The Best Shows We Saw In 2019

It’s that time of year again…to look back on all the awesome concerts we got to see in 2019! Not only do we see great shows year-round on our own stage, but our staff also tries to see as many awesome shows around the Valley (and the country) as we can.

Here are our favorite shows we saw in 2019!

Stephen Chilton
Owner / Talent Buyer

8123 Fest with The Maine – Civic Space Park – January 19
It is amazing to see the community The Maine has built. This was one of the most rewarding events I have been a part of. People traveled from all over the world to come and be part of this very special event. I have been working with The Maine since they were in high school. Several times now, a show I booked with them ends up being the largest event I had produced at that point in time. That was true with this 8123 Fest too. Some of the best people to work with. 

Phoenix Rock Lottery – Crescent Ballroom – January 26
It is safe to say that this show will be on my list again next year. Every year this is one of my favorite nights because it is the best coming together of local talent you will see all year. It amazes me every year that so much great music is created in such a short amount of time, and equally surprising is that so many people come out and embrace music that they have never even heard. If anyone doubts the talent in Phoenix, they need to come to see this show. 

Jimmy Eat World – The Rebel Lounge – February 14
Best Valentine’s Day ever! I didn’t get to see Jimmy Eat World’s first show, but seeing the 25th anniversary of it at Rebel was great. They played a bunch of songs I had not seen them play in years. It was super funny watching Zach and Jim argue on stage about whether they had ever played the Mason Jar as Jimmy Eat World before (Zach was right, they had). This show was so secret, one of my brothers is still mad I didn’t tell him. 

Breakup Shoes – The Rebel Lounge – September 29
Favorite part of what I do is watching local acts become great. This year was about Breakup Shoes. Can’t count how many sold out shows we had them on (actually I could, just too lazy to do so, and too lazy to ask Devan to do it). This band is great. They are going to do great things. This was their record release show, and was the most rewarding of all the sold out shows we had them on this year. 

Limbeck and Astoria – The Troubadour (Los Angeles) – November 11
Limbeck and Astoria was the first show I ever booked with touring artists, before that show I had only done local acts. Everyone at that show became some of my great lifetime friends. This show was bittersweet; the show was a memorial for our dear friend David Del Fonzo of Astoria who died too young earlier this year. But could not have been a more fitting tribute.

Jeff Taylor
Marketing / Assistant Talent Buyer

Duster – Soda Bar – January 28
I ended 2018 with a couple of Duster shows on the East coast, then I got to see them a few more times early this year in CA and AZ. San Diego was probably my favorite of these shows – the room was the smallest I saw them in, it wasn’t as packed as the other shows, and everything sounded great. 

Her’s – The Rebel Lounge – March 26
Early this year I got really hooked on Her’s and was so excited to see them play, especially at Rebel and with The Undercover Dream Lovers opening. The show sold out, Her’s put on a great show, and the vibe in the room was awesome – and I got to spend some great time with the band and my friend Justin, shooting photos in the parking lot after the fans had cleared out. Little did we know this would be the last time the band was photographed before they were in a tragic car accident that night. RIP Stephen Fitzpatrick, Audun Laading & Trevor Engelbrekston.

Omni – Club Congress – May 12
Omni is one of my favorite bands recently, and it has been a treat to see them in AZ so many times recently. My buddy Josh and I drove down to Tucson to see them this spring ahead of their new record releasing on Sub Pop this year, and they were great as always. 

Deerhunter – Valley Bar – July 15
I was so stoked to see Deerhunter get announced in such a small room here, just a few weeks before the show this summer. I have been wanting to see this band for a while, and their show at Valley Bar was the best show I had seen in a very long time. Great performance, the sound was on point, and they played a great mix of tunes from their catalog. 

Loving – Trunk Space – October 14
I came home from Desert Daze on this day, exhausted but not deterred from seeing Loving live. I spent a lot of time listening to this band this year, and it was cool seeing them at Trunk Space with a pretty modest audience. Loving played one of the gentlest sets I’ve seen and sounded great with minimal sonic reinforcement in that humble space. 

Gren Radcliff
Production Manager

Daughters and Hide – The Rebel Lounge – March 1
Hide brought a thrilling experience, Daughters brought perfect rock sounds.

TTNG and The Kraken Quartet – The Rebel Lounge – June 6
Sonic overload through guitars, drums and marimbas.

Auther & Punisher – The Rebel Lounge – August 15
A one man industrial scream fest on custom manufactured equipment.

Astrud Aurelia and Hyperbella – The Rebel Lounge – August 29
This farewell show for drummer and drag performer Astrud may have just created a new format for live shows in the valley with rapid fire performances of music and dance.

Paper Foxes – The Rebel Lounge – October 5
After seeing Paper Foxes many times over the past few years, I can say this was probably their best show yet. Bittersweet was great as always but Broken Baby was new to me and blew me out of the water.

Joseph Strelsky

New Found Glory – The Van Buren – July 6
NFG is undoubtedly one of my favorite bands and they never fail to disappoint live (after 20 years, you’d imagine how tight a band can truly be). 

Balance & Composure – The Regent Theater – March 23
B&C were hands down my favorite band during their 10 or so year run. I was able to make it to L.A. to see their final show. Bittersweet, but we were able to get Jon Simmons for EmoNightPhx after the fact! 

Fantasy Camp / GothBoiClique – The Rebel Lounge – August 17
I’m a huge fan of the new wave of “Emo rap” and this crew has every variety. 

8123 Fest / Afterparty – Civic Space Park / The Van Buren – January 19
The Maine, Mayday Parade, Real Friends, We The Kings. Need I say more? Not only was the fest amazing, the sold out after party was equally as great (and I heard they had some dope DJs). 

Taking Back Sunday – Marquee Theater – April 5
Celebrating their 20 year anniversary, they played Tell All Your Friends and Where You Want To Be in their entirety. Of course I sang every word. Of course I lost my voice. 

Jennifer Franklin

Her’s – The Rebel Lounge – March 26
A couple of the nicest young men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and hearing. You can hear the passion they had for music though every song they sang. May their music and spirit live on forever.  R.I.P. Stephen Fitzpatrick,  Audun Laading and tour manager Trevor Engelbrektson.

Subhumans – The Rebel Lounge – October 26
The inner punk rock kid in me always gets excited for a good ol’ fashioned punk rock show. The rough sounds and the “F YOU” attitude just does it for me. 

Argyle Goolsby & The Roving Midnight – The Rebel Lounge – October 30
They kicked ass!

Fever Joy – The Rebel Lounge – November 22
Didn’t realize how much I was going to like this band. I heard one song and ended up adding all their songs to my spotify. I love members of bands that are personable and genuinely nice to everyone.

Steaksauce Mustache – The Rebel Lounge – December 11
This metal group was so interactive and full of energy. They didn’t even have to use confetti to hype up a crowd. And how could you not love that band name!? 

Autumn Lavis
Box Office

8123 Fest – Civic Space Park – January 19
What a way to kick off the year. People came from all over the world. If you picked up some merch, it’s likely you saw me slinging t-shirts under the main merch tent. I had a perfect view of the stage and got to watch our hometown heroes Sundressed, pop punk royalty Real Friends, and of course The Maine tear it up.

Saves The Day – Crescent Ballroom – March 3
It took me forever to write up this list because it’s nearly impossible to dig through the archives of my memory and narrow down my favorite shows. This particular show was a no brainer. An automatic win for the running of certified good gigs. Hearing “Freakish” live was surreal. Also Remo Drive and Mighty both rip.

Lost Evenings Festival – House of Blues Boston – May 18
War on Women, a thrashy hardcore band I was out on tour with, opened up for this sold out gig. Followed by Phoenix’s very own folk punk band AJJ, and finally, Frank Turner. Frank brought out an organization called The Ally Coalition. And I was able to raise over $400 in tips for Yellow Hammer. It was a good night for punk, politics, and philanthropy.

Better Oblivion Community Center – Brooklyn Steel – April 1
I’m so glad the music gods brought Bright Eyes Conner Oberst and powerhouse Phoebe Bridgers together. I had just gotten off tour. Brooklyn Steel was sold out, but my friend got his mom and I in last minute. BOCC describe their shows as “meetings” and offer services such as “sound bath healing.” Their backdrop read “it will end with tears” and… it did.

Death Cab For Cutie – NAU Skydome – April 18
Every year NAU puts on a free concert. This year, they booked Death Cab. I was three rows back. They played songs off of Transatlantic and I was teleported back to 2003.

Dave Wiltgen

The Misfits (Original Lineup) – Psycho Las Vegas – August 17
The Jesus And Mary Chain (Both Nights) – Burger Boogaloo – Oakland, CA – July 6 & 7
The Specials – The Van Buren – June 3
The Cult – AZ Fairgrounds – October 5
Skinny Lister – The Rebel Lounge – May 13
Hank Von Hell – The Rebel Lounge – August 24
Amyl And The Sniffers – The Rhythm Room – July 9

Matt Aldawood
Box Office

Bayside – Crescent Ballroom – January 15
TTNG – The Rebel Lounge – June 6
Macseal – The Lunchbox – June 11
Prince Daddy & The Hyena – The Rebel Lounge – August 8
Boston Manor / Microwave / Heart Attack Man – The Nile – December 2

Jared Vogel

US Bombs / Total Chaos – The Rebel Lounge – February 10
Jimmy Eat World – The Rebel Lounge – February 14
Astrud’s Phoenix Farewell – The Rebel Lounge – August 29
Sundressed – The Rebel Lounge – September 21
A God Awful Small Affair – The Rebel Lounge – November 21

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