The Flagstaff-based bands Sci-Fi Country and RuFF STuFF took the stage on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Orpheum. Headliners, Sci-fi Country are a psychedelic rock band that incorporates ‘60s rock into their music, while openers RuFF STuFF, include blues undertones into their songs.
RuFF STuFF consists of twins Andrew and Nick Bodenstadt, Josh Oxley and Hayden Barcello. Andrew plays the guitar, Oxley plays the drums and both Nick and Barcello play the bass — all members of the band sing and write their songs as well. The band first started producing music in 2019 and first played the Orpheum Oct. 30, 2021 for Groovethon.
“We first met each other and started to be acquainted with one another at “Funky Forest” and then started jamming with one another at Hayden’s house,” Oxley said.
Sci-Fi Country reached out to RuFF STuFF to perform with them at Saturday’s show. Though the bands may not know each other personally, Barcello says they have had interactions with each other in passing.
“We’ve been wanting to put on a show with them for a while so it’s really cool that it’s happening now,” Oxley said.
Senior and concert goer Halli Smith said she follows both the Orpheum and RuFF STuFF on Instagram, which is how she heard about the show.
“My experience has changed at The Orpheum due to the pandemic, but it’s good because it’s smaller and more intimate and the bands can make more of a following because of how much more intimate the setting is,” Smith said.
Even with the COVID-19 restrictions that the Orpheum has placed, the night was still filled with the spirit of rock. The audience was dancing to each of the band’s music, and the lights that filled up the auditorium made it a fun head-banging experience.
Sci-Fi Country consists of Quinn Scully on bass, Tre Hibbert on drums and Ben London on guitar. All three band members sing and write the songs they record and perform for audiences.
Both Scully and Hibbert are from Flagstaff and started playing together in middle school, while Land came to Flagstaff from Indiana. Land was touring with another band at the time they met and, after a while, came back to Flagstaff. Every once in a while he would play for Scully’s and Hibbert’s band.
They started touring together in 2017, but Sci-Fi Country wasn’t formed until 2019. The band went through many name changes over the years, before they settled on the name Sci-Fi Country. Both Hibbert and London were discussing London’s microchip bolo tie at Firecreek Coffee Company when the name came to them.
“[Hibbert] said, ‘Dude, it’s like Sci-Fi Country, that would be a good band name,’ and I was like, ‘That’s the dumbest band I ever heard,’” London said.
The band is described as “60s garage rock with psychedelic harmonies” and labels themselves as “otherworldly cowboys,” their website states. The band all agreed that the phrase accurately represents what they’re doing with their music. They also agreed that it sets the intention of their songs and the vibes they put into their songs and sets.
In 2020, prior to the pandemic, the band planned a nationwide tour across the United States. They were only able to play 30 shows before they were shut down by COVID-19. The band said during the time they were not able to play live, they worked on their music and rearranged their touring schedule, including the amount of shows they would play. The band agreed they were going to focus more on the shows rather than the amount that they play. Hibbert said it's more about quality over quantity.
“We want to bring people together with our music, to come out and have fun,” London said. “It’s the spirit of everything to have fun … through the writing process of putting everything together, it was just for people to enjoy themselves and just for people to walk away happier than they were. It’s to provide an experience.”
The band will be focusing on touring more of the state of Arizona, with events coming up in Sedona, Prescott, Phoenix and Tucson. The upcoming Sedona event will be held April 2nd, at the Sedona “Vortifest” Music Festival and Experience. Scully said they hope to expand the band’s touring in the near future, but for now they are going to be working on their music and touring Arizona.
Fans of Sci-Fi Country can start looking forward to new music this summer. The band plans on releasing new singles prior to the release of their album in the fall.