Gap Dream, GRMLN, Wolvves, Petty Things - Viva PHX Alley Stage - 3/7/14
Although it was definitely one of the more smaller of the outdoor stages at the Viva PHX last night, I'd be willing to bet the PHX Alley Stage offered, by far, the highest energy and most raucous crowd out of the entire music festival.
Photos by Jeff Moses Petty Things performs last night on The PHX Alley Stage at Viva PHX.
This shouldn't come as a surprise, seeing as it sort of became the unofficial Rubber Brother Records stage with three bands from the cassette-spewing and popular DIY label bringing the garage punk excitement.
As its name portends, the stage was nestled in an alley between the seven-story Heard Building and the much smaller structure known as The Hub just down the street from the Hotel San Carlos.
A large spray-painted banner hung above the stage helped provide thing a street art/DIY feel. Add in the street signs, the light rail trains rolling by, and half of a bike positioned above a door and the show almost really felt like it was some underground gig put together by punks. However its blaring sound system definitely detracted from the DIY vibe a bit.
The audience at Viva PHX's Alley Stage.
Gap Dream's set was already in progress upon my arrival to the stage. The SoCal-based band was one of the many touring acts at the festival who made a stop in Phoenix while on their way to South by Southwest and their set was solid. Fronted by guitarist/vocalist Gabriel Fulvimar, Gap Dream's sound is a mix of garage rock with a hint of soul and hip-hop and was a good fit for the stage. They were on last night and will probably do very well in Austin.
The PHX Alley Stage's lineup was largely the domain of locals, and the ferocious-sounding Wolvves were right after Gap Dream. There is a good chance that anyone with a wristband who was not at the stage by 8 p.m. with the hopes of getting a good view of the show was completely wasting their time since it got packed by then.
"It was pretty wild," says Wolvves lead guitarist Isaac Parker about the band's set, which featured the night's first mosh pit. "When I heard about the festival, I was like I want to play that," he says. "I envisioned Wolvves on it."