‘Tis the Season For Jared and the Mill
I don’t know how I’ve managed to do it being a Phoenix resident my entire life, but the second annual holiday show for Jared and the Mill is the first time I’ve seen the band. I’ve seen Jared play in things like the Phoenix Rock Lottery, and I’ve had a couple people give high recommendation to see the band. All I can say is that somehow things overlapped, but the drought is all over now.
The Holiday Show was an awesome line up from top to bottom, with Sundressed kicking it off. These guys came onto my radar this year. An awesome group of guys I’d call a higher energy Jimmy Eat World mixed with Assuming We Survive. Sundressed started off wearing Christmas sweaters, but by the end of the set only one had lasted to stay on. Although, Trever’s sweater did teach me that reindeer droppings are only confetti. Sundressed continues to impress every time I catch their set.
From here enters my favorite local band to watch, the Playboy Manbaby. I tend to describe their sound as not quite punk, and not quite Ska, but somewhere right next to those genre. What I love about their performances is that the entire band of Playboy Manbaby is having fun up there. Their fun tends to show through most of the band members moving around the stage, dancing with their instruments or in Robbie’s case, kind of convulsing and dancing with the microphone.
Tonight there was an engaged, but calmer crowd. All it took to get a small pit going was Robbie jumping down there and literally stirring the pot to get it going the rest of the set. This is a band that I highly recommend everyone go catch with their own eyes and ears as soon as they possibly can.
Trying to find an awesome thing to talk about Jared and the Mill is like it being your birthday and getting ten presents to pick from. These guys are fan friendly, and twice had them play to my own phone camera when they saw me taking a picture. I unfortunately was putting my phone down just as Jared did it, but did get a good one of Josh you will find with this write up. I watched them do this countless times through the set for others too.
On top of that, they are another band that clearly is having fun on stage and makes jokes throughout it. The running joke that went through the first half of their set was that Chuck was running late, and Santa was a great bass player filling in for him. Then, despite having issues hiding smirks and grins, kept the joke going when Chuck appeared outside of the Santa outfit talking about how Santa was a better bass player than him. Their sense of humor continued to show through it as I watched various random jokes like Josh asking Michael Carter if he knew how to play the two chimes he handed to him. Then there was when Jared put the microphone up to Josh’s hat to hear the Christmas music it plays and dances to.
Then there was the set itself, which was a great set of good song after good song. They work to keep the crowd engaged. Jared asking the crowd to sing along anytime he knew it was a song most would know. Jared and the Mill went down into the crowd twice and played unplugged getting a clear large portion of the crowd singing along. They come off as honest and straight forward in their interactions with the crowd over the microphones. In addition, enjoyed them honoring the chants of more washboard when they were honestly asking for feedback for next year’s holiday show. This was simply one of the best sets I’ve seen a band play this year. Jared and the Mill is an amazing band to watch and listen to.
Normally this is where I’d put some end to the write up, but living up to the “Every Show” in my name I managed to run over to the Lost Leaf to catch some of The Darts’ set. The band is made up of all females, Michelle on vocals and guitar, with Nicole and Christina that most will know from the Love Me Nots. Although absent tonight due to a Two Tens tour in Europe right now, normally on drums is Rikki Stixx too. This all girl band brought some high energy punk into my weekend. I only managed to catch a couple, but ending on a song about who needs boys when you have batteries was awesome. Hope to make it to a full set of theirs in the future too. The Darts were the fourth exclamation mark on a super fun evening of music.