The first show of a tour is always so special — and when it’s also the first show of the new year, it’s even better. Artists and fans alike are re-energized after the holiday break, the venues are sparkling clean (or as close to it as they get), and everything just feels fresh. Yes? Yes.
Such was the vibe on Tuesday night for Jagwar Twin, Diva Bleach, and Trubbleboy at downtown Phoenix’s Valley Bar where friends and fans congregated in the basement to kick off the 2023 show season. “Friends” is key here, as at least half the crowd knew the locals personally and could sing along with most of the opening sets. The music scene in the Valley is alive and well, and it’s in good hands.
That energy of pure support carried over to the main event, and Jagwar Twin emerged amid cheers and plenty of phones ready to capture the moment. “I Like to Party” set the tone, and Roy English’s dance moves instantly brought smiles to everyone’s faces. Again, it’s that first-night-of-tour magic remembering how fun it is.
Jagwar Twin had planned an 11-song set with favorites like “Loser” and “Long Time Coming” and newer tracks from last year’s 33, but intervention from the crowd prompted some extras. After 10 songs, English was stunned to learn there was only one left to play — but it was still so early in the night. So, he and the band freestyled a new song, “Tomorrow,” and previewed another (legitimate) song that’s in the works. I’d say more, but we verbally agreed to an NDA, so…
Wrapping up with “Happy Face,” Jagwar Twin left the crowd still wanting more, but until next time, the promise of new music (planned and freestyled) will have to be enough.
Check out all the photos from the show!
Story and photos by Taylor Knauf