Wallburds /Big Monsta /Blue Eyed Lucy /Them Evils @ The Wayfarer, Costa Mesa CA 7/23/15

Okay, first off I would like to start this post informing anyone who is reading that I had a lot of great footage of this show last night. However, like a complete n00b, I lost almost half of my footage and photos. Perhaps it was the beer, or my own stupidity…probably both. The point is, I lost some excellent memorabilia of two really good bands: The Wallburds and Big Monsta. So shout out to them because both of them were fantastic and I wish I could give them some visual justice. Next time I guess. Coming to the Wayfarer I was really curious about the bands playing because even though I knew one of the bands already (Blue Eyed Lucy), I had never heard any of their music. In situations like this I love when it turns out that all of the bands were good and complete gold because I enjoyed all of them. No really, I’m not kidding, I really did.

Although I’m kicking myself for not having any footage of the Wallburds, I will say this about the band: Their music is some SICK rock n’ roll that is catchy as hell, and I really like that they have a female bassist. I know, strange thing to say, but anytime a chick is in the band I always take note of that. It’s cool, okay? I’m sure most would agree.

Moving along, the trio known as Big Monsta was the next to perform and these guys blew me away. Again, some great rock n’ roll but with a killer “bluesy” vibe to it, which almost always sits well with me. Their frontman Jimmy Hua appeared to be this unassuming guy who did not strike me as a musician while he was hanging out around the bar, but when he got on stage it was obvious, I mean the talent is just in your face. Altogether the three of them were bitchin’ as hell, and I’m looking forward to seeing them again (AND KEEPING THE DAMN FOOTAGE).

Okay let me give you folks something to look at before I tell you my thoughts on Blue Eyed Lucy.

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They’re a pretty photogenic group, wouldn’t you agree?

Okay so as I mentioned earlier I knew of Blue Eyed Lucy because I actually went to high school with two of the band members, Armand Lance and Trevin Welty. I hadn’t seen them for almost 4 years, so it was nice seeing some familiar faces. Also, last time I saw Armand and his band (at the time) play, I was in high school when he was in a very Indie band, so I was curious to see what direction this current band had gone. Turned out to be right up my musical alley. These guys have an awesome rock n’ roll feel to them with some immense vocals ( I think literally all of them, even the drummer, have some input in vocals). Their stage presence is awesome and their interesting to watch because they are so obviously enjoying themselves. I don’t think I’ve seen someone have so much fun with the tambourine like Trevin did, and it was pretty rad seeing some serious multitasking going on. You had Trevin playing guitar, singing, and shaking the tambourine, as well as Vince Phung singing, playing guitar, and the keyboard. One last thing I’ll mention, Armand can fucking sing, and I totally forgot until last night.

Now for some pictures!

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And finally we come to Them Evils. I was curious to see Them Evils because it appeared that they were the ones to bring in the crowd. And they did, because by the time they played the Wayfarer was significantly more crowded than earlier. And once they started, I understood why: they’re fucking great. I liked them because they were a bit heavier, grittier, and more metal (ish) than all the other bands previous, and they were thoroughly entertaining to watch. The crowd really liked them as well, because it was only while they were playing that people started to get semi rowdy ( and I say semi, because it really wasn’t even rowdy). These guys are worth keeping on your radar, I know they are on mine.

And finally, some more photos.

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Until next time. 😉

The Contortionist/ Animals as Leaders/ and Between the Buried and Me @ The Observatory, Santa Ana CA 7/21/15

Back yet again at The Observatory (my third time this month) and this time I was looking forward to the very different vibe this concert was sure to have, at least compared to the past two I had been to (X and Built to Spill). The show was definitely the kind I like best: loud, rambunctious, and METAL.

Coming to the show, I had no idea who The Contortionist and Animals as Leaders were ( I don’t know how Animals as Leaders evaded my radar), and I had only been a rather recent Between the Buried and Me “fan” after one of my coworkers introduced the band to me, but I was still pretty curious to see how their music would resonate with me.

The Contortionist was the first band to open and they were definitely progressive. I kept being reminded of Dream Theater, except with the thought that they weren’t as good. But I suppose that’s an unfair assertion, I mean it is Dream Theater after all- not fair to compare.  What got my attention the most was their frontman Mike Lessard who had the most interesting stage presence. While performing he does this stomping/slow walk up and down the stage, almost like he’s creeping along looking for something. It was interesting and he definitely had my attention. Of all three bands I was able to capture the most quality images, so I hope you like these, because the photos I have of Animals as Leaders and Between the Buried and Me are nowhere near as good.

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I also really liked their backdrop they had behind them. Pretty cool.

Now like I mentioned, I had never heard of Animals as Leaders, and after hearing them live yesterday well I can certainly say I’m a fan. Best part about that band? No singer, ALL INSTRUMENTAL. I fucking love it when I come across all instrumental metal bands, because sometimes I feel like the singer just gets in the way. I didn’t hear a song by these guys that I didn’t like and I think that they were even better than Between the Buried and Me. YEAH THAT’S RIGHT I SAID IT. Yeah, these guys were by far my favorite. Now I cringe at this photo I’m about to post, because it really is just crap, but it was all I was able to get as far as photographs. I did, however, manage to get quite a few good videos which you can find on my youtube channel.

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By the time Between the Buried and Me came on the crowd was pretty antsy, and when they finally came on stage, the crowd erupted. While I may not have been rockin’ out as hard as everyone else, I still really enjoyed their show and I’m happy that I came away with a lot of good footage (except for photographs. ;-( ). After I couldn’t record anymore, I was feeling a bit bored, and so I decided that the best course of action was to hustle on through to the pit, which always makes a show more worthwhile. The crowd was very energetic, which is always good.  But, I noticed that there was an obscene amount of grown men trying to crowd surf, and consequently I got kicked in the head twice, but hey, it was fun. I have to say though, I thought the best part of the show was their encore because they played Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This surprised the hell out of me and it was pretty cool having literally everyone in the room freaking out and singing along, plus I had never gotten to hear “Bohemian Rhapsody” live before, so props to you Between the Buried and Me. Alright so below I’ll go ahead and post the only two decent photos I got of these guys, and as far as footage I did get a few videos so you can also find those on my youtube page.

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Oh yeah, it was a fun Tuesday.

Built to Spill and Genders @ The Observatory, Santa Ana CA July 18, 2015

The first and last time I saw Built to Spill had been at the FYF Fest in LA about a year ago, so when I found out that Built to Spill was playing in Santa Ana, I was pretty damn ecstatic. The Observatory, even though its a shit hole, is a really small venue and so that negates pretty much everything else that’s bad about the place. Point being, I was very excited to see Built to Spill in such a small and intimate setting.

I couldn’t find any information about who would be opening the show for BTS, and so I was curious to see who would be awarded the privilege and it turned out to be a band from Portland Oregon known as Genders. My first thought about Genders was, “Oh cool, female drummer.” And as for their front lady, well, she was pretty damn likeable (her voice is awesome) and while their bassist looked like he was Mike Meyers double from Wayne’s World, he was definitely a presence on stage. All in all, Genders are a very soothing, almost ethereal feeling band that I’d definitely see again.

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It was nice to hear a mix of both older and newer songs from Built to Spill, and I could tell the crowd felt the same way. We got to hear quite a bit of the 90’s BTS with songs like “Revolution,” “In the Morning,” and “Velvet Waltz,” as well as some of their more recent songs like, “Liar,” “Mess with Time,” and “Living Zoo.” Built to Spill was glorious and I can happily admit that I loved seeing them just as much as my first time. Now…for the pictures!!

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If you’re looking for an all around mellow band with an ability to pull at your emotional heart-strings, then Built to Spill is for you.

Mike Watt and the Secondmen/ The Blasters/ X (American Band) @ The Observatory, Santa Ana, 7/10/15

My decision to go to this show was a very spontaneous one– so spur of the moment, in fact, that I chose to go literally six hours before the show started, and I’m glad I did. It wasn’t until I arrived at The Observatory in Santa Ana, that I began to realize that this show might be geared for an audience a decade or two older than my generation, because I found myself among seasoned adults and married couples with the occasional youth sprinkled here and there. Needless to say, I didn’t quite “blend in.” But it was no matter: music transcends age.

I quickly made my way to the main stage to find Mike Watt and the Secondmen about halfway through their set. While it might seem ignorant of me, I have to be honest and tell you that I had no idea who Mike Watt was, let alone the Secondmen ( I have now remedied that), and so when I walked in my curiosity was piqued and I quickly made my way to the front and center to get a better view. It didn’t take me long to figure out who was Mike Watt because although he was the bassist, I felt like he was the one truly commanding the stage. His eccentricity was strange, yet compelling. Looking back I wish that I had gotten to hear their whole set, because I ended up really enjoying Mike and the Secondmen, their vibe was fucking cool.

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Now, given that I’m practically a baby in the eyes of the world, you can’t give me too much shit for not knowing who The Blasters were (c’mon cut me some slack). My first thought when they started was, “Damn, that decrepit looking motherfucker can FUCKING SING.” Of course, I’m talking about frontman Phil Alvin, who is only 62 but looks like he is 75. I remember watching him strum on his guitar and thinking that his hand looked like it was the hand of Dracula, I swear, it was like it was going to just crumble into dust. Okay, okay…. no more old jokes. The Blasters set was fun and entertaining and I couldn’t help but move even though I was recording a majority of the time– their music was just too good to sit still.

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My thoughts about X that night: Exene is a bad bitch, John is rad, and Billy is an OG.

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Needless to say, X killed it, I mean really, they were fucking awesome– couldn’t stop smiling the whole time. However, during the show, I couldn’t shake this strange feeling. At first I couldn’t quite pinpoint it, but I realized later that it was jealousy. I looked around the room to find everyone euphoric. I mean yes of course, I was having a great time, but I didn’t know which song was being played as soon as the first few chords were struck, I wasn’t singing the words to every song, and I wasn’t jumping up and down with delight when my favorite song was played. I couldn’t help but feel slightly alienated from everyone else because I wasn’t the same kind of fan and I envied the others. It was evident from so many people– I could see it on their faces, that each song held some kind of emotion or memory that was alive long before I was; X was reminding everyone there of themselves at my age.

Music is a time machine.

I’m very pleased with my choice to come out and see some music history, and even though I may not have been a total fan when I came, I left as one.

Murder by Death and Rocky Votolato @ The Wayfarer, Costa Mesa, CA

Let’s backtrack a few months ago to Februrary 8,  2015 when I was privileged with the opportunity to see the Indie folk/rock band Murder by Death as well as their opening act Rocky Votolato, whom I had never heard before.

While Rocky’s music may not be my cup of tea, there was no denying his confident yet humble stage presence that combined with his resonating voice made him very worthwhile to see. While I cannot call myself a Votolato fan, I do know that if I eventually see him again, I’m definitely getting more footage than when I did last.

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I had only gotten to see Murder by Death once before in my young life and so I was very eager to hear them again. My first experience seeing them at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles was very nice given that the venue is so small and cozy. But I was even more pleased to find that The Wayfarer’s venue in Costa Mesa was much smaller and created an even more intimate feel, which any fan can greatly appreciate. Naturally, they played a majority of their set with songs of off their newest album Big Dark Love, but also played their older more well known (and loved) songs. It is especially endearing that MDB take the times to meet their fans after every show and that night was no exception.

You can view 3 videos I took on my youtube page with videos including: Big Dark Love, Natural Pearl, and Three Men Hanging

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I think it might be kind of obvious that I have a favorite of the band, but I mean c’mon, Sarah Balliet seriously kills it on the cello. AM I RIGHT? Not to mention she’s adorable.

It really is a bummer that MBD wont be playing in the west coast for a while, but when they do, I’ll be there…as should you. 😉

(Click on photo for better image viewing)

Everyone starts somewhere…

It seems that somehow you have stumbled on to this page. Let’s blame it on your unsatisfying quench for the enthralling and captivating world of musicians and their brilliance in creating the music that we sentient beings live and die for… of course it could also have just been an accident, or boredom– maybe both.

REGARDLESS of this, you are here and I welcome you. In this small seemingly insignificant speck on the inter-web I shall be posting about local bands from Orange County in southern California, USA, which include photos, reviews, and live footage that I have accumulated. Also included will be some tidbits of footage I have from various larger concerts/venues I have attended.

My endeavor for this project is to create a page where people can find new music and bands that people would never have otherwise found, heard of, or even cared about.

Everyone has got to start somewhere, right?