The feeling of missing out is a lousy one to say the least. We’ve all felt the regret and envy veer in our veins as we scroll through social media and come across the post. Ya know, the one about that insane party or show we should’ve been at, but instead have to live vicariously through Instagram stories or reels? Footage is great for looking back on things, but to be able to say “I was there!” is arguably a lot better. Which is why I strongly suggest attending the events thrown by Gift & Thrift.
Most recently I found myself at the HANDSXFEET show which was just this past Thursday at The Nile Underground. From the moment I arrived I was greeted by one of the band members in Earamore, a Paramore cover band that would later go on to not only impress me, but a floor filling crowd as well. As I walked down the iconic stairs of the Underground, I was enveloped by the wonderful sound of Wallace Hound, who already had the crowd singing and swaying to the music. Their set left me in awe, and I was quickly introduced to my new favorite band!
There’s an area in the Underground next to the bar where all the bands showcase their merchandise. This is where I was in between sets. Each band had a variety of merch they had to offer. From shirts, to stickers, to buttons, and pins. I found myself wanting it all!
As the evening progressed, I guess you could say it turned into a reunion of some sorts for me. I met up with some friends, who I actually met at the Underground, about ten years ago!
I’ve never time traveled, but if I did, I’m sure it would feel a lot like that moment.
The crowd settled and the lights dimmed, Earamore took the stage, as well as everyone’s attention. The energy that they brought took everybody by storm! There wasn’t a single person who wasn’t singing along or dancing to frontwoman Shannon's voice. It was the closest I will ever be to seeing Paramore in their Riot! era, and it was an incredible experience!
Up next, the one and only MattstaGraham and his Mattsaband, who brought everyone closer to the stage for a high energy intimate set. You may know Matt from his hit song on TikTok, ‘Gotta Be Productive’
As we stood around the stage, a single note rang out and a stillness spread over the crowd, which was growing with anticipation. As the song continued it grew louder, and everyone sang along and moved to the music. MattstaGraham came all the way from Tucson, AZ to get the crowd ready for the next band that really took my breath away, Young Misery.
What really set Young Misery apart from the other bands was the way they set up before their performance. Bringing a banner onto the stage with their name helped me recognize who they were and showed me they meant business! Frontman Nick Baldenegro put on one hell of a performance and even dressed the part for the first couple of songs. Wearing a dark hooded almost cloak like jacket with the lights turned down brought a certain ambiance into the room. The cloak came off, the energy shifted, and it was time to party!
Young Misery went on to play a couple of songs from their new EP, For Better or Worse which I highly suggest you check out.
Last, but definitely not least we had HANDSXFEET with two surprise special guests (me being the first)! I was invited on stage to share a couple of poems about trauma and healing under the moniker, yesterdayssoup__. The support and encouragement I felt as someone who was a surprise performance was simply amazing. Gift & Thrift has always made me feel welcome and included within the music scene and community they are building despite my physical limitations, and I am beyond grateful.
Now it was time for HANDSXFEET to take the stage and share with us his powerful words. Wearing a Jason mask to really set the tone and mood. The Underground was filled with people from different backgrounds, ages, and abilities, but Anthony’s music was what brought us all together, to relate and know that in this moment we could let out our feelings. Next Niño Rizado was brought on stage to share a song about love and heartbreak. I personally related and felt touched by the lyrics and beautiful voice that came out of this amazing human who took us all by surprise.
HANDSXFEET closed his set by letting us all know that he is thankful for each and every one of us and he is a safe space to come to if we are ever in need.
Overall, it was an amazing, inclusive, and welcoming event for everyone involved. If you have not been to an event hosted by Gift & Thrift I highly urge you to participate. You will be welcomed with open arms and be blown away by the talent that the local Arizona music scene has to offer you. From poets, to singers, and songwriters, to cover bands, and rappers. We have it all here in this desert oasis, and we would love for you to be part of it.
Thank you to Brian for the rad photos! brianbutonline