Photos: Pablo Vigueras
If you haven’t been paying attention to Arizona hardcore, then you’re fuckin’ up. That’s putting a not too fine a point on it, either. Over the last few years, bands from across the Grand Canyon state have been cropping up triumphant like a Saguaro cactus on a barren hill. There’s life welling beneath the dead earth and it quakes and shudders under its own heaviness. This past September, a new institution came together to celebrate the unique scene at hand and along the West Coast with the aptly-titled and inaugural Desert Dweller Fest. An idea forged simply out of love for their scene, Tucson’s own Matt Marcum-Ugalde, Valentine Mortensen, Cord Boyd and Oscar Hernandez brought together a collection of Arizona’s hardest, most respected bands in two nights to be remembered.
Held at the Global Justice Monitor, the first night featured Penalty Box, Sore, Chaos Ladder, Runaround, Blackened, Soul Power, Drug Control and Sex Prisoner. Complete with a guest appearance from a Donald Trump piñata, the night’s turnout was enthusiastic, managing to fill a considerable amount of the spacious Global Justice Monitor. With a portion of the proceeds going to fund DACA, the night was Arizona’s and it was declared with pride, wrath and conviction, but my words can only do so much honesty, see the photos courtesy of the talented Pablo Vigueras below. Included are images of the Fest’s pre-show featuring Freedom of Choice, Wise, Dare, Ugly and Blank Look.