Corey Gloden’s birthday bash at The Rebel Lounge was bound to be Do Not Miss show. The billing was just too good to miss. I arrived early, excited to take in each act as they took the stage. Every band brought their A-game: Radio Blonde started things off with a swanky show of style and personality, The Runner Up introduced us to some new faces, and then Harper & the Moths brought in the Retro vibe like an asteroid from the 80s and absolutely rocked the house.
The nearly sold out Rebel Lounge was electric with the pulse of a really great show and a fantastic party. My anticipation for Ali A & the Agency was at an all-time high. I have seen the band perform several times after first seeing them at Apache Lake Music Festival 2018. Each time was like watching a diamond being chiseled into a perfect gem. “Man I am stoked to see you play tonight!” I said to Ali as she came in between bands. “Oh yeah, why’s that?” she asked. “Because I have seen the way you feed off a room girl, and this room isn’t ready for this.” She smiled, and turned away. I think maybe she was disguising a blush, but I wouldn’t dare give myself that much credit.
But as Phoenix music staple super fan David Picciandra wrote on one of my Facebook updates, “You captured the best ten minutes in Rock n Roll so far in 2020.” Yeah folks…. they were that good.
We have all heard the adage, don’t judge a book by its cover. This is true in almost all cases, but perhaps especially so for Ali A & the Agency. Everything about this band is unassuming. They are humble. They are friendly. Travis looks like your best friend from college on his way to a comic book festival. Pedro, who had already played a full set with Radio Blonde with a shot back, hobbled onto stage where they set him up with a chair. Dude was a trooper, playing through excruciating pain. Nothing hurts like your back being out! Several new players, at least since the last time I saw the band, took their positions, and Ali came in with her sneaks, scarf, and perfect round shades. Her curly afro was bound by a bright headband. The crowd started to pay attention as Travis started noodling around on the guitar, and the melody of a birthday song started to take shape, and all of a sudden Ali A & the Agency had taken control of the room.
Now, I admit, I cheated, and I knew what was coming. I snuck towards the middle of the bar, close to the sound booth. I wanted to get the clearest sound, away from the monitors. And even though I knew, I was not expecting what happened on Friday night at The Rebel Lounge.
Ali A & the Agency will be performing again, with Jane n the Jungle, Radio Blonde, Sophie Dorsten and others at this Spring’s KWSS Fundraiser. Dani Cutler has been bringing the local magic for 13 YEARS !!!! And on Friday the 13th of March…. YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS SHOW !!! GET YOUR TIX !!! Do not miss this LUCKY 13 SHOW !!!
Ali A & The Agency
1. What three local bands in town are people not paying enough attention to besides yours?
Ali A: The Woodworks are a power trio with some fantastic songs that could really put some dents in the existing mold of current “rock” music that is being played. Plus I am a sucker for female-fronted bands and adore Solo. WHSTLE because I like the work ethic, the stage presence and I am a fan of their lead singer Saydi. Hyperbella is starting to get good attention but there’s no such thing as too much attention as a group. And Carly is team natural, but they slay on stage.
2. Where do you shop for stage clothes?
Ali A: I focus on the three S’s – Shades/Scarfs/Sneakers. I thrift them. I Goodwill them. I’ve had fans gift them. If the scenario calls for it with a time crunch I’ll Amazon Prime them.
3. Have you ever met Bubba? Explain.
Ali A: I have met Bubba. I want to say the first time I met Bubba was when AAA played an Open Mic either at Yucca Tap Room or Shady Park. He’s seen everyone. He knows everyone. The stories are legendary. His energy is infectious.
4. What other bands do you play in around town, if any?
Ali A: Travis plays in Chrome Rhino. Pedro plays in Dadadoh and Radio Blonde. Recently Jeff Jones has also joined us on sax, and he also plays with Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra.
5. What is your go to cover song?
Ali A: After we played “Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against The Machine for the first time back in August (my ode to Guitar Hero 3 on Nintendo Wii) that song has turned into the 2020 go-to cover. *** Seriously… scroll up…. Watch that shit for realz.**
6. Besides being musicians, do you have day jobs, and if so what do you do?
Ali A: Everyone has a day job in the band. I am a manager at a coding bootcamp. Travis works as a librarian and for a law office. Pedro and Reggie work in moving and construction. The ultimate goal is for the band to turn into the primary financial career. Passions need fuel and the gasoline to fuel this passion are the two C’s – creativity and cash.
7. Ninja or Samurai?
Ali A: Ninja all day. I’m a sucker for all four 3 Ninjas movies – even the one with Hulk Hogan.
8. As a band what are three of your favorite venues that you play around town?
Crescent Ballroom has to be one favorite of any band in Arizona. Last Exit Live has some historical significance since we had multiple first’s there. No longer open Rogue Bar again because of historical significance for the band.