No matter where you live, once you start seeing a lot of live music, you recognize the promoters and how each one sticks to a niche genre. In Phoenix, that means you’re expecting EDM whenever you see that Relentless Beats is advertising a show. You’re not expecting a surf pop/garage rock band.
But that was exactly what the crowd at Valley Bar on Saturday night was greeted by: Nashville-based *repeat repeat. Married duo Jared and Kristyn Corder took us back to 60s-era West Coast with a setlist from last fall’s Floral Canyon and other tunes from the past few years of their musical career together.
It’s a match made in heaven, though wholly unexpected. Jared grew up listening to Black Flag and Bad Religion, while Kristyn preferred The Beach Boys and The Mamas & the Papas. The result is self-described “sweet punk,” a blend of hard and soft.
On stage, Jared’s confidence is evident, and his edgy punk background complements Kristyn’s quieter nature. He bounces around the stage — “I keep thinking I’m going to trip over my amp,” he said — while she provides melodic harmonies that maximize the size of their sound despite their small setup.
Those who arrived early were treated to Jared’s headbanging (people were either smiling or looked alarmed) and full on pull-ups during “Everybody’s Falling in Love.” It wasn’t the party that the ravers were looking for, but it was a spectacle nonetheless. *repeat repeat have embraced the carefree, fun-loving attitude that comes with not caring about what people think; they’re just here to have a good time.
By the end of the set, the crowd was erupting in cheers that echoed around the underground venue, and the tone had been set for headliner Peking Duk to keep the uptempo in motion.
The Australian DJ duo brought a full stage of instruments and rotating guest vocalists to recreate their electro-house originals, covers, and remixes that made the space feel downright groovy. Arms waved in the air as people moved with the music that jumped from synth-based to the Duk’s own version of “Seven Nation Army.”
Soon, we felt like we were in a sauna, and even Adam Hyde on stage kept making comments about how sweaty he was. Sure enough, he was positively glistening once he took off his shirt. (But as they described it on Instagram, it’s a “sweat u won’t regret.”)
Still, though, the pair showed off their synchronized dancing and interacted with the crowd. We were directed into a synchronized jump, and there was a concerning amount of shoulder riding during “Let You Down,” during which I was sure someone was going to smack their head on Valley Bar’s low ceiling.
But no moment compared to the energy during “Fire” when you could actually hear everyone holding their breath before the beat dropped, an outburst of sparkling melody that shows how far this duo has come since their first project, a 2012 Passion Pit bootleg.
The night spanned a multitude of genres, but the party never stopped. And what more can you ask for on a Saturday night?