Here in Phoenix there is a very diverse musical scene. There are large companies like Relentless Beats and Hades who put together large festivals and club style shows, both featuring big name artists. But there is also a booming local scene that is dotted with venues like Bar Smith and Zuma’s who hold it down for the die-hard music fans. Personally, what I truly enjoy about Bar Smith is the constant diversity. People who attend their weekly gathering “Big Fun Friday’s” know they will enjoy a night of groovy music mixed in with impeccable togetherness, all while being pleasantly surprised by performances from new local talent.
Bar Smith, located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, boasts an impressive bi-level set up. Inside is home to the likes of popular rap music, having the arrangement similar to the typical club. After venturing upstairs, I was immersed in a whole new world. The venue upstairs is an outside area that overlooks the Phoenix city-scape. Their sound system was definitely not an afterthought either, as it provides the right amount of hard thumping bass. With this, the crowd can perfectly feel the groove that the artists put down.
The resident DJ’s here; Sean Watson, Klü, and Bennie Beatnik all stick to their musical roots. They mix in genres from deep house all the way to dark techno. Unlike the normal club that uses their typical rotation of DJ’s, Bar Smith takes a very different approach. Almost every week a new local is brought into the mix, showcasing the various artists that Phoenix has to offer. In doing this, the venue is able to provide a very diverse musical atmosphere.
Visuals tend to be the most under appreciated aspect of performances at clubs or bars. Bar Smith has never ceased to amaze me with the visuals they have to offer. In all my times attending this venue, I have yet to see the same loop displayed twice. The work of their in-house VJ are boldly displayed across almost every wall of the industrial styled outdoor area. In addition to this, graffiti completely covers the surroundings, adding yet another artistic aspect.
All in all, Bar Smith is definitely the place to be in downtown Phoenix. Artists such as Mija, Drezo, Ghastly, Bijou, Blossom and more have graced the decks of this venue, and even continue to return after branching out of the local scene. Extremely talented DJ’s, awe-inspiring visuals, and hard-hitting sound are all present at this venue, so what more could you want? Bar Smith will continue to provide an industrial type environment where different forms of art can be displayed, whether through music, dancing, or graffiti.