You know, I barely saw Source Victoria for the first time back on January 15. This is already the fourth time I have seen them play. The last local band I made a point of seeing that often was 40 Watt Las Vegas. Between Source Victoria and The Father Figures I have a feeling I am going to be hitting a lot of local shows in the future!
First thing I have to say is Teakwoods Tavern and Grill is a very cool place! This was my first visit to this restaurant and venue on the northeast corner of 28th Street and Indian School, and it definitely will not be my last. Good food, I liked the set-up of the place, good placement of the bar and the stage and a cool patio area. And lo and behold, I had no idea that Sara Cina works there, what a way to bring back such good memories of the Long Wongs on Mill Avenue days!
Opening the festivities on this evening was Kings of Last Call. I was psyched to see these guys play. They went on after Source Victoria at the Yucca Tap Room show, and I was beat by the time they were setting up so I went home. Great band! After reading their MySpace page I am not surprised that they hail from Tempe, because a couple of songs in I immediately was brought back to that great late 80’s-early 90’s Tempe desert rock era dominated by Dead Hot Workshop, The Feedbags, The Gin Blossoms and The Refreshments. Kings of Last Call has the same type of sound, rock and roll with a bit of Americana thrown in. I enjoyed the heck out their set and really look forward to seeing them again!
Source Victoria is going into the studio this coming week to create their third recording, after releasing a self-titled EP in 2005 and The Fast Escape in 2007. Some of the songs I heard on this evening and a few weeks ago at the Yucca Tap Room show I am sure will make their way on the new album. I sure hope so!
Talking with Brendan Murphy, the band’s lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, he felt the band may be so into recording mode now that their live performance may not have been up to par. Maybe, and my belief is if an artist feels that way about his work than that may be the case.
However, in this case that is a positive, because this was still a very, very good show and leads me to believe better things are still to come! There were some technical issues with the drum machine the band occasionally uses, but that did not detract from the playing of the five members of Source Victoria. Joining Brendan is Aaron Wendt on guitar, keyboards and backing vocals, Scott Hessel on drums and the drum machine, Jason Sukut on keyboards and backing vocals, and Justin Entsminger on the bass. This is a tight unit, essential considering that Source Victoria plays an epic style of Britpop that requires all five members to really be firing on all cylinders as one unit.
Brendan’s vocal delivery was typically outstanding, the dual guitar attack of Murphy and Wendt shimmered and Sukut played a delicate, yet powerful style of keyboards that is sweet on the ears. Wendt and Sukut provided some excellent backing vocals on every song. The rhythm section of Hessel and Entsminger was exceptional, Entsminger a particularly talented bassist. His play really jumped out at me on this evening, playing with a style reminiscent of Nate Mendel in regards to his movement onstage while he plays and the booming sound coming from his bass. Yeah, as in the Nate Mendel from Sunny Day Real Estate and Foo Fighters!
Standards such as Opportunistic were played, as well as a slew of newer songs. I really do love hearing the material from The Fast Escape, but this new material I have heard the past two shows sounds pretty incredible. I have a feeling we are in store for one heck of an album here soon from Source Victoria!
Good show guys, looking forward to the next one!
Folks, this upcoming week is a great week for live music in the Valley of the Sun. Scotland’s We Were Promised Jetpacks will be at the Rhythm Room Tuesday, February 23, and Phoenix’s own The Father Figures invade Joe’s Grotto Saturday, February 27. You can get tickets for the We Were Promised Jetpacks show at Stinkweeds. I highly recommend both shows!
This has already been a good year for live shows, and we are not even two months in yet. I hope this keeps up. Cheers!