Picture this: A sold out room, full of couples and friend groups in their night-out best, swaying to the soulful sounds of Durand Jones & the Indications. It’s not often that a show is a whole Event™, but that was certainly the case with the Cruisin’ Through the Park Tour that stopped by The Van Buren in Phoenix last week.
Special guest La Doña, accompanied by her childhood friends, set the tone with glitter, swagger, and son jarocho. Though she’s based in San Francisco and sings about the city, she was welcomed with open arms by the Arizona crowd who went wild when she “[took] it a little Tex-Mex.” And plenty of members of the audience were cumbia dancing right along with her as she played singles like “Memorias Caramelas” and songs from her Algo Nuevo EP.
The dancing and drinks got attendees plenty warmed up for the headliner, and Durand Jones & the Indications took the stage to thunderous applause. Looking out into the crowd and grinning at each other, the group’s energy was immediately infectious. Everyone was ready to groove.
The setlist was full of the usual suspects, especially the disco-soul tracks from last year’s Private Space, and Durand Jones took turns in the spotlight with vocalist/drummer (what a combo!) Aaron Frazer. Every member had a moment to shine, but the real magic was in the harmonies and the congruous group sound. Even better, they were hyping up La Doña and said they’d only play “Witchoo” if the crowd bought all her merch—she must have sold it all, because that was how they closed out the show.
It truly did feel like a Friday night cruise in a lowrider with the oldies crackling out of the speakers. With good vibes all around, Is It Any Wonder why the place sold out?
Check out all the photos from the show!
Story and photos by Taylor Knauf