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Show Review: Badflower returns to AZ better than ever for packed show

If you’re looking for one of the best live bands in music right now, look no further than Badflower. After two years off the road and with a new album under their belt, the screwball rock band brought their latest tour to the Nile Theater and gave us the energy we’ve been so desperately missing. 

Badflower besties Dead Poet Society opened the evening and gave us a taste of what the rest of the show would feel like with their killer jams. We’ve seen this tour combination before and returning fans were excited to go hard to tracks from DPS’ latest releases. 

Teenage Wrist is another underrated band that deserves way more recognition- especially on their live show. The quartet has been consistently releasing new music and finally had a chance to debut it before a crowd on this tour. While the energy flagged a little towards the back of the room, Teenage Wrist still put everything they had into their performance and won more than a few hearts by the end of their set. 

With their blinding lights and robotic Siri-esque intro to get the crowd pumped up, Badflower finally took the stage to huge cheers and a room ready to sing along to some new music. Most of the set was dedicated to the band’s pandemic album, This is How the World Ends, and the debut was everything we could have hoped for. “Don’t Hate Me” and “Johnny Wants to Fight” riled up the room and the band couldn’t get enough. 

Not to worry, they put in plenty of favorites from their first album- “Heroin” and “The Jester” being notable inclusions to a stacked setlist. They closed things out with “Ghost” before coming back one last time for “My Funeral”. The vibes have gotten even more existential with the band’s new record, but in such strange times, we’ve needed these songs more than ever. Despite everything, the joy at being back onstage was evident and singer Josh Katz took every opportunity to dive headlong into the audience to be even closer to the fans. As always, their return to Arizona can’t come a moment too soon.

Check out all the photos from the show!

Story and photos by Olivia Khiel