In their typical style, California rock band Mom Jeans rolled into Phoenix and promptly sold out their appearance at Crescent Ballroom on Sunday. Atlas arrived in time for the final two acts, which were enough to move the room into a teeming mass of humanity.
We got there just in time for direct support act Mover Shaker. The Michigan quartet experienced a few technical difficulties during soundcheck, but didn’t let that stop them from jumping right into a set that felt like a sprint.
The packed underage section of the audience started moshing from the first riff, their tiny circle pit straining the edges of the section’s barricades. To put it simply, Mover Shaker is just a lot of fun. They’re loud and wild in their music, but it’s clear that they can shred. Lead singer Jack Parsons was also vocal between songs, standing in solidarity with the LGBT community, particularly those that identify as transgender.
The set came to a premature end with an untimely loss of equipment function – “I broke my amp, but it was sick!” – so the band coaxed one more song as Parsons kicked off the last tune with a rousing shout of “Long live the gays!”
Few bands bring different types of people together like Mom Jeans. Kids up past their school night bedtimes squished into the cordoned off underage section, while older fans milled around by the bar as they waited for the headlining set. No one waited long- the band took the stage with little fanfare and huge applause.
Similar to Mover Shaker, the mosh pit started immediately. Crowdsurfers surged towards the stage again and again, doing the most to get closer to the band. Mom Jeans ran through a mix of songs from their 2016 record, Best Buds, as well as 2018’s Puppy Love.
“This one is about driving through Fresno in a car that doesn’t have any air conditioning and trying to watch Grey’s Anatomy on your phone and it doesn’t work,” deadpanned singer Eric Butler. The band kept this theme all night, each song about a specific moment in their respective histories.
Mom Jeans dropped a rowdy new song on the crowd, who responded by dancing and shoving with gusto. Things really went wild when Butler pulled out the trombone, adding a brand new element to the band. Between songs, the guys told dad jokes, eliciting laughs and plenty of groans from the crowd.
Mom Jeans kept their set short and sweet, coming back for a single song encore that still had the mosh pit roiling. It was a entertaining night of rowdy pop punk, and it’s almost certain that we’ll find Mom Jeans in a much bigger venue on their next trip to Arizona.
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel