Cursive - Crescent Ballroom - 2/23/2015

Categories: Last Night

Melissa Fossum
Cursive performed Monday night at Crescent Ballroom. Full slideshow here.

Seeing Cursive perform its seminal 2003 record, The Ugly Organ, in its entirety is a dream come true for most fans. The album arguably is the band's best work (with Domestica coming in a close second), and The Ugly Organ is the last record to feature cellist Gretta Cohn. The lack of cello changed Cursive's sound a bit, but Monday night's show was like traveling back in time, thanks to an appearance from Ellen Lind on cello.

The concert was special and full of surprises. I expected Cursive to play The Ugly Organ front to back with a couple of additional songs for an encore, but I was wrong. The band opened with "Sink to the Beat," from 2001's Burst and Bloom EP and transitioned into "Big Bang," seamlessly uniting the band's old and new sound.

These two songs were merely a warmup, as the carnival sounds of "The Ugly Organist" kicked off the first four songs of The Ugly Organ. "Some Red Handed Sleight of Hand" and "Art is Hard" roused a select portion of the audience closest to the stage. Said fans cooled down a bit during a slowed down rendition of "The Recluse," triggering the band's next departure from The Ugly Organ.

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4 Songs by Phoenix Musicians That Describe Last Night's DirecTV Super Fan Fest

Jeff Moses
Rain washed away the stages at the DirecTV Super Fan Fest last night.

There was nothing remotely positive about DirecTV Super Fan Fest last night. Nothing. In my ever so humble opinion literally, LITERALLY, every single thing about DirecTV's event is either insulting, stupid, overpriced or bad, and it made me feel like I needed to apologize to Bonnaroo and Coachella for blasting them so hard last week.

My experience with the fest was very similar to my colleague Amanda Savage's, except she could afford more beer than I and actually found a way to have a good time.

I didn't have the same issues with having to park a car in the mud. But it was a 20-minute hike from the stage to the car. So we can call that one a wash. But being surrounded by all that and canned decadence just made me feel dirty.

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The Rain Turned Calvin Harris' Performance at the DirecTV Super Fan Fest into a Muddy Mess

Categories: Last Night

Amanda Savage
A scene from the rainy night at the DirecTV Super Fan Fest

Would you stand in the rain for four hours with no shelter, only to know that your night would be topped off with getting your car stuck in the mud, in a two-and-a-half hour traffic jam -- just to see Calvin Harris?

Most people wouldn't, but I did, and I don't really even like Calvin Harris. Harris headlined Thursday night's Super Fan Festival in Glendale, with other acts like Magic! And Alesso delivering opening acts.

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The Ting Tings/Grandmaster Flash Party in Scottsdale Was as Weird as It Sounds

Benjamin Leatherman
The Ting Tings didn't draw much of a crowd, but they sure played a helluva show.

Moves Magazine's website launch party -- Moves Magazine Kick-Off Party -- took place Wednesday night at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, and except for an exceptional performance by British dance-punk duo The Ting Tings, it really wasn't that much different than any other night in Scottsdale.

There was valet parking, velvet ropes, a red carpet full of pseudo-celebrities, and a whole lot of expensively dressed people trying their hardest to be "seen" at the party. To be fair, former Los Angeles Laker Rick Fox was there.

Celebrity host Simeon Rice (three-time Pro Bowl selection and former Arizona Cardinal) not only showed up as well, but he did so in sweatpants. The best-dressed person in the room was in a tuxedo, nearly all of the ladies present were in cocktail dresses. The average for a male was probably a button-down, jeans, and a blazer.

I gotta say that I fully respect the sweatpants move because you really cannot put a price on comfort. Especially at a pre-Super Bowl event full of drunk strangers, most of whom are fan boys -- like me. (I got an autograph, what of it?)

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Periphery - Club Red - 1/21/2015

Categories: Last Night

Jim Louvau

In what proved to be a diverse lineup of metal and rock bands, Periphery's Juggernaut Tour made its way to Arizona Wednesday night. If you have yet to see any of the bands that played, you're missing out, and you'd better hope they come again soon.

Each band has its own unique style and sound, which may not sound like a big deal, but sometimes metal shows can can be frustrating on the ears. Instead of having similar-sounding bands blast their way through songs all night, the Juggernaut Tour provided an array of talent to prevent fans from feeling jaded by too much of the same thing.

One of the most unique bands to hit the stage and kick things off was Thank You Scientist. Prior to last night, I had never heard of these guys, but they were something special.

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Gilgongo's 10-Year Anniversary Concert Was As Weird As The Label

Categories: Last Night

Troy Farah
Maniac Cop

There is no better venue for eclectic taste than Trunk Space, but Saturday night's 10 Years of Gilgongo Records show was extremely motley, even by their standards. This is all due to the refined, diverse tastes of James Fella, who runs the label out of his home. It's almost hard to believe that he's been releasing albums since he was 22, but around 80 vinyl releases later, Gilgongo Records continues to prove itself as one of the most unique staples of the Valley music sphere.

We came into the middle of James Fella's set, an eerie soundscape created by putting various records together at once, but I couldn't really tell what was going on. It was completely packed, which is highly unusual for an opener.

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The Final Weekly Blunt Club in Photos

Photos by Benjamin Leatherman
The members of The Blunt Club onstage at Yucca Tap in Tempe on Thursday.
"Whoop! Whoop! That's the sound of the police!"

KRS-One had some major vocal backup on Thursday night at the Yucca Tap Room. As the bombastic boom-bap of the rap legend's 1993 single, "Sound of the Police," blares through the sound system of the Tempe rock bar, a horde of close to a hundred voices scream-sing the chorus in unison with hands in the air.

Mass sing-alongs to rap classics are a common occurance at The Blunt Club, but on Thursday night it seemed a bit louder and forceful than usual. It's not surprising, considering the crowd at the hip-hop night was significantly larger than normal and that it would be their last chance to do so at a Blunt Club, at least for the next couple weeks.

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Fleetwood Mac - Talking Stick Resort Arena - 12/10/2014

Categories: Last Night

Jim Louvau
Fleetwood Mac still has it, or at least part of it.

"Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies" is a lyric I could go my whole life without hearing again. It's not that it isn't a catchy little piece of an innocuous pop/rock song. Christine McVie's lyric is exactly that, but I just don't like it. I also hate myself for mentioning Christine McVie so early in this review, but I guess she's at the forefront of my mind, just like she was for her fellow members of Fleetwood Mac all Wednesday night.

And no, I don't hate Fleetwood Mac. I don't love them, either. There are about 375 bands I would rather listen to, though, and in all honesty, I typically turn to a different radio station when a song by Fleetwood Mac comes on the radio, which says a lot. Phoenix radio, like Fleetwood Mac, leaves a lot to be desired in keeping and maintaining my interest.

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Ryan Adams Reminded Us All Why He's So Important at Last Night's Concert

Categories: Last Night

KC Libman
Ryan Adams impressed at Gammage Auditorium last night.

Let's get this out of the way first: This tour only has Ryan Adams and Jenny Lewis playing. Yes, there are Rilo Kiley songs. Yes, there are songs from Heartbreaker. Yes, the show is almost three and a half hours. And, yes, if you're going to pull out your iPhone to take pictures, turn off your fucking flash. This bill is so much more than a few of your favorite songs and an Instagram post, however. The pairing of both Adams and Lewis on the same tour is a reminder of true musicianship and talent, and all elements came together at the Gammage Auditorium in a grand way Wednesday night.

While Gammage is a relatively unlikely location for a concert, better known for its theater presentations, it served as an excellent host for the show, with Lewis opening the night. She is a commanding presence onstage, exuding a shoulder-punching fraternal nonchalance, hip-popping swagger and full-on songstress, sometimes simultaneously.

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Primus' Chocolate Factory Concert Was Insane

Categories: Last Night

Melina Dellamarggio
Primus' show pulled out all the stops, went all-out, left nothing in the tank, and went full-throttle.

There was a moment at the Primus concert last night at Orpheum Theatre when bassist Les Claypool left the stage and came back wearing a mask, joining the droning groove his bandmates Larry "Ler" LaLonde (guitar) and Tim "Herb" Alexander (drums) were maintaining. The audience gave a raucous cheer. At this point, the band was just performing in front of a bare curtain, and you got the sense that some in the audience thought the big reveal was coming.

Well, it didn't, not to take anything away from the first set of the Primus concert last night. The mask wasn't the only costume Claypool and company would don, and the best was yet to come.

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