The Band Perry, Easton Corbin - Country Thunder - 4/11/14

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Photos by Benjamin Leatherman
The Band Perry takes to the stage on Friday, April 11, at Country Thunder 2014 in Florence.

The Band Perry, Easton Corbin, & more
Country Thunder 2014
4/11/14

Country music fans in Florence were surely pleased with the way their weekend kicked off last night. Friday marked day two of this year's annual Country Thunder festival, and the night's lineup featured up-and-comers Mary Hoffman and Cassadee Pope, along with seasoned musicians Sawyer Brown and chart toppers Easton Corbin and the Band Perry.

When I arrived at Country Thunder, there were campers set up in every direction and thousands of people wandering the festival grounds, browsing vendor booths like Stetson and Jack Daniel's. Finding my first beer was an unforgiving and daunting task in the high afternoon heat, but after going through all the avenues for alcohol, I could settle in.

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Broken Bells - Marquee Theatre - 4/10/2014

Categories: Last Night

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James Minchin
At a April 10 show at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Broken Bells showed they were interested in more than just music.


Broken Bells
Marquee Theater
4/10/2014

There's a line from the LCD Soundsystem song "Drunk Girls" that resonated through Broken Bells' show last night at the Marquee Theatre: "Drunk Girls know that love is an astronaut / It comes back but it's never the same." It was clear that the duo, consisting of The Shins' frontman James Mercer and producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton, were, in a way, telling the story of that forlorn astronaut in the song, a man haunted by the memories of lost love.

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Sleigh Bells, Ejecta - Crescent Ballroom - 4/9/14

Categories: Last Night

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Photos by Melissa Fossum
Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells last night at Crescent Ballroom. See the complete slideshow here.

Sleigh Bells, Ejecta
Crescent Ballroom
4/9/14

On their way to Coachella, Sleigh Bells dropped by Phoenix for their first show in the Valley in three years. The gig sold out and the place was packed full of girls dressed like rock stars. It was one loud, flashy roller coaster ride -- packaged perfectly for a venue like Crescent Ballroom, but there were some downsides.

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PHX AM After Party feat. Death, Allah-Las, and More - The Pressroom - 4/5/14

Categories: Last Night

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Photos by Melissa Fossum
Death performs last night at The Pressroom. See the full slideshow here.

PHX AM After Party feat. DEATH
The Pressroom
4/5/14

The PHX AM After Party, sponsored by local board shop Cowtown Skateboards, is always an interesting happening. Over the years, the company has put together some of the more eclectic shows to hit the Valley in celebration of one of the better skateboarding contests in the country.

It is a veritable amalgamation of skateboarding and musical talent, fantastic for people watching, and always on the cutting edge of what is ├╝ber-cool. This year's party, which took place Saturday night at The Pressroom, was no exception. It was stellar from beginning to end.


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Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - Arizona Bike Week's CycleFest at WestWorld - 4/4/14

Categories: Last Night

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Photos by Jim Louvau
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts perform Friday night at Cyclefest. See more photos via our slideshow.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Cyclefest at WestWorld
4/4/14

Iconic rocker Joan Jett played a solid set of old favorites and new tracks as she and the Blackhearts got the party started Friday night during Cyclefest at WestWorld in Scottsdale.


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Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Dwight Yoakam, G. Love, and More - McDowell Mountain Music Festival - 3/30/14

Categories: Last Night

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Photos by Melissa Fossum
Charlie Musselwhite performs at McDowell Mountain Music Festival on Sunday. See more photos via our slideshow.

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Dwight Yoakam, G. Love, and More
McDowell Mountain Music Festival
3/30/14

I love music festivals for one simple reason: there are always surprises. And the final day of McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2014 on Sunday was filled with said surprises for the eyes and ears as I watched it unfold from the very beginning to the very end. Some acts I could rely on to please my ears and others I did not expect, nevertheless, I chose to cover Sunday at MMMF because of the sheer diversity of the day's lineup.

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Disco Biscuits, Slightly Stoopid, Allen Stone, Dispatch, Black Bottom Lighters, and More - McDowell Mountain Music Festival - 3/29/14

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Melissa Fossum
Jon Gutwillig of Disco Biscuits performs at McDowell Mountain Music Festival on Saturday. See more photos via our slideshow.

Disco Biscuits, Slightly Stoopid, Allen Stone, Dispatch, Black Bottom Lighters, and More
McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2014
3/29/14

Saturday proved to be the day for jam bands galore at McDowell Mountain Music Festival, offering up what was arguably the most cohesive and sensible lineup of any of its three-day run.

Despite some early birds, the grounds were exceptionally quiet when we arrived at 11:15 a.m. to get a jump on our third-degree sunburns. Students from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences were on hand early, prepping live video feeds and acting as stagehands -- a smart move on behalf of the organizers, cutting costs and giving students hands-on experience in a festival format that's not quite as demanding as some can be.


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Small Leaks Sink Ships, Leonardo DiCapricorn, Snake! Snake! Snakes!, Playboy Manbaby - Parliament - 3/28/14

Categories: Last Night

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Ben Garcia
Small Leaks Sink Ships performs at Parliament last night.
Small Leaks Sink Ships, Leonardo DiCapricorn, Snake!Snake!Snakes!, Playboy Manbaby
Parliament
3/28/14

Lately, I've been choosing the shows I go to based on a certain criteria. The first is that I must see something new, the second is that I want to see a band I haven't seen in a while, the third is that I want to check in on a band's growth and progress and the fourth is that I want to see a band I absolutely love. Most nights I'm satisfied if I get three out of four, but last night I got all four.

I had to pick my shows wisely last night and I banked on Rubber Brother Records to provide me with the most band for my buck at Parliament. Some nights you're throwing the dice and I know there were a lot of good shows going on, but none of them had Small Leaks Sink Ships headlining and that was the deal sealer.

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STS9, Gramatik, Lettuce - McDowell Mountain Music Festival - 3/28/14

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The MMMF main stage during STS9's performance. See more photos via our slideshow.

STS9, Gramatik, Lettuce
McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2014
3/28/14

It was a great spring night to spend outdoors at Hance Park for day one of the McDowell Mountain Music Festival before the brutal summer swoops in for the next six months or so.

There was an excitement in the air as Sound Tribe Sector Nine (STS9) was set to make their return to the stage after canceling their winter tour. Bassist and founding member David Murphy left the band in January and Alana Rocklin was preparing to take over for him. Rumors had surfaced that Murphy's departure was a signal that STS9 was ready to take their music in a new direction.



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The Slackers - Crescent Ballroom - 3/27/14

Categories: Last Night

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Katey Trowbridge
The Slackers onstage at Crescent Ballroom on Thursday night.
The Slackers
Crescent Ballroom
3/27/14

After two long years, The Slackers returned to Phoenix with a vengeance last night to a crowd of super-starved local fans at the Crescent Ballroom eager to hear their ska sounds.

With an extensive catalog after more than 20 years of releasing records, the audience seemed pleased to hear everything from the heavily Brooklyn-influenced ska of their early years and the era of 1996's Better Late Than Never to newer material off of their latest EP, My Bed is a Boat.


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