Over a year into this global pandemic and live music is slowly coming alive again. With restrictions lifted in Arizona, local legends Anarbor brought the socially-distanced party to Scottsdale on Saturday to celebrate the upcoming release of their brand new Tangerine EP.
Show-starved fans were on the edge of their seats as The Irie took the stage, warming up the good vibes to start the night. Their blend of ska and reggae moved the room and trumpeter/multi-instrumentalist Danny Torgersen snagged the spotlight with his energy and skills. The band’s original tunes were stellar, but it was their vibey cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” that stole the show.
Anarbor has been in the game for a long time and Saturday’s show was tangible proof of their longevity. Singer Slade Echeverria’s voice has not lost a step in the many years of the band’s existence while guitarist Danny Stravers held down the riffs and the backup vocals. The duo was joined by drummer Kyle Rodgers bashing away at the back.
The trio ran through a solid setlist, including new songs and plenty of old favorites. Where there was room, the crowd was on their feet for “Dopamine” and “Gypsy Woman”. The audience also got a taste of “Tangerine” and sang along to “Brightest Green”.
Anarbor had their TikTok moment recently as well, mentioning the app challenge that went viral before launching into the heavily nostalgic “18”. They closed things out with “Let the Games Begin” and it really felt like things returning to normal, even if just for a moment.
A live show happening in a venue and not being streamed through a computer screen was surreal and completely typical all at once. Emotions ran high and the joy was present on the faces of both band and fans. This feeling of camaraderie is one that so many of us have sorely missed over the last year and here’s hoping that this is the beginning of our return to regularly scheduled gigs.
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel