The first Sunday of September, Gift & Thrift turned Jarrod’s Coffee, Tea, & Gallery into an unlikely venue for local music of every genre. They call this event Serotonin Sunday, and I had the pleasure of attending as an artist, and avid show go-er. On the days in which I have a show I’m playing in I find myself tense and heavy with the weight of my own expectations. However, this wasn’t the case for Sunday.
I don’t know if it had to do with the fact that we were playing in the serene settings of a coffee shop, but upon arrival I found myself feeling exceptionally chill. Unfamiliar with the settled state my stomach was in, but definitely not complaining. There’s always people in Jarrod’s, and Sunday evening wasn’t any different. Whether they were there for the coffee, art, or music didn’t matter. I just liked that immediately we had an audience to play to. I shift my gaze from the folks at Jarrod’s to the stimulating canvases that cover the walls, then to the showcase of handmade jewelry that’s in the center of the shop.
There’s so much to look at.
I’ve only been to Jarrod’s once before and thought I saw everything. I was wrong. While scoping the place out I’m greeted by an employee who lets us know we can start setting up, so we do.
The stage at Jarrod’s was different in the best way possible and perfect for GUSHR. There was less room in the back of the stage, but just enough for a couple of amps and Destin and Em (guitar and bass player for GUSHR). At the front of the stage we have a round platform that sticks out a little more than the rest of the stage. Perfect for drummers who wanna be in front for a change! This satisfied me, and I found myself even more stoked to play our set.
After setting up I ordered myself some coffee and waited for the event to begin. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long at all. Adrian D of Smokey D Palmtree arrived shortly after, and brought a good crowd with him. It wasn’t long before we were all engaged in his music. The combination of Adrian’s alternative rock guitar mixed with jazz beats and lyrics that often flow like rap was enough to have the crowd hooked. But what really made this performance memorable was Smokey’s ability to infuse native American flute throughout his music. It was relaxing, yet energetic. When you can cover Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Sabbath in a way that does the song justice, then that’s it. You’ve nailed your set!
Now it was time for me to try and nail ours! I think this might’ve been the only time I wasn’t nervous before a show. Maybe it was Smokey’s tranquil set, maybe it was Jarrod’s laid back lounge, maybe I took a chill pill and forgot all about it. Either way, I was in fearless mode and ready to go. After a few mic checks and once the guitars were all tuned, we were ready for our first performance at Jarrod’s.
“I’m Neci Nite. On guitar we have Destin Fuller, and on bass we have Em, and we are GUSHR without the E. This first song is called Over It and it’s about how I hate everyone in Phoenix but love the people of Mesa!”
Although it wasn’t our biggest crowd, it was easily one of our favorite performances. Not only did we get through our set with little to no slip ups, but we had some fans come out to see us! The fact that these kids went out of their way to see our set that night blew my mind. How could I not play with pride after that? I like to give every set we play the benefit of the doubt. I believe this was my first time being genuinely happy with our performance as a band. Maybe it was the lack of nerves, or seeing our two fans in the crowd that hyped me up. Either way, our first set at Jarrod’s was a memorable success.
Once I was off stage I fueled up with more coffee and started socializing with the folks who were in the crowd. Our friend Savvy, who is also a tattoo artist and local vendor for Gift & Thrift was there selling her art, as well as a few other vendors. I was able to chat with Jarrod himself about the history of his shop, and was even interviewed by one of the kids who came out to see us!
As the night went on, more and more people showed up to see what Serotonin Sundays have to offer. Next up to take the stage was new wave, dream pop band, Details of Eating.
People gathered around the glass jewelry case in the middle of Jarrod’s as dreamy synth pop filled the house. Immediately I felt as if I time traveled back into the eighties. Transfixed by the melodies, I stood and watched as they managed to hold the attention of the crowd throughout their set. Afterwards, the front man of Details of Eating (who admittedly I didn’t get the name of), generously handed out stickers to everyone in the audience. Ending their awesome set.
The next band to take the stage was Tracers. A lo-fi rock band that got my attention as soon as I heard that guitar tone. Our guitarist Destin had mentioned his liking for the band prior, so I was looking forward to seeing these dudes. They did NOT disappoint. This was exactly the kind of music I was into! Gritty yet light, raw modern rock with just enough melody to stay stuck in your head. Tracers had the crowd on their feet with their phones up recording. There’s a couch in front of the stage at Jarrod’s. This is where I was during their set. I’m not sure what their second to last song was called, but the notes in my phone say the guitar solo on that track was face melting! I found a new favorite band that night.
Bringing the night to an end was indie rock, retro pop duo, Blu Joy. These guys were the perfect band to close out. Every riff was an indefinite ear worm. Every song had the audience boppin’ their heads and singing along., One particular track had everyone (myself included) singing “doot doot do do doot” and clapping along. At one point, one of the members hopped on a house piano that Jarrod’s had. The crowd loved this, and almost every phone went up to record the epic moment.
Every time I think I’ve found my new favorite local band, Gift & Thrift throws another event that leaves me thinking otherwise. With that being said, Serotonin Sunday at Jarrod’s was not only a pleasure to play, but to attend as an avid show go-er as well.