METROnome: Luxxe prepares for big break with Bon Jovi

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(Courtesy of Luxxe)
Local Americana band Luxxe is preparing to open for Bon Jovi at Talking Stick Resort Arena on March 4. (Courtesy of Luxxe)

Forget the glamorized starving artist trope: Americana band Luxxe will certainly be Livin’ on (far more than) a Prayer if it continues on its current trajectory.

On March 4, Luxxe will perform in front of thousands as it opens for legendary rock band Bon Jovi at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The performance — to be the band’s second arena show — is the result of a submission to Bon Jovi’s call for openers to fill slots throughout its “This House Is Not For Sale” tour. Seth Smades, vocalist and guitarist of Luxxe, said he was shocked to wake up to the news, as he never expected any response.

“It will honestly give us another notch in the belt when it comes to arenas,” Smades said. “It will prepare us for playing bigger and better shows. It’s a lot to take in. It’s exciting and it’s nerve-racking, but overall, it will just be a good experience for all of us, and, of course, it’s what we love. It’s kind of a guilty pleasure.”

After opening for national country artist Hunter Hayes in early 2016 as the result of several Battle of the Bands competitions, there was a chance that Luxxe simply had a knack for winning contests. Now, the band’s track record proves something much bigger.

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In 2016 alone, the band has opened for OneRepublic, released an album and performed at the SXSW Music Festival. They’ve toured, headlined and ultimately defined their sound (“love songs with adrenaline,” Smades said). Perhaps most jaw-dropping of all is the fact that Luxxe had only recorded its first single two years ago.

“I’m a really big believer in the music,” Smades said. “I think the music speaks for itself. We have a really great crew of musicians. We all kind of are the right ingredients and I think together, we just have a really great sound that people can relate to and actually like.”

Luxxe, newly returned from a west coast tour with Weslynn, is now focused on showing confidence to the thousands attending Saturday’s show, one that could propel their careers even further. Even with the potential that opening for Bon Jovi brings, Smades said he believes in trying hard — aiming for larger tours, improved sound and new records — but never expecting too much.

Smades’ belief is reflected in his advice to emerging bands with dreams of rapidly rising.

“You have to live your life and you have to experience things,” Smades said, “but if you really want to push to grow and become the best you can be so you can share that with as many people as possible, you really have to hone in on your craft and focus on what you want your sound to be.”

Contact the columnist at Emily.Liu@asu.edu.