Phoenix Rock Lottery - Crescent Ballroom - 2/9/14

Categories: Last Night

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.

See also:Crescent Ballroom to Host First-Ever Phoenix Rock Lottery in February

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.

Location Info

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

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The DKSPLT cover was Teenage FBI by Guided By Voices.


I really enjoyed the show, and hope that this does become an annual thing. I thought all the bands were good, and surprisingly tight for how little time they had to rehearse. Auto-tune Workout clearly had the most fun with the concept, so their opening the show was the perfect way to get the audience going. I agree that they could have used an MC to introduce everyone- I recognized several performers, but I wanted to know who the rest were.

By the way, the terrible Smashmouth song Auto-Tune Workout covered was the awful Semi-Charmed Life by the awful Third Eye Blind. The Radiohead cover was The National Anthem (also from Kid A). The Bitch Choir cover was Under Control by The Strokes. And the DKSPLT cover was by some Polish pop star (I had to look that one up).


@thrillhouse15  Ugh! You're right about that Radiohead song. Been too long since I've listened to Kid A. Don't care about fucking up the Smashmouth/3rd Eye whatever thing tho.

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