The already blistering Arizona summer heat infiltrated the Nile Theater on Thursday, steaming up the venue for a stacked lineup on the Better Than Ever Tour.
The sold out crowd squished in tight as humidity slicked both bands and fans with sweat and the very real concern of mid-show heatstroke. Everyone made the most of it though, rocking out to opener Mothé’s high energy set. They wished us a very happy belated Pride Month and encouraged the enthusiastic audience to always be themselves- backing up their sentiments with “It’s Ok to Be Lonely”. The bar was set very high with the conclusion of Mothé’s set and really established the tone for the rest of the night.
Indie rock singer Girlhouse took the middle slot, absolutely charming the room from the first notes of “Paul Blart Mall Cop” (there’s irony there somewhere). Armed with her guitar, a stellar backing band and a genuine smile, Lauren Luiz had that audience looking up at the stage with stars in their eyes. “Cool Guy” addressed the problem of sexism in the music industry- to massive shouts of approval from the women in the room- and the set concluded with “Ballcap Szn” which also netted one lucky fan Luiz’s dad hat.
The Nile was boiling at this point and over 600 waters were distributed to fans thanks to the foresight of The Wrecks and their crew. The crowd soon forgot the heat once the band took the stage to run through 90 minutes of fan favorites. “Out of Style” kicked off the night and had the whole room drenched by the end of all the jumping and dancing.
The Wrecks always put on a passionate show and Phoenix received everything they had to give. Midway through, fans were invited onstage to soak the crowd with water guns and one youngster even joined the band on drums for a couple of tracks.
While no one wanted the night to end, the final encore drew to a close and a very damp crowd spilled into the streets of Mesa clutching shirts, setlists and drumsticks, already chattering about the band’s next visit.
Check out all the photos from the sold out show!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel