One Helluva ‘That Damn Show’
The crowd relishes in That Damn Show in Mesa, Ariz. Images by Jeff Moses.
The Revived, Internet-Only KUKQ’s Likewise Reincarnated Punk, Reggae And Alternative Music Event Excites Except For A Single Glitch — Neo Nazis
FenixTx Rocks That Damn Show in Mesa, Ariz. Images by Jeff Moses.
Veragroove bass player Corey Groove gets his mojo working at That Damn Show in Mesa, Ariz. Images by Jeff Moses.
By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine
April 23, 2013 — Sometimes, reviewing a music event is a fairly straightforward endeavor. That Damn Show — the KUKQ resuscitated punk gala held Saturday night at Mesa Amphitheatre — was one such event.
It was a great collection of bands marred by a below average vendor.
First of all, Bad Religion still sound like they are in their 20s, though they look like a bunch of soccer dads. Secondly, AWOLNATION is not just some poppy alternative band: those guys know how to rock the fuck out. Third, not only is Tiger Army extremely well dressed for a punk band, their standup bass player, Geoff Kresge, could probably kick your ass, and lastly, those hippie kids from Vancouver in Bend Sinister are fucking awesome.
Visit the new KUKQ
Something that hopefully KUKQ learned, though, is to screen all vendors before the day of the show unless they WANTED to look like Nazi sympathizers — which they likely didn’t. I’m not totally sure, though, because inviting a brand called “Whiteboy” to be a part of the event and allowing them to sell clothing with confederate flags, slogans like “support your local Whiteboy,” and actual Nazi imagery, makes me wonder a bit.
Did they forget the event was ultimately a Bad Religion show that had Against Me on the line up?
But hey, who doesn't love to see Nazis get their asses kicked. It is a damn shame no confrontations ended up happening.
But horrible vendor choices aside, alternative internet radio station KUKQ put on quite a damn show and with a turnout of somewhere around 8,000, it seems as though they also threw the biggest 4/20 party in the Valley. But marijuana was not the only thing being celebrated in Mesa on 4/20.
“We just celebrated our one-year anniversary as KUKQ and since we reached that milestone we figured why not throw a festival for our listeners and show people that we are just as good as any station on the dial and we can do it bigger and better,” said KUKQ radio personality and festival organizer Chavez. “It’s really cool for us being an online station that no one thought would succeed and do well and here we are bringing this huge festival to Mesa Amphitheater on April 20.”
“That Damn Show,” was not the only Valley event on 4/20. Tempe’s Sail Inn hosted Phoechella, Lawn Gnome Publishing in Downtown Phoenix finished off their 24-hour poetry reading as well as hosted Sister Lip’s EP release party, and way out West the Sahara Hotel hosted the Growers Cup among many other Valley events.
“There was no lineup like ours,” said Chavez, there were a lot of smaller local festivals going on that were equally as good, but with no national talent to back them up.
National talent was not an issue at all for KUKQ who not only got Bad Religion, Tiger Army and AWOLNATION to come out for the first “That Damn Show” in nearly a decade. They also got Huntington Beach, Calif., natives HB Surround Sound, reformed pop punkers Fenix Tx, Face to Face, and The Faint who had to head straight back to Indio, Calif., after their set for a weekend two set at Coachella.
Local talent was abundant as well for Chavez and KUKQ program director Nancy Stephens, the two main organizers. Bad Lucy who only a month ago took their maiden voyage to South by Southwest opened the show.
Visit the new KUKQ
Local thrash punks Inept Hero went on second to open the main stage. They are definitely a band to keep an eye on. It seems like they’re opening for every national punk act that comes through the Valley and they are almost done recording their debut album, which is expecting a midsummer release according to frontman Arin Luger.
KUKQ also brought in some of the biggest desert reggae acts around with Katastro, Veragroove, and Passafire. Though all three acts are local to the Valley, they also all tour nationally.
While Katastro and Passafire gave the crowd exactly what they would expect from a desert reggae outfit — ire sounds with a bit more rock infused into it — Veragroove brought out the big guns with a special guest appearance by Danny Torgersen of Captain Squeegee on trumpet, backup vocals, and auxiliary percussion.
Veragroove bass player Corey Groove was in particularly good spirits at That Damn Show.
“When I was 14 I dreamed of playing with Bad Religion,” said Groove, and on 4/20 Groove’s dreams came true.
But to make the pot sweeter for the Tempe-based bass player, the last time there was a That Damn Show — about 10-years ago — Groove’s parents did not allow the high school punk to attend.
But now that Groove will be playing the show, “they’re stoked, funny how that works out,” he said.
Not only was Groove’s band playing the show, but also his father was in attendance to hear his son’s band unveil a few new songs, while living the dream.
Visit the new KUKQ
The biggest disappointment of the day was the absence of Against Me. The Florida based punk band had been touring with Bad Religion and was on the original lineup for the show, but to the dismay of many in attendance did not make it to Mesa.
“Damn man I really wanted to see Against Me,” said punk fan Jett Smith.
“A lot of people thought that we had taken Against Me off the bill but that’s not the case at all,” said Chavez, “My understanding is Against Me has been having some problems with band members for the past few months now, and they were currently on tour with Bad Religion when everything kind of hit the fan. It was their call to drop off the tour with Bad Religion.”
So unfortunately for Smith, and anyone else who may have wanted to see Against Me in the future, it appears as though the band has broken up.
Jeff Moses is Music/Arts editor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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