Jerry "Hot Rod" DeMink cut his teeth in the music business back in 1994 as the guitarist and bandleader for Chicago bluesman A.C. Reed. After several years on the road, he returned home to San Diego, where he met roots-rock balladeer Billy Bacon. Together, as Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs, they formed one of the most entertaining touring acts around. There were moments when Hot Rod would put on a motorcycle helmet and spin on his head while playing the guitar. At other times, he'd sit on Bacon's shoulders as they walked around the club, and Hot Rod played the guitar behind his head. And there were always impromptu dance moves. Although Billy Bacon doesn't tour much any more, he and Hot Rod still manage to get together to play a few times a year. The rest of the year, Hot Rod is back home in San Diego, performing with his veteran band and tearing up stages in Southern California with his trademark blazing guitar and wild show. Bud Light/My 92.9 Stage at 10 p.m.
Remember the good ol' days when the UA football team had the best place-kicker in all of college football? It was 1994, when Steve McLaughlin won the Lou Groza award for top collegiate kicker. McLaughlin was also an avid musician, and had a top local band called Pet the Fish. They were frequent openers for national headliners such as the Dave Matthews Band, Weezer, the Samples and the Refreshments. But then the NFL called, and McLaughlin began an 11-year professional career; his music was forced to the sidelines. After 2006, that all changed when he rekindled his love of rock 'n' roll and started performing in and around his home of Atlanta. In 2011, he went into the studio to record No More Record Stores. It is a collection of powerhouse rock 'n' roll, and one of the tracks can currently be heard on a Ford commercial. McLaughlin will be reuniting with his former Pet the Fish bandmates for a show at Club Crawl®. Bud Light/My 92.9 Stage at 11 p.m.
Two Phoenix bands will perform at the Hotel Congress Outdoor Stage. Going on at 11 p.m. will be Elmo Kirkwood, son of Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets. When asked about his father's influence, Elmo says it is "not so much musically, but more in the spirit of how to do things—to create something totally different." Kirkwood's musical tastes are diverse, and his inspiration comes from music genres including psychedelic, world, progressive rock and jazz. The band is in the studio, and a release is due late this summer. Kirkwood, a lead guitarist and vocalist, likes to stretch out and play a lot of instrumentals. "Its rock, but it's spacey and progressive," he says. "We're just trying to make a far-out thing." Hotel Congress Outdoor Stage at 11 p.m.
Preceding Kirkwood will be the lush pop-rock stylings of Ladylike. Armed with a brand-new self-titled release, the band aims to show why they are a favorite in the Valley of the Sun. Their forte is pop-rock melodies. As a five-piece, they have the vocal chops, harmonies, soaring piano and guitar riffs that listeners crave. This is a band to keep your eyes on. Andrew Dost of fun. says, "Ladylike doesn't just write songs; they create entire worlds within perfect pop songs." We concur. Hotel Congress Outdoor Stage at 10 p.m.
Flash Molasses, from Prescott, is rapidly getting attention as the one of the top jam bands in Arizona. Ten years ago, the Rialto Theatre hosted just about every major touring jam band in America, from String Cheese Incident to Leftover Salmon to RatDog. Today, such shows are hard to come by, but Flash Molasses is heading to the Old Pueblo to keep that flame burning. They have played every major venue in Northern Arizona and are hoping that Tucsonans will enjoy their brand of feel-good dance music. Guitarist Rick Bowen leads the band through a tightly woven mixture of rock, blues and jazz originals, and covers of favorite artists such as the Grateful Dead, Traffic and The Band. Bud Light/My 92.9 Stage at 8 p.m.