The Band Camino is your new favorite band and this is not up for debate. The Memphis quartet rolled into a sold out Phoenix show at The Van Buren to win the hearts of a packed room on Wednesday.
Toronto indie rockers Valley were the only support for this tour, and it quickly became clear that no one else was needed. The band’s infectious personalities drew out the best of the already crowded room, as many attendees sang along to tracks from their latest album, Maybe.
Singer Rob Laska had all eyes on him as he owned the stage, riffing off of bandmates Michael Brandolino and Alex Dimauro while drummer Karah James held the steady backbone of the set. Valley’s vibe is akin to that of Hippo Campus and their lyrics have clearly already impacted the fans, many of whom decked themselves out in custom Maybe jackets and color coordinated outfits. The band expressed their profound gratitude to “the best band in the world” for taking them on tour, as the room exploded with cheers for both groups on the bill. They closed with “Park Bench” to adoring exclamations from the starstruck audience.
There aren’t enough words to describe the feeling of watching a band on the verge of explosion, but being in the room to watch it happen is an experience like no other. In the span of two short years, Atlas has watched as The Band Camino have gone from opening for The Dangerous Summer to sold out basement shows to the madness of Arizona’s best mid-sized venue. While the stages have gotten bigger and the lighting has gotten more blinding, the band has not forgotten how to really let loose and enjoy the ride.
They prefaced their set with a full playthrough of Raffi’s “Bananaphone”, an earworm that surely had the boys giggling backstage as the crowd bopped along. The lights went down and the vibes went all the way up for “Break Me” and “See Through”. The love in the room was already real, but fans knowing all the words continues to adorably surprise The Band Camino. Dual vocalists Spencer Stewart and Jeffery Jordan were on fire, trading lines in perfect harmony throughout the set. Bassist Graham Rowell and drummer Garrison Burgess held down the rhythm section, drawing plenty of cheers of their own.
The group added to their catalog this year with the release of their debut album tryhard, and the addition of these stellar songs only made the show that much better. Of course, older tracks like “2/14” and “I Spend Too Much Time in My Room” were already staples and fan favorites. Fans danced till they dropped for “Farsighted” and “Hush Hush” before the band closed the main set with “Haunted”.
Naturally, they couldn’t stay away long, coming right back out to deafening screams for a three-song encore of “The Black and White”, “What I Want” and hit single “Daphne Blue”. The room was an explosion of singing and shouting as the evening ended with fans spilling out into the Phoenix streets, sweaty and elated from the experience that is The Band Camino.
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel