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Summers End Music

Festival Local Wish List

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The Three Day Music Extravaganza Is All Set At Tempe Beach Park Except For The All Important And Heavily Coveted 14 Local Time Slots, And Music/Arts Editor Jeff Moses Makes His Picks


By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

May 23, 2014 — Picking the local acts for a major musical event is no easy task, even for a stalwart local promoting group like Luckyman Concerts and its leader, Tom La Penna. The bands that make the cut need to be fun and interesting, as well as bring a draw of their own, and they have to help the Phoenix scene put their best musical foot forward.

Now, I have no inside information, and no sway with the people at Luckyman. But while La Penna and his cohorts go over the boatloads of submissions from local bands hoping to obtain one of the 14 slots I thought I’d add my two cents about who I think deserves the chance to play at the big show. I am 100 percent sure that some of these bands will be getting the slots, but also that some of these picks are my own wild pipe dreams of who would be great at the show.

Dry River Yacht Club

Number one has got to be the eight dancing pirates that encompass the Dry River Yacht Club. The talent and unique sound are undeniable, but what they also bring is one of the best stage shows of any band in the Phoenix metro. Their lead singer, Garnet, is one of the best in the business with her operatic voice and theatrical delivery, while her band mates such as guitarist Corey Gloden and drummer Henri Bernard add the extra oomph that separates the Yacht Club from every other band with a great lead singer.

Playboy Manbaby & Wolvves

Playboy Manbaby and their Rubber Brother Records labelmates Wolvves seem like two no brainers as well. The show has quite a few big time punk bands on it, like The Replacements and The Descendants, and no one is representing Valley punk quite like the Tempe-based cassette tape magnates. While of course Playboy and Wolvves aren’t the only great bands on the label, they do seem to be two of the most well known. Their high energy sets would definitely add to the local stage, and most assuredly catch the attention of many of the patrons who aren’t Phoenix music people.

Black Bottom Lighters

Glendale-based desert reggae/rockers Black Bottom Lighters seem like they are almost a shoo in for the upcoming fest. They have one of the biggest followings of any band in the Valley, their sound is a smooth reggae mixed with heavy guitars which a lot of people seem to respond well to in Phoenix, and their recent Tempe Beach Park outing speaks for itself as they had well over 3,000 packed in front of the stage mid afternoon when they opened for Rebelution in March.

The Prowling Kind

The Prowling Kind are another local band with undeniable chops. They’re indie rock sound that encompasses a lot of blues, a little folk, and just a twang of country seems like the right sort of thing for a festival as incohesive as Summers End Music Fest. They’re more rock and roll songs are punchy enough to keep up with some of the more dancy headliners, and their slower ones have an undeniable Arizona flavor to them.

The Haymarket Squares

Speaking of bands with Arizona flavor The Haymarket Squares are probably about the most unique of Phoenix bands. To me, a sound like theirs is too punk to be country, too country to be rock, too rock to be bluegrass. But oddly this amalgamation seems to be the epitome of what Phoenix-based music should sound like, and I bet many festival goers would agree.

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