You really can’t go wrong with Viva PHX.
This was our fourth time at the local festival, and, although the price increased from $15 in 2014 to $25 in 2017, you still won’t find a better deal for such a huge amount of talent. Even if you didn’t know a single band on the lineup, you’re bound to find something you like just wandering from stage to stage.
One of the coolest and most original stages we came across was the Boiler Room, hosted by Re:Sound Records, which was literally underground in the boiler room (for the Masonic Temple). (Watch the video below to take a look at space.) A couple speakers, and only a projector and a disco ball right above the DJs kept this room nice and dark— perfect for the deep house that dominated the space.
Second favorite? Punk Rock Alley, which seemed to have gotten a nice sound upgrade compared to years past. Great timing, too, because our favorite set of the night was HEALTH, which pushed those speakers to the limit.
Local band Playboy Manbaby, not-so-shockingly also at Punk Rock Alley, not only saw what was probably the most energetic crowd of the night, but also put on one of the best sets of the entire night. As the band ended their set with “You Can Be A Fascist Too,” the crowd screamed at the top of their collective alleyway-mosh-pit lungs: “I AM RIGHT, I AM CORRECT, IF YOU DISAGREE WITH ME, I’LL GET REALLY UPSET.”
Anytime I talk about Playboy Manbaby, I feel the need to mention that if you haven’t seen these guys, go see them as soon as possible, and this is no different— so, do it; go see them!
Girl Talk closed out the Comerica stage— also a new addition this year — and brought his signature energy to the stage. A slew of mashups from just about every genre of music got the crowd moving and didn’t stop doing so until we walked out of the venue.
All in all, Viva PHX pulled it off, but is anyone really surprised? Not only did it feel far less congested traveling from venue to venue — thanks to utilizing Comerica Theater and dispersing foot traffic and preventing the stages from feeling so congested, but the production quality and the efforts of all those involved (from security to those working the venues) were on-point. Well, except for that one time when The Mowglis played nearly an entire set with sound issues.
Anyway, here’s a recap; take a look!