Trunk Space: 20 Favorite Shows From the Last Decade

Categories: Outtakes

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Troy Farah
Kevin Steinhauser, the male half of Math The Band.

Math The Band
Math The Band ripped open their set with "Hang Out / Hang Ten" and the audience, already invigorated by Treasure Mammal and Rough Tough Dynamite, instantly went into this frenzy, screaming along with the catchy chorus: "Everyone have fun tonight!" A perfect intro, 'cuz I'm pretty sure that everyone did just that.

The energy in the room expanded more and more with each song. As the band executed a track featured in their newest music video, "Brand New Physics," it drove the crowd off the edge. I've never seen such an energetic audience in Phoenix, minus something like a hardcore punk show, with everyone dancing in place or holding onto one another or stinking like glorious sweat. It was loony bin fun. -- Troy Farah

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Mike Bogumill
Soft Shoulder at the Trunk Space.

Soft Shoulder/The Pharmacy

Even though I saw them at an art gallery, the Seattle band The Pharmacy channeled the spirit of a dive bar house band. With their scruffy appearance, liberal use of the word "baby" to describe adult love interests in their lyrics, and general upbeat nature, I can easily imagine dancing to this band after I've had one too many PBRs or Old Styles. It makes me regret not actually doing so at the neighboring Bikini Lounge, but I still enjoyed the band. One of my favorite aspects of them was that the Beach Boys/Zombies-ish vocal harmonies that happen on their lo-fi recordings such as Stoned and Alone are not some kind of studio magic, they really sound like that live. This is probably why most people would classify them as "garage rock", but for me they are on the very tasteful end of the bar rock spectrum.

The real highlight though, was Soft Shoulder. I haven't seen this band in a while and figured they were on some indefinite hiatus. James Fella's other band, The Mangled Men, were supposed to play, but not all the members could make it, so the slot was devoted to a Soft Shoulder set featuring Fella on guitar and Paul Arambula of Mangled Men/Chandails/Vegetable on drums.

I used to think that Soft Shoulder was boring, that they sounded too much like Silver Daggers and all those other kinds of spazzy, jazzy, Silverlake brand of weird bands that there were plentiful a few years ago. But this incarnation got me. The songs were apparently the same songs as before, but downtuned and about four times as slow. -- Mike Bogumill

The Trunk Space's Indie 500 concert series runs nightly through tonight.

See also: Celebrating 10 Years of the Trunk Space - A Brief Oral History

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