McDowell Mountain Music Festival: Seven Local Bands Worth Checking Out

decker. is scheduled to perform on Friday, March 28, during McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2014 at Margaret T. Hance Park.

Judging by the amount of success that local performers at last year's McDowell Mountain Music Festival have seen since their March 2013 engagement at Margaret T. Hance Park, I think it is safe to say that the festival's organizers know how to pick 'em. Just about every local band that played last year moved on to bigger and better things.

KONGOS headlined the local stage on Friday night last year, and has since blasted off into the stratosphere (nudge-nudge Spafford, better use that spot wisely). While the band that opened the main stage last year, Dry River Yacht Club, recently played their first official showcase at SXSW. (Here's looking at you decker.)

The Sedona-based indie rock foursome is making the move from the local stage last year to the main stage this year along with Sara Robinson and the Midnight Special, The Wiley Ones, and the undisputed winners of SXSW, Jared and the Mill. Looking at last year's lineup of Valley bands at MMMF, there really are few who aren't bigger now than they were last March.

This year's crop is looking equally as good. Here are seven "can't miss" local sets at MMMF 2014, which runs from Friday, March 28, to Sunday, March 30, at Margaret T. Hance Park.


Spafford is jammy enough to keep the fans of the Deadhead patrons who inhabit the Sail Inn happy. But also bring a fresh enough sound that they certainly are not replicating the sound of any of traditional jam bands. They are headlining the first night of the festival's local stage. In a spot that last year ended up being one of the most rocking sets of the Fest. Also more than likely one of the last opportunities for an intimate concert with KONGOS. Spafford has been stepping up their live shows as of late, including a packed out new years outing at The Sail. I'm sure the band is hoping that this appearance will be the last piece before hurtling toward KONGOS like success. While they may be unlikely they are still an absolute can't miss local performance at MMMF.

Spafford is scheduled to perform on the local stage at 9 p.m. on Friday, March 28

Location Info


Margaret T. Hance Park

1134 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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Billy Farmer
Billy Farmer

Spafford bringing the northern love down!

Billy Farmer
Billy Farmer

Sara Robinson & The Midnight Special killin' it down in the valley!


Please correct this article to reflect that Jared & the Mill play on Saturday not Sunday!  Great band!!

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