It’s that time of year again…we’re looking back on all the awesome concerts we got to see in 2018! Not only do we see great shows year-round on our own stage, but our staff also tries to see as many awesome shows around town (and the country) as we can. Here are our Top Ten Shows We Saw In 2018!
Stephen Chilton (aka Psyko Steve)
(in chronological order)
January 27th – Phoenix Rock Lottery – Crescent Ballroom
I always say this is one of my favorite shows of the year. Really highlights the best of what a local music community should be. And the fact that you will never see these bands again, makes it special.
March 14th – Quiet Slang – St. David’s Church (SXSW)
This was the first “Quiet Slang” set ever, the orchestral / striped down version of Bech Slang. While it was for sure very raw, it was also really exciting. Was neat to be able to catch this show.
May 10th – Hot Snakes – Crescent Ballroom
3rd time bringing them to Phoenix. Show was great as always. The only thing that would have made this better, is if it wasn’t on the same day we had Sparta at Rebel, wish I could have seen both.
June 18th – The Get Up Kids – Crescent Ballroom
The Get Up Kids are one of my favorite bands ever. It has been such an honor to do their shows when they come to Phoenix now. They are as good now as they have ever been.
June 25th – The Regrettes – The Rebel Lounge
This band is growing so fast for such a young band. Both in how good they are and how large the crowds are becoming. Watch out for them. Going to be great.
August 3rd – Frank Turner / Lucero – Red Rocks
This was my first trip ever to Red Rocks. What an amazing venue. And I can’t think of a better show to be the first I saw there. We brought this tour to Phoenix a few weeks before, that was also a great show and would have made this list had I not got to see it at Red Rocks. Frank is always one of my favorite artists to watch (and sing along too). Lucero closed which meant they got to play a lot more old songs than they did in Phoenix.
September 9th – Bishop Briggs – The Van Buren // Jade Bird – Valley Bar
I am going to cheat a bit here. We had two great shows the same night and I managed to catch all of both headliners (for once timing worked out in my favor). First we had Bishop Briggs at the Van Buren. Bishop is great. A true star. She is going to be massive some day soon. Then I was able to run over and get to Valley Bar just in time for Jade Bird to start. I saw her twice at SXSW and knew I had to help bring her to Phoenix.
October 5th – The Front Bottoms – The Van Buren
Been working with these guys for a few years now. Always stoked to get them back to town. Every show is better than the last.
November 8th – Mistski – Crescent Ballroom
WOW! Mitski is so great and charming live. Her new records is easily one of the best records of the year (Pitchfork even named it their #1 record of the year).
December 15th – TID the Season with Every Time I Die – Buffalo Riverworks
After doing 2 shows for ETID on their 20 year anniversary tour I decided I had to go out to see one of their legendary home town holiday shows. What an event. Got to hang with ETID while they were curling, got to see Andy wrestle, saw Turnstile and Menzingers again, saw Bouncing Souls for the first time in a while, saw Snapcase for the first time in close to 20 years (???) and watched a sold out theatre go nuts for Every Time I Die. Great holiday show.
(in no particular order)
May 1st – Fu Manchu & Mos Generator – The Rebel Lounge
December 11th – Koo Koo Kanga Roo – The Rebel Lounge
November 21st – Black Bottom Lighters – The Rebel Lounge
December 7th – The Hourglass Cats – The Rebel Lounge
March 5th – Jared & The Mill – The Rebel Lounge
April 6th – Playboy Manbaby – The Rebel Lounge
May 5th – Hogjaw – The Rebel Lounge
August 5th – Shooter Jennings – The Rebel Lounge
July 5th – Twin Ponies – The Rebel Lounge
September 8th – Celebration Guns & Bear Ghost – The Rebel Lounge
Jeff Taylor (Marketing / Assistant Talent Buyer)
(in chronological order)
March 10 – Flying Burrito Fest – Crescent Ballroom
The inaugural Flying Burrito Fest was a blast. The stage I helped run was under the Sun Devil Auto garage next to Crescent, which was fun – and that stage had a ton of great artists on it, including Palm and The Buttertones. I also got to run around and see US Girls, Porches and a few others on the other stages. Awesome day.
May 2 – The Garden – The Rebel Lounge
The Garden seriously might be the most fun band I’ve ever seen live. This was the first time I saw them this year, and the show was sold out at Rebel, which made it even more fun. This one had a fun lineup, including Tijuana Panthers, Cowgirl Clue, and Wyatt & Fletcher’s dad’s band Shattered Faith. So cool. Most fog I’ve ever seen in our building, hands down.
June 19 – Men I Trust – Pub Rock
Men I Trust was probably my favorite discovery of 2018. If you haven’t heard this band yet, you’re seriously missing out. So calm, yet so groovy. Got to see them a couple times this year (and they’re already coming back in March!), but seeing them for the first time this summer was my fav.
July 6 – The Sidekicks / The Spirit Of The Beehive – The Rebel Lounge
I got super into The Sidekicks right before this show, so it was awesome to hear their new album live – but the real highlight of this show for me was finally seeing The Spirit Of The Beehive live. They’ve been to town a few times but I’ve always missed out – and I’ve listened to them in the past but it never really clicked til I saw them live. Totally a magical experience. Ended up being my most listened-to artist this year.
September 13 – Miniature Tigers – The Rebel Lounge
Miniature Tigers played Tell It To The Volcano (an all time fav of mine) tunes I haven’t heard live since high school! I love this album and it’s always great to see them play, but this one was an extra fun occasion.
September 24 – Mimicking Birds – Valley Bar
I love Mimicking Birds so much – they’re a band I try my hardest to never miss when they come to AZ. It has been great to see them in a bunch of different venues, and it was awesome to see them at a seated show at Valley Bar this time around.
October 3 – Japanese Breakfast / Ought – The Nile
It was awesome to see Ought live twice this year – their latest record is phenomenal, and this show was a killer pairing. Japanese Breakfast is always great live.
November 6 – Khruangbin – The Van Buren
Very cool to see Khruangbin getting bigger the last year or so – they played an excellent show at The Van Buren, as was expected. One of the coolest bands around right now.
November 12 – Mac DeMarco (solo) – Punk Rock Alley
Wasn’t sure how much I would really enjoy seeing Mac play solo after seeing the full band a bunch of times over the years – but this show was GREAT. He’s such a great entertainer – the whole show was funny, charming, and it was cool getting to experience it outdoors in the Punk Rock Alley. Plus we managed to grab an awesome spot on a balcony before the show with a great view.
December 15 & 16 – Duster – Baby’s All Right (Brooklyn, NY)
Ended the year with an amazing pair of shows. I’ve been listening to Duster for like half my life, but in mid-December they played their first shows in 18 years. I’ve been looking forward to seeing them forever, but had come to terms with the fact I probably never would. Once they announced dates in New York, I wanted so badly to make it out there. It was really great getting to see them in a tiny (great) room two nights in a row, with good friends each night. Weird set lists, but each show was perfect.
Honorable mentions: Phoenix Rock Lottery at Crescent Ballroom, H09909 at The Pressroom, Hovvdy at The Rebel Lounge, B Boys at Valley Bar, Maps & Atlases at The Rebel Lounge, Snail Mail at Pub Rock, Kneebody at Valley Bar, Tera Melos at Marquee Theater
Devan Hash (Marketing / Admin)
(in chronological order)
February 15th – Dizzy Wright – Velvet Underground, Toronto ON
This was my 2nd time in Canada on tour with Dizzy Wright. It was such a cool show that night, you could really tell that the fans were just engaged and excited to be there! After we loaded out we walked up the street to Bovine Sex Club (it’s just a bar, I swear) and caught a local Canadian Punk Rock show and played pinball!
March 13th – Comrades – The Rebel Lounge
This two piece band from Colorado was so rad and loud! Their guitarist sat at the merch table making jewelry and knitting hats during the openers. It was such a great side hustle that I couldn’t stop myself; I bought a necklace.
April 20th – Amigo The Devil – The Nile Coffee Shop
I’ve seen Amigo like 7 or 8 times now. It’s always a fun sing-a-long time, because Amigo The Devil fans are hardcore! The Coffee Shop at The Nile Theatre was so intimate, the whole crowd walked out at the end of the night feeling like best friends at a house show.
May 5th – Sabroso Festival – Rillito Park, Tucson AZ
There was craft beer and tacos, plus The Offspring, Pennywise, The Vandlas, Lit, Unwritten Law and Los Kung Fu Monkeys. Do I really need to say more?!
July 2nd – The Supervillains – The Rebel Lounge
I toured with The Supervillains summer 2017 and I was so excited to have my friends back in town. The Villains always put on a great show, they’re a bunch of goofballs, so you never really ever know what’s going to happen on or off stage.
August 1st – Together Pangea – The Rebel Lounge
I didn’t know anything about Together Pangea, until I was there working a show, but these guys were great! So great, in fact, that I’ve spent the rest of the year following them and totally recommend their newest release ‘Non Stop Paranoia’.
August 16th & 18th – Mouse Powell – Club Congress, Tucson AZ / Crescent Ballroom
Mouse and I have done a lot of shows together and I always have a blast when he lets me put my Tour Manager hat back on for a day or two. Beleganas played the Crescent Ballroom show and blew my mind!
September 29th – Moodie Black / Coolzey / Snailmate – 51 West
I’ve been friends with Moodie Black and Coolzey for a number of years now, and have been to countless shows but every time I see Moodie Black it’s a really special experience. You’ll never see another act that’s quite so raw and outspoken – and in my opinion the GOAT of the noise rap game (don’t even come at me with “but Deathgrips” until you wrap your head around Moodie Black)
November 17th – Why? – 191 Toole, Tucson AZ
I LOVE Yoni Wolf. I LOVE WHY?! Getting to hear them play their entire album ‘Alopecia’ was such a treat. It’s been really fun to see their fan base grow over the years…I remember seeing Yoni Wolf play in front of like 20 people 5 or 6 years ago and this night was a packed house!
December 3rd – Red Fang – The Rebel Lounge
Red Fang just rocks. I’ve seen them 5 or 6 times now, and they’re still great.
Shannon Harden (Graphic Designer)
(in chronological order)
January 25 – Mary Lambert & Mal Blum – The Rebel Lounge
Me and the bartender spent the entire show arguing over who got to marry Mal Blum. After her set Mal and I briefly chatted about The Mountain Goats, so I think I won that battle? Mal, if you’re reading this, hit me up. ;-*
March 9 – Jawbreaker with Waxahatchee – Hollywood Palladium (Los Angeles, CA)
Do I really even need to say anything about this? Like, if you know, you know. Some friends and I drove to LA for my birthday to see Jawbreaker (whom I love but NEVER expected to get a chance to see live) and Waxahatchee (whom I’ve been in love with since she was in P.S. Eliot and seen live here in Phoenix several times). Katie came out and sang guest vocals for part of Jawbreaker’s set and I just about died–and, had I literally died, I would have died happy.
April 14 – Kate Nash – Crescent Ballroom
The first time I saw Kate Nash, it was a few years back at a Zia Records for an acoustic performance before her actual show that night, which had sold out a few days prior and which I did not manage to acquire tickets to in time. I chatted with her after the set, and she put me on her guest list, cementing her in my brain as an actual literal angel. This year, I bought my ticket way in advance, and had zero regrets. Take my money, you beautiful angel.
June 3 – Alex Lahey – The Rebel Lounge
This is the only show I have ever taken a set list from. Said set list is hanging on my kitchen wall, and I look at it every day before leaving the house. Wholesome and inspirational.
June 5 – Speedy Ortiz – The Rebel Lounge
I followed lead singer Sadie Dupuis on Twitter long before I ever even knew she was in a band, because she’s funny as shit. Turns out her band is also incredible. This show was my second time seeing them, and it was just as good as the first, if not better.
September 11 – The Mountain Goats – Crescent Ballroom
The Mountain Goats are my second favorite band of all time, and also my top played artist on Spotify this year. I’ve seen them live several times over the years, but the addition of Matt Douglas to their lineup (bringing’ the hoooorns) is incredible and really brought the live show to the next level. Plus, they played a bunch of deep cuts that I never expected to hear live, and I ran into my estranged little brother who I hadn’t seen in five years on the patio and we reconnected. What a strange, great show.
September 13 – Miniature Tigers – The Rebel Lounge
This was the 10 year anniversary celebration of Miniature Tigers’ album Tell It To The Volcano. I know literally every single word to that album. While I was at the show, my coworker made a joke that he had never seen me this hyped for anything, and he was correct. The 19 year old inside my heart was screaming the whole time (well…the 29 year old on the outside was too, to be fair.)
October 4 – The Blow – Valley Bar
If you’ve never seen The Blow live, you’re missing a life-changingly weird experience. Like seriously, this band puts on the strangest, most intimate, unsettlingly personal show I have ever seen. I don’t even go to The Blow’s shows for the music at this point—I go because sometimes you need to get really fucking weird.
October 16 – Screaming Females – The Trunk Space
Remember how I said The Mountain Goats are my second favorite band of all time? Screaming Females are the band that bumped them out of the top spot. Every single song on my top ten most played tracks this year was from their new album, because I think I’ve listened to it on repeat for an entire week straight at this point. I am usually a “watch the show from the back of the bar” type person. I was in the pit for this show. It doesn’t matter how many times I see these guys play, it will never be enough. I would pay to see them every single night of my life if I could, and that STILL might not be good enough. I hope they come back soon.
November 4 – Rubblebucket – Crescent Ballroom
No one ever understands what I’m trying to say when I say this band’s name, and I end up repeating it four times and then just spelling it out for them. Don’t care. This was the first time I’d gotten to see them live after being a fan for years, and it did not disappoint. At one point, a friend of mine showed up, saw me dancing in the back of the room, and physically picked me up and dragged me into the middle of the dance floor. I thanked him for doing so afterward, because being in the middle of that crowd was a mind-altering, heart-melting experience. If there are any deities out there in the world, may they bless all the members of Rubblebucket with long lives and great happiness—they deserve it.
Gren Radcliff (Sound Engineer at The Rebel Lounge)
(Top 3 in order, Bottom 7 tied for best shows- they were all so good!)
November 8th – Rubblebucket – Crescent Ballroom
Wow! I went to this show on a friend’s suggestion and was blown away. Just a hell of a show I would tell everyone to see next chance they get.
February 28th – Mac Sabbath, Galactic Empire & Minibosses – The Rebel Lounge
All the costumed rock glory shoved into one night!
October 28th – Dance with the Dead & Daniel Deluxe – The Rebel Lounge
2 of my favorite synthwave artists performing at the Rebel. Perfect!
January 12th – TV Girl – The Rebel Lounge
I wasn’t too familiar with them before, but now they’re a favorite. Locals Electrisad and A Cloud For Climbing filled the night with emotion.
February 6th – Coppe – The Rebel Lounge
The experimental electronic artist from Japan was assisted by local mastermind Terminal 11 to create an epic experience.
May 2nd – The Garden w/ Tijuana Panthers – The Rebel Lounge
They packed the house and blew the roof off!
May 21st – Godspeed You Black Emporer – The Van Buren
Visuals by 4 old school projectors with handmade film loops. Don’t eat the brown acid before this one.
June 28th – The Bittersweet Way w/ TOSO, Post Hoc & Dadadoh – Crescent Ballroom
An amazing night of local talent.
September 21st – Holy Fawn w/ This Patch of Sky – The Rebel Lounge
Such a night of pretty loud noises.
September 28th – OhGr – Club Red
The lead singer of Skinny Puppy is one of the greatest weirdo performer. The included magic tricks and a puppet show.
Danielle Gojkovich (Bartender & Box Office at The Rebel Lounge)
(In chronological order)
February 18th – The Dangerous Summer w/ Microwave, The Band Camino – The Rebel Lounge
The Dangerous Summer dropped one of my all time favorite albums of 2018, so this definitely made onto the list of my top Rebel shows of the year.
February 24th – Ron Pope w/ The National Parks, The Heart Of – The Van BurenApril 6th – Movements with Can’t Swim, Gleemer, Super Whatevr – The Nile Underground
May 28th – Hawthorne Heights w/ Listener, Hotel Books, Sienna Skies, Heavy Things – The Rebel Lounge
May 31st – Hungover, The Weekend Classic, AKID, The Waits – Black Forge Coffee House, Pittsburgh PA
Ended up in Pittsburgh for the night and was trying to find something to do. Pulled up Bandsintown and decided to make a 40 minute drive to a coffee shop at the top of a hill. It was the day Ticketfly went down, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only person that purchased a ticket online – in a room of 8 people total (local band’s moms and dads). Hungover still owned the room just like it was sold out.
June 28th – Vans Warped Tour with Movements, Grayscale, Issues, The Used, and more
July 10th – Hawthorne Heights with Baseline, Outsiders, Negative Thirty Two – Flagstaff’s Green Room, Flagstaff AZ
September 2nd – Queen + Adam Lambert – Park Theater, Las Vegas NV
The best show I’ll probably ever see in my lifetime.
November 30th – The Story So Far with Turnover, Citizen, Movements – Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ
December 2nd – Silverstein with Hawthorne Heights, As Cities Burn, Capstan – Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ
Kaelen Murray (Box Office & Intern at The Rebel Lounge)
(In top 10 order)
10/9 – Counterparts – Club Red
9/14 – Foxing – The Rebel Lounge
9/26 – Tigers Jaw – The Rebel Lounge
3/5 – Movements – Vera Project, Seattle WA
4/22 – Turnstile/Touché Amoré – The Rock, Tucson AZ
11/30 – Citizen – Marquee Theatre
10/20 – Like Pacific – The Nile Underground
8/15 – Super Whatevr – The Rebel Lounge
11/17 – Microwave – The Nile
3/19 – Knocked Loose – The Nile