Linkin Park - US Airways Center - 9/10/2014

Categories: Last Night

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Jim Louvau
Linkin Park, AFI, and 30 Seconds to Mars played US Airways Center last night. Full slideshow here.

The Carnivores Tour featuring Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, and AFI hit the US Airways Center last night in downtown Phoenix.The evening included some of the best angst-driven rock anthems of the past 15 years -- well, from at least two of the acts.

The night began with a very solid 40-minute opening set from AFI, who, like Linkin Park, has evolved musically since their heyday. While they still may be labeled as punk, newer tracks like "I Hope You Suffer" from their latest record Burials are far from the punk roots from which they came. Older tracks from their breakout record 2003's Sing the Sorrow dominated most of their short set.

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Last Night's Bocafloja Concert a Sign of Latin Music to Come at Herberger Theater

Categories: Last Night

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Carlos Reyes
Bocafloja

"Mexican rap at Herberger? How does one even begin to understand that?" exclaimed Phoenix resident Kimberley Corral upon seeing the electronic billboard outside the theater that read, "Bocafloja En Concierto." This was a common reaction shared by a surprised audience that has always seen Herberger Theater Center as a setting for the finer performing arts. While Herberger is the official home of Arizona Theatre Company and Center Dance Ensemble, other acts have graced the stage. Thursday night, featuring Mexico's most relevant rapper, was proof of that.

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

Categories: Last Night

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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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Interpol's Concert at Marquee Theatre Was Fine, But Way Too Short

Categories: Last Night

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All photos by Melissa Fossum
Interpol played a too-brief set at Marquee Theatre last night. Full slideshow here.

Your favorite band played for only an hour. Not an hour and 15 minutes. The big hand went around the clock just once. No further.

The content of the show review below won't matter to anyone who saw Interpol at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe in person. You left that show angry and ripped off because you spent $40 for admission and $30 more on merchandise and drinks to watch a pretentious band from Brooklyn that was relevant 10 years ago play for one hour when they have five albums to draw material from. You should be mad. It was obvious from the bewildered looks on your faces when the house lights went up. You glanced at your iPhones and you raised your hands and screamed and swore at anyone who would listen.

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Paul McCartney - US Airways Center - 8/12/2014

Categories: Last Night

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All photos by Jim Louvau
Paul McCartney. Full slideshow here.

While waiting for Paul McCartney to start his set Tuesday night at US Airways Center, I tried to think of living and performing musicians who are irrefutably rock legends (metal bands purposefully excluded).

I came up with The Who, Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Rush, and The Beach Boys, and let's throw in U2.

I'm sure my list is far from complete, but it's still small. The chance to see a true musical legend doesn't come around very often. For me, Paul McCartney trumps them all. Sir Paul's work with the Beatles and beyond laid the foundation for all pop music that followed. He's one of the few people out there whose legacy is undisputable.

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A Strange Night at Funny World, Courtesy of Father's Day, Jawwzz, Wavelengths, and More

Categories: Last Night

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All photos by Jeff Moses

When I got in the door to Funny World, I asked Space-Alien Donald how he was doing. "I have music," he said. "So I'm happy." And it turned out, it indeed was a good night for music. A great night actually, from a variety of weird backgrounds from all over the Southwest, somehow fitting best in Phoenix.

I missed Button Struggler because I was late. Because I was, OK? I'm sorry. One of the first songs from Jawwzz, from Salt Lake City, was very similar to Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill," but it was strung through guitar so it sounded unique and that made me feel good. In addition to that, it was apparent Jawwzz have taste. Dressed in all black, they recalled goth punk -- Joy Division blended with The Smiths. It makes sense they had a song called "Morrissey." The lead singer practically made out with a bouquet of fake roses duct taped to his mic stand.

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Fall Out Boy and Paramore - Ak-Chin Pavilion - 8/8/2014

Categories: Last Night

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Melissa Fossum
Paramore and Fall Out Boy performed at Ak Chin Pavilion last weekend. Full slideshow here.

The Monumentour was an apt name for bringing together pop-punk behemoths Paramore and Fall Out Boy for a mega-co-headlining concert. The veteran bands, both more than 10 years old, showed off their greatest hits for an audience who had mostly grown up with them at Friday's Ak-Chin Pavilion show.

Considering the dominant radio success Paramore has seen in recent years compared to Fall Out Boy, it was surprising the band took the stage first. Also surprising, their set, while fun and energetic, didn't win out against FOB. Paramore singer Hayley Williams may have worn knee pads and an ultra-cute boxing outfit on stage, but this round went to Fall Out Boy.


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Amos Lee - Mesa Arts Center - 8/4/2014

Categories: Last Night

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Mandi Kimes

It's been six years since Phoenix has seen Amos Lee. With his Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song album climbing the charts, it's only fitting that he plays intimate shows across the country, and last night's Mesa Arts show was intimacy paired with dark sunglasses and Americana flare. It was clear from the moment I entered the venue that this night was going to be spectacular.

The opening band was Amy Helm & the Handsome Strangers, but the only reason I knew that was because that's what was stated on the venue's website. They never once addressed who they were during their entire set. Even later, Lee referred to them as "Amy Helm and her band." Helm took center stage with mandolin on the first two songs, and lackluster dance moves on the rest of the set, but her voice packed a punch and delivered what her stage presence lacked.

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The Hold Steady - Crescent Ballroom - 8/4/14

Categories: Last Night

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Melissa Fossum
The Hold Steady

Wow, what a show. The Hold Steady made a long overdue appearance at Crescent Ballroom last night on the Teeth Dreams tour, but mostly stuck to older material. The music was far from perfect, but that's the beauty of going to a Hold Steady show.


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Andrew Jackson Jihad, Hard Girls, Dogbreth - Crescent Ballroom - 8/1/14

Categories: Last Night

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All photos Troy Farah
Andrew Jackson Jihad

Andrew Jackson Jihad might be the best band Phoenix has produced. And unlike certain local punk bands from the '80s, they remain relevant. Unlike most musicians who move elsewhere to "make it," totally neglecting their hometown later, Sean Bonnette and Ben Gallaty have made every effort to stay involved in the Valley, even when they're stomping around Europe with Frank Turner or taking time off in other cities. That's why when AJJ returns home, it always feels like a reunion of sorts.

AJJ's music will always remind me of my hometown and my many friends who are also fans. So I had to pass the torch. Not too long ago, I introduced my younger brother Garrett to "The Jihad," as we call it. He just turned 16 as well, so for his birthday, we brought him to AJJ's sold out show at Crescent. This review was supposed to focus more on his perspective, but unfortunately, something tragic happened on our way to gig.


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