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Artists I Think Everyone Should See Live



George Clanton

Genre: Electronic, Vaporwave

Now, George Clanton might honestly be my favorite artist to see live. The first time I saw him was in 2019, opening for Beach Fossils, right after he broke his leg stage diving at a previous show. Despite using a wheelchair, he put on an unforgettable show, and I was absolutely hooked from that point on. 


George Clanton has such an infectious and entertaining stage presence. Out of the four times I have been to one of his concerts, there is always something new to add to the list of things I have personally experienced from him, including but not limited to pouring water on my head, taking my phone and recording on it, singing to me, and me helping him crowd surf by lifting his leg. When I saw him perform on the week of my birthday this past October, I posted about the occasion on my Instagram and even got a comment from the man himself, “Happy birthday girl,” which always makes me laugh when I remember it. I seriously do not know another artist who interacts with the crowd as much. Combined with his iconic lighting setup, which I believe he programs himself, George creates an unreal stage presence and vibe that can’t be beaten, and everyone in the crowd is always moving and entranced. 


George Clanton seems to always be on tour, so keep an eye out the next time he has a date in Arizona because you WON’T want to miss it!


Favorite Live Songs:

Warmspot

Livin’ Loose

Make it Forever



STRFKR

Genre: Indie Electronic

I saw STRFKR for the first time in 2018 at the second show I have ever been to. Since then, I have seen them six times (and I just bought tickets to see them for my 7th and 8th times; more on that later). Since that concert in 2018, I have been to every show they have announced in Arizona and even traveled to Detroit, Michigan, to catch them live, too. Needless to say, I am a big STRFKR fan.


I may be biased because STRFKR’s music means so much to me, and I love every release they have put out. Their stage presence is not anything to write home about; they mainly stick to playing their instruments in their designated spots. However, lighting, visuals, confetti, and astronaut dancers combined with their electrifying electronic sound create an incredible atmosphere. I have taken friends who do not know their songs well to their concerts and they still have an amazing time. After every show, I am slightly sore from all my dancing. STRFKR might be the band I recommend to people the most.


STRFKR’s new album. Parallel Realms, comes out on March 1, 2024. Along with the release of Parallel Realms, STRFKR is heading across the US with Ruth Radlet. Catch STRFKR at the Rialto Theater here in Tucson on April 7, 2024. If you can’t get enough of STRFKR and are still in Arizona, they will also perform on August 8, 2024, at The Van Buren in Phoenix. I will see you at both shows!


(Side note, Guitarist and Keyboardist Ari Jalali is actually from Tucson, and I met and talked to him at Time Market on University last summer.)


Favorite Live Songs:

Open Your Eyes

Mystery Cloud

Pop Song



COIN

Genre: Indie Rock, Pop

I love COIN. It is as simple as that. I have seen them perform live in Phoenix, Seattle, and recently here in Tucson at DUSK Music Festival. I constantly crave a COIN concert whenever I am not at one of their shows, and I will admit that I always get sad rewatching my concert videos from their shows.


COIN’s songs are the perfect songs to experience live. Everything about their shows just put me in a good mood, and that sure is amplified by the bubbly and fun indie tunes that fill the room. I am not joking when I say I have gotten goosebumps every time I have seen them live. I love that they can switch from energetic to slower songs like Let It All Out (10:05) and Malibu 1992 without creating a weird shift during their performance. COIN seems to bounce off the crowd’s high energy and create a memorable show for everyone. COIN’s lead singer, Chase, always runs around the stage, hops down to the crowd, and embodies each song he performs live. I cannot describe enough how amazing COIN is live.


COIN has been teasing their next full-length studio album to be released sometime this year. I am sure they will go on tour after the release, and you bet I will be there!


(I also have to give them a shout-out because their merchandise is always really cute, and I am constantly buying something at a show or online on their website.)


Favorite Live Songs:

Valentine

Into My Arms

Growing Pains



Honorable Mention: Frost Children

Genre: Dance, Electronic, Hyperpop

I was lucky to finally see Frost Children live when they opened for George Clanton in October 2023. As a Frost Children fan for almost two years, I was maybe more excited to see this sibling duo perform. Starting the set off with FLATLINE confirmed the vibe I expected early on. Immediately, I was jumping, dancing, and singing along. I also swear that Angel pointed at me with her guitar during multiple songs during their set. They put on a high energy and fun show that had me fiending to see them live again immediately. So naturally, I bought tickets to see them open for Dorian Electra’s Phoenix show at the end of February. I cannot wait to see them perform again, even if they are not headlining.  


Favorite Live Songs:

FOX BOP

FLATLINE

SERPENT



Honorable Mention: Phoenix

Genre: Alternative, Rock, Indie

Phoenix had always been a bucket list concert for me. It would probably be criminal if I did not include them on this list, especially because I saw them three times in one year AND traveled to California for two of those shows. I have seen them perform in 1,200-capacity, 6,000-capacity, and 18,000-capacity venues, and at every show, they still give an amazing performance. The intimate 1,200-capacity show was at The Majestic Ventura Theater in Ventura, California, and it was an amazing experience to be close to the stage and take in the music. However, I also really loved the 6,000-capacity show at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California, and the 18,000-capacity show at the Footprint Center in Phoenix because of the amazing visuals behind them on screen. The lighting and videos were different for every song and helped visualize the songs much better. Phoenix is a great band to see live, and I hope to see them back in Arizona soon. 


Favorite Live Songs:

Lisztomania

Entertainment

1901




All photos taken by me at various concerts.

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