The opening act for Thursday’s musical lineup at the Rhythm Room, in Phoenix, was a musician playing an acoustic guitar and singing by himself. I was busy surveying the atmosphere and did not catch his name. Grey-haired and bandana-clad, the man on stage strummed along , playing his original works and engaging the small crowd that was cloistered in the room. The full bar was separated from the main performance area and there were people lining the edges of the walls watching silently in a collective hipster grimace. The vibe of the place was rather pleasant and quiet, mostly comprised of people ages twenty-eight and up with varying tastes in fashion and personal style. It was very dark inside with only the bar light and the pink and teal spotlights that illuminated the platform where the musicians stood.
I ordered a Desert Dream IPA and positioned myself right beneath the stage-which was not difficult to do: the actual stage was only a few feet from the ground. The nameless musician sang and played for twenty minutes and filled the space with soothing acoustic music that was so pleasant that it coaxed my eyes to shut within minutes… but in a good way. His sound was reminiscent of Donovan but the style was more strained, as he enunciated his words with an awkward twang at the end of each syllable.
Next up for the night was the foursome Biologia (biology in Spanish); I swear I was staring at a Freddy Mercury reincarnate when the guitarist/vocalist stepped on stage with a bright orange t-shirt and prominent facial hair (practically a handlebar mustache). Although an odd group, the band possessed a surprising amount of cohesion and energy, mostly due to the guitarists’ infectious dancing, gesticulating and thrashing, his lithe and excited movements matched the pulse of the music. The stony-faced bassist strummed along without so much as a twitch and the front woman sang with a gusto that could crumble buildings. Biologia could be described as funk rock, like Parliament Funkadelic meets the Red Hot Chili Peppers– all dance and groove with a little more punk-rock grit. You would have to be comatose to not nod your head to the beat. After their lively set of seven songs that they streamed through a white Macbook, they exited the stage to make for the next band, Tierra Del Fuego. (Sand of Fire)
The clock read 10:45 p.m. when they stepped to the stage, with their brilliant cherry-red drum set and matching red guitar. These guys had style, which was apparent through their lyricism which touched on familiar topics such as drug use and heartbreak; and their raw emotional delivery inspired the audience to clap along to songs from their upcoming LP and loudly applaud at the finish of each tune. Tierra Del Fuego reminded me of alternative music mixed with a pinch of reggae, they certainly had perfected their unique sound that stood out on its own, practically incomparable to anything I have heard recently. With a two song encore, the band dispersed from the main stage after praising the next band that had yet to appear, but was scheduled for 11:30 p.m. By then I decided to exit and head home, with intention to return next weekend. The Rhythm Room is a comfortable, inviting space that features amazing bands and just might be my newest favorite spot to enjoy live music out in downtown Phoenix.
For additional photos of the event (in HQ):