If you’ve ever wanted to feel connected to your city, all you need to do is make a trip to downtown Phoenix and experience the music scene that has been doing it’s own thing for longer than most people know. Now all of that hard work from bands and small venues (and any house that doesn’t mind being packed full of music gear and sweaty bodies) is getting a bit more noticed. As the crowds grow in number, there is still a very real sense of community that no doubt came from many smaller shows with groups of close friends.
Indi-AZ went to check out the new venue in Phoenix called Valley Bar. Take a quick walk through downtown, make a turn down a slightly sketchy looking alleyway, and you’ll see a small door with a neon “Valley Bar” sign above it. Through the door and down the stairs into the basement, you’ll see a main bar area to the left, and the main venue room straight ahead. I was there for the music, so straight ahead it was.
First up was Sonoran Chorus, a band I wasn’t familiar with, but damn was I glad I got there early to see them. With a shout of “I WANT TO DESTROY SOMETHING,” the first of many mosh pits erupted in the crowd. Catchy guitar riffs and raw vocals kept the crowd in a frenzy, and the energy didn’t stop until the set was over.
Next was Treasure Mammal, a band I had heard many times but somehow never actually seen live. I was in for a treat! As soon as Sonoran Chorus left the stage, Treasure Mammal began packing the stage with as much crap as they could possibly fit: at least a dozen trophies, a giant inflatable monster, a giant inflatable Santa, two drum sets, and (if I counted correctly) seven band members. This set saw the show’s first crowd
surf and first set of feet firmly planted onto the venue’s roof when lead singer Abe Gil got his sock caught on what I’m assuming was a fire alarm while crowd surfing. Their blend of electronic dance rap had the crowd going more and more crazy with each song, which included a Coldplay cover with the lyrics to Insane Clown Posse’s “Miracles” rapped over it. The set ended with 80 percent of the crowd on stage dancing and carrying trophies.
Playboy Manbaby brought out the big guns for their first show in quite a while. Starting their set in black suits, they quickly had the crowd going wild for their song “Mermaid Pterodactyl.” After a quick intermission that included a sing along to “Under The Sea” from The Little Mermaid, the band returned, decked out in Hawaiian gear, handing out leis to everyone in the crowd. This instantly ramped the energy up to 100, turning Valley Bar into a tightly packed, sweat-filled party. The band hopped off stage once more and quickly returned in bright-red dresses and blonde wigs — definitely the prettiest punk band Phoenix has ever seen. In true Playboy Manbaby fashion, the night was ended with a wall of death during their song “Falafel Pantyhose,” which brought out the best mosh pit of the night!
Check out a quick recap video from the night here:
See more from Sonoran Chorus here: facebook.com/sonoranchorus
See more from Treasure Mammal here: facebook.com/TreasureMammaL
See more from Playboy Manbaby here: facebook.com/ButterGravyButter