The Humdinger is a WIN for local music in Mesa, Arizona.

This last week saw Phoenix area snow, record breaking levels in the high country, and breathtaking landscapes. And although chilly, especially after the sun went down, the storm cleared out leaving an absolutely beautiful day to see LIVE MUSIC at Mesa Amphitheater.

Photography provided throughout by yours truly and guest photographer, the AMAZING Elaine Thomas Campbell, who is always super nice to me even though I am sure I am in her way…. THANK YOU ELAINE !!!!

Jim Bachmann & the DayDrinkers

Mesa, Arizona, if you have not yet noticed, is really trying to pick up its game to keep pace with the downtown scenes that are currently exploding in neighboring suburbs Chandler and Gilbert, both of which have invested millions in their growing and vibrant downtown hot-spots. Mesa has added the Mesa Music and Arts Festival, a Beer Festival, and now, a monthly series called The Humdinger in coordination with Danny Zelisko Presents.


The idea of the Humdinger is to answer a screaming need, that many of us in the local music scene have often discussed. Bands need to play. Most of the venues are bars. Most of the gigs are ‘night shows. This presents unique issues in a world as 24/7 complex as ours is. Very few work 9 to 5. Very few work Monday – Friday. I cannot count the number of times I have tried to get friends from work to go to local shows with me, but, although they would like to… they simply can’t (or won’t – they think I am crazy). We work early. Second issue, the number one fan base that bands need to reach are the youth. The kids. The high school folks. The people actively exploring and sharing music! And they are not able to go to about 90% of local shows. Third issue, even with bloggers like myself, Indie DJs like Dubs and Dani Cutler over at KWSS Radio, and a throng of devout local music fans, it just seems like the vast masses of growing numbers in Phoenix just have no idea what is going on.


So…. Here is Your Chance. The Humdinger connects…. on all THREE needs. All while providing local acts a fantastic experience on a large stage, with fantastic sound, and the opportunity to reach large numbers of fresh, new fans!


First. It is early. It is a mini festival that goes from 2:00 to 9:00 PM on a Saturday. My alarm goes off at 3:30 AM to go to work, and this is about as close to perfect as I can ever expect.

Bear Ghost

Second. Kids under the age of 12 are free, and the show itself is 12 bucks. Folks, seriously, it is a full day for not much different than the cost of a two hour trip to the movies. The kids can roll on the hill at stage-right while adults can get a draft beer to stage-left.

Michael Nitro

The Amphitheater provides a great scene, a scene that I could easily imagine being a weekend hangout for cool kids in junior high and high school, hanging out, meeting up and coming bands, and establishing themselves as “it” kids on the scene. My wife and I have ZERO reservations about our two young teens being able to be involved each month.


Third. These bands are incredibly active. Many of them are touring, and doing everything they can to turn their side job, their passion, into their only job. They work harder than folks even begin to know, between rehearsals, recording, loading, transporting, and unloading gear, and playing a half hour to an hour show several times a month. It can be grueling – especially when the venues could definitely hold a few more folks that just decided to ‘Netflix and Chill’ because they don’t realize GREAT LIVE MUSIC is all around them in their own backyards.

Sara Robinson Band

Additionally, our friends over at SNEAKY BIG in Scottsdale LIVE STREAMED the entire show, and then, divided each performance into band sets and posted them on their YouTube Channel. Guys, that is Superb. HUGE SHOUT OUT TO YOU.
UPDATE: I will be attending the entire series of HUMDINGER concerts, so be sure you FOLLOW THIS BLOG !!! Look forward to a SPOTLIGHT on SNEAKY BIG STUDIOS for Humdinger 2 !!!!

Banana Gun

Let’s hear it for SNEAKY BIG!

Jim Bachmann & the DayDrinkers

The Pistoleros

Fairy Bones

Bear Ghost

Doll Skin

The Humdinger provides a monthly spring showcase of ten local acts, and I guarantee you, as a person who follows a huge majority of the acts being presented in these festivals, you will NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.

Michael Nitro Band

Sara Robinson Band


Banana Gun

Weather aside {twas a bit chilly} …. these bands brought their “A” game for a chance to play for a big, new audience on a large, fully staffed and functional stage. It was a marvelous experience, and definitely one you should follow, and mark your calendars for.

And last but not least, on a cold Arizona night…

The Runner Up !

The March Humdinger is Saturday the 23rd.

Don’t be left Not Knowing… WHERE TO BE EVERY MONTH THROUGH JUNE !!!!!!


Keep the Greasy Side Down, Amigos !

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