Your Guide to Viva PHX 2017


Your Guide to Viva PHX 2017

by COTMA Staff

Viva PHX is often considered Arizona’s own little South by Southwest, and with dozens of bands spread out over 20 venues, it’s easy to see why. The one night event showcases a full spectrum of genres in venues from an old Masonic temple to the 5,000-person-capacity Comerica Theatre all throughout downtown Phoenix. No matter which street you turn down, there is something to see. It’s a lot to take in, we know.

No idea where to start? Here are a few acts you won’t want to miss.



DJ Michael Hooker at Bar Smith rooftop party

DJ Michael Hooker at Boiler Room – 10:30 PM

‘Deep melodic house music’ is how local DJ Michael Hooker describes his style. Hooker brings an innovative, new-age United Kingdom style to the desert of Phoenix, Arizona and is popular in the underground electronic scene around the downtown area. The heavy basslines and soft repetitive rhythms will bring the vibe to anywhere the music is played. There is no venue better fit than an actual basement boiler room deep underground. This music will gently grab ahold of you and not let go until the smooth cadence ceases. Be sure to check out Michael Hooker at VIVA PHX this Saturday night at the boiler room. —Hayden Hall



The Mowgli’s ask themselves, “Where’d Your Weekend Go?” (Photo by Morgan Demeter)

The Mowgli’s at Comerica Theatre – 7:30 PM

The Mowgli’s just can’t stay away from Arizona. The southern California six-piece has dropped by at least once a year since 2013 and has grown up before our very eyes. From the wide-eyed sunshine indie pop of debut album Waiting for the Dawn to the restlessness and more intense rock & roll of Kids in Love and last year’s Where’d Your Weekend Go? the group has maintained a fierce sense of optimism and stubborn hope for humankind. Their secret? Love. Love all people all the time: they insist it’s simple, it’s easy. —Taylor Gilliam


The Maine will release ‘Lovely Little Lonely’ on April 7th.

The Maine at Comerica Theatre – 9:45 PM

Hometown heroes The Maine headline the fourth annual Viva PHX festival this year for the very first time. The Tempe five-piece alternative rock outfit is currently gearing up for their Lovely Little Lonely World Tour and the release of their sixth studio album of the same name, out April 7. Whether it’s playing the hits from their pop punk days (leaving you overcome with a wave of nostalgia) or being speechless from the guitar solos that are more than just rock and roll, the crowd will leave satisfied. Their last hometown show was their 10-year anniversary show not even two months ago, and judging from what they brought to the stage that night, their set is one you definitely don’t want to miss. —Deanna Romani



The Shacks focus on raw honesty in the age of synthetic sounds. Photo by Leon Michels.

The Shacks at Last Exit Live – 10:00 PM

NYC duo The Shacks (twenty-somethings Max Shrager and Shannon Wise) are returning to the honesty of music with one-take recordings and dreamy, untouched vocals. With influences of old school rock and songwriting that captures the enormity of navigating youth, The Shacks have created a pure sound that is years ahead of the curve while also encompassing the aesthetics of decades past.  —Taylor Gilliam



Joyce Manor. Photo by Laura Partain for SPIN.

Joyce Manor at 2nd Ave. Stage at Crescent – 10:00 PM

Stress is a killer, so it’s up to us to defend ourselves. Legends speak of those who have combated stress and won, and those combatants have spoken about myths that they themselves have used to defend against it, and of those myths, science has backed up only three that this…can really help with. Those three options are to; Workout, yell, and/or mosh away those bad vibes while in your room alone. And with these songs, you can do all three. —David Aguero


Need a better idea of what these acts are like live?