, it was one helluva powerful gig. Let's break it down.
The members of Auto-Tune Workout onstage at the Crescent on Sunday.
AUTO-TUNE-WORKOUT -- Featuring Henri Benard (Dry River Yacht Club), Danny Torgersen (Captain Squeegee), Tobie Milford (The Whisperlights), and Robin Vining (Sweetbleeders, Jimmy Eat World)
Auto-Tune Workout drew the "phone a friend" wild card, given the option to invite whoever they wanted to join them onstage. While rumor has it they called Jack White (he politely declined), they were able to get Aaron Burke of Minibosses, who took the stage with a towel over his head before the big reveal.
A-TW announced that it's first song was dedicated to Andy, the Ballroom's noted sound dude, which quickly led to the volume being cut. Not sure if this was a flub or a prank, but once everything was working again, Auto-Tune Workout began tinkling with some silly keys, followed by some light trumpet. It gave every indication of being some ironic lovefest, the Richard Cheese or "Weird" Al breed of satire -- but it was a little more bizarre than that and skillful to boot.