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2nd Saturdays return to the Fox with Gila Bend & Elvis night

2nd Saturdays return to the Fox with Gila Bend & Elvis night

  • Gila Bend will play live at the Fox Theatre on Saturday.
    Loren Dircks's FacebookGila Bend will play live at the Fox Theatre on Saturday.

2nd Saturdays at the Fox return this weekend with a screening of "King Creole" starring Elvis Presley and live music performed by Gila Bend and Classless Chaps.

Tucson's Gila Bend have been known for decades for their loud and twangy country metal take on desert rock. Bandleader Loren Dircks not only plays bends strings with his own band, but he also plays with his sons in their own act, Classless Chaps. Both bands will perform original music to get people up and grooving at the Fox Theatre before the classic Elvis movie shows on the big screen.

"We've always been kinda rootsy," Dircks said. "Our style is a mix of country and metal — a little more rockabilly."

Gila Bend formed during Dircks' Canyon del Oro High School days in the 1980s and it grew to become an integral "motor" of his life.

"We used to play in places we weren't even supposed to be allowed in," he said.

Aside from being a professional musician, Dircks teaches guitar, ukulele, and banjo lessons, as well as piano and drums —  living, breathing and dreaming music.

"I get to play guitar all day," he said. "And it is really the best thing ever. I've been able to do this full-time for 12 years. I wake up excited to work."

The band's talent and style made them a great fit to play before the showing of "King Creole." They will be leaning into their rockabilly songs to add to the retro vibe of the evening.

"I remember when (Elvis) died. It was the first celebrity death that really impacted me," Dircks said. "We went to Graceland this year and it took me back to my childhood. I was such a big fan."

He said his appreciation for the King of Rock 'n' Roll is as big as it has ever been. "His music was just that good. His music is timeless," he said. "He's never going away."

Dircks said he's looking forward to watching the movie himself.

"I hope there is something in there everyone can grab on to and enjoy," he said. "People are so irritated these days, and I hope they leave their irritations and worries behind."

Tickets for adults cost $12.50 and $10 for youth, seniors, military and students. Doors open at 6 p.m., Gila Bend and Classless Chaps will play at 7 p.m. "King Creole" begins at 8 p.m.

Bianca Morales is’s Cultural Expression and Community Values reporter, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.

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elvis presley, fox theatre, gila bend,

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