The Neighbourhood, Pinback, Kitten, The Technicolors - Viva PHX - 3/7/14
Jessica Obert Viva PHX's Central Avenue stage at CityScape last night.
The Technicolors, Kitten, Pinback and The Neighbourhood
Viva PHX's Central Avenue Stage at Cityscape
While it was expected to be one of the most diverse lineups of any stage at Friday night's Viva Phoenix Festival, the CityScape main stage offered up rock performance after rock performance. Local darlings The Technicolors, L.A. showstoppers Kitten, indie mainstays Pinback and the princes of the evening in The Neighbourhood trudged through technical difficulties while each put their spin on a riotous live show.
The average listener would never show up at a Technicolors set and expect the band to be a local act -- the whole group possesses that kind of seasoned bravado that's usually reserved for musicians from the Golden State, but we've got them right in our backyard. They were an appropriate kickoff for the evening with vocalist Brennan Smiley sashaying and shredding his way through the set, evoking a young Julian Casablancas with riff-heavy instrumentation to back it up.
Their keyboardist, a seemingly new addition to the band, stole the show from the other members while having what looked to be a very public exorcism during their last two songs, his glasses flying off numerous times. The warm crowd reception was probably bolstered by the five-to-one male-to-female ratio that was cemented in place until The Neighbourhood's set.
Poor Kitten got the short end of the stick, though they managed to put on the most vivacious performance of the evening as the most definitive a rock band can be in 2014. Due to a patch cable issue, according to Pinback bassist Zach Smith, Kitten hit the stage 30 minutes after their scheduled slot time. Smith jokingly said that the sound crew "[didn't] really know what they were doing here," and that was soon evidenced in spades by equalization issues and vocalist Chloe Chaidez's mic cutting out during Kitten's first song.
All issues were soon quashed and Chaidez and company set to work putting on a show, going from the Cardigans-esque "Chinatown" to a full display of her range on "Cut It Out." Chaidez's antics and outfit alike were dazzling, whether she was shaking it on top of guitarist Waylon Rector's amps or actually performing gymnastics onstage in between crowd-surfing sessions. They only got five songs in, but managed to be a hell of an act to follow.