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Forget The Rest,

Viva PHX Is The Best

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More Than 70 Acts Filled A Variety of Downtown Venues With Varied Sounds: Highlights Included Sir Mix A Lot At Crescent Ballroom And The Wolvves and Playboy Manbaby on the PHX Alley Stage


By Josh Wyrick
Special for Modern Times Magazine

March 11, 2014 — California has Coachella, Washington has Sasquatch, Austin has SXSW. As far as I'm concerned they can keep them. We have Viva PHX.

On Friday, March 7, downtown Phoenix was taken over by sponsors from across the Phoenix Metro. Joined by 70 of the region's most electric performers and spanning across 14 stages, it was a night Phoenicians will be talking about until next March.

The stages were organized by musical genre to make seeing one’s favorites easier, while still retaining the spirit of music discovery that Viva PHX engendered so well by booking a large array of acts.

CityScape had the 'main' stage where The Neighbourhood played, along with other bands like Kitten, Pinback and The Technicolors. Being one of the areas that admitted all ages drew a huge, diverse crowd that quickly bought up all the tickets that were printed for the Central Avenue staging area.

While the main stages wrangled large crowds, many say the smaller venues were filled with an energy they haven't seen from local fans in years. Punk fixtures Wolvves and Playboy Manbaby played raucous sets throughout the night in the PHX Alley stage, a fitting format for the hard-partying die-hards of downtown.

The most populous area of the night was no surprise at the backside of Crescent Ballroom as hip-hop legend Sir Mix-a-Lot played a medley of lesser known jams before bringing 10 women on stage for his booty-bumping 1992 anthem Baby Got Back.

While music was at the front and center during the event, there were plenty of other sights to keep picky patrons happy. Food trucks lined Roosevelt as usual for the monthly gathering of First Friday, along with live art, including The Firehouse's First Friday Night Live, a send up of NBC stalwart Saturday Night Live.

Throughout the night, thousands of visitors were given the opportunity to see dozens of acts, hundreds of pieces of art and countless visions of what Phoenix is quickly becoming: a Mecca for music and culture of all kinds.

Josh Wyrick is a freelance.
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