While we have mourned a few of our favorite venues close over the past couple years, the good news is we are seeing birth of new venues too. It is wonderful when that new space is one about giving all ages, any musical creation a place to play. The new space I refer to is the Groundworks in Tucson that opened this past November. They had Sean and Ben, of AJJ, headline the big inaugural show. Since then, they have regularly been hosting shows and art down there. While it took a little time for myself, I’ve finally made it down there for a night with the fantastic Teenage Halloween, from New Jersey, coming to Arizona with the cool Tucson support of New Misphoria, Yipee!, and Moon Nite.
Up first was Moon Nite who introduced himself as George. He was going it solo tonight but made mentions of the band usually playing through the set. The set itself consisted of folk and indie rock acoustic tunes. George made mention of the last song usually played with and to imagine a little more ska flourish at the end. Moon Nite solo made for a delightful opening to the Monday evening.
After him was a band that I know from Phoenix that has made Tucson their home these days, Yipee! They have been regulars up at the Trunk Space over the years. Both Aaron and Col play in Yipee! and their other band Closet Goth. With them was another familiar face, Tristan on drums and getting in a joke to cover a small technical delay on Aaron’s pedals.
They have an enjoyable time up there rocking out punk rock and indie rock tunes. Aaron throwing us various basketball and sports trivia that further reinforces his Suns fandom and logo adorning his guitar. It was so good to catch Yipee! in person and to see these couple friends once again.
Next was a rad duo from Tucson, New Misphoria. This guitar and drum duo another of the Tucson locals. I couldn’t find the name of their singer, but Bella Crump is the drummer of this band that appears to play as a four piece on occasion too. The vocals are great and compliment the fantastic indie rock sound they have going.
They reminded me of Sarah, from the band Pity Party, a little. The entire time they are playing, Bella looks like she is having a blast on the drums. All of this lending to New Misphoria being a fantastic watch and a band I look forward to catching again.
Last was a band that I discovered over on Devon Kay’s Twitch streams during 2020 when he brought on their lead singer, Luk. I right after went and checked out their latest album on Bandcamp and was immediately enamored with the music. It is fast paced, fun punk and indie rock. The band in person matches all that I heard on the recordings live with Luke and Eli up front on main vocals and guitar.
Behind them on this tour the smiling and happy faces of Hakim on saxophone, Redd on bass, and, the most expressive of them, Peter on drums. It was cool to get to see them and watch this crowd move around. I got “Figwit” dedicated to me, and they closed on “Stationary” making for a perfect finish. I am happy that I got to already see Teenage Halloween live since that Twitch stream and hope it won’t be too long before they return West once again.