VIVA PHX rolled into downtown phoenix on Friday taking over local night spots with a massive collection of local talent and headlining acts.
With a rough plan of which stages we wanted to hit throughout the night, we showed up promptly at 7 p.m. to grab the wristbands that would serve as our tickets to each venue for the rest of the festival.
We got through the ticket line in under a minute and were quickly listening to the first band on our list, The Technicolors. The strong rhythms of the first few songs kept us moving, and were perfectly spaced out with transitions built around calm melodies, up and up into a crash of powerful riffs and soulful vocals. This was just the boost of energy we needed to kick off the night!
We soon decided to catch the second half of local electronic artist A Cloud For Climbing at Bar Smith. This solo act gave us vibes of Explosions in the Sky that built into euphoric dance beats; definitely one to keep an eye on!
Getting in and out of each venue was absolutely painless. We didn’t wait in a single line until the very end of the night when the majority of the stages had already shut down. The longest walk we had was from the CityScape stage to Crescent Ballroom, which we had to make twice, but only took about ten minutes each way.
Once 10 p.m. came around, our schedules quickly got packed with bands we wanted to see (a fantastic problem to have). The Neighborhood entranced the crowd with a great set and wrapped it up with a wonderful sing-along to their song “Sweater Weather”. Directly after that, we high tailed it to Crescent Ballroom to catch Z-Trip who had the crowd moving and grooving just the way he wanted. His set was a flurry of classic hip hop songs quickly mashed together, a few current “bangers” and a constant stream of energy through the entire crowd.
Among the swarm of top notch bands in the 10 p.m.-midnight time slot was a fantastic performance from Playboy Manbaby. For those who wanted to let loose and work up a sweat, this was one of the most energetic and enthusiastic crowds of the night complete with slam dancing, moshing and crowd surfing.
When the festival came to a close, we all hopped onto the Light Rail back to Tempe, tired, a little deaf, and fully satisfied with the first VIVA PHX. We’ll be eagerly awaiting next year!
A Few Special Points of the Night:
- Running from CityScape to Crescent Ballroom in a mad dash with a couple random people we met on the way.
- Z-Trip on the mic, wholeheartedly thanking the crowd for a fantastic night.
- The pit during Playboy Manbaby
- Stopping in at Bar Smith during any slow points to get a quick burst of dance music.
- Supporting local music and headlining bands all in one night.