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Show Review: The Rocket Summer delivers passionate performance in Phoenix

For his first headlining tour in almost two years, Bryce Avary pulled out all the stops. The Rocket Summer returned to Arizona for the tour kickoff in support of Avary’s newest album, Sweet Shivers, and the fans gave him a welcome back to remember.

Local indie group Stox provided ample opening support for the night. The five-piece combined dual vocals and instrumental effects for a fun and dancey sound. Their slow jam cover of Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams” was unexpected in the best way, getting the crowd moving and ready for the rest of the night.

The stage was set for Avary’s entrance, the fan’s upturned faces ready for the magic of the evening. The multi-instrumentalist added plenty of his new material into the set and the crowd already knew every word. Avary began on his signature piano, starting the set with “Slomo” to set the tone for the show. 

The energy picked right back up for the rest of the set, with Avary’s backing band jamming with him to older tunes like “Tell Me Something Good” and “Break It Out”. Between songs, dedicated fans press closer to The Rebel Lounge’s intimate stage, shouting song requests and declarations of love to a grateful Avary. He thanked the audience repeatedly for continuing to come to the shows, even waiting two long years for new music and touring this time around. 

The band played even more new music, adding “Peace Signs”, “Blankets” and newest fan-favorite “Gardens” into the set. As always, Avary took some time to jam out solo, looping instrumental and vocal effects for a fresh version of “Never Knew”, and jumping into the crowd to play several songs acoustic with his fans. He also had a killer battle with his drummer, the two going head to head in creating the best drum solo of the night. He closed the main portion of the set with a stunning and impassioned sing-along to “So, In This Hour”.

Avary didn’t keep the crowd in suspense long, returning to play the fan request part of the show. “Around the Clock” was shouted from all corners of the room, adding a lovely element of nostalgia to the show. As always, the show came to an end far too soon, with TRS concluding with “Hills and Valleys”. 

Avary and co. always deliver a concert full of love, passion and genuine connection with the fans. The audience at The Rebel Lounge was overtaken with the pure joy that comes from seeing The Rocket Summer play. We laughed, several cried and we shared a moment that was everything that we hoped for and everything that we dreamed. 

Check out photos from the show!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel