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Taking the Show on the Road: Summer Shenanigans 2.2

Summer Shenanigans

If you follow The Spec pretty closely, you’ll remember a little over a month ago when I wrote about the Summer Shenanigans 2.1 party bus to Prescott. The event involved two party buses, five bands and a whole lot of fun in the cool weather up north. Well, they were at it again this past weekend with Summer Shenanigans 2.2! I don’t know about you, but I love getting away from the heat, especially if it’s for a night out in Prescott watching some of the best Phoenix talents tear up a stage on historic Whiskey Row. The bands on the ride were Sasquanaut, Headroom, Banana Gun, Darkness Dear Boy, and Japhy’s Descent.

The bus was scheduled to leave Tempe at approximately 5 p.m. on Saturday evening. Being as it was a party bus and alcohol was the guest of honor, everyone had already had at least two beers before the bus departed.  On the ride up to Prescott, everyone was going around and introducing him or herself and getting to know each other while Pink Floyd played in the background. One of the girls went through and painted one fingernail of everybody on the bus. We soon became a clan with a signature look.

On the way up, there was one stop made in Cordes Junction to get food and take a group picture. Then it was back on the road. We were in Prescott just about an hour later! After unloading, getting pizza and going on a short walk through town, it was time to get the show started.


First on the bill was Sasquanaut, a progressive rock band from Tempe.  This was one of my favorite sets of the evening. It was a great way to start out the long night ahead. Sasquanaut does not have a vocalist, so it was nice and calming to hear the music. For their last song, the band invited Travisfrom Japhy’s Descent up to the stage to sing a song with them. This was a good preview of what was to come later, as Japhy’s Descent was set to close out the show.


Next up was Headroom, a captivating rock band from Phoenix. What caught my attention, before even going on this trip, was a quote on Headroom’s Facebook page about their sound, “…like Led Zeppelin meets Big Wreck and Queens of the Stone Age at 5 a.m. for milkshakes at The Mondrian.” I’d have to say though, this explanation does no justice to the band’s actual sound. Headroom playing after Sasquanaut was a flawless transition. People in the crowd started to move a little bit more, or maybe the alcohol was finally taking effect.

Deon Doughty

After Headroom’s performance, while Banana Gun was setting up, I happened to notice an artist set up on the side of the stage. He was painting a picture, completely freehand, of a man’s face. After introducing myself, I found out his name: Deon Doughty, an artist who paints freehand pictures of the musicians as they play. When we met, he was working on Matt Busch from Sasquanaut. Doughty’s artwork and talent is amazing.

Banana Gun

Banana Gun, a five-piece band from Tempe, followed Headroom. This was an interesting transition, as Banana Gun was a little more quiet. They have a bluesy sound with a saxophone added in the mix. I saw a few people dancing on the floor. And I’m not going to lie, I may have started tapping my foot. That’s a huge deal for me, I barely ever move when listening to music. I like to soak it in and zone out, but Banana Gun was able to grab my attention, keep it, and get me moving.

Darkness Dear Boy & friends

Darkness Dear Boy was second to last, a three-piece punk/reggae band based out of Tempe. As always, from the first minute they started playing, the crowd loved them. It was surely a sight to see; I hadn’t seen that much movement in the venue since we arrived and everyone rushed to the bar to get a drink. There was even a mosh pit going for a few minutes. For their last couple songs, Ted Organ, lead vocalist for DDB, invited the crowd onto the stage to dance and sing along with them. It’s always my least favorite part of the night, when Darkness Dear Boy has to get off stage, but there was still one band to go!

Japhy’s Descent

Japhy’s Descent, an alternative band from Tempe, closed out the show for the night. By this time, it was about 1:30 a.m. and everybody had his or her fill of alcohol, but nobody wanted the show to end. And Japhy’s Descent did a fantastic job of keeping it going. Even after the bar turned the lights on, the band continued to play and people kept dancing. It was an exceptional ending to the night.

At this point, it was unfortunately time to load up the buses and head back home, but nobody left empty handed. Everyone in attendance made new friends or strengthened friendships they already had. Summer Shenanigans wasn’t about the alcohol or the party buses, well at least not entirely. It was about the music, forgetting everything for a little, taking that trip you’ve been talking about and having an amazing time, which is precisely what was done this weekend.



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