25 Favorite Photos From Viva PHX

Categories: Photos , Viva PHX

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Jeff Moses
Sir Mix-A-Lot onstage with Z-Trip during Viva PHX.
Up On the Sun's resident photographers were plenty busy during Viva PHX this past weekend, as were their camera. While everyone else in attendance at the downtown Phoenix music festival was busy witnessing the performances of the 70 or so bands and artists, our shutterbug staff -- including Jim Louvau, Melissa Fossum, Jeff Moses, Jessica Obert, and Benjamin Leatherman - were watching the action through their respective viewfinders and snapping away.


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Viva PHX: A Look Back at the Downtown Phoenix Music Festival

Categories: Viva PHX

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Melissa Fossum
The Neighborhood performs on the Central Avenue Stage at CityScape during Viva PHX on Friday. See more photos from our slideshow.
Downtown Phoenix definitely came alive this past weekend. The various sidewalks were packed with people, activity, and -- most importantly -- the sound of live music wafting from more than a dozen different venues, nightspots, and locations that comprised the Viva PHX music festival on Friday night.

Music lovers, scenesters, urbanites, and downtown denizens made their way around to any of the 15 different stages scattered within blocks of each other to partake in the feast of sounds that was served up by the lineup of more than 65 different bands and artists both touring and local.


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Viva PHX: David D'Alessio, Brian Marquis, Dylan Pratt - One Coffee Co. - 3/7/14 (VIDEO)

Categories: Viva PHX

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Photos by Chelsea Hough
David D'Alessio and fiancée Jen Blodgett at One Coffee Co. during Viva PHX on Friday.

Viva PHX feat. David D'Alessio, Brian Marquis, Dylan Pratt
One Coffee Co.
3/7/14

While rock, pop, and hip-hop respectively blared from other Viva PHX venues around downtown Phoenix on Friday night, the scene at One Coffee Co. was a bit more subdued. Folk artists, acoustic guitarists, and troubadours from both the local scene and across the country dominated this particular stage, each offering their take on the singer/songwriter genre. And while the music may not have been as bombastic or thunderous as what was taking place at other stages, it had a certain emotional power of its own.

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PigPen Theatre Co., Prowling Kind, Dry River Yacht Club - Hotel San Carlos - 3/7/14

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Photos by Benjamin Leatherman
PigPen Theatre Co. performs at the Hotel San Carlos last night at Viva PHX.

PigPen Theatre Co., Prowling Kind, Dry River Yacht Club, & More
Hotel San Carlos
3/7/14

True to Hotel San Carlos' history as a schoolhouse the Viva PHX lineup schooled the audience in the art of drama (and banjos, but we'll get to that later). There were a few surprises throughout the night, and a few issues during sound checks, but overall it was a good time with a Phoenix-dominated lineup of bands.

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Sir Mix-A-Lot, Blackalicious, MURS, Z-Trip - Crescent Ballroom Outdoor Stage - 3/7/14

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Photos by Jim Louvau
Sir Mix-A-Lot induces booty shaking outside of the Crescent Ballroom during Viva PHX last night. See more photos via our slideshow.

Sir Mix-A-Lot, Blackalicious, MURS, Z-Trip
Viva PHX's Crescent Ballroom Outdoor Stage
3/7/14

Crescent Ballroom's outdoor stage at the first-ever Viva PHX festival featured traditional hip-hop sounds, an energetic audience and a show stopping set by hometown hero Z-Trip. With the liquor flowing and hundreds of people thirsting for quality hip-hop, the strong lineup full of icons and legends aimed to please.

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The Neighbourhood, Pinback, Kitten, The Technicolors - Viva PHX - 3/7/14

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Jessica Obert
Viva PHX's Central Avenue stage at CityScape last night.

The Technicolors, Kitten, Pinback and The Neighbourhood
Viva PHX's Central Avenue Stage at Cityscape
3/8/14

While it was expected to be one of the most diverse lineups of any stage at Friday night's Viva Phoenix Festival, the CityScape main stage offered up rock performance after rock performance. Local darlings The Technicolors, L.A. showstoppers Kitten, indie mainstays Pinback and the princes of the evening in The Neighbourhood trudged through technical difficulties while each put their spin on a riotous live show.

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Blackalicious' Chief Xcel: "Music Is an Endless Quest . . . You Will Never Know Everything"

Categories: Q&A, Viva PHX

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Gift of Gab (left) and Chief Xcel of Blackalicious
Xavier Mosley (a.k.a. Chief Xcel) has always been about the craft. Known as one of the co-founders of Quannum MCs, Xcel has helped carve out lanes for artists like Lyrics Born, Pigeon John, and DJ Shadow.

As the DJ/producer half of the legendary hip-hop duo, Blackalicious (which also features the lyrically blessed Gift of Gab), Xcel has provided soundscapes for timeless masterpieces such as "Deception" and "A to G." Attempting to do it again with Blackalicious' highly anticipated new LP "Imani", as well as a slew of other projects lined up this year, Chief Xcel plans on taking his sound to the next level.

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The Neighbourhood's Zach Abels: "The Timing Is Right"

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thenbhd.com
Artists are often defined by the success of their latest project -- whether they sink or swim depends on public perception, but it's up to the musician to decide if they keep moving on. For The Neighbourhood, the Southern California-based five-piece that was nothing if not ubiquitous across radio stations and Billboard charts last year, success followed the release of "Sweater Weather," an infectious pop gem that blended young lust and vocal hooks for a chart-cracking hit. While their debut, I Love You., was released almost a year ago, the band has yet to step off the ride that the record put them on. If anything, they want more of the same.

"I always say this, but the worst thing about having success is once you have it, all you can think about is wanting more," says guitarist Zach Abels. "That's pretty much how I think we feel, we've had an incredible year, it's been awesome, but we want more and we're still not at the level that we want to be at."

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Los Angeles' Kan Wakan Pieces It All Together

Categories: Q&A, Viva PHX

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facebook.com/kanwakan
Peter Potyondy, Gueorgui Linev and Kristianne Baustista of Kan Wakan.
Like a good watch, beautiful machines require intricate movements and many parts to work right. Kan Wakan, the grandiose and dark pop act that's fronted by vocalist Kristianne Bautista with composer Gueorgui Linev and guitarist Peter Potyondy at its production core, is such a finely tuned act. With a sound that relies on massive string arrangements and spaced-out reverb, Kan Wakan is more an exercise in immersion than simple listening, a band better listened to in stereo than mono, according to Potyondy.

They're also making the festival rounds, albeit with a bigger stage production than most bands, as their cinematic sound requires more hands on deck than your average indie act. After making waves in their native Los Angeles, Kan Wakan is releasing their debut LP Moving On on June 3. We spoke to Potyondy ahead of their set tonight at Bar Smith as part of the Viva Phoenix festival.

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Sir Mix-A-Lot: "I Wanted to Do More Than Rap About Women as Sex Objects"

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reddooraudio.com
Sir Mix-A-Lot is keeping his pimp hand strong.
Three decades is a long time to be involved in hip-hop. And many have tried to put an expiration date on the art form, believing that it's taboo to be in hip-hop after the age of 30. As time goes on, however, artists like Jay-Z, Eminem, and 2 Chainz have proven that age has no limits when it comes to creativity. Ditto for rap legend Sir Mix-A-Lot.

Seattle's original rap superstar -- who's spent the last several years producing and mixing as well as performing -- still has major game, which you can witness for yourself tomorrow night when he brings his brand of high energy, sexually tinged rhythms to the Viva PHX music festival.

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