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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Judas Priest - Gila River Arena - 11/12/2014

Categories: Last Night

All photos by Jim Louvau
Judas Priest singer and Phoenix resident Rob Halford. Check out a full slideshow of the concert here.

The crowd at Gila River Arena in Glendale began to cheer before Judas Priest even took the stage. Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" played overhead and the audience, tuned into a frequency only they could hear, knew that one of the most prominent and distinguished metal band of the last 40 years was about to take the stage. The sound of thunder crashing down was heard as streaks of lightning showered down behind the curtain bearing the band's logo. The drapery dropped like a stone to reveal Rob Halford and company. Blood, fire, and destruction rained down on the screen behind them as they launched into "Dragonaut," the opening track of their latest release Redeemer of Souls.

Halford's operatic voice was as powerful and sturdy as the warrior Hercules, metaphorically shattering glass and bringing down down the "Metal Gods" he was singing about. Dressed in his trademark leather, chains, and sunglasses, the Phoenix resident declared in an English accent that "the Priest is back!" He then launched into the song "Devil's Child," accentuating the end of every line with a sharp wail that pierced the eardrums of everyone in the house.

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At Pizza Underground Show, It's Clear Phoenix Music Does Weird Better

Categories: Last Night

Jeff Moses
This is the face of the kid whose fictional parents can't seem to remember he exist.

I'm not a Phoenix guy. I am from the great state of New Jersey, and I have been around the block a little bit, and I must say that Phoenix does weird better. The Pizza Underground came through the Rhythm Room with Har Mar Superstar and Candy Boys on Wednesday night, and their shtick just seems to be worlds behind some of the great Valley-based music/comedy acts.

The Pizza Underground played first, going on 45 minutes later than the advertised start time, and I couldn't help thinking how much more productive that 45 minutes could have been if it were filled by Dinosaur Love, Man-Cat, or Hot Rock Supa Joint (what goes better before pizza than weed?). Hell, they had TKLB? behind the bar; they could have given him some of that dead time. But they didn't.

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Black Keys - US Airways Center - 11/10/2014

Categories: Last Night

Jim Louvau
The Black Keys rocked US Airways Center last night. Full slideshow here.

The Black Keys came on stage at US Airways Center last night in front of a light blue curtain with red, velvet stage drapes with gold trim on either side. After the fourth song, during a tension-building burst of distorted guitar noise, the curtains dramatically dropped, and the band launched into the opening guitar riff of "Same Old Thing." Behind the band were a series of screens that shifted and moved on unseen tracks and featured various visuals and projections of the performance.

It wasn't anything new -- the first time I personally saw the whole "screens moving around and coming together to create trippy visuals" thing was at Radiohead's King of Limbs tour stop in Colorado in 2012. But the way the Black Keys' set incorporated these screens, squares that would drift apart and then occasionally move together to form one giant square and so on, was absolutely spellbinding, much more so than Radiohead's use of it a few years later.

In a way, that's a perfect analog for the Black Keys in general.

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Yelle Made Going Out on Monday in Phoenix Worth It Last Night

Categories: Last Night

All photos Troy Farah

Sometimes, no amount of coffee or marijuana can help you from lying around a dingy house instead of being able to write. I wasn't excited about Yelle. I almost considered not going at all. But I'm glad I forced myself to get out because this show was possibly the best I've seen all year, and certainly one of the most exciting I've seen at Crescent in a LONG time.

Things weren't running smoothly from the start due to an opener's no-show, but then Lemonade suffered a power outage during their first tune. It probably wasn't a long wait, but it briefly killed the vibe. Thankfully, the percussionist brought everyone back. He was wearing some kind of Pakistani pajamas and a blank white shirt, but his exaggerated smile (not exactly a shit-eating grin) was the real fashion statement.

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Jimmy Eat World - Marquee Theatre - 10/30/2014

Categories: Last Night

Melissa Fossum
Jimmy Eat World. Full slideshow here.

Jimmy Eat World's recent Arizona appearances have all been special, and Thursday night's was no exception. The band's sold-out show at Marquee Theatre was less intimate than last year's mini Arizona tour, The Rock Lottery, or Jim Adkins' solo Christmas show, but hearing Futures in its entirety with a two-part encore made for one of Jimmy Eat World's best club shows in recent memory.

The vibe of Jimmy Eat World shows really hasn't changed much over the past 10 years. Being surrounded by large crowd screaming the whoas and ohs of "Sweetness" is the same experience one could have had in 2004. Better yet, avid fans were singing before Jimmy Eat World even took the stage.

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Queens of the Stone Age - Memorial Coliseum - 10/30/2014

Categories: Last Night

Jim Louvau
Queens of the Stone Age. Full slideshow here.

Queens of the Stone Age began its set a little after 7 p.m. at the Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fair. To get there, you have to spend time winding through the fairgrounds, past the hordes of children tugging their parents' hands, begging for tickets to games and rides. There's a giant livestock show that delights kids of all ages, and bright, flashing lights enthrall the eye in every which direction.

The family-friendly, funnel cake-pushing atmosphere of the Arizona State Fair lent a hilarious air to the concert last night, such as during the band's second song, "Feel Good Hit of the Summer," in which frontman Josh Homme croons all the drugs the band took while recording their second album, Rated R: "Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol, c-c-c-c-c-cocaine!"

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