Fans of Ayokay gathered for a night out on October 11, 2019 with great food, drinks and live music at perhaps the valley’s most intimate venue Crescent Ballroom located in downtown Phoenix. Keeping with my routine of arriving early when attending a show, I had a fulfilling dinner from their home made tex-mex style menu. I definitely recommend the flavorful salsa, readily available at the table in squeeze bottles. With a stylish atmosphere and friendly staff, the Crescent Ballroom is a go to spot for a night out to experience dinner and a show, or even a romantic evening out on the town. Starting the night off was Rx Soul, a local band from Phoenix. Kicking the set off with “Keep Us Alive” and “No Better”, Matt Kahler (lead vocals) has a way of captivating his audience with his range of soulful notes and charismatic hair flips. Actually, Kahler does carry quite a catchy sound as heard in his third and fourth songs “Sea Change” and “Never Gonna Come Down”. A natural with exceptional stage presence, it is obvious the frontman is comfortable on the stage performing songs that he wrote, mixed and produced. Joining the set was bassist Daniel Vogt and drummer Devon Quartullo playing over rx Soul’s mixed tracks giving us an eight song setlist to steadily raise the audience’s heart beat. With the venue not at full capacity, a lot of people gathered in the under 21 section were particularly having a good time to the alternative pop/R&B mixes. After ending the set with “Shangri-La” and handshakes to the crowd, comments were made by a group of girls stating “if Of Monsters and Men and Bruno Mars had a little baby, it would be Rx Soul.” To hear more Rx Soul, you can follow on facebook, instagram and youtube.
The crowd showed non stop excitement for ‘one man with his guitar’ performance by Wingtip (Nick Perloff-Giles). The quickly rising pop star/DJ opened his set with newly released single “Heartworks” following with last year’s release of “Use Your Words” and “Pavement” (2018). Energy is flowing between Wingtip frontman and the crowd as he has everyone’s arms in the air swaying side to side. Perloff acknowledges the segregation of underage party goers in a separate section, chuckling at how that particular side is interestingly packed to a corner of the stage. The underage group light up Wingtip with their cell phone flashlights as he performs “Song For Julia” before the remaining crowd followed suit. Nick let Phoenix know this has been his favorite show so far on the tour. Everyone is having a good time with energy flowing between the crowd and this one man with his guitar. Nick moves back and forth between his guitar and a small keyboard to song “Happiness” with the entire audience dancing and singing along before ending with “Take Me With You”. Wingtip finalizes the nine song set with small jumps on the stage and holding his guitar high up in the air to honor his victorious show.
After a 30 minute intermission to breakdown Wingtip and Rx Soul’s equipment, fans are excited as indie-electronic producer Ayokay (Alex O’Neill) approaches the stage in his We Come Alive tour. Expanding his production by bringing in a band to amplify his signature live set up standing behind a 3 piece keyboard and backlit by lights, Ayokay plays his new track “Things Fall Apart”. O’Neill follows with acknowledging Rx Soul and Wingtip, and letting Phoenix know that Wingtip left the stage saying “this was his best show ever”, and thanks the crowd. With a few outbursts of “take off your shirt” from the crowd, Ayokay gives a little giggle and continues his set with “Swing Swing/Sleepyhead”, “California Will Never Rest” and “Cassette”. Fans are going crazy to see the rising artist work his magic live, creating an environment of dancing and singing along with more songs and mixes such as “You Think too Much”, “You’re Not Here/Stay With Me”. At one point most of the lights were turned off and everyone had their cell phones out to light up the stage. Fans enjoyed “Ocean Front/The Shine” and sang along with “Queen”. O’Neill mentions how “Move On” is now the fourth time being performed and the audience cheers to be among the first to hear the new track. Continuing with “Wasted Touch/Dear Luca”, O’Neill ends the set with another new track “Sleeping Next To You” with the crowd non stop dancing and singing along to a cover of MGMT “Kids”. The band exits the stage with the crowd rumbling for an encore, and Ayokay grants the wish with “Sleepless Nights” and the popular “Kings Of Summer” -a track featuring his childhood friend and frequent collaborator Quinn XCII, which has now surpassed 100 million streams. There is no doubt that with Ayokay’s consistent sound he will only continue to rise.
Phoenix thanks all three bands for a spectacular night and impeccable performances.