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The Garden at the Van Buren

Lineup: Shattered Faith, Deli Girls, Show Me the Body, The Garden

Venue: The Van Buren

Date: October 25, 2023


Overview:

October 25th was one strange night in Phoenix: The Garden performed the show of a lifetime. The art punk, experimental band from Orange County is one of my favorite artists, and I am so grateful that I was able to see them live twice this year. The energy in the venue was unmatched to any other concert I've been to, and I wish there were more artists that had fans as dedicated as The Garden's. The majority of the crowd had jester makeup to mirror the band's, making the venue feel united and comfortable to be themselves. Everyone shouted the lyrics, helped people who crowd surfed, and pulled people up when they fell down in the pit with smiles on their faces. As of now, I patiently wait for The Garden's return to Arizona to relive that night over and over.


Openers:

This was my first show with three openers, and I had mixed feelings about the choice of openers. Shattered Faith came out first in skeleton makeup which was perfect for Halloween. My friend described them as "The Grateful Dead if they were punk", and I couldn't agree more. The crowd was still getting warmed up, and they provided a classic-punk sound to do just that. I personally won't add any songs to my playlist, but I appreciated their song about Ronald Reagan's death?

On a negative note, Deli Girls will never gain a stream from me. I really liked the person who was DJing because it was a mixture of breakcore, jungle, and electro, so no complaints towards them. However, the person singing was not for me. I listen to jungle and music with screaming so I thought I would enjoy, but everything that exited their mouth was intelligible. That was okay, I suppose, until they began moaning and frantically laughing? I was so confused all I could do was freeze. It was like 5 minutes of that. If you're into that, bang my line I want to make sure everything is good at home.

Lastly, Show Me the Body was my favorite out of the three. I believe they had toured with The Garden in the past, and they understood the assignment: to bring up the energy. I once again didn't know any songs of theirs, but their stage presence made up for it. Pits began to open, people crowd surfed above me, and everyone was moving around and cheering. My favorite part was the lead singer using some sort of electric banjo to make punk music. I've never seen or heard that before, but it was incredible.


Main Act:

I'll keep it short and sweet: The Garden was outstanding. Their energy was so high the entire time which was impressive considering they never took a break. They played one song after another, and surprisingly threw in a couple deep-cuts. They rarely do that, so the crowd erupted when some rarities got played. The setlist was perfectly balanced, and I had a great time even if I didn't recognize every song.

My experience may be different than others because I pushed myself up towards the front, and by the time I came out of the crowd I was drenched in sweat and most of my face paint has been rubbed off. It was a full cardio workout. Anyways, I really want the footage from this person who filmed the whole set on their DS.


Closing:

The Garden hasn't returned to Tucson in a couple years due to them growing in size, but it seems they make a pit stop in Phoenix each year. Since their solo projects also tour in Arizona, it seems a majority of their fanbase lives in Phoenix or Tucson. With that said, their shows are always high energy with a crowd that loves to be there time and time again. Give them a shot next time they come to a city near you!

Reviewer: Elizabeth McCluskey

Date of Review: October 30, 2023


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