How One Awkward Moment Almost Ruined the Nickel Creek Concert in Mesa

Categories: Last Night

Mandi Kimes
Nickel Creek

Experiencing Nickel Creek was almost perfect. So, before I go into what ruined the show for me, I'll talk about all the things that worked so well.

If there's one thing we could all agree on it's that Ikeda Theatre was a perfect match for Nickel Creek. Even Chris Thile loved it, by mentioning how beautiful the room was. The harmonies in the Ikeda Theatre rang like a bell, you could hear each string being plucked and strummed.

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5 Best Concerts to See in Phoenix This Weekend

Categories: This Weekend

Jim Louvau
Sara Robinson and the Midnight Special play Crescent Ballroom on Sunday.

We've checked out the calendar, and musically, it seems like summer is coming to end. Musically, at least. From here on out, there are a steady diet of great shows coming to town. Check out our picks below, and browse our comprehensive concert listings if you'd like more options.

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Questions Remain in Tito Torbellino's Death as One Alleged Killer Gunned by Mexican Police

Categories: Local Wire

Courtesy of Celebrity Theatre
Mexican police say they shot and killed one of the murderers of Tito Torbellino.

Remember Tomas Tovar Rascon, a.k.a. Tito Torbellino, the Phoenix-born banda singer who was brutally assassinated in a restaurant in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, in late May?

News came late July that Mexican police shot and killed one of the men responsible for the murder.

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Allred Guitars Continues Grand Avenue Vitalization


Even if it still looks a little greasy to some, Grand Avenue near downtown just keeps getting better and better, what with the addition of Grand Avenue Pizza and the recently renovated ThirdSpace restaurant and bar. Soon to join the many quirky galleries and mechanic shops is Allred Guitars & Guitar Repair, opening right behind Bragg's Pie Factory (facing McKinley) at 1301 Grand Aveune, Suite 7.

The new shop will be hosting a grand opening on this coming First Friday, September 5, from 6 to 10 p.m. There'll be refreshments and maybe even some live music. RSVP here.

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In Defense of Liking Music for No Good Reason

Categories: Sound Off

A Yeezus tour photo courtesy of Rogers & Cowan
Because it's awesome, is why.
By Luke Winkie

Why did you like Yeezus? Did you find it anarchic? Did you like how it challenged racial norms in a confrontational, blacked-out way? Did you like its minimalism? Or its maximalism? Did you find the songs to speak to a larger narrative of where Kanye West is artistically and emotionally? Did you appreciate the videos, or the bloodthirstiness? Did you enjoy the lack of singles and the punk narrative?

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The Digital Melancholy of Electrisad Is Like John Hughes in Mp3 Form

Categories: Local Wire

Courtesy of

Electrisad has had a very punctuated emergence as a fixture in the Phoenix scene.

In the space of a few months, the band has opened up for several prominent acts in the national DIY indie scene such as Julie Byrne, Emperor X, and Your Heart Breaks. Saying that isn't meant as an empty "has shared the stage with..." cliche of hyping up a band. It's more about context. Having attended some of those shows with the explicit purpose of seeing the touring headliners above anything else, Electrisad stuck with me less as a defacto local opener and more of a solid band in their own right. A testament to that might be that I remembered their songs without ever seeking out the recorded versions (a scant amount can be found here).

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The Black Moods: "We Want People to be Sad to Our Songs, and Also Have Sex to Our Songs."

Photo by Jeremy Huse
The Black Moods are scheduled to perform Saturday, August 30, at Crescent Ballroom.

Black Moods fans eagerly anticipating the release of the rock band's follow-up to their eclectic self-titled debut album will have to hold their breath a little longer. The Phoenix-based trio is tabling their upcoming album for a short time in an effort to strengthen the material, lengthen the album, and fine-tune the details. The decision came as a request from the band's new management team, Street Smart Marketing, who is working to push the group to the next level in their career.

"In the past year and a half, we've learned a lot about business," Black Moods drummer Danny "Chico" Diaz explains, "and about touring. We decided our goals were to get management, and then get a record label -- we've hit the first goal, and we have management now."

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The Offspring's Guitarist Says Punk Rockers Aren't as Special as They Think

Categories: Pop Punk

The Offspring

It's time to locate the CD binder somewhere in a closet. Thumb through the inserts, and as nostalgia washes over, pull out 1994's "required listening" album for angst-filled teenagers and brush up on the Offspring's Smash. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the record that exposed the Huntington Beach, California, band to mainstream audiences and provided its sustained success thereafter.

How will the Offspring celebrate the anniversary? It is touring, stopping at Mesa Amphitheatre on Friday, August 29, and playing Smash live from front to back for the first time.

"The songs are as fresh as ever," says Offspring guitarist Kevin John Wasserman, a.k.a. Noodles, while acknowledging that many of the tracks have been staples of the band's set list for years.

Smash holds the record for bestselling album on an independent label (Epitaph), and its songs appeared in films such as American Pie 2, Orange County, and Idle Hands, and its videos enjoyed extensive airplay on Total Request Live.

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Drag the River Shows There's More Similarities Between Country and Punk Than You'd Think

Imelda Michalczyk
Drag the River

Though not obvious, the connection is strong between punk and country music. Both genres can be rough around the edges, feature bad-boy frontmen, and contain songs about societal woes. Hank Williams III has turned his country music into a thrashing, moshing affair.

Less outwardly abrasive, but no less fun, is Drag the River, a revolving group of players that grew out of the ashes of two punk bands, All and Armchair Martian. To be fair, both punk bands -- the former featuring Chad Price, the latter Jon Snodgrass -- were in full swing as Drag the River slowly came into existence. Busy with their own bands but looking for outlets, the pair took advantage of an opportunity to record free demos in the then-newly christened Blasting Room recording studio.

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Let's Be Real: Burning Man Is Bad for the Environment

Categories: Burning Man

Brian Ezren

By Keith Plocek

This week, 68,000 revelers will descend on Nevada's remote Black Rock Desert. (That is, assuming the rain lets up.)

They will travel from Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, and places you've never heard of. They will take part in the temporary city that is Burning Man and will light a giant wooden man aflame.

Despite it all, Burning Man somehow has gotten a reputation as a "green" event. But that is simply not the case. Make no mistake: Burning Man is bad for the environment.

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