REVIEW: Incubus, Jimmy Eat World, and Judah & The Lion Blow Away Ak-Chin Pavilion 8-12-17

It’s true, ya know. #incubus #livenation #stonedthoughts

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PHOENIX — It was a hot and humid evening on August 12th as the lines of cars slowly filled the parking lot of Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix. Incubus was headlining the night’s show with special guests Jimmy Eat World.

Opening act Judah & The Lion was on stage first to warm up the crowd and promote their recent Folk Hop ‘N Roll Deluxe LP, released earlier this year on St. Patrick’s day. The Nashville-based band brought their own unique brand of genre-bending grooves to the valley before heading to Los Angeles for a show at the Hollywood Bowl on August 14th. Frontman Judah Akers is high energy, even running through the audience at one point and doling out high fives to the amused delight of concertgoers. This band definitely did their job setting the mood for the rest of the evening.

At approximately 7:42 PM, Jimmy Eat World took the stage to an uproar of applause as the lights lit up a sea of faces throughout the Pavilion with “Sure and Certain” as their opening song, followed by the title track of their 2001 album Bleed American. As the sun disappeared over the horizon, the purple clouds in the distance began to take a darker hue, with quick flashes of lightning bursts illuminating sky. This would foreshadow what would come later in the evening.

For the time being, everyone was worry-free and soaking up the nostalgia of seeing this amazing band again. It was even more special for the folks in attendance because Jimmy Eat World are one of the few mainstream bands from Arizona. Formed in Mesa back in 1993, the band has been a source of inspiration for many Arizona musicians for nearly two and a half decades. There are most likely a lot of people in the audience that saw them live in one of the famed and now closed Arizona music venues from the 90’s heyday before the band made it big. So many couples are singing along and embracing with the lyrics, “Sure and certain, wander ‘til we’re old”.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Jim Adkins eventually addresses the audience admitting “We’ve actually never played here before,” later adding, “It means a lot for us to be here playing music for you tonight”.

This was surprising news to many because the venue has been a staple for live music for the last 27 years. How could they not have played the pavilion before? When it had originally opened to the public in 1990 it was the Desert Sky Pavilion. In 1996 the name was changed to the Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion until 2001 when it was renamed the Cricket Pavilion, which it remained… Until it was again rebranded as the Cricket Wireless Pavilion. In 2010 it was renamed yet again as Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion for 3 years until things came full circle and it once again retained the name Desert Sky Pavilion. That was short lived as the Ak-Chin Indian Community purchased the naming rights later that year and it has remained Ak-Chin Pavilion ever since.

There was a chilling performance of “Pass the Baby”, and the people swayed like blades of grass in a summer’s wind, back and forth to the beat. An entire field of people moving their bodies and mouths to the lyrics, reflecting the light off of their faces, brought to mind the sharpness of the lyrics as the wind stirred palms in the distance beneath a tapestry of ever-changing clouds growing more and more menacing. A little later. the mood lightens and the versatility of the evening begins to betray the current mood with an about-face.

I’m gonna need a lot of help with this one. Get those lights out!

As fans activated their cell phone flashlights, the entire of the pavilion transformed into a sea of dotted illumination reminiscent of stars dancing in the night sky. “Hear You Me” trickled out of the sound system for a beautiful performance that many there will not soon forget.

Shortly afterward, Jim sang, “If you’re listening…

His Fender Telecaster began to sing the beginning riff of “Sweetness”, and it was evident how many people were immediately transported to another place in time. They’re bobbing their heads stuffing laundry into dryclean safe bags at Delia’s cleaners. They’re skating to station 13 at Sonic Drive-Thru. A girl is scanning Eddie Bauer jackets at Target overnight for inventory while mouthing the words. The guy at the front counter is stocking parts at Autozone. The aforementioned couple is at prom again. A few of them are crying. This was a time when they were happiest. Back when mom and dad were still alive and all they had to worry about was homework. They’re all conscious that the year is 2017… But they’re all in another time. Some are in 2001. Some 2003. Some in 2005.

What’s refreshing is that there were also teenagers in the audience, all that same age as the older crowd when these beloved songs were released. This music has somehow transcended time as these few but long years have passed.

“The Middle” ended Jimmy’s set. Once again, the mood was notched up to a positive crescendo.

Incubus hit the stage after a lengthy intermission and wasted no time getting started. Amongst rolling thunder, Brandon Boyd asked, “So how you guys doin’?!

The audience is echoing a cacophony of applause as Incubus opens with “Quicksand”, executing masterful precision. That would end up being a theme for the evening between the three bands. With the exception of Judah And The Lion, Jimmy Eat World and Incubus are veterans in their own right. This is one of thousands of shows these bands have played and their abilities haven’t diminished in the slightest after twenty plus years of touring year in and year out. Each and every song sounds studio- quality, with the perfect charm of the inequitous distribution of sound in a live setting. Everything sounds fresh, which is a true indication of each band’s maturity, and an excellent high water mark to distinguish their respective careers.

When the beginning of “I Wish You Were Here” began, people got quiet. It seemed like everyone within a mile radius is singing along loudly to the lyrics. Once again, the phones were out and that same illusion of stars dancing across the seats was visible, to the delight of observers. As they wrapped this song up, they closed it out with the intro Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”, to the same lyrical zealousness of the few who knew the lyrics.

The clouds got closer and were nearly directly overhead when Incubus began “Stellar”, which elicited audible reactions of delight. Brandon Boyd is flawless in his recitation. At 41 years of age, he’s still very much an attractive man as well as a fantastic vocalist, but now with the age and wisdom of a distinguished older gentleman. Co-founder Mike Einzeiger is still ever the lead guitar slinger, hitting every melodic scale and harmonic with deft accuracy.The original drummer Jose Pasillas nailed the beats with the impeccable timing of a metronome. It would be criminal to discount the beautiful bounce of Ben Kenney’s bass, and the power of DJ Kilmore’s scratch. On this night they were in rare form as a unit and in tight unison. By the time they played “Drive”, there was a definite shift in the atmosphere.

The wind was now slightly oppressive and cups are blowing across the isles. The good vibes were still there but the weather really began to become more pronounced. The sprinkling began with “Pantomime”, to the dismay of the audience, and just as the band was finishing up “Sick Sad Little World” it began to pour significantly. It actually came in sideways toward the stage. As the song concluded, Boyd remarked nervously “We’ll be right back guys, I promise… We’ll be back”, as they exited view. Moments later a promoter or employee with the pavilion appears and explains that they’ll do everything they can while staff cover the electrical equipment from the elements. “We’re here for your safety.

Giant thunderbolt and lightning (very very frightening). The crowd went wild and cheered with the revelry of a rebel yell. Masses poured out of the grass and into the stands for cover. Many beneath the ramada begin sprinting for the gates. By all appearances it looked as though this show was over. The parking lot was in shambles. Cars were scrambling toward the exit. The stack turning left at 83rd ave and Monte Vista began to congest as the downpour continued onto the policemen stopping traffic in opposite ways to assist those fleeing the venue.

…But Boyd kept good on his promise.

When the rainfall began to calm, Incubus DID come back with “Nice To Know You” and finished the show with “Warning” to close out the evening for good. Any other band could have ended the concert right then and there when conditions became dangerous and half the audience left. They must have done it just for those few fans that stayed. It was truly a rare sign of integrity to match the humbleness of Jimmy Eat World; both bands being the measure of ethics and class to the very fullest. It was a remarkable show; one that can be easily recounted for years to come for anyone who was fortunate enough to be there. Like a Strawberry Cheesecake Shake from Sonic.

Thank you #Phoenix that felt amazing ⚡️

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PHOTOS: Dead Cross at Marquee Theatre 8-12-17

Dead Cross LP

Tempe, Ariz. — Dead Cross, the band comprised of Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Mike Patton (Faith No More/Tomahawk), Justin Pearson (Retox/The Locust) and Michael Crain (Retox), stopped at Marquee Theatre on their first national tour, supporting their self-titled debut album.

Rolling Stone said the release is chock full of “head-spinning ragers.”

by Jim “Fury” Hesterman

Dead Cross – Marquee Theatre 8-12-17

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All Rights Reserved

PHOTOS: Think About It at Rogue Bar 8-10-17

Think About It concert flyerScottsdale, Ariz. — Think About It, an alt rock band from Mesa, AZ, brought soul and energy to Scottsdale’s The Rogue Bar late on a Thursday night. Headlining a show with supporting acts Wurmfur, M. Crane, Dwarf, and Brother Cousin; they topped off an evening of impressive performances in Rogue Bar’s intimate atmosphere. Brother Cousin filled in last-minute for the original opener in the line-up, FutureSpeak.

The band’s Facebook page bio describes their sound’s unique blend: “Think About It combines the diverse influences of a rock & soul singer, a blues rock guitarist, a punk bassist, and a metalcore & pop-punk drummer to bring you a unique blend of passion-fueled alternative rock and roll you won’t hear anywhere else.

The full personal investment of heart into the music from frontman Lee Taggart is visible in his stage presence. Think About It’s intentions are quite clear, as they close out their bio with, “If you’re not thinking about it, you’re not thinking.

by Katherine Amy Vega

Think About It – The Rogue Bar 8-10-17

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REVIEW: Sedona’s Michelle Branch Returns to AZ to Serenade Fans at Crescent Ballroom 07-26-17

PHOENIX — Even the intense July heat could not exhaust the bubbling excitement surrounding the sold out Crescent Ballroom last Wednesday night as fans of all ages poured into the venue, ready to watch Michelle Branch take the stage. It was almost as if the city itself knew that one of it’s own had come home. Once inside, people gathered in little bundles or nestled themselves in corners and around tables in the bar, loudly chattering with excitement for Michelle’s set to begin.

In the concert area, the opener HAERTS had just begun, guiding the audience into a mellow atmosphere that would last throughout their set. As the songs continued, it was apparent that the crowd was not going to do this band justice. Side conversation and constant movement drowned out the soulful lyrics vocalist Nini Fabi sang. However, the fans closest to the stage were completely entranced by her beautiful words, and could be seen swaying back and forth.

As soon as HAERTS took their leave from the stage, everyone in the room gathered close and waited in anticipation for Michelle to come on. She was met with rousing applause and cheers as she came from backstage, and without a word strapped on her guitar, and went right into her first song, “Last Night.” Like most of her set, the first song and the two that followed came from her brand new album Hopeless Romantic, which was released back in April of this year.

Michelle Branch - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Michelle Branch
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

People who listened to her music before know Michelle Branch to have more of a pop/country vibe to her music. However, this time she has completely revamped her musical style, and it showed as she went effortlessly from one song to the next, dancing around the stage or making subtle hand movements around the mic as she sang. The crowd was loving it, especially during the third song “You Get Me” when she suddenly exclaimed “Phoenix how you guys doing tonight?! It’s so good to be home, even if it is too hot to go outside!” This was met with loud, amused cheering. Along with their excitement came a moment of uncertainty however, as to how to respond to her new style of music. There were various people moving back and forth or clapping lightly to the beat. Some were even singing along or just cheering the entire time. It took until she played “All You Wanted” for the crowd to really get into it. She took a different approach to the old crowd favorite, slowing down the tempo and singing in a lower pitch, but that didn’t stop everyone in the room from singing along joyously to the lyrics they had come to know and love.

Once the thunderous applause died down from our first moment of nostalgia that evening, she took a moment to talk about her new album and the steps that it took her to produce it. After that she took a moment to introduce us to her “family from the road”, including her drummer and now fiance Patrick Carney who also happens to be the drummer for The Black Keys. When the introductions concluded, the lights dimmed as Michelle and her female band mates gathered around a microphone and prepared to “bring a little Nashville to Phoenix” with their rendition of “Leave the Pieces” from Michelle’s 2006 album Stand Still, Look Pretty, which she produced as part of the band The Wreckers.

She then continued our trip down memory lane with a slow tempoed, almost seductive version of “Game of Love,” written and produced with Santana. She rounded out this part of her set with the ever popular “Breathe” which produced the biggest crowd response of any song so far. Everyone was up and dancing, jumping up and down to the beat, and singing loudly to the words, threatening to drown her out completely. Even the band moved around the stage as they played, giving off the exact vibe expected to come from her show.

Wanting to bring the focus back to her current album, she finished out the show playing more upbeat songs, not stopping as she effortlessly navigated through “City”, “Fault Line” and “Living in a Lie.” The energy from these songs was enough to keep the crowd fully drawn in, even when she had to pause a time or two in between songs to tune her different guitars. She brought the set to a close with one last oldie but goodie “Are You Happy Now?” Following her flow from earlier on in the show, she slowed this one down as well, singing very closely to the mic while keeping her eyes closed. The vibe around the whole room was warm and satisfied as they gently swayed in unison to the lyrics in the dim lighting. She was met with a resounding applause as she stated a simple, “Thank you Phoenix”, and left the stage with her bad in tow.

Michelle Branch - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Michelle Branch
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega © Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

She didn’t make it far before the crowd exuberantly began yelling “Encore!!”. This went on for about a minute before Michelle and her band returned to the stage. She began by thanking Haerts for playing with her that evening, explaining, “I listened to Haerts a lot while writing this new album.”. Then, she went on to remind us one more time, “It is so nice to be home! I cannot believe I’m playing here again.”, giving us all a sense of pride to share our hometown with her.

The Birthday Massacre setlist Phoenix 7-26-17
Michelle Branch setlist
Crescent Ballroom 7-26-17
(Click to Enlarge)

She finished her set by singing two more old favorites; the soulful “Goodbye to You” and an unexpected solo version of “Everywhere.” Before starting her final song, she made a promise to the crowd that. “it won’t ever be this long ever again” in terms of her producing new music. Almost as if she didn’t want the show to end, she beautifully sang the lyrics of her biggest hit in a sensual, almost haunting manner, keeping the crowd entranced up until the last note.

Thank you again Phoenix”, were her parting words as she waved at everyone as she exited the stage, hugging people along the sides as she went. As the crowd left the concert area, there was a feeling of content in the air knowing that everyone got exactly what they wanted from this show, and that it will not be another decade before we welcome Michelle home once more.

REVIEW: Post Animal Right at Home at Valley Bar 7-23-17

PHOENIX — Valley Bar’s retro interior design was the perfect setting for psychedelic rock band Post Animal’s entrancing show on Sunday, July 23. Their music and the atmosphere of the rain outside were the perfect combination for a show that made the crowd exude happiness and dance throughout the entire set.

Post Animal on retro couch
Post Animal
Photo Credit: Jim Hesterman, Burning Hot Events © All Rights Reserved

The show was opened by Femny and Stef Chura. Stef Chura had a female lead singer /guitarist, as well as a female bassist. Their music echoed underground vibes, and it had a reminiscent sound of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

When Post Animal came on stage, they began their set with an electrifying new song. The crowd was quickly out of their seats to dance, and filled up the previously barren space by the stage. “Swamp Fruit”, the next song, brought ambiance that made for the perfect transition.

Post Animal live at Valley Bar
Post Animal
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega © Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

Jake Hirshland (Guitarist/Keyboardist/Vocalist) bolstered the crowd as he complimented their presence saying, “Beautiful, Phoenix, Arizona!”. There’s always something special about hearing a band say the name of your hometown.

Jake Hirshland, Guitarist Keyboardist, Post Animal
Jake Hirshland (Guitarist/Keyboardist/Vocalist), Post Animal
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega © Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

The entrancing guitar in the following song, “Alabaster”, took you somewhere else; it’s truly a psychedelic must-hear! The crowd was feeling the band’s energy, and head banging was in full swing.

Dalton Allison holding bass with hair flying
Dalton Allison (Vocalist/Bassist), Post Animal
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

The band played fan favorites, including “When I Get Home”. After Hirshland let the crowd know they had nowhere to sleep that night and were looking to crash at someone’s place, Javi Reyes (Guitarist) said, “Let’s talk!”.

Javi Reyes smiling
Javi Reyes (Guitarist), Post Animal
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

They ended their set with another new song. You could feel the high energy of the crowd the from beginning to the end of Post Animal’s set.

Wes Toledo drummer Post Animal
Wes Toledo (Drums), Post Animal
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

Post Animal brings a modern touch to classic psychedelic rock with heavy drums and powerful guitar solos. Each member plays their role perfectly as they synchronize with each other. Their music is just as good live as it is on their records, with the added bonus of an impressive energy worth the experience. Undeniably, they are a band you will want to listen to and make sure to come out to see next time they are in Phoenix!

Check out our interview with Vocalist/Bassist, Dalton Allison, for interesting facts and trivia about Post Animal and their background!


by Katherine Amy Vega

Post Animal – Valley Bar 7-23-17

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INTERVIEW: Talking With ‘Original As Fuck’ Clothing Creator, Presley Woodall

Original As Fuck apparel logo with buttons
Original As Fuck

Presley Woodall is an independent artist and screen printer in the valley. Originally from Indiana with roots in New Mexico and Illinois, her brand Original As Fuck is definitely garnering some attention amongst other regulars on Phoenix’s local scene. With her uncensored drive and tenacity, it’s not only a passion for her. It’s also a message. I recently sat down with Presley on a scorching Friday afternoon in South Central Phoenix over a cold 40 of Mickey’s to pick her brain about what that message is and what keeps her hungry.

When did you establish O.A.F.?

It’s been about two years since I started screen printing. As far as it being my artistic name? Since high school.

How did you get the nickname?

There was a substitute teacher. You know what “O.A.F.” means, right? It’s like a lazy bastard, and I was pretty lazy in High School. So he called me that once, so I looked it up and I liked it.

Presley Woodall, Original As Fuck
Presley Woodall, Original As Fuck

When did you decide to incorporate the Old English into your logo? That’s probably my favorite part of it.

I know! Me too. I try to make sure it’s in all of my drawings. I’ve just always loved old english. It’s just my style. The Old English “O.A.F.” with “Original As Fuck” underneath it was my first shirt.

So when did you move to Phoenix?
Well I grew up in Albuquerque, but I was born in Indiana. We moved to Albuquerque when I was like a year old so I don’t…

You don’t remember any of it?
No. Not at all. But then I moved here to Phoenix like right after I turned twenty-one.

How old are you now?

I’ll be 27 next month.

You seem older than that because I feel like you were closer to my age. Like you seem to have your shit together more than most.

Yeah I kinda get that a lot.

What inspired you to get into fashion?

It’s more just getting into screen printing. When I got into screen printing I just loved the process of actually doing it, so I guess I wouldn’t even say I’m into fashion really. Like I love 90’s fashion, but I’m not designing tee shirts or sweaters or anything like that. It’s more just the screen printing that I like.

Presley Woodall, Original As Fuck apparel
Presley Woodall, Original As Fuck

So do you just come up with an idea, sketch it then decide what you’re going to put that on? Do you just kinda say ‘Ok, I’m going to put this on a shirt, and then on some buttons?’

No, I try to put all of my designs on a shirt. There’s only so much I can do because I don’t have a dope ass studio with like a 6 press machine like I did out in Illinois. So I just have a single press, which means I can’t do all these crazy colors or stuff like that. Like right now I’m in the middle of finding a good paper to use. It’s kind of just about where I’m at, the connection I have at the moment.

So would you say that your process is constantly evolving?

Oh yeah, especially from moving. I had a good connection out in Illinois for everything. Being out here I’ve had a hard time getting people to commit to whatever it is that we’re getting together, for like doing a new vinyl for me, or burning a new screen or whatever. Not a lot of people come through on time. That’s when I’m kind of like, “Peace”, and I’m on to the next; because I don’t fuck around as far as that goes.

It’s definitely hard to find good help.

Yeah. And when everything comes out of your pocket, you have to be super wise about all of your decisions.

As far as what you’re doing now, do you have a mentor? Is someone teaching you this? Who do you look up to in the industry?

My friend Berto. He’s the reason I moved to Illinois, so he was the one who taught me how to screen print. I had followed his brand for a long time, so he was the one I wanted to teach me. I didn’t know the process even though I had worked at an art supply store for a couple years and sold the material for it. So he’s been like my number one fan through this whole screen printing process so from the beginning of O.A.F. and making it into a brand.

How long did it take you to decide that this is what you wanted to do?

Literally the day I learned how to screen print.

Original As Fuck pins
Original As Fuck pins

No shit… That quick, huh?

Yeah. I knew I wanted to do something with it, I just didn’t know what. I was always making art and other crafty things, and I know how to sew, so I made zip-up bags and just other random stuff like that. So I knew I would do something, but the screen printing and tee shirts that became the bigger picture rather than my crafts.

So you thought to yourself, “I’m gonna put this on a shirt”.

Yeah and other people saying, “you should put this on a shirt”. That’s what pushes me to get into this thing.

That actually brings me to my next question. How do you feel about the valley as a market? Has Phoenix been good to you?

Yeah I’ve gotten a lot of feedback. There’s been a lot of people who have wanted to do interviews with me too and…

You told  them to fuck off because you knew you would be sitting down with Burning Hot Events?

Haha, no I still did it. I’ve knocked out a couple of interviews on podcasts and they went pretty well. I’ve met some really cool people. I do first Fridays downtown and the people from Public Image, Kim and Daryll, they hit me up when I first moved out here. I was really promoting myself.

I’ve seen your pics on Facebook before a couple First Fridays, and I’ve loved seeing your stuff. You made some really dope candles that I absolutely loved.

I always try to include new stuff like that. I might make candles every time I go but they’re all going to be completely different candles every single time. Same with the designs. I’m always trying to have something new to bring. I just recently got a promotion at work so that’s what my focus has been for the last 2 to 3 months. I haven’t really done much. I’ve made art but not really any crafts. I haven’t been to First Friday in like 3 months.

I made a cartoon with a buddy of mine. It was a lot of work but we ended up making about 6 episodes but we never made another one because we both got jobs about the same time.

I know! It’s hard to do both no matter what it is. It’s tough and it’s hard to stay motivated. I’ve definitely struggled that in the past from time to time but it’s like they say, “If you want it badly, you’ll do it”. That’s what’s gotten me this far.

Original As Fuck apparel
Original As Fuck apparel

So what keeps you hungry? What keeps you driven and doing what you do?

Ever since I was little, I just felt I needed to be somebody that made some kind of difference. I’m not saying I want to be some crazy celebrity superstar or anything like that. I just want to be someone to send out a cool message and help people that way. The “Original” in my logo has a lot of meaning behind that.

That’s what actually drew me to it in the first place. Not only is it a brand for you but it’s also a message. Like, “I’m original as fuck, and fuck whatever you’re doing.

Right and it’s really rare for people in our society to have that kind of view. There are so many people telling you what to do and what to say and what to look like and you see it on social media being shoved down everyone’s throats and it’s shitty. It’s super shitty. The younger generation eats that shit up. I don’t have to have a 19 year old niece to know that, I just see it everywhere. Nobody knows themselves and you can tell. Because they are so focused on trying to look this way and how to be accepted… It’s just really sad to me because I think life is just being you and figuring things out. I think that’s a really big accomplishment.

Presley Woodall, Original As Fuck
Presley Woodall, Original As Fuck

I agree. I feel like you have a stubborn tenacity to lead rather than follow.

That would be going against everything I believe in. Nobody is original these days, I mean, it’s fucking 2017. There’s so much art out there that everyone gets ideas from different people and stuff but yes, I try to keep my style as original as possible.

It’s very obvious looking at your art that you have a love for hip hop. Old School. What was your first exposure to Hip Hop?

I’m the youngest of five. My older sister babysat us a lot when my mom had to work. She always played all of the good shit. I remember listening to it in my carseat. Like I didn’t know what they were talking about, it was just literally music to my ears, ya know? That along with the other stuff my dad played, and the stuff that my mom played. He was more into rock. Tom Petty and Joe Walsh.

It’s actually an entire genre called “dad music”.

Right! It has it’s own Pandora station haha

Notable successes? Failures?

There’s been a lot, even with just screen printing. Just little things. I don’t know how many tee shirts because screen printing is messy as fuck and I’m still not really that great at it. I just… Try to wing it as much as I can. It’s hard to learn new apps to do my digital art. And then you have to vectorize and pay for THIS program and… I’m still failing and I’m going to be failing even if I become “something big”, we’ll say. I think that just doing it in the first place and having the balls to get into it and do it and keep doing it even though I may not be able to afford some stuff right now.

And Successes?

I feel like I’ve come a long way just doing it myself. I feel like I’ve come farther than some people that have had a helping hand throughout the whole entire process. But that’s like you said earlier, ya know? I’m hungry. I’m hungry for getting this message out and seeing if more and more people will relate to it.

And how do you handle those failures or setbacks?

I have to smoke a bowl or I have to have a beer… Go for a drive? I don’t know. Do another piece of art because that’s what calms me.

Original As Fuck apparel
Original As Fuck apparel

So what’s next for O.A.F.?

I would like to get more into the designing of my clothing. I’m really into the 90’s style so I would definitely love to bring out some kind of cool color-blocked sweaters, tee shirts, and bucket hats; and anything else 90’s related. I would just want to design them. It’s just the point of doing a business plan and pitching my idea to some of these manufacturers and making the next big move.

Let’s say that you come to these manufacturers and that money is no object. What is your ultimate goal for O.A.F.? What are your aspirations?

I just want to have it out there for as many people as possible. I’m a private person and I’m not going to let it stop me from my brand becoming something big. I definitely put myself in uncomfortable situations. Not that I’m uncomfortable at the moment, but you wouldn’t find me being this open with anybody right now. I don’t care to tell anybody anything, even with my brand, so I would like for it be something as big as it can be but I’m not going to compare myself to any of the brands that are huge right now. I just want it to be as big as it can be without me personally being out there in the shine. I don’t want people to look at me before they look at what I have to offer, my message and my art.

Presley Woodall, Original As Fuck founder & designer
Presley Woodall, Original As Fuck


I was talking to this girl one time and I telling her pretty much everything I’m telling you… And she says, “Oh! And you’re pretty so that’ll help!” And I was like, “fuck that”, I don’t want people to look at what I look like. I have a lot to offer other than what the fuck I look like. I hate to think that people look at that first before they look at the other shit that really matters.

So in the grand scheme of things, how would you feel about seeing O.A.F. merchandise at Target?

That would be cool. That would be way cool.

It would probably barely sell…
I know, dude! I’d have to change the name.

“Mommy, I’m original as fuck!”

Yeah, I would definitely have to get them to NOT put the name on it unless the world just dropped some acid and tried to be open-minded fuckin people about the name. I don’t know what the fuck has to happen. I’m just pushing it as I go. It’s just my journey. I’m not in any rush to become something. I’m just pushing it as much as I want, when I want. That’s just the way it’s going to be until whatever comes.

Original As Fuck apparel
Original As Fuck apparel

So, we’re getting to the fun part of the interview now…

Oh, what?!

Top 5 artists and songs. Your deserted island mixtape. If you were going to die…These are the songs you want to hear. What’s your flavor?

That’s like when somebody asks me what my favorite color is. It’s almost impossible to answer, being an artist and loving music so much. Like am I going to die if I don’t answer this?

It can be less than 5 if you want.


How about just artists? Because songs? That’s tough.

Ok, fine. Just artists.

I’m a really big Tom Petty fan for a lot of reasons. Mainly because it just brings back to childhood memories and there’s a song for every fucking situation.

Original As Fuck caps
Original As Fuck caps

I think “American Girl” is the quintessential American rock and roll song. You just think cheeseburgers, muscle cars, and electric guitars.

Mine was “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”. I knew every word to that song at a young age even though I didn’t really even know what it was about until, obviously, I started smoking.

So Tom Petty. Who else?

Pharside. Definitely Pharside.

Pharside is fuckin dope.

Probably TLC as well. They’re females so I gotta give them props.

I still remember the first time I saw “Creep” when I was 9 years old. I’ll never forget those silk pajamas.

Dude, I’m going to be that for halloween! I’ve been trying to do that with my sister for the longest time but I think this year we’re going to do it because we found our third musketeer. We all gotta be TLC. I don’t give a fuck what you guys had planned. It’s an easy fucking costume, it’s comfortable and we’re just gonna do this. I’m gonna be Left Eye. I already called it and I called it long ago.

Original As Fuck pins
Original As Fuck pins

So Tom Petty, TLC, Pharside… And who else?

Led Zeppelin.

Ok so… What is a Led Zeppelin song that just hits you?

“When The Levee Breaks”

So we’re at 4 now.
I’m having a hard time because I think I stopped liking music since about 1997.

If it’s less than 5 that’s cool too. Obviously Hip Hop is your preferred genre. What comes second after that?

Classic Rock for sure.  I ran into my dad at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert once!

You can follow Presley’s O.A.F. page on Facebook and on Instagram for updates on First Friday appearances and new merchandise. And make sure to contribute to the Patreon to ensure that  Burning Hot Events and Kataklizmic Design can continue to bring you more amazing content!

PHOTOS: Ikonoklast Hosts SINister Fetish Party & Concert at Joe’s Grotto 7-15-17

PHOENIX — With two stages to alternate between, Joe’s Grotto music venue has always been a favorite local spot for deliciously gritty punk & metal shows, and unusual performances. This made it an obvious venue of choice for a “sexy fetish party” like SINister  – calling out for Phoenix fans to rock out as their wildest, freaky selves. Amongst murky shadows of dimly lit stages and strobing rainbow LEDs, a true sense of community could be felt as this unique local scene came together to support a myriad of eye-catching, emerging artists.

Lucky for you, Burning Hot Events was on the scene to capture fans and performers alike. Our photo booth was hosted by our event photographer Mat Montgomery, who donned his very best sexy maid outfit – complete with a matching wig and frosty makeup perfection.

Photo Booth

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SINister Photo Booth - Joe's Grotto 7-15-17
SINister Photo Booth - Joe's Grotto 7-15-17

Organized as a birthday celebration for Ikonoklast vocalist, Jonah Foree, the night boasted a hard-hitting lineup including musical acts on the main stage like Scar Eater, Amensic, S.L.U.T. (Satanic League of Underground Techno), and of course Ikonoklast. Agents of LUST heated things up during the sets of both S.L.U.T. and Ikonoklast, sending arches of electrified metal sparks onto the dancers and into the crowd below.

The party also featured DJ Beautiful John, live body painting by El Spawk, and burlesque & fetish performances by Pain Proof Punks on the second stage. The performers on the second stage included Little Jae Sinclair, Lexi Locket, Katara Fox, Crystal Frost, Dr. Copperchops, Miss Wonderland, and Luna Sky.

Performer Photos

View Band Photo Albums: S.L.U.T. | Amnestic | Scar Eater | Ikonoklast

Photos by Katherine Amy Vega

SINister Fetish Party & Concert – Joe’s Grotto 7-15-17

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INTERVIEW: Special Moments with Post Animal, Coming Soon to Phoenix!

Post Animal in Phoenix 7-23-17
Upcoming Post Animal Concert
Phoenix, AZ 7-23-17
Buy Tickets on Ticketfly

Post Animal burst onto the scene in 2015 with their album Perform the Most Curious Water Activities. Ever since then, they have been working hard releasing more music including their psychedelic hit, “When I Get Home”. “Special Moment” is their latest release. The psychedelic-rock band hails from Chicago and consists of Dalton Allison, Jake Hirshland, Joe Keery, Javi Reyes, Wesley Toledo and Matt Williams.

Post Animal are currently on their headlining tour across North America. They are bringing their tour to Phoenix, Arizona, July 23 at  Valley Bar.  They are definitely a band you will want to see!

Dalton Allison (Vocalist/Bassist) tells us more about the band, music, tour, influences and more in their email interview below…

What brought Post Animal together, and how long has the band existed?

Originally Matt, Jake and I all met in Chicago through mutual friends back in 2015. We were lucky enough to have all ended up being in Chicago at the right place and the right time and just kept adding onto ourselves when we found somebody who we loved playing with.

 What influenced the band name? Were there other choices before ‘Post Animal’ became the final one?

I’m sure we had a bunch of names being thrown around before but Jake used ‘Post Animal’ to describe an idea that came out of a book a friend was reading while we were hanging at his family’s farm house and we never felt a need to change it since.

If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?


You just started your current headlining tour on June 1st. What aspect of the tour are you most excited about?

I think we’re all excited to travel across the USA and into parts of Canada. There are a lot of places on this tour that none of us have ever been.

What are your favorite songs to perform? Is there a certain lyric from any of your songs that is especially meaningful to you?

I think we all really like to play the newer songs because the writing has been much more collaborative, but a lot of the lyrics are more individually specific in a vague way, if that makes sense, so I’m not sure if there are any choice lyrics. We all love to back each other up though so even if it doesn’t mean much to us individually the connection is still there as a group.

Having played in Tucson, was playing in Arizona different than playing anywhere else?

At this point in time we’ve only played in Tucson but from what we’ve seen people are very nice and hospitable. We’re very lucky to get the opportunity to come back and are ready to rock with everyone again.

 Is there anything about working in the music industry that caught you by surprise?

We still have a lot to learn about all this so pretty much everything at this point is a surprise. There are a lot of things that are going on behind the scenes that we never really knew about so we’re very lucky to have friends that are guiding us along the way.

Post Animal - Photo Credit: Kristina Pedersen
Post Animal (Click to Enlarge)
Photo Credit: Kristina Pedersen

With your guitarist Joe Keery playing the role of Steve Harrington in Stranger Things, how did the success of the TV series affect the band?

The series has affected the band in a very positive way and we’re thankful for all the support we have gotten from people who were introduced to our music by his role in the show.

What past and current artists/bands inspire you?

Between all of us there are a lot of different influences but I think some of the shared are: The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Stevie Wonder, Ty Segall/Fuzz, Pond, King Gizz, Oh Sees, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Metallica, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Heart,

Olivia Oyamada created the artwork for Perform The Most Curious Water Activities,  Lonely Jones/You Were Not There and When I Get Home/Big Boy Smack; what about her art made it the best fit for Post Animal?

She’s been a best friend of ours even before the band and we’ve always been wowed by her art. She has a real unique art style and we can just throw an idea at her and it comes out as a masterpiece. She’s done all of our album and merch artwork so far and we couldn’t be happier with her work.

 What aspects of life influence your music the most?

I think emotions are definitely the cornerstone of music. The way that feelings evolve depending on your current state and the way that they change with personal growth and experimentation has been the biggest influence on most of our music. That being said, we definitely aren’t trying to take ourselves too seriously and are glad that we get to use our band as an outlet.

What is your favorite part of the music process and why? (i.e songwriting, recording, touring, performing, etc.)

We all love writing and recording but I don’t think anything quite tops performing live to a responsive crowd. There is something special about all standing on a stage together and plucking, yelling, and banging at the same time while people watch.

What would the ultimate success for Post Animal look like to you?

I think all we really want out of the band is the opportunity to travel and perform for people. We are humbled by the opportunities we’ve had so far, so if we could make a living out of it on any scale that would be more than we could have ever hoped for. Playing the festival circuit would be a dream.

What do you plan to do after the tour is over?

We have a new album we’re trying to get released sometime this fall and then we have some new ideas we’re ready to try out for some new material after that. I think we’ll take a small break at the end of the summer to cool off but we’re definitely excited to keep things going and try to make the most of the opportunities we’re getting.

More Post Animal:

Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube


Featured photos by Asher Klaven and Kristina Pedersen, provided with permission by Post Animal.

REVIEW: Phoenix Lassoed in the Marquee Theatre Crowd with Their Electrifying Performance 6-13-17

TEMPE, Ariz. — Marquee Theatre was heated up by Phoenix’s electric performance on June 13th. Just four days earlier, Phoenix released their sixth studio album Ti Amo and played a few songs from it. It was an unusually cool night (well, as cool as Arizona in June can get), and everyone was lining up to enter into the venue. The atmosphere was filled with excitement as the Marquee was quickly filling up, and looked to be a nearly sold out show.

The venue seemed to be filled with mostly ages 21 and over, as many people had a drink in their hand as they watched the opening act, The Lemon Twigs, perform. The Lemon Twigs owned the stage with their vintage style and sound. Brothers Michael (Lead Vocalist/Guitarist) and Brian (Drummer/Backing Vocalist) D’Addario front the band; with Megan Zeankowski on bass, and Danny Ayala on keyboards/backing vocals. Michael D’Addario commanded the stage with his flare pants and teal shaggy hair. He did numerous high kicks into the air and had a reminiscent look and presence of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards combined. They played a song “Bay Baby”, which gave a 70s feel-good heartbreak vibe. The Lemon Twigs are about to take the music industry by storm, so make sure to check them out!

After a long anticipated wait, Phoenix walked onto stage and the crowd roared with excitement. They started with “Ti Amo”, the title-track of their newly released album Ti Amo. Next came “Lasso” which was met by a pleased crowd that cheered after hearing the first few seconds of the song.

Thomas Mars, Phoenix - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Thomas Mars (Vocalist), Phoenix
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega © Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

Phoenix played “Entertainment”, and were immersed in an incredible light show during parts of the song. White lights created a curtain cover and our concert photographer, Katherine Amy Vega, described it as being like a holographic effect. The lighting really complemented the electric rock sound. Strobe lights of white, red, blue and yellow filled their set. During some songs, there was a rainbow lighting effect, which may have hinted to Phoenix’s support of the LGBTQ community during Pride Month.

Phoenix - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega © Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

Phoenix seemed to have one of those awe-struck moments as the band paused after playing “Lisztomania”, and smiled at the crowd. During most of the set, balloons with a heart and “Ti Amo” printed on floated through the air amongst the crowd. The whole band put on an energized performance and played their part in creating a music loving atmosphere.

Christian Mazzalai (Guitarist), Phoenix - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Christian Mazzalai (Guitarist), Phoenix
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

One of the most amazing intimate moments of the show was during the encore when Thomas Mars (Lead Vocalist), climbed off the stage and came to the barricade while singing a stripped-down version of “Countdown” to the crowd as guitarist Christian Mazzalai played on stage.

Phoenix played many fan favorites including “1901” and “Fior Di Latte”. The band took over the stage and created an exhilarating atmosphere. Constant dancing, singing along, cheering and pure happiness filled the venue. It was a concert where you couldn’t help but feel joy because the band projected their happiness and love for music onto the crowd.

Laurent Brancowitz (Guitarist), Phoenix - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Laurent Brancowitz (Guitarist), Phoenix
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

To end the show, in the BEST way, Thomas Mars came off stage and joined the crowd in the final song “Ti Amo Di Piu”. He walked through the full crowd with his microphone connected to a glowing red cable that the crowd held up; and he said “Thank you!” over and over again, showing his gratitude to the loving fans. At one point he seemed to be hoistered on someone’s shoulders, possibly a fan, and said “Thank you!” again; followed by crowdsurfing back up to the stage . It was truly a moment no one will forget!

Phoenix put on an amazing performance that rocked the Marquee. Fans will definitely be awaiting the next time they come to Arizona!

by Katherine Amy Vega

Phoenix (The Band) – Marquee Theatre 6-13-17

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REVIEW: Under The Birthday Massacre’s Spell at Pub Rock 6-5-17

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Gothic rock band The Birthday Massacre, along with supporting acts Army of the Universe and Sumo Cyco, brought their 2017 North American tour to Pub Rock on the verge of releasing their seventh full-length studio album Under Your Spell. The Scottsdale stop was the 15th of 27 tour dates. With a whopping 20-song setlist and tireless energy, The Birthday Massacre brought their signature animated and dark stage presence to a packed crowd on a Monday night.

Sever, Sumo Cyco - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Sever (Vocalist), Sumo Cyco
Band Photo Album
Photos by Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

Fronted by Sever (formerly solo artist Skye Sweetnam), punk metal band Sumo Cyco from Ontario opened the show. Their 2nd album, Opus Mar, was released recently on March 31, 2017. The charismatic front-woman with teal hair, matching bustier, high-waisted shorts, and fishnet stockings easily caught the attention of The Birthday Massacre’s fans. Sumo Cyco’s song “Danger” well-represents the image of the band and it’s lead singer, with lyrics like, “If you want it, we’ll give you danger“, and “I’m young and feisty, so tongue me and try me“. At one point, Sever rode on the shoulders of the guitarist Matt Drake amongst the crowd. With her sex-appeal and aggressive movements, and the band’s lively performance, they drew the crowd in and left them pleased.

Lord K, Army of the Universe - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Lord K (Vocalist), Army of the Universe
Band Photo Album
Photos by Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

The next band to play before the headliner took the stage was an Italian industrial band named Army of the Universe. Vocalist Lord K is also the lead singer of the band Kult of the Skull God. The audience was visibly impressed with the power that the band brought to the stage. Lord K took the stage with ferocity and cocky mannerisms; yelling and thrusting his mic into the faces of audience members, raising up and pumping the mic stand above his head, dripping with sweat and shirtless by the end of the set. While DJ, producer, and band co-founder Trebla primarily focused intently on his synthesizers and laptops; guitarist Davide Tavecchia and drummer Giuseppe Amato wildly played their instruments with their hair flying like they were caught in a storm while donning big smiles and roaring facial expressions. It was clear that the band members were having a blast, which made them equally fun to experience.

Army of the Universe was a fitting choice to set the mood and round-out the audience appeal following Sumo Cyco, with the style of The Birthday Massacre somewhat being a combination of that of the two openers.

The Birthday Massacre’s new album was funded through PledgeMusic, with full-album downloads being sent out on June 1st exclusively to pledgers in advance of the June 9th release. When they hit the stage, they kicked off their set with the first track of the new album, “One”, with instant force.

Chibi, The Birthday Massacre - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Chibi (Vocalist), The Birthday Massacre
Band Photo Album
Photos by Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

The Ontario-based band was formed in 1999, and their well-seasoned prowess is clearly evident in their performance. Their fanbase at the venue that night was also a mature crowd, who interacted with the band like loyal, long-time friends. Front-woman Chibi engages with the audience, grabbing hands and emoting delightfully vicious facial expressions throughout the night; while the rest of the band also contorts their faces, violently headbangs, pounds on and swings their instruments around. With such a dynamic, The Birthday Massacre is a band that it would feel off to experience with a substantial distance from the stage; so it’s just as well that Pub Rock has no barricade between the crowd and the stage.

The Birthday Massacre - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Nate Manor (Bassist) & Rainbow (Guitarist), The Birthday Massacre
Band Photo Album
Photos by Katherine Amy Vega © Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

The next two songs the band played were “Red Stars” and “Looking Glass”, the first and second singles from their 2007 album, Walking With Strangers. “Red Stars” is a personal favorite due to it’s raging power-chords. Following, were a couple more songs from their new release, “All of Nothing” and “Counterpane”. Then, a few songs from the Superstition album; “Destroyer”, “Divide”, and “Superstition”.

The Birthday Massacre - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Chibi (Vocalist) & Falcore (Guitarist), The Birthday Massacre
Band Photo Album
Photos by Katherine Amy Vega © Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

“Lovers End” from the 2004 Violet album came next, followed by “Happy Birthday” and “Video Kid”. These two songs were originally from 2002’s Nothing and Nowhere, and then appeared again on the Violet album. They next played the new album’s title track “Under Your Spell”, and then “No Tomorrow”.

Owen, The Birthday Massacre - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Owen (Synthesist), The Birthday Massacre
Band Photo Album
Photos by Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

Chibi exudes such confidence and comfort on stage, it is inspirational and it garners respect. Event when forgetting some of the lyrics, she simply burst into laughter, which caused guitarist Rainbow to crack up too. It was very endearing as they continued through the song, unable to hold back more laughter between them. Temporary mic issues didn’t snuff out the fire of her enthusiasm either. During “Lovers End”, Chibi grabbed a fan’s phone that was recording video, and walked around stage singing into it.

The Birthday Massacre setlist Scottsdale
The Birthday Massacre setlist
Pub Rock 6-5-17
(Click to Enlarge)

Continuing to give a full-discography sampler, the next two songs performed were “Leaving Tonight” and “Alibis” from Hide and Seek, which was released in 2012. Lastly, from the 2010 Pins and Needles album, “Pins and Needs” and “In the Dark”.

Almost immediately after the band exited the stage before returning for the encore, the enthusiastic fans started chanting, “Ten more songs! Ten more songs!”. While they didn’t get their 10, they seemed to be satiated with the long set and an intense finale, which included “Blue”, “I Think We’re Alone Now”, and “Broken”.

by Katherine Amy Vega

The Birthday Massacre – Pub Rock 6-5-17

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News & Reviews from the Fiery Mosh Pits of Arizona