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Viva Phoenix - A Very Quick Recap

Checked out VIVA PHOENIX last night with some friends. It's Phoenix's version of SXSW. I've been following it since it started in 2014, and each time I've went, I've had a lot of fun. Last year, some guy hit on me at a Coolio concert and tried to get me to come to the Andrew WK show afterward. I stopped having fun around that time and went home. This year? Nothing exceptionally weird, except I did lose something (which makes me very sad). If someone out there has the thing that I lost, please please please PLEASE return it to me.

Here are some highlights, musically speaking, from this up-and-coming festival in Phoenix. I kind of hate myself for using the phrase "up-and-coming" in the previous sentence TBH.

Crystal Castles w/ New Frontwoman
Alice Glass left Crystal Castles in 2014, and was replaced with Edith Frances. Here's a fun fact - Edith Frances has a lot of weird theories behind her existence. There's been a lot of beef between Alice and Ethan, and Crystal Castles was recently kicked off the line-up for an SXSW showcase as a result. That all being said, Edith Frances didn't make her official debut as the new singer for CC until late 2015. So she's still pretty new and songs featuring her vocals are still sparse. A new album is en route, though, and we'll see how it places in CC's overall backlog.

CC did a great job last night - I was way in the back, so I didn't see much but lots of lights and a blonde wig flailing around. She seemed to have the same type of vibrancy as Alice, but a little more distilled. Her vocals sounded quite good, and I really couldn't make out Ethan in the background. I was happy to hear a lot of my favorite Crystal Castles tracks make appearance, esp. "Baptism," which was terrific live.

I'll keep an open mind to emerging CC music, but I also wish Alice Glass a ton of luck with her solo project. She released "Stillbirth," which chronicles an abusive relationship, last year.

Neon Indian
Neon Indian was so good live! I was really impressed with his whole set. He sounded very '80s in a non-ironic way. Plus his stage presence was positive, and he was very polite with the audience. "Annie" was a highlight, and he closed his set with one of his best-known songs, "Polish Girl." I know Neon Indian doesn't do a great deal of live shows, so I was happy I caught this. Definitely do the same if presented the chance.

Wild Wild Horses
Walked into this show at the Crescent Ballroom. The straight girl and guy I went with both said the band was incrediby good-looking, and objectively speaking, I agreed. But their sound far outweighed any sort of more superficial subject matter. When I stumbled upon this, they were covering The Weeknd's "Earned It." The lead singer KILLED that song. Imagine if Maroon 5 were coming out today, mostly from the United Kingdom, and were actually talented. That sums up Wild Wild Horses. They also remind me of Bastille a bit. Also, the guys in the band? SO NICE. They were outside greeting people and giving hugs after the show. Sweethearts!

 

 

So my computer hates me and accidentally published this last night. The band I missed seeing and am still bummed about was Harrison Fjord, from Phoenix. They probably have my favorite band name in years.

All in all, yay Viva Phoenix! It was a pretty fun experience.
 

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