Authority ZeroThe First Annual Mesa Music Festival
By Sally A. Schwartz

An action packed weekend was coming up here in the Phoenix, Arizona area. I had so many choices, but the final decision was easy. The Mesa Music Festival was being held Nov. 13-15, along with a after-parties hosted by 910 Live an “outdoor” venue which located just down the road in the city of Tempe.

I spent all day Saturday, enjoying the downtown area of Mesa catching bands such as The Doll Skins, Razer, End of an Era and Authority Zero. They held carnage on its main stage off of Main and MacDonald and were not a disappointment to the crowd.

Doll Skins, an all-female punk band, reminded me much of The Runaways, who spawned musicians Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie. The young ladies of Doll Skins range in age from 15-19 and are managed by David Ellefson (Megadeath). They are local to the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas.

Razer (Not to be confused with the Canadian thrash metal outfit Razor), a Phoenix classic rock band, has been in the local scene for some time now and have been gathering a huge following.  They rocked the stage and did not disappoint the audience. 

End of an Era a band out of Seaside Heights, New Jersey specializing in alternative rock, headed into the evening hours definitely rocking the audience. I thought I could hear some Nine Inch Nails influences during this set.

Ending the day's festivities was Authority Zero. This local punk band is nationally acclaimed and took the crowd by storm. The band came a long way from its roots, taking on major tours as support and finally as a main act band, before giving the First Annual Mesa Music Festival the Saturday night ending for which it was hoping.

The energy on the main stage for the day flowed over into many of the local music stages set up throughout downtown Mesa. One place that I enjoyed was Saltmine Recording Studios, located off of MacDonald and 1st Avenue. Here I caught Arizona bands such as Painting Fences, Commission28, Murrieta, and Stereo Rex. The Saltmine stage lighting was as equally professional as the main stage and earns well-deserved kudos.

Doll SkinzI also had the chance to pop into Asylum,  the local record store on Main Street, and Backstage Attire, which hosted such bands as Almost Awake, Westerner and 72names.

The 1st Annual Mesa Music Festival has great potential to grow as did SXSW, in Austin, TX. For example, although to I was able to cover the length of Main Street, I wasn’t able to catch everything. With that said there is one thing I would suggest for next year-- have some kind of sign to indicate where public restrooms are. Shop owners, cafés, and food establishments had made it known that restrooms were for customer use only and as this festival grows the need for public restrooms will surely need to be more clearly marked.

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