Hello my little blog, it’s been a while. Although I haven’t been writing, I’ve still been photographing and this last show I went to has brought me back to the keys (the typing kind, anyway).
The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa, California is a shining beacon in the scattered OC music scene that offers quality production shows with booze that isn’t too expensive. Last Saturday evening on July 16, 2016 they hosted a massive show of bands (most of whom are local) to celebrate a community favorite, Big Monsta, and their release of their newest EP Crooked Vol. II.
Also with us that evening were The Sugar, Nahneen Kula, Gardeners Logic, Professor Colombo, and Them Evils.
The Sugar, a band so new you can’t be sure they exist (on the internet anyways), are a vivacious group with music that has enough grit to make you feel like jumping around, all the while being soothed with some throaty vocals from their singer and guitarist Cole Blackamore. And you know what? Even if their sound isn’t your thing, you can happily view the spectacle that is Blackamore’s wardrobe (bitchin’ coats and sweet makeup). I hear they have a new album coming out soon? *WINK WINK* *FAKE COUGH* *WINK*
Nahneen Kula took a little road trip down south from their hub of Los Angeles to perform a show that people might find either awe inspiring or incredibly off-putting. I found it to be the former. Their sound, at first, had that soft and familiar indie-like quality with an added electric dynamic that then decided to say “fuck-off” to all the structure that encompasses popular music today. Their songs had a tremendous amount of transition that, if put into words might go something like, “Oh yeah, I’m gunna play that part you think I’m going to play…here it comes…yeah it’s coming… here comes the chorus…” then, “PSYCH WE GOT YOU, YA IDIOT! THERE IS NO CHORUS.” Yup, definitely like nothing I’ve ever heard. Come back to OC soon Kula~
Gardeners Logic, a band that is no stranger to the OC music scene, sounded better than I’ve heard in a while. Not sure if it was the lineup, the crowd, or the fact that Ian Bailey was actually smiling, but it worked. They’ve got that comforting country twang topped with some fantastic harmonies that kept me swaying back-and-forth with my camera (not helpful for photos indeed). And lastly, I noticed that during their set these guys also brought back the people who wandered away from the “Kula Experience,” as I’m calling it. Reeled em’ in like little fishies.
Professor Colombo fit in quite snuggly as the next band to perform with their sultry southern sound. Their inclusion of the saxophone with their music creates this fun, sassy, and extremely enigmatic jazzy sound that they have managed to combine effortlessly with their country rock. I’m surprised these guys haven’t had panties flung at them on stage. Unless they have…
By the time Them Evils came on, the crowd was getting a little restless, “When’s Big Monsta coming on again?” “How many more bands?” “Holy fuck it’s hot in here…,” you get the idea. But, everyone pretty much shut up and began to convulse profusely when they started. Okay, okay people didn’t start having seizures, but these guys could cause some seizures with their energy, which is evident in both their music and stage presence. Shit, I wanted to go run and stop taking pictures around after I saw Jacob Massanari, Them Evil’s bassist, booking it back and forth on stage. These guys play hard and fast, and were by far the heaviest sounding band of the evening. Also, congrats to these guys for getting the opportunity to play at the Lost Highway Festival in San Bernadino, California this coming Saturday July 22, 2016. So cool!
The eager, baited, and panting crowd was finally released of its immense teasing as soon as Big Monsta stepped on stage. They seamlessly swooped up the energy that Them Evils left behind and fucking ran with it. Big Monsta is the band to catch live. Think you like them enough just from listening to their EP’s or singles online? WRONG. Whatever you’ve heard doesn’t compare to the fantastic energy and tight delivery these guys bring to their shows. Jimmy Hua reels em’ in with his surprising vocals while Mike Willson and Adrian Sanchez keep fans rooted with their solid delivery that showcases their cohesive sound. First time audiences have no idea what to expect when they walk on stage and when they leave people are amazed. Every time. From beginning to end the crowd was tirelessly groovin’ and everyone in the venue had their eyes on that stage. Naturally, because this was the release show of Big Monsta’s newest EP Crooked Vol. II, we all got to hear a new part of Big Monsta—a more refined Monsta. Their new EP is certainly quieter than its original counterpart (Crooked Vol. I), but with it comes more introspective lyricism and slightly more risk-taking style choices. This wasn’t an EP designed to please, it’s an album to keep you around.