Concerts 

They Did It Their Way

This is where the obvious pun, all good things must come to an end probably sits. It was a night where a band who only popped up about two years ago is saying goodbye. However, in this case they are doing it on their terms. The words said through the night make it sound like Exxxtra Crispy benefited members of the band greatly. It helped a couple members through a few hurdles that life before and through the band’s life had presented to them. With the help of a lineup that included Fairy Bones, TOSO, Hesperus, Dadadoh and the POC, Sad Dance Party and the Aquatic Hitchhiker, Exxxtra Crispy said goodbye with an album release.

Opening up this loaded night of music was the latest solo project for one of the members of our headliners, The Aquatic Hitchhiker. This is Marcus’s latest as he performs an almost folk rock set of songs. I’d call it acoustic if it weren’t for the electric guitar he performs it on. His songs area blend of his own and covers.  It is awesome to see him expand and grow out of the band for his solo work. I’m excited to see where he takes Aquatic Hitchhiker from here.

Then it was down to the Trunk Space basement to catch Sad Dance Party. As anyone who follows me knows, these guys are one of my favorite newer bands around Phoenix. A little bit Sean Bonette, of AJJ, and a little bit Dead Kennedys.

Getting into the Christmas spirit, Peter was found adorned with a Christmas sweater for the set. He was a warrior for sweating it out in it while performing their full set. The Sad Dance Party was a good energizer into the night to get people moving.

Following that, it was the first time in a little that I had caught Hesperus. These guys and a gal are a unique style of hip hop and alternative rock. Since the last time I watched them, I caught the musician Open Mike Eagle which made me realize there is an entire section of Hip Hop they fit into. It is more creative in the music underneath.

In this case, they perform all of it with keys, bass, and guitar behind. In addition, the lyrics are more grounded in regular day to day life. This aspect makes it a further relatable part of the Hip Hop spectrum. While I know a few who read this aren’t one for hip hop, Hesperus is a style of it I can only recommend you go listen to give the genre another chance.

It was back downstairs to see what Dadadoh and the POC had in store for us. Another group of musicians I really enjoy who continue to make bigger waves around Phoenix. They take this blend of punk rock and garage rock and mix it into a hip hop hybrid. It is a sound I’m not finding made anywhere else.

There is an energy that literally has them bouncing around as they play. Bryan took the time to thank Austin, his Exxxtra Crispy cohort, and talking about how much he loves him during the set. The set included giving us tastes of their new music coming up, so keep an eye on Dadadoh and the POC as we near that release.

After that we got a less traditional TOSO set. Usually we get a story throughout, however tonight was just a straight up normal band performance. They did dress up and in what appeared to be a punk rock band theme. So I can’t say it wasn’t without some of the pageantry I love that this band brings with them. Their songs and energy brought out the crowd’s enthusiasm, bouncing around the room as per usual. There were people singing along and having a blast throughout.

While still rocking, I’m always going to be partial to a good TOSO story in a set. It brings in both their strength in song writing with their strong creativity. Nevertheless, given the occasion of the night, Iwon’t fault TOSO for making sure more of the spotlight was saved for Exxxtra Crispy.

One of the most appropriate to get us ready for Exxxtra Crispy would be Fairy Bones. Do not forget they released one of the best local albums this year. They put forth one of my favorite performances of the local bands in Phoenix. It is full of character and expressions with Robert, Chelsey, Ben and Matthew.

They tend to always be moving around through the performance with style and swagger. It is only bolstered by Chelsey’s fantastic voice on vocals. This is a band that has only got tighter and more mature on stage over the tenure I’ve been watching them. That makes me appreciate anytime I can catch Fairy Bones perform.

Closing it out, in a bittersweet farewell accompanied by anew album, was Exxxtra Crispy. As always accompanies one of their sets, the crowd went nuts. Austin occasionally out to join them with his saxophone. It was probably the most frenetic crowd of any of the bands this night. They went through their new stuff. They went through the favorites of the catalog they’ve amassed over the near two years of the band.

Exxxtra Crispy showcased this raw, punk sound that originally drew me in to the band when they first started. A little of the hip hop influence has sunk in as they went on longer only expanding their creativity. Unfortunately, as they said thank you to all they could it reminded everyone this was the last time we would see it live on a stage. There could be no better way to end the tenure of Exxxtra Crispy than the way this night and set closed it out. To slightly quote Frank Sinatra, they did their way.

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