On October 9th, 2007, I saw The Shins play at Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Though I didn’t know it before the show, this was to be one of the best concert experiences I have ever had. Let me give you ten reasons why:
10. Convenient Location – The Celebrity Theatre is much closer to me than Cricket Pavilion and the Marquee Theatre, where I usually have to go to see a show. I like not having to drive to Tempe or the West Valley to see a show.
9. Good Parking – Finding a parking space was no trouble and it was a short walk to the entrance, even from the back of the lot. Getting out of there took just 10 minutes, which was a far better situation than the 2 hours it took to get out of the Schnepf Farms parking lot for Edgefest.
8. Small, Intimate Venue – The neat thing about Celebrity Theatre is that the building is a giant circle shape, with the stage in the center. In fact, no seat is more than 75 feet from the stage and nobody was blocking my view. The volume was just right, not earsplitting and not too quiet.
7. Although they serve alcohol, it’s not a bar. This means that the band is not playing on a crowded stage in a dark room full of drunk, sweaty people. There were lights, ample air conditioning, and plenty of exits. The audience was primarily indie-rocker college types, so there was no drunken moshing going on.
6. I like when you go to see a band live and it doesn’t sound exactly the same as their studio album. Lucky for me The Shins put in some extended intros, cool synth sounds, and a four-song encore! I was very pleased with the setlist.
5. “Cameras Are OK” sign at the door – I love this place already! Turned out to be some of the best concert photos I’ve ever taken.
4. Not only did I get to see The Shins, but they had a lap steel guitar for one of the songs. To me, they are one of the neatest sounding instruments and I was so surprised to hear it.
3. The decision was made that going to a concert would be more fun than sitting in school for the evening, so I cut class to go to the show.
2. After the opening band had finished playing, I realized that nobody had claimed an open seat in the front row. Now I had no problem wedging myself in between two strangers, and they didn’t mind me either. That front row seat put me within speaking distance of the band.
1. The best thing about the whole show was the amazing round stage that rotated a full 360-degrees. That made it feel like the band was playing just for you.
If you ever get the chance to see a show at the Celebrity Theatre, I would highly recommend it. From start to finish, everything about the show was just great.