Psyko Steve Presents



Mon, October 22, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Rebel Lounge

Phoenix, AZ

$12.00 - $15.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is all ages

The members of Vinyl Theatre know firsthand that music has the power to bring people together because it happened to them. Music is how they met, it’s what they bonded over, and it’s what has transformed their lives. Since officially forming in 2012, the Milwaukee-based quartet has gone from being college students who revered bands like The Killers, Two Door Cinema Club, The Shins, and Death Cab For Cutie to coming into their own as artists themselves, building an impressive following for their buoyant synth-based alternative-pop sound. Vinyl Theatre’s use of social media, including uploading tracks from their independent EP Chromatic one by one over a period of months onto SoundCloud, proved to be a savvy tactical decision.

“Whenever we would tweet that a new song was uploaded to SoundCloud, our fans would play it non-stop, which pushed it to trend on the site,” explains drummer Nick Cesarz. “And once you’re trending, everyone sees it.” That led to attention from venerated indie label Fueled By Ramen (Fun., Young The Giant, Paramore), which signed them and will release their eight-song debut Electrogram later this year. Vinyl Theatre tell the story of having their lives changed through the songs on Electrogram, writing about being so inspired by music that it practically hurts (first single 'Breaking Up My Bones'), finding their passion in life and going after it ('Gold'), and persevering now that they’ve found that passion ('Shine On'). Sonically, the songs pulse with kinetic dance-friendly energy that is informed by their mutual camaraderie and sheer joy in the creative process.

“Our goal as a band is to share this experience,” says singer and guitarist Keegan Calmes. “We want to share what we have. It's hard to share a relationship, but we want to show people our bond, and hopefully they will form that bond with each other as fans and become friends. I met all of these guys through music. It brought us together and we want to do the same for others.”

Vinyl Theatre’s origins are rooted in a seven-year friendship between Calmes and keyboardist Chris Senner, athletes who met at a cross-country track meet during their junior year of high school. Senner approached Calmes, a star runner who would go on to win eight All-Americans and three national titles, and said, “So you’re Muskego’s best runner? I’m going to kick your ass today.” “He’s kind of a jokester and was trying to psych me out,” Calmes says. “I was kind of mad, like ‘Who the hell is this kid?’ and I beat him by two minutes. After the meet, the two got to talking and discovered that they were both were musicians. Calmes began playing guitar at age ten and singing at 15. Senner began taking piano lessons at age eight, eventually spending eight to ten hours a day practicing with the goal of being a classical pianist. It was hearing The Killers’ Hot Fuss that changed everything for them. “That was when I completely fell in love with pop music,” Senner says. “That album was my rock,” Calmes says. “It’s what I return to whenever I want a refresher about the craft of songwriting.”

The first time Calmes and Senner hung out, they wrote two songs right away. “I had never really written with anyone else, and I was kind of guarding all my music like, ‘I don't trust anyone,’ but immediately, the chemistry was there,” Calmes says. “I’m very structured in how I write, but what impressed me about Chris is that he’s kind of off-the-wall. He brought that missing factor for me.” Says Senner: “Keegan is just super-talented when it comes to structuring ideas, writing hooks, and seeing the full picture of a song and what direction it needs to go in.”

To complete the band, Calmes and Senner recruited two friends of Senner’s, his childhood buddy Josh Pothier, who took up the bass in middle school and spent hours jamming with Chris from the age of 12, and Nick Cesarz, who began playing drums in fourth grade. He met Senner in a music theory class. “Nick has always been the prodigy,” Calmes says. “He could have gone on to do anything with music, been a classical percussionist. What I love about him is that he wanted to be in this band.” Says Nick, “I studied percussion performance in college and I got sick of reading notes on a page. It just wasn’t for me. You can only interpret something so many ways. But with these guys, I get to create something.”

Despite the fact that Calmes was attending college in Colorado, the four began exchanging ideas over Skype and practicing whenever Calmes was back in town. “One night after a show, Nick said, ‘I don't think that you should go to school so far away.’ He'd never spoken up like that. And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ And he said, ‘I just think it's foolish. I think that we have something big here.’"

Turns out Cesarz was right. Calmes transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and “that’s how this thing got serious,” he says. Since then, Vinyl Theatre has released two independent EPs, performed many local headlining shows, and supported such national acts as Royal Teeth, Parade of Lights, Five Knives, and twenty-one pilots, whom they got to open for after winning a battle of the bands at Marquette University last year. “After the show, the singer Tyler [Joseph] gave me a big hug, and said, ‘Just keep going, man. Keep doing what you're doing.’ They’re one of my favorite bands, and that meant to the world to me.”

The infectious spirit of that encouragement is something Vinyl Theatre hopes to put out in the world themselves with their music. “Emitting a happy, energetic vibe is so key to us because this is what we love doing, and when we write, that's how we feel,” Pothier says. “And we just want that happiness to spread to other people because we love life and we love doing what we do.”
Originally hailing from New Jersey, and now based in Los Angeles, The Catching features lead singer and bassist Holden Glazer (19), guitarists Jake Farbman (18) and Evan Hemwall (20) and drummer Drew Stevens (20). The pop rock band draws inspiration from Fall Out Boy, Coldplay and Imagine Dragons. Their carefully-crafted style is highlighted by a sonic palette of polished guitar hooks, Holden's rock-based vocal rasp, a driving low end coupled by a booming backbeat.

The members of The Catching met at a young age while performing together in local New Jersey music programs. Quickly realizing they shared amazing chemistry, and a common vision, this group of talented musicians began collaborating on writing original music. Ultimately, The Catching was formed in 2014.

The Catching released their first EP, "Teenage Fiction Part 1," in 2016 and toured extensively throughout the US, gaining a national fan base along the way. They have recently been in the studio writing and recording with Matt Squire, a world-renowned songwriter and producer, who has produced albums by Panic! At The Disco and All Time Low while also writing and producing top 40 hits for One Direction, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, and Selena Gomez. This powerful collaboration resulted in a new wave of songs that showcase The Catching’s sonic diversity.

Already garnering praise in the press, called The Catching one of the "9 Boy Bands that can fill the void of One Direction's Indefinite Hiatus" and Kings of A&R cheered "I was hooked after the first listen."
Alternative Pop band The Ricky Fitts is taking listeners to further heights thanks to their debut album, “The Great Beyond”. Infusing elements of Indie, Pop and Funk, The Ricky Fitts have created a psychedelic wave on their 13-track LP. Already gaining the attention and performing with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Fitz and the Tantrums, The Ricky Fitts are on their way to becoming one of the most sought after bands from the “Valley of the Sun”.
It all began back in 2016 when Matt Brunsvold placed an ad on Craigslist looking for a drummer. The keyboardist who also served as a sound tech for The Lumineers, Regina Spektor and Daughter returned home to be closer to his son in addition to focus on producing and recording. A month and a half later a drummer by the name of Alec Bushman replied to the listing.
“Initially we were doing a Twenty One Pilots type thing,” recalls Brunsvold. “I had some songs from another project so we started to learn those. Alec played drums and I sang while playing keys and bass with a produced track.
From their initial meeting, the two wrote two songs on the spot affirming they were birthing something special. Alec suggested a mutual guitarist friend named Fletcher Milloy join the band to fill their sound out while Brunsvold contacted a vocalist named Elliot James whom he worked on a Rock album with in previous years to join as well.
“Whereas I connected with Alec and Fletcher via the indie world of M83 and Arctic Monkeys, Elliot and I always connected more so with The Weeknd and Prince-like vibes. We were both always studying songs,” says Brunsvold. “Once I had this group of talented players, it only made sense to get Elliot involved to finish what we had started.”
Combining their musical palettes the band was born but without a name. When the group started to compare what films and music help shape their childhood and teenage years, the cult classic “American Beauty” was amongst many of them. One of the characters that resonated with the band was Ricky Fitts, the teenager that quit his job on impulse one day to pursue photography, as well as selling marijuana to Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey). Thus, The Ricky Fitts were born and spent the majority of 2016 working on their debut LP “The Great Beyond”.
Psychedelic guitar riffs, filtered vocals and 80’s driving drums invade listeners’ ears on songs like “Back to the Basics”. “We belong somewhere better than this,” croons Elliot James on “Where To Begin” before the song breaks into a Disco dancing beat lonely hearts will be singing everywhere. Most songs on the album were one takes. single shot. “The Great Beyond” showcases musical minds in the moment creating; mistakes and all are what makes their debut authentic.
“Our sound is unorthodox and a bit all over the place in a good way,” laughs Brunsvold. “We felt we needed to express our vision entirely so everyone could see the big picture like us. That’s why we decided to record a full-length album. We want this project to be a journey, not just another playlist.”
The Ricky Fitts musical journey has only just begun. Their music has been played multiple times on KWSS in Phoenix, 93.3 ALT-AZ, college radio and Fox 10 News. The Alternative band is even playing at the Pot of Gold Festival in Chandler, AZ. With their eyes set on becoming a household name, a quote by Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age helps keep them grounded.
“When you expect anything from music, you expect too much,” states Brunsvold. “That quote has a way of managing expectations for us a bit but also reminds us why we do this in the first place. We’ll never try to think about what “they” want to hear, but instead our focus is on just this, what “we” want to play. Do what makes you happy. Be weird, be yourself, be nice.”
Venue Information:
The Rebel Lounge
2303 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ, 85016