Date: Friday, October 21st, 2011
Line up: Mike Pinto & Josh Heinrichs
Location: Martini Ranch. Scottsdale, Arizona State University
The mainstream, excitement driven nightlife of downtown Scottsdale, AZ, was taken hold by The Mike Pinto Band and solo-artist Josh Heinrichs. Lyrically inspired and acoustically driven, the Martini Ranch nightclub turned into more of a campfire with the storytelling musical style.
Sandwiched in between two local showcase acts The Hourglass Cats and Catfish Mustache, Mike Pinto’s main support, Josh Heinrichs, brought fans in from the street with his voice.
Although Heinrichs only has his six-string acoustic guitar and his pipes, each song has the depth of a full band. His voice captured the heart of true love in his new songs “Sunday Afternoon” and “So Far From Home” featured on his recent EP Satisfied. With a responsive crowd swaying with his guitar pick, the trio from The Mike Pinto Band (Mike Pinto-Guitar, Todd Elrod-Drums and Matt Brein-Bass) joined Heinrichs on stage, thickening the soundwaves in the Scottsdale air.
With Heinrichs and Pinto’s fall tour appropriately dubbed “Satisfied”, as their performance on stage was in full swing, the nightclub crowd shared the same emotion. The talent on stage was rewarded with high praise.
As Heinrichs stepped off the riser, Mike Pinto led on a quintet, adding Max O’Leary (keyboard/trumpet) and Josh Molle on trombone.
After touring as a solo artist over the years, there is no doubt Pinto’s music is elevated with the full band support. Yet, his guitar licks and solos are still present, he electrifies the crowd with each passing song.
The campfire atmosphere of Heinrichs set was no more. Mike Pinto brought out the fast paced ska, the snare popping reggae, and gave the crowd a few rambunctious ballads to move with. After releasing his EP The West Is Still Wild on September 6th, it was only appropriate to circle the wagons and head home for the final dates in California.
Even after being on the road for over six weeks, Mike Pinto sounded like he was fresh out of the studio and ready to start the tour, not begin to wrap up the final leg. The energy peaked as the band belted out their self-titled EP track. As the tour rolled on, each west coast city has properly proclaimed their town as the wildest and I am sure, remaining “still wild”. In a once mellow nightclub, Martini Ranch turned into Woodstock, at least in the crowd.
But Mike Pinto has flexibility within his music. All in one song, the band can perform rock, reggae, blues, ska, and acoustic ballads, all suitable for a perfect barrel ride. Although on this particular Friday night, the southwest was treated to an ocean front soundtrack hundreds of miles from the shore.
The fans even joined in marching on with Mike Pinto’s set. Following the first chords of “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” the fans erupted! Singing word for word the chorus, Pinto and the crowd shared a moment of smiles as the horns exchanged solos captivating the fans.
From the horns to the keys, and firmly based on the deep grooves and snapping beats, Mike Pinto brings an experience with each song. He is a storyteller with his sound, and with four band members backing him, The Mike Pinto Band adds even more detail and description to an ongoing musical novel.
With the music going on until early Saturday morning, Pinto and Heinrichs closed out their performance with the song “Cool and Deadly”. With a few waves, a gently bow, and more than a few smiles, the lights on stage went black.
After each stop on tour, the locals announced their city as “still wild, and better than ever”. It will only be a matter of time before Mike Pinto is on the road again and looking to recall another memorable show.
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