Some shows are just more fun with friends in tow. Sure, I love going to shows alone. You’re able to do what you want without judgement and you make all of the calls for the night as to when to arrive, when to leave and everything in between. Doing this night after night is great but doing it alone night after night gets a bit depressing so I was more than excited when I was able to con not one, but two friends into last night’s show. I pride myself on picking great shows to take my friends to but knowing very little about the band performing last night had me a bit worried. Thankfully, the three bands didn’t let me down and my friends and I ended up having a great time– a much better time than I would have had on my own.
Kicking the night off a little bit after 8:30 was local band Joust. This four piece took the stage in one of the most awkward ways possible. “I literally just got out of the hospital so I’ll probably mess this up,” stated Tony the bassist. Offering no explanation as to why he was in the hospital or how he was doing, the band kicked into a fast-paced opening set. The music was unpolished but it worked like that. It had a very garage-band feel while still feeling rehearsed and well planned out. With moments of chaos followed by classic punk rock vibes, the set, although uber quick, packed a punch and had my friends and I a bit captivated. The final song that they played (I didn’t catch the title and I apologize) had me stunned. It started off with sweeping guitar solos that made it sound a bit like Avengened Sevenfold. After a couple bars of that, they jumped in to a sound that had a very Fidlar and Dune Rats vibe. That vibe was quickly replacement by what could have been a Vandals cover band. Watching this group pull from so many influences in just one song had me in love and I truly can’t wait to see them again soon.
Following Joust was a local favorite of mine- Kitten Forever. I hadn’t seen these guys since last November and had been craving a show from them ever since. As soon as I saw the three women take the stage and watched Liz Elton grip the telephone that this trio uses as a microphone, I couldn’t stop the excitement from taking over. I watched my friends as the band jumped into the fast and dirty set and couldn’t help but smirk at the surprise and confusion on their faces. Kitten Forever’s sound is dirty, it’s punk, it’s got a serious garage rock vibe and a sense of chaos at all times but it’s a sound that’s impossible to not fall in love with.
Beyond the unique sound and then unique vocals that are produced by the phone, the musicianship of these three women is beyond impressive. I watched in awe (as I always do when I see them) as all three members swapped between bass, vocals, and drums. When switching instruments, the ladies made sure to not let the music fall whether that was by clicking drumstick together, getting a chant of lyrics going or whatever. The swapping of instruments adds an element to their live show that you just don’t get every night. Add their infectious energy and their “I don’t give a fuck” attitude and you are left with a set that had my friends stunned and had me in my happy place.
Peach Kelli Pop were the headliners for the Tuesday night show and, within the first song, I understood why. This Canadian Garage/ punk band instantly stole my heart and attention along with that of the rest of the fairly good sized crowd (for a Tuesday at least) within the first song. Just like Kitten Forever, Peach Kelli Pop had this infectious energy as their played through their headlining set. With songs that rarely lasted more than two minutes, there was an undeniable sense of power as the band blasted through song after song. Although all of the members had a personality that differed from the rest, singer Allie Hanlon seemed to steal the spotlight with ease. Every time after they finished a song, she would adjusted her long, straight, dark hair. I don’t know why this is what I latched onto but I wasn’t the only one and, after a couple of songs, one of my friends mentioned it too. Sure, is this a weird thing to bring up? Yes. But it also felt like part of their show and it added a personality and a sense of realness to their set.
The music that Peach Kelli Pop plays had a very California vibe to it. Although fast and gritty like the rest of the bands that performed, there was this laid back So-Cal vibe that was too strong to ignore and had me wishing I was on the beach with a margarita in hand. Their easy-going attitudes matched the music and created an atmosphere that would soothe even the most anxious person you know. Although I couldn’t sing along like majority of the crowd was able to do, there was a giant smile on my face throughout Peach Kelli Pop’s set and that says something about this band considering it was nearly 11 PM on a Tuesday night and I didn’t get my nap in.
People ask me why I go to so many shows alone and the truth is that I love experiencing shows alone. That being said, having some friends by your side at a truly fun show can change your whole experience. Last night was an absolutely amazing show but having those friends there made it one of the best.