Oddity Paradox and Empire of Dezire Showed how Phoenix bands can Rock

Empire of Dezire at Marquee Theatre on June 11th, 2021

Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Lucky Man (https://www.luckymanonline.com/ )
Venue: Marquee Theater, Tempe, AZ (https://www.marqueetheatreaz.com/ )
Date: June 11th, 2021

Finally, after a year plus of no concerts, I was finally able to attend and review a concert.  The concert was The Iron Maidens at the Marquee Theatre.  The Marquee Theatre was setup in 3 sections:  A pit area with assigned seating, behind the pit was the general admission area and then the second floor was the VIP area.  About half of the pit seated area was full, but the other 2 areas were full.  I have broken up this review into 2 parts, The Iron Maidens and Freewill – The Rush Experience as one review and then this review is for 2 outstanding bands from the Phoenix area.  At most concerts in the valley, they usually have one or more local bands person as the leadup act.  Over the years of going to concerts (50+) and photographing and reviewing shows (10+) I have seen a large number of local Phoenix area bands.  I can now say that I have discovered 2 new bands that I can add to the must-see list for anyone that enjoys good solid rock music.

Oddity Paradox

David “Grizzly” Barcai and Ikky Stane of Oddity Paradox

First on stage was local Phoenix area band, Oddity Paradox.  Prior to the start of the show, I saw 2 strange characters roaming around the venue.  At most concerts that is nothing strange, but these 2 stood out.  Both of them looked like they were going to attend a “Steampunk” event.  One had goggles that looks like the ones worn by “Steampunk” people and the other had a large blue top hat normally seen at those events.  As Oddity Paradox started the final setup, I saw these two on the stage.  At first, I was wondering if this was going to be a rock or punk band.  Either would have been OK, but I was happy when they started playing and pounded out original heavy rock songs. As their Facebook page explains, “We are a Phoenix based Hard Rock band blasting out heavy rock riffs and badass grooves.”  Tonight, they totally lived up to that claim.


Oddity Paradox consists of lead singer Ikky Stane (the one in the blue top hat), guitarists Horace Miller and Scotty Grimes, bass player David “Grizzly” Barcai (he had the goggles), and drummer Matthew A Taylor.  I had heard good things about this band, but had never seen them live.  They are extremely good.  Between the dynamic bass player, David “Grizzly” Barcai performing with all kind of strange contortions with the bass and then the lead singer, Ikky Stane (a truly classic rock artist name) belting out the lyrics, the fans got a great performance.  I personally loved their final song “Monster”.  At this time, they have not produced any CDs/LPs but have a few singles available on Amazon Music and Spotify.  You can also check them out on their Facebook and Instagram pages.  If you get a chance to see them perform at one of the local bars/clubs, I would definitely recommend them.  I plan on seeing them again this Friday night, July 2nd at The 44 Sports Grill & Nightlife club in Glendale.  I hope to see you there.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/oddityparadox
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oddityparadox/

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2021, All Rights Reserved

Oddity Paradox Setlist:
Join The Ride
New Attitude
Pain Experiment
Lucky Stars                              (Video on Facebook page)
Sweeping Memory
Revelation Salvation                (Video on Facebook page)
Monster                                   (Video on Facebook page)

Empire Of Dezire

Empire of Dezire at Marquee Theatre on June 11th, 2021

The next local band to perform was Empire of Dezire (EOD).  EOD consists of lead singer Tulin Howey, her husband, Ken Howey on lead guitar, guitarist Jeremy Dasher, bass player Neal Harris, drummer Duncan Campbell and Norman House on keyboards.  Recently they added a third guitarist, Freddy Robinson to the mix to provide an even deeper rock guitar sound.  EOD was originally founded by husband-and-wife team, Ken and Tulin Howey.

Tulin Howey, lead singer for Empire of Dezire

I have seen a number of metal bands over the years that have female lead singers.  It still amazes me that some of these singers are really small in stature but have the ability to produce an amazingly powerful sound.  Tulin is one of these ladies.  As soon as the band started playing, she took control of the stage and had the audience mesmerized by her voice.  She is truly an amazing singer.  With Ken on lead guitar and the other guitarists providing a deeper and richer sound, their music just moved the crowd.  They reminded me a lot of Iron Maiden with their 3 guitarists.

Empire of Dezire (EOD) has produced 4 albums, Chrome, Paradigm, Prime and The Vault…Best of Empire of Dezire.  Chrome is only available in digital format while the others are in digital and CD formats.  You can also listen to EOD on Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music and YouTube.  I have provided links to their website and Facebook pages below.  If you get the chance to see this amazing group, I would highly recommend it.

Website: https://eodproject.com/
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/empireofdezire

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2021, All Rights Reserved

Empire Of Dezire Setlist:       (Album)
AI                                            (The Vault…Best of Empire Of Dezire)
Corporate Greed                     (Prime)
Walk Into The Fire                  (Prime)
Highest Power                        (Paradigm)
Never                                      (Paradigm)
Bloodlust                                (The Vault…Best of Empire Of Dezire)
Love Stops Time                     (Prime)
Public Enemy                          (Paradigm)


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