311 E. Congress St.
Tucson, AZ, 85701
Doors 8:00 PM (event ends at 11:00 PM)
This event is 18 and over
It's hard to say exactly when it happened.
It could've been during one of the 100+ shows STRFKR played over the past two years—ecstatic sold-out dance parties that started in tiny, sweaty rooms before word of mouth spread and forced a move to larger (and even sweatier) venues.
It might've been when touring guitarist Patrick Morris officially became a full-time member in late 2011, rounding out a line-up that included multi-instrumentalists Josh Hodges, Shawn Glassford, and Keil Corcoran.
Most likely, though, there wasn't a single defining moment when the change occurred. With evolution there rarely is.
Instead, progression happens naturally and steadily—each step leading inevitably to the next until you reach a point when you realize how far you've come without even being fully aware of how you got there.
In early 2012, during a rare break in the group's touring schedule, Hodges retreated to secluded Astoria, Oregon. But this time, rather than completely isolating himself to work on new material (as had always been the case in the past), Hodges invited the other members to visit often and truly collaborate in the process of writing STRFKR's third full-length, Miracle Mile.
And so it was that STRFKR became a band.
As a result, whether participating in all-night lyric writing sessions, fleshing out song skeletons originally conceived during European soundchecks ("Malmo") and long van rides ("Leave It All Behind"), or completing half-finished ideas kicking around Hodges' brain and hard drive, there isn't a single song on Miracle Mile that every member of STRFKR didn't contribute to and ultimately improve.
For proof, look no further than first single and opening track "While I'm Alive," a song that bursts out of the gate with what can only be described as swagger. Not overconfidence or false bravado, but the undeniable sound of a band that knows exactly who they are: swirling keyboards that take you up, down, and all around, rhythmic guitars, irresistible basslines, and drums that keep an unrelenting beat.
Disco-y standout "Atlantis" is the paragon of this formula, with vocal and musical hooks seemingly custom fitted to a spot so deep inside your eardrums they'll never dislodge.
But upbeat isn't Miracle Mile's only tempo.
In fact, it's in quieter moments like "Isea," which briefly slows down the album's pulse with gentle "oh-oh-ohs" over acoustic guitar, that the record truly coalesces as a complete whole that couldn't have come together any other way.
Just like STRFKR.
In 2007, longtime best friends Rocky Tinder and Eric Phipps moved to Portland, Oregon and decided to start a band. With all the buoyancy and idealism of youth (being fresh out of high school at the time), and stimulated by the massive amount of creative output surrounding them in their new city, they sketched out a vision for a massive friend band - the possibility of getting every single one of their buds on stage and creating a monumental live show. Yet both boys have discerning taste, having backgrounds in music theory from a tender age, and questioned the logistics of a chaotic set-up. Moreover, they were enamored of the freedom that local dance music outfits had with their compact set-ups, allowing these acts to show up and throw down anywhere. Accordingly, they tweaked their vision and decided to just do it themselves. Armed with two guitars and an iPod filled with their meticulously prerecorded beats, bass lines, and bells, they became Wampire – two boys on a mission to have as much fun being a dance-rock duo as 20 people combined. Now, 3 years later, with the new addition of drummer Cyrus Lampton for extra beats and extra smiles, it is very safe to say that Wampire have succeeded: this band is epically, epically fun. Whether rocking out in the dark of a nightclub, with Flashdance projected behind them from out of Tinder's gold-painted VCR, or stripping down to their skivvies during an afternoon parking lot performance, Wampire is a sight to behold. They're certainly not taking themselves too seriously, but one can say a lot more than that about their live show. Their easy chemistry and inexhaustible joviality is totally infectious – you're powerless to resist the dance floor when they take the stage.