EDM Phoenix Opens Tonight and Brings More Dance Music to Downtown

Categories: Opening/Closing

Benjamin Leatherman
What once was Amsterdam and Bar on Central is now EDM Phoenix.
If you're of the opinion that downtown Phoenix not only needs more nightclubs but also more outlets for DJs to perform, both of those wishes are about to be fulfilled. Later this evening, a new downtown danceteria called EDM Phoenix will make its debut along Central Avenue and will offer a prime spot for checking out -- as you might've guessed -- electronic dance music.

It's located in the former home of iconic gay lounge Amsterdam and the recently closed Bar on Central, but will feature an entirely different focus from either of those joints. Tracy Chavis, one of EDM Phoenix's general managers, says that the emphasis will largely be on dance music and DJs.

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St. Lucia - Crescent Ballroom - 10/16/2014

Categories: Last Night

Freddie Paull

The sold-out St. Lucia show at Crescent Ballroom last night definitely felt like being hit with a tidal wave of pop sensation. Arizona may be one of the only places where you can comfortable rock beachware in October: floral-printed button-up shirts, khaki shorts, flip flops and tans were displayed on almost every guy in the venue. Most possibly because most guys at the show last night were quite comfortable with their sexuality, if you know what I mean.

Before the band stepped onto the stage, Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" can be heard on the speakers as the lights dimmed. The members of St. Lucia entered and got into position. In just minutes, the Crescent Ballroom would be struck with brightest lights the venue had seen, according to a few audience members. Flashes of pink and teal flew across the stage as Jean-Philip Grobler led his band of merry instrumentalists through a parade of '80s-infused electronica. Music aside, the band was visually pleasing: the lights complimented them, their fashion sense was like looking at an ad for H&M, and the energy on stage was contagious with jumping and clapping and smiling.

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Combichrist Still Doesn't Give a Damn

Categories: Last Night

Warren Whitmore
Combichrist played Club Red last night.

No fucks were given at last night's Combichrist show -- but none were needed.

The self-described "aggrotech" band Combichrist stopped in Mesa last night, performing at Club Red with opening acts Davey Suicide, William Control, and Darksiderz.

About 300 black-shirted fans filled the venue's east stage area.

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Weezer - Arizona State Fair - 10/16/14

Categories: Last Night

Jim Louvau
Weezer. Full slideshow here.

Before Thursday night, I hadn't been to the state fair in close to a decade. I spent most of the day there, frolicking through the bright, bursting animal smells and the tantalizing stench of grease. The whole day was an adventure, filled with overstimulation, unbridled joy, and thoughts of "Wow, this thing that shouldn't exist totally does exist." I even got a hat shaped like a doughnut! It seems like the fair hasn't changed a bit.

I've always wondered about the perspective of the bands who play at the Arizona State Fair. Wouldn't they think it's super-lame? It's not the most modern of venues, and they have to share space with contests for who can grow the most tumor-ridden squash. But then I remembered there was a guaranteed audience and probably decent payment for these shows, so it would probably be a lot of fun.

Weezer also is a lot of fun. It's that band that everyone was into 10 years ago, whether they liked it or not, and its ballads about being an outsider were easy to relate to for a 13-year old like me. Weezer's greatest hits have aged relatively well, but not enough that I've been closely following their last few releases. The band's new album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, appeared to rely heavily on Internet subculture, and when Weezer opened with a track from the new record, it confirmed a return to form. They followed up with "Hash Pipe" and "Perfect Situation."

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Zac Brown Band - Ak-Chin Pavilion - 10/16/2014

Categories: Last Night

Melissa Fossum
The Zac Brown Band rocked Ak-Chin Pavilion last night. Full slideshow here.

It can often seem that country music has taken a turn for the worse in recent years. As the genre edges closer and closer to nothing more than Top 40 pop, one band stands out as the antithesis to the decay: Zac Brown Band. Like a lone blooming flower in an otherwise desolate nuclear wasteland, Brown and his band burn bright with heartfelt composition, spirited lyrics, and a radiation of musical talent. So how do all of these characteristics translate into a live show? Well, after watching the band's performance last night at Ak-Chin Pavilion, the easy way to sum it up would be "kickass," but you, dear reader, rightfully demand more from a concert review, so let's dig a little deeper.

In addition to their cohesiveness as a band, the eight-piece group truly pulls out all the stops in an effort to entertain their fans. Whether they are wearing glow-in-the-dark skeleton costumes, honoring military members standing on stage, or teaching the interactive class History of Music 101 with Zac Brown through a barrage of cover songs, the guys really do go all out.

It's not just country songs that the band will cover either. While fellow country musicians as of late are dropping hybrid hip-hop mix-tapes with Lil Wayne, ZBB is hitting fans with "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin as the third song in their set list, followed by a healthy dose of Queen, Billy Joel, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Metallica peppered throughout.

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10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Categories: This Weekend

Courtesy of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers might not be playing Mexico this weekend, but the Pressroom is close, right?

Take a deep breath.

Concert season is in full swing, and we have a full slate of shows to see this weekend.

There is a massive local hip-hop festival, a show by a local hero, shows by rock legends, current rap stars. Everything you could want is happening this weekend.

So check out our 10 favorite concerts we'd love to see this weekend, and browse our comprehensive concert listings for more options.

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Los Dias de la Crescent to Expand to Civic Space Park on Saturday, November 15

Categories: News

Abraham Karam
Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta performs at Los Dias de la Crescent in 2013.
So, how bummed were you when last week's Belle & Sebastian concert got moved the outdoor from Civic Space Park to the indoor, seated Orpheum Theatre setup due to rain? Well, chin up, kids. We knew it wouldn't be long before Stateside Presents' Charlie Levy announced another Civic Space show, and this time he's using his venue's namesake event to do it. Los Dias de la Crescent's 2014 event is now expanding to Civic Space Park, but that's not all that's changed with the annual celebration of local music, which takes place Saturday, November 15.

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Ice House Tavern Is Being Sold to New Owners

Categories: Opening/Closing

Benjamin Leatherman
The Ice House Tavern in East Phoenix.
Heard a rumor lately about the Ice House Tavern and how it might be closing soon? Yeah, so have we. It turns out, however, that such gossip isn't true, which we confirmed after speaking with owner Daryl Chester.

Well, it used to be true, up until earlier this week, when certain circumstances involving the Thomas Road bar and music venue changed -- specifically, its ownership.

According to Chester, he's currently in the process of selling the Ice House Tavern to the attached Arcadia Ice Arena next door.

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Chicano Batman Adds Latin Flavor to Classic Oldies Sound

Categories: Last Night

Anthony Sandoval
Chicano Batman

Psychedelic soul and funk band Chicano Batman have been rocking the Dark Knight moniker since long before Ben Affleck received the nod to be the next Hollywood man to don the legendary cape and cowl.

But the Los Angeles-based quartet comprised of singer, guitarist and organist Bardo Martinez, bassist Eduardo Arenas, drummer Gabriel Villa and guitarist Carlos Arévalo have been chasing a different kind of justice and freedom since the group's inception in 2009.

That quest made its way to FilmBar last night, when Chicano Batman hit Phoenix for their Outer City Limits tour.

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MIMFest Offers Prime Chance for Global Musical Tourism

Categories: Local Wire

Courtesy of Musical Instrument Museum
Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta

The Musical Instrument Museum gathers a vast collection of the world's music under one roof. And when it throws a music festival, it brings musicians from all over the world and spreads the noise over multiple stages for a weekend that will expose Phoenix residents to an incredibly diverse range of genres.

Performing at MIMFest, which happens this Saturday, October 18, and Sunday, October 19, at the museum grounds, are the Mali-born, Grammy-nominated Bassekou Kouyate, one of the world's foremost players of an African lute known as the ngoni, and Latin jazz great Poncho Sanchez. Traditional string duo Billy Strings and Don Julin are also on the bill, as are Tex-Mex pioneers Max Baca & Flaco Jimenez. That's four vastly different styles of music, and those are just four of the 17 acts scheduled for the weekend.

"We have designed it to be really fun-filled, music-filled two days that reflect the mission and passion of the museum," says Lowell Pickett, the music theater's artistic director.

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