Weird rock maestros Primus, metal giants Mastodon, psych-rockers Jjuujjuu, and blues-psych heavyweights All Them Witchesare going on tour starting in May. Primus and Mastodon will share the stage with Jjuujjuu and All Them Witches on various spots of the tour, but any of these dates are worth seeing. This will probably be one of the heaviest / trippiest tours of the year, so don’t miss it.
Clear up your calendar for March 2018, because stoner metal giants Earthlesswill be touring North America. They’re also bringing legendary psychedelic band Kikagaku Moyoand psych-rockers Jjuujjuuwith them. This is a great triple bill, so don’t miss it. I’m sure tickets will sell fast once they’re available. I plan to see them at their Chicago stop in late March 2018 at the Empty Bottle. I saw them there last year and it was a great show.
It was with sunburned legs and neck that a friend of mine, Scott, and I headed into downtown Phoenix, Arizona for the annual Viva PHX festival. It’s an impressive undertaking by the city. 100 bands play in 18 venues around downtown in one night. The style of acts ranges from jazz funk to thrash punk, so you can see just about anything (even lucha libra wrestling).
After dining on a turkey burger and a chicken quesadilla, Scott and I walked to the Valley Bar. A friend of his had described it as a “dive bar” you had to access through an alley. She was right. We walked down an alley, past a dumpster, and down into a basement bar mostly lit by candlelight. It was a neat place, and the pear cider there was outstanding.
The doors to their mid-size music hall opened a bit late, but I was happy to see some Orange amplifiers on stage and everything else already set up and ready to rock. Jjuujjuu opened with a good set of mostly instrumental psychedelia. Shame on you if you missed it because they were a great way to start the night. Scott, who had never heard of any of the bands playing, enjoyed their set.
Froth were up next and laid down their “California vibe” psych-rock. This was the first time I heard some of their new stuff, and there were some good rockers in there. Scott thought Froth’s lead singer was too much of a perfectionist (due to his frequent requests to get the levels right in his monitor), but didn’t think their set was bad.
I got up close for Deap Vally. I told Scott that they were “going to be loud as fuck” in the small venue, and I was right. They played a set of tracks from their excellent sophomore album Feminism and one (“Walk of Shame”) off Sistrionix. This was the first time I’d seen them in a small venue and with Julie Edwards on drums. I also spoke with Ms. Edwards before and both she and Lindsey Troy after their set and they were delightful. They were the only band that hung out in the merch area the whole night and they were swarmed after their killer set. I always feel bad for any band that has to follow them because they take no prisoners. Scott was impressed.
He was also impressed by Night Beats, even though they played a short, four-song set. I don’t know if they got in late and thus lost some of their set time or if they had to cut out early to make it to another engagement, but four songs live by Night Beats are better than twenty by many other bands. It was nice to see them grinning after having reported a lot of their gear had been stolen in Tijuana a couple nights earlier. They threw down hard and then were gone in the blink of an eye, almost like a firework exploding.
Temples closed the Desert Daze Caravan show. I’d seen them on the main stage at Levitation Austin in 2014 and was surprised by how heavy their set was. I wondered if they’d be just as much in a small venue. They were, but they were also crisp. It was one of the better engineered sets I’d heard from anyone in a while. Scott wasn’t much a fan of their British psych sound, but I thought they had one of the best sets of the night, and the crowd was crazy for them.
Yacht weren’t part of the Desert Daze Caravan tour, but they were the “afterparty” band at the Valley Bar that night. We almost left before their set, mainly because it first appeared they weren’t going to set up for another hour, but they zipped onstage as soon as all of Temples’ gear was gone and dropped a fun electro set that had the crowd bouncing. Scott said, “I wasn’t into it at first, but they grew on me.”
I spoke with the man who made all the psychedelic light effects for the Desert Daze Caravan bands. I thanked him for the nice work. He shook my hand and said, “You saw a good one. The spirit of rock and roll was here tonight.”
We emerged from underneath the city around 1:30am. Were it not for the bits of trash, traffic barriers, and the gear vans still here and there, you wouldn’t know a music festival had just taken place. It was eerily quiet. All you could hear was the spirit of rock and roll.
Keep your mind open.
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Hailing from Los Angeles, psychedelic rock duo Jjuujjuu create massive desert soundscapes through Phil Pirrone’s guitar work and Ryan Knights’ drumming. Their new single, “Bleck,” is a wallop of distortion, reverb, and mind-altering chord progressions. I missed these guys a couple years back at Levitation Austin. I got there just as their set ended and the crowd went wild for them, so I’m keen on starting out my VIVA PHX festival by getting my face melted.
The Desert Daze Caravan tour, featuring Night Beats, Temples, Deap Vally, Froth, and Jjuujjuu has announced its full U.S. schedule. Beginning in San Francisco February 22nd, the tour winds through the west and southwest until March 17th in San Antonio. Don’t miss your chance to see this tour. It’s sure to be outstanding. I’m catching it at the Phoenix stop. See you there!
A stunning tour will hit the west coast beginning in February. The Desert Daze Caravan will bring Temples, Night Beats, Deap Vally, Froth, and Jjuujjuu to California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and even Canada. Don’t miss this tour if you’re out west. I’m tempted to buy airfare to Phoenix just to see this lineup.
2/22/17 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
2/24/17 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
2/25/17 – Seattle, WA – Neumos
2/26/17 – Vancouver, BC – The Rickshaw Theatre
2/28/17 – Felton, CA – Don Quixote’s Music Hall
3/1/17 – Nevada City, CA – Miner’s Foundry Cultural Center
3/2/17 – Pomona, CA – The Glass House Concert Hall
3/3/17 – Pioneertown, CA – Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace
3/4/17 – Los Angeles, CA – The Regent Theater
3/5/17 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up
3/10/17 – Las Vegas, NV – Neon Reverb Festival
3/11/17 – Phoenix, AZ – VIVA PHX – Downtown Phoenix
3/17/17 – Dallas,TX – Not So Fun Weekend @ Trees
Keep your mind open.
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