Holy g’nite! Seriously folks, as good of a year as this has already been for good shows passing through Arizona, April is unbelievable. The only bummer is there are multiple nights with multiple bands playing at multiple venues. Dangit! But then again, it is nice to have choices, and there are options galore my friends. Start planning now, if you like live music this is a busy next 30 days!
Friday, April 9 – Silversun Pickups (opening for Muse) at US Airways Center. First, excuse me for not knowing much about Muse. I find it hard to believe I have never made a point of listening to them, but I have to say I am pretty intrigued to see what kind of show they put on.
Now, as far as Silversun Pickups goes, I have seen that amazing band four times already: The Modified; The Clubhouse; Monolith Festival 2008 and Coachella 2009. Needless to say I think they are one of the best live bands around right now, with all four members absolutely pouring themselves into each concert.
Friday, April 9 – Elvis Costello at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. A true legend of rock and roll, with that string of albums at the start of his career being essentials for any music collection. I just wish The Attractions were still part of the formula.
CAN APRIL 10 BE ANY CRAZIER … OR BETTER?!
Saturday, April 10 – Bad Brains at Celebrity Theatre. As far as I know this is the original four members, which is a scary thought. I figured HR would have burned out a long time ago. One of the true originals of hardcore punk music, no one could touch this band’s mix of punk and reggae during their heyday. Unfortunately, they got too heavily into the rasta thing and in my opinion their music suffered as a result. However, any chance to see them perform classics such as I Against I and Sailin’ On is something you should take advantage of-normally. But we have two more shows for that day …
Saturday, April 10 – Father Figures at Hollywood Alley. Fresh off a great performance on erraticradio.com, the Father Figures plus three more locals will be rocking the house at one of my favorite venues. This is no longer a mere project, the band is even searching for a manager now!
Saturday, April 10 – Source Victoria at Hoskin-Ryan Building and Grounds. This will be a killer event folks. This is the 2nd Annual ASU Art Museum Street Party to benefit ASU Art Museum exhibitions. The cost is only $5.00 and kids are free, there will be art exhibits and a craft fair, plus some great music! This will be my first chance to see Source Victoria live since they went in the studio to work on their new album.
Tuesday, April 13 – Vampire Weekend at the Marquee Theatre. I am not 100% sold on this band yet, but I did like enough tracks from their new album to consider making this show. Cousins and Horchata are two great songs.
Wednesday, April 14 – A Place to Bury Strangers (opening for The Big Pink) at the Rhythm Room. This could easily be the show of the month, if not the entire year, and it has nothing to do with headliner The Big Pink. Don’t get me wrong, their new album A Brief History of Love is not bad. It is just that they have the misfortune of going on after A Place to Bury Strangers.
I have seen APTBS at Monolith 2008, Coachella 2009 and in Seattle last October. They absolutely shred, and I have no idea how a venue as small as the Rhythm Room can contain the overwhelming power of this band. Bring your earplugs and prepare for one of the most intense live experiences you will ever witness!
Thursday, April 15 – Temper Trap at The Clubhouse. Cool band, thanks to Lindsay for allowing me to review this disc since I was not familiar with their material before that. Good indie rock with a splash of Motown thrown in the mix should make for a good, interesting show.
Thursday, April 15 – Arctic Monkeys at the Marquee Theatre. The initial fervor over this group has died down considerably, but this is still a very cool Britpop band. If you do not head over to The Clubhouse on this evening, then make plans to go to The Marquee.
Saturday, April 17 – Autumn’s End at The Clubhouse. It is great to see these guys back in action! Autumn’s End is fronted by Chris Cannella, longtime friend, but more important in this case long-time Valley metal axeman and vocalist. Autumn’s End plays a style of death metal that has much more structure than typical bands from the genre. I have never been a huge fan of this style of music, but Autumn’s End has created some very cool work.
Sunday, April 18 – Mark Knopfler at Dodge Theatre. I would be lying if I said I was a huge Mark Knopfler or Dire Straits fan, but I am definitely a fan of quality musicianship. This guy can flat out play, so this will be a great concert.
Monday, April 19 – Frightened Rabbit at The Clubhouse. Another outstanding band on the FatCat Records roster, I have to admit to being a late-comer to this band. Credit Kevin Murphy’s outstanding blog So Much Silence for exposing me to this great band out of Scotland! Having just released their second full-length album The Winter of Mixed Drinks, Frightened Rabbit will be on tour to deliver their classic mix of mellow to mid-tempo indie pop. I have never seen these guys play, so this is the show in April I am actually the most stoked to see!
Monday, April 19 – Beach House at the Rhythm Room. I am bummed that I will be missing this concert, but I can highly recommend going to see Beach House if you are not planning on the Frightened Rabbit show at The Clubhouse.
Thursday, April 22 – Shearwater at the Rhythm Room. Brendan Murphy, lead singer and guitarist extraordinaire of Source Victoria, remarked that Shearwater’s newest disc The Golden Archipelago brings about memories of latter era Talk Talk. That is a hell of a good comparison. These guys have a big, sweeping sound, which played live should be pretty interesting to see.
Thursday, April 29 – The Other 49 (and many others) at the Rhythm Room. I have missed these guys twice now, once opening for Adam Franklin and Source Victoria at The Rogue East, the other time opening for Limbeck and Civilia at the Hard Rock Cafe. There are a boatload of bands playing on this evening, and for only $5! I really like the style of The Other 49, very reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky. A great way to end the month my friends, please support this great local band by coming out to the Rhythm Room that evening!
Whew! And I am not even counting if I make it to Coachella on April 16 for Echo and the Bunnymen, The Specials, Public Image Ltd., Ra Ra Riot and Them Crooked Vultures! Get out and support the music scene here people.