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By Kristen Castillo | May 6, 2021

The Sugar Thieves, like most bands, watched their shows succumb to COVID-19 pandemic cancellations. Now, as restrictions are being lifted, the Phoenix roots rock band is making a comeback.

Its latest show is 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at Murphy Park Amphitheater in Glendale. The concert is free, and all guests are required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

“We’re looking forward to the in-person experience,” says lead vocalist Meridith Moore. “We love seeing people in real life and being able to exchange energy and conversation. Even with masks on, you’re still able to have that energy exchange, so that’s nice.

Moore said the band took a break from rehearsals to observe CDC guidelines for the coronavirus. Just before the pandemic, the Sugar Thieves laid down tracks for albums and took the quarantine to mix and master them. The results are “Anytown USA” and the vinyl release “Driftin’ Away.” There’s also a CD called “Dreamin’.” Unfortunately, the band couldn’t promote them through concerts.

“We did a very unofficial release,” Moore says. “We had folks messaging us on Facebook and via email to order them, and we physically mailed them out. We never had a big CD release party. Hopefully we’ll do that in the fall.”

The new music doesn’t stop there. The Sugar Thieves will release an EP, “Good Old Time Tonight,” on Fervor Records toward the end of May.

“Fervor Records mostly works with song placement, so our music will go into their catalog and they will shop it to TV shows and movies,” she says. “Hopefully one or more of our tunes will be picked up for a popular TV series.

“It’s just nice to have another iron on the fire. We worked with their producer, Will Prinzi, who wrote a couple of brand-new songs with us. Some of the music on the EP are renditions of songs we already released, while others are new. They’re fresh.”

Throughout the pandemic, the Sugar Thieves have made adjustments to stay connected with fans. The band held live, acoustic performances online broadcasted from its home. It was a new experience for the group.

“It’s very weird to perform a concert in your living room to a device,” Moore says. “It’s not natural for artists. We work together with our audience to make a show successful. We use their energy and they use ours, and we share that.”

Despite it being a foreign performing environment, Moore says the band’s fans could connect personally and intimately — more so than prior to the pandemic.

“If anything, it might be kind of fun for them to see our living room,” Moore says. “It’s intimate. They get to see our kids running around in the background while we’re performing. We’ve brought our fans into our home on many occasions to produce these shows, so that’s been kind of neat. But again, it’s never going to be like that in-person experience. But I definitely think it was better than nothing for sure.”

Though not the same experience as live music before the pandemic, the band is looking forward to seeing music lovers in person.

“We’re certainly missing everybody’s faces, so even though it’s an in-person show, everybody’s masked up,” Moore says. “We certainly missed that, and hopefully in the next year, we can get back to some normalcy where we don’t have to all have masks on.

“It means a lot to us that our fans are still there. We miss that concert environment. We feel very lucky and very blessed that we have a stage to come back to. This is such an important time for artists to have the support of their fans.”

The Sugar Thieves

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 8

Where: Murphy Park, Downtown Glendale

Cost: Free admission

Info: visitglendale.com/events or sugarthieves.com

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