Tommy and OvO at The Spirit Room, August 2013. [Howard Photography]

Tommy Anderson Plays Great Arizona Beer Festival

For the fourth time, The Great Arizona Beer Festival will have local artist Tommy Anderson rocking out on stage with his acoustic guitar as he plays a wide range of party songs for the attendees. Though Anderson has played guitar for 33 years, and many others he picked up while in the Army, he got his start as “the campfire dude.”

“Originally, you started because you want to get the chicks,” Anderson said. “I’m too dumb to quit, so here I am.”

His interests eventually shifted as he landed more gigs. When Anderson first started playing music professionally, he did a lot of cover music and originally back then he and others wanted to sound exactly like the record. After time though, Anderson realized that he didn’t have to be just like the record and that he could make the song his own. Anderson approaches live shows with a unique approach that is different to many artists, he doesn’t warm up before any of his shows.

Along with not warming up before a performance, Anderson also goes up on stage without a set list. He likes to come up on stage and play off of the mood of the audience.

“I like to get there and get my game face on and live on the edge,” said Anderson, who has had many side projects that include Beatles cover bands, the Beatless and Ringo McLennonSon, he also works on a project with Joe Berger titled OvO.

But at the Great Arizona Beer Festival, Anderson already knows what the audience wants. Anderson will play classic rock songs by Led Zeppelin and Elvis Costello that will really get the party started; he’ll touch on his newer original material and as always-classic Beatles songs like “A Day in the Life.” Up on the stage, Anderson will just have his acoustic guitar and looping pedal and plans to have a real good acoustic tone for the audience, something that is always on the top of the list of importance for every show. Along with a good acoustic tone, Anderson is making sure that everyone out there in the crowd is smiling while he plays. Anderson says that whenever he’s on stage he makes sure that if he were an audience member to his show that he too would enjoy it personally.

“I’ve watched bands play all the time and I want to impress myself, too,” Anderson said.

The Great Arizona Beer Festival
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Tempe Beach Park, 54 W. Rio Salado Pkwy.

Time: 2 to 6 p.m.
All attendees must be 21 and over, including designated drivers