Writing this review was one of the hardest things to do as I am almost completely speechless. Tuesday night at Rebel Lounge, ears were blessed with the artistry of some of the coolest Phoenix artists.

Celebrating Steen’s album release, the lineup included Jack O.C and the Alien, Schpilt, Bummer Girl, and headlining band Steen.

The range of music was amazing. Jack O.C started the show with his contemporary country-mixed-blues-mixed-pop punk sound. Songs like ‘Empty Whiskey Bottles’ and ‘It’s On Fire’ stick to the roots of country, detailing life experiences and the hardships of being young and alive. There’s also a comedy in his music, however. Whether it’s the sound of a seemingly pop punk song having a country twang, or simply lyrics like “Lippin’ back paddywhack dog in me” that you can’t believe anyone would even think of – his music is not only fun but actually good.

I’m not a huge country fan, but the twist Jack OC puts on it makes me a him fan, for sure.

Schpilt was one of the best bands I’ve ever seen, especially in their genre of music. They describe themselves as psych rock, which I absolutely agree with and would maybe add a hint of shoegaze. Their performance was mind-blowing and enchanting. I was so enamored with the music and felt like I was floating. They have a very dynamic and layered sound that, I personally believe, makes for such an amazing live performance. With their style of music it can be vey easy to fall into a trap of every song sounding the same. They do a perfect job at keeping every song unique while simultaneously having a setlist that feels cohesive.

The lead singer Gabbie has a very distinctive voice and I think she had found the perfect genre for her groovy, 70’s esque vocal tone. The rest of the band plays well off each other and create instrumental backings that bounce with her voice perfectly.

All-in-all they are one of my favorite bands of all time now.

If you are into the Phoenix music scene even a little bit you’ve heard of Bummer Girl. And for very good reason. The music from this band is something totally different from many other Phoenix bands and it’s incredible. I’m not entirely sure how they would classify their sound but it’s not possible to put them in one genre. Their songs rock, that’s for sure. But they also groove and sway and have such a range of genres and sounds that one genre wouldn’t perfectly define them.

Their normal crew wasn’t present at this show. Drummer Devin Dorough wasn’t able to play with them, but that didn’t seem to mess them up at all. Their sit in drummer kept up perfectly and had such a dynamic with bassist Joe and guitarist/lead vocalist that kept the energy up their entire performance. Which, I should also mention, was electric. Talk about a band with stage presence! There wasn’t a single dull moment watching their performance and it perfectly encapsulated how music should feel live.

The beloved Phoenix band also knows how to call out a crowd! Rebel Lounge was filled with fans of the band dancing and thrashing around their entire performance. For a Tuesday night, it was cool to see. I will say I definitely saw a few people leave after their performance which was kinda sad but hey, it was a Tuesday night.

Lastly and certainly not least, headlining band Steen graced the stage with their presence and came out swinging. The show was celebrating the release of their incredible self-titled EP release. Their sound reminds me of the Fleetwood Mac kind of rock – the kind that feels groovy and a bit folk. It was so easy to want to dance during their performance, with every song having a tune that either made you want to jump or swing your hips side-to-side.

The guitarist and lead vocalist Sara Steen had a stage presence that was mesmerizing. She owned the microphone and the space she was given. It was hard to keep your eyes off of her. Her voice has a tonality to it that hugs your ear beautifully. And the band does an amazing job at uplifting that voice with their music.

Even if you know nothing about them, it’s always nice seeing a band that has a deep admiration for each others’ talents. Everyone in Steen genuinely uplifts each other in how they play and it creates a really smooth sound, especially live.

Intervention is definitely my favorite song from the EP. Steen’s voice sounds incredible and the song is lyrically stunning and it’s a perfect middle-energy song. It’s not too hardcore but it’s not super slow and dragged, despite the lyrics normally allowing for that kind of sound.

This lineup was incredible and all meshed really well together. The talent was through the roof, the energy was crazy, and it just reaffirmed that Phoenix has one of the best local music scene’s ever.

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