Local music deserves to be appreciated. Just looking over the past year, I have found a good number of great bands that are based in my community. It’s as easy as buying a ticket to a venue nearby, even if you don’t recognize any of the artists on the line up, and listening to what the bands have to offer. An added bonus is that discovering local talent isn’t hard on your wallet! These bands are trying to create a name for themselves so their shows usually range from free to $15 (at least from my experience). You never know, you might discover your new favorite band or the next artist to star on MTV (that is, if MTV decides to show more music). Here’s a list of bands hailing from Arizona that have caught my attention.
8123 is a music label that’s based in Tempe, Arizona that only signs local bands. Here are some of the bands on their label:
John O’Callaghan, Pat Kirch, Kennedy Brock, Jared Monaco and Garrett Nickelson all work together to form The Maine. Beginning in 2007, this band has visited poppy themes in Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop to the darker thoughts that haunt us in Forever Halloween. They released their latest album, American Candy, earlier this year in March. After leaving Fearless Records to start an unhappy journey with Warner Bros, they moved on to help form 8123 in 2013. In the past they’ve toured with Anberlin, Mayday Parade, Never Shout Never and they’ve also opened for All Time Low. The Maine are about to head off on their Free For All Tour this fall. (I reviewed my experience of The American Candy Tour which can be found here.)
I suggest checking out “Love & Drugs.”
From 2007 until their unfortunate break up over the summer, Joel Kanitz, Sean Silverman, Alex Silverman (who left the band in early 2014) and Ryan Goss were better known as the indie pop band This Century. The band has three full-length albums, Sound of Fire, Biography of Heartbreak and Soul Sucker (released June 2015). While it’s no longer possible to enjoy this band live, I still suggest checking out their music on Spotify, YouTube or iTunes. (I reviewed a This Century show which can be found here.)
Find them on Facebook, Twitter (@thiscentury) and Instagram (@thiscentury).
I suggest checking out “Night Owl.”
Formed by Phoenix-native Brennan Smiley, The Technicolors was originally focused strictly on acoustic shows. Once the band started to pick up pace, Troy Lowney and Mike (Nico) Nicolette joined to form The Technicolors we know today. Their Facebook page describes them as being influenced by “New Millennium’s garage rock and mid-90s Brit-pop.” While they describe themselves as a rock band, I like to listen to them when I’m chilling at home or studying. They are about to embark on their On The Run Wild Tour (Sept 15 – Oct 23).
I suggest checking out “Sweet Time.”
Lydia is an indie band from Gilbert, Arizona that was formed in 2003. They went through a slight hiatus between 2010 and 2011, but now the band consists of Leighton Antelman, Matt Keller and Justin Camacho. In addition to their four studio albums, Lydia has announced that their newest album, Run Wild, will be released on September 18.
Find them on Facebook, Twitter (@LYDIAmusic) and Instagram (@lydiamusic).
I suggest checking out “Stay Awake.”
Of course, that’s not all. They also have artists including Dirk Mai, Colby Wedgeworth, The Cinema, Stop Dead, Nick Santino and Eagles in Drag. Find out more about this label and the bands involved at eightyonetwentythree.com.
The Breaking Pattern
Formerly known as Ezer, The Breaking Pattern’s first show was this summer opening for This Century’s last hometown show. Hailing from Anthem, the band is formed by Derek Hackman, Sam Kjar, Andy
Gingerich, Brandon Dillman and Jake Dejarnett. Their sweet melodies mixed with a heavy rock vibe and thoughtful lyrics creates a lively show. As of today, they only have one song available online, but in two weeks the band plans on releasing more music so be sure to keep an eye out for that.
Find them on Facebook, Twitter (@TheBreakPattern) and Instagram (@thebreakingpattern).
I suggest checking out “The Rapture.”
IAMWE recently played at an ASU event that I was lucky enough to attend. They put on an exciting show and really engaged with the audience. A year old this month, the five piece are currently hard at work on their first EP.
I suggest checking out “Everything About You.”
Never Let This Go
This Tempe band has been rocking out since 2012 and includes David Kleinebreil, Matt Graham, Spencer Howard and Vic Chan. In May of this year they released their first full-length album, “Believe,” which features several great hits. You can usually find them at any of the local venues and music festivals. I can typically spot them promoting their music at The Marquee. They are currently on their Believe the Dream Tour which will last until the end of September.
I suggest checking out “Right Now.”
Run 2 Cover
Run 2 Cover are a pop trio currently residing in Peoria. Brothers Christian and Brandon Iverson and their best friend, Colin Shaw, formed this band in late 2010 and later this month on August 28 they will be releasing their debut album, “Lovesick,” on KBB Record’s label. They draw inspiration from bands such as Walk the Moon and Thirty Seconds to Mars. They recently toured with Family Ruin and Escape the Fate. They currently have shows planned until the end of October which can be accessed through their Facebook. (I wrote a story on Run 2 Cover for my high school’s magazine which can be found here.)
I suggest checking out “LoveSick.”
Something Like December
Along with IAMWE, this is another band I discovered at the ASU event. After hearing them for the first time and picking up their album, “Convalescent,” last night, I haven’t stopped listening to their music. Last night marked only their fourth show since becoming a band. The alternative rock band features Austin Jones, Vee Gilbert and Chris Crimmins. Their energy on stage was contagious and even though I didn’t know any of the songs, I was still trying to sing along. For being such a young band, they really impressed me and I’m looking forward to more shows.
Find them on Facebook and Instagram (@somethinglikedecember).
I suggest checking out “I’ve Had Quite Enough.”
Equipped with impressive vocals from Jessica Ray, energetic bass chords from Evan Stabley and a beat to keep everything together provided by Harrison Finzel on the drums, Tidemind knows how to put on a fun show. With the release of their self-released EP, “Straight Outta Mesa,” Tidemind has played a few local shows and currently has another show booked at The Rhythm Room on September 1.
Find them on Facebook, Twitter (@TMindOfficial) and Instagram (@Tidemind_Official).
I suggest checking out “Silverstein Jr.”
I know I’m missing quite a few notable local bands, but as the title suggests, this is only a short guide to the local bands here in Arizona. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you checked any of these bands out (and all of them are worth checking out by the way). Don’t forget to go out there and support your own local bands!
Thanks for reading,
*All photos are taken by me unless otherwise stated. Cover photo is from http://www.all-flags-world.com.