•    .:Tucson:. – a tale of music and mayhem   

    It’s a continuous debate as to what is causing the rift between Phoenix and Tucson on so many levels. Skateboarding and music are two of the scenes I generally subscribe to, so they are the only ones I can even logically start to form an opinion on. I don’t have it completely pinned as of yet, but I did come to a few new revelations about the city¬† some 100 miles to our south on a recent visit.

    It had been some time since the last time I had made the trek. From the best I can remember, I was then following music, as we were again this trip to see O’Death. A bluegrass-y / hardcore punk¬† group from New York. The rift in music was evident here as O’Death, among many other groups, were making a stop in Tucson before completely bypassing the rest of Arizona and heading into California on a northern west coast tour. Seeing that this was the case, we decided it would be worth heading down, and on a Monday. Plus, we could kill some time checking out the local skatepark that we’d heard so much about. This is were the second rift comes in. Tucson, the second largest major city in Arizona, has two (2) skateparks. Here in Phoenix, within a 20 mile radius, we have close to twenty (20). This is not a debate about which parks are better than which, or what city is better than the other for skating, or any of that. It’s simply pointing out how unbalanced it all seems.

    Chuck had never been to Tucson in the 7 years he’s lived in the Valley. I told him that it would be like a trip to Bizarre-O World and that we may even encounter our Doppelganger. Meaning, Tucson is definitely a city where your evil twin may be living. At least don’t completely discount it, because that’s when it’ll happen. When you’ve least expected it.

    We really had little to no agenda as we pulled into town around noon other than trying to get a hotel room relatively close to the venue, as stumbling drunk was eminent. The Hotel Congress is so centrally located, that it didn’t make sense to try and get a room anywhere else. Lucky us! There just happened to be one room left. But, it was directly above their club, where Monday night is 80′s Dance Party! Made no difference to us, as we figured we’d probably be out until the party was over anyhow. The sign showing $1-You-call-it for the dance party, made the idea of the whole thing so much more tolerable.

    After an unnecessary amount of time and problems with the check-in, and a few cocktails at the bar, we got into our room. Nice one too. Looking down onto Congress Ave at the marquee of The Rialto Theater. EOTO was in town there. I had forgotten about that after seeing them the night before in Tempe.

    We headed out to Santa Rita skatepark to check out “the giant egg bowl” which happens to be just a few back streets from downtown. Easy enough to find, but in what looks to be a fairly sketchy piece of town. Definitely would feel a little uneasy after dark there if someone came walking up to me. We really weren’t feeling the vibe of the park too much. Could have had something to do with the two kids smoking their tweeker-pipe as we pulled up. Either way, we really just wanted to get in a couple of turns in the bowls before a total meltdown from dealing with the hotel staff. No pics or video of skateboarding came from the trip as were probably only spent about an hour trying to find our lines through the three bowls. Maybe next time.

    We headed back into town and got burgers at Lindy’s on 4th. Pretty damn good burgers too. A solid foundation for what would be a heavy night of boozing.

    Back to the hotel to get ready for the evening. Then to the hotel bar (again) for a few more cocktails a-la pre-gaming. Good conversation with the bartender about the show we were about to see and of Eddie Spaghetti of the Supersuckers who had supposedly played a solo acoustic set a few days prior on the patio of the hotel. Really cool. Eddie is a Tucson local, or was.

    On to the show. O’death was not the headliner of the show and I’m not certain why not. The headliner was billed as The Strange Boys. We stayed for about three songs into their set when we realized they were not for us. Throw a bluegrass / punk band in the middle of two hipster-indie groups and call it a show I guess. We did meet a few cool people though at the bar who happened to also be from the Tempe area and who were also staying at the same hotel as us. O’death was amazing though. I made sure to tell the guys in the group that the next time they come through Arizona, make at least a stop in Tempe. We rocked out to their short set from right up front. I got at least one good picture and made a recording of two of their songs. One new from their soon-to-be-release 4th album “Outside” called Black Dress. I also have video, but for some reason my camera is displaying the video upside down, so I’ve stripped the audio tracks and have them posted below.

    O’Death – Fire On Peshtigo (live 2011-03-21)
    O’Death – Black Dress (live 2011-03-21)

    The O’Death set was over and done well before we wanted it to be and the drinks up to that point were starting to take hold when we stumbled out of the venue and back towards the hotel. As we turned the corner onto Congress I remember seeing the marquee with EOTO on it. I told Chuck that we should try and get in for 2-for-1. The guy at the door let us both in for $5 a piece. Not bad after paying $18 the night before in Tempe. Again, a fairly empty auditorium. We went right up front.

     

     

     

     

     

    After EOTO we stumbled across to the street to the 80′s Dance Party. This is where the night starts to become super hazy for me. The only few things I remember were $1 Whiskey rocks, and security not kicking us out. The next was waking up in bed.

    All in all, a good trip. Odd, but good. My post on Facebook when I got home went something along the lines of “Not in jail, not dead, but definitely not going back to Tucson anytime in the near future.”. That pretty much sums it up. Thanks to O’Death, EOTO, Hotel Congress staff, Plush, and Rialto Theater for not feeding us to ravenous hounds.

    Write a comment