“Broadcasting to the Nations” marks the six album release from Authority Zero on a label. Including prior independent releases that puts the notch up to eight. This marks nearly two decades of music from one of the few punk bands to come out of Phoenix with a following across the world. This release show brought one of my favorite punk bands, Guttermouth, to town alongside four local openers with more of a reggae and rock leaning.
The first of the night’s lineup was Howard Til Midnight. These guys were the most reggae of the night. They brought with them a Bruce Lee standee. My head made it a nod to Guttermouth’s “Bruce Lee Vs the KISS Army,” but perhaps it was just fun stage decoration. Howard Til Midnight came out with enthusiasm and brought a solid set to kick things off.
Following them was our other reggae rockers, though with a more punk leaning, Torn at the Seam. This band has assembled a great group of talent across the stage. The addition of saxophone a little over a year ago has been one of my favorite additions that Todd has made. The set itself was a mix of originals and some covers, like “Brohymn.”
During the last song, Cristian took advantage of his wireless receiver and played bass while he took a selfie in the crowd. That was an enjoyable set from Torn at the Seam.
Next of our locals was Ebinezer, certainly one of the bands with personality to them. To start, their drummer wore a red, metallic mask with a little bit of an Eastern look to it. There were their hair styles and wardrobes that came off nicely dressed on top. The band itself is mostly a rock and blues mix, and they play it well. In a cool moment, their lead singer and bassist swapped instruments with no issue near the end of the set. Ebinezer played one of the most entertaining sets of the night.
The setup men to the touring acts were our local cumbia and punk group, Nomada. They played a lot of the songs I know and expect in their sets, like “Puto” and closing on “Brohymn.” However, Oscar threw a cool surprise into the mix for the bigger stage.
He brought out the trumpet and saxophone players from the band Mind Upside midway through their set. This added a brass sound to the familiar songs. It gave a deeper dynamic to the music. Josh is certainly settling in more with every set, and Oscar Rock seems to be embracing becoming the personality guy. Nomada got the crowd dancing and having fun.
Guttermouth then took the stage. They are a band I haven’t missed a visit to Phoenix in fifteen years. I am entertained by every set I’ve caught. Part of the charm is that they are kind of dicks on stage. There was a reason I pointed out that “Brohymn” was being covered through this write up, and it is because Guttermouth embraced mocking that fact and joking how they will not play “Brohymn.”
Adding to the fun, Mark got tampons thrown on the stage. One security guard appeared to get the brunt of the tossed tampons whenever Mark was standing behind him. While I enjoy their sets more in the smaller venues, the big stage doesn’t hamper the performance.
Last up was our local boys, and headliners, Authority Zero. They are expressive and some of the most charismatic guys on that stage. Jason is a master of engaging with the crowd, creating conversations, pointing at familiar faces and asking questions to the audience between songs. Celebrating the release of the new album, “Broadcasting to the Nations,” I was surprised when I started hearing them play older songs mixed into the night’s setlist. The older songs just added to the excitement and ensured people were singing words right back at them.
Since I had my camera this night, I observed the show more than I usually would by jumping into the pit. The one thing I noticed more this night was how they bring a passion and energy to their performance. These guys have their heart in the music they perform and you can tell. The fans in attendance reciprocate the passion and energy right back at them creating a great vibe across the venue. Authority Zero has put out one their best albums to date, and did a hell of a job to celebrate it this night.