The pandemic is over, or is it really over? The experts predict another Delta-variant wave, but people just want to dance and have fun. Still, it’s almost surreal to walk into a small club, surrounded by plenty of people, and attend a live show, leaning on the stage as if nothing had ever happened. Last night, we just picked up where we stopped a year and a half ago, and even though masks were still on the faces of some (not all) people – there was no possibility of social distancing – we were almost back to normal.
El Cid on Sunset was indeed the place to be, with an evening packed with a crowd thrilled to see 3 local bands. Everyone looked happy to be there, happy to be elbow against elbow, just like before. Will it ever be like before? We shall see, but yesterday was the closest to ‘before’ I have been for a long time despite the early start of the show: 7 pm? Is it a post-pandemic new habit? I can totally live with that.
MoonFuzz, a trio of young women, was the first band to attack the stage with an explosive, fuzzy set of psychedelic rock and big guitars. They were piling up riffs with passion while their drummer (Brandi) was fueling their top-of-the-ceiling energy. Their singer (Heaven) was leading their meandrous psychedelic jams with efficient bass lines and dark howl, and their guitarist (Miranda) was producing powerful, noise-filled solos. Clearly inspired by the mystic power of a certain rock & roll scene (classic rock from Hendrix to Led Zeppelin probably) they were also injecting a large dose of funk into their solos – these bass lines – but fuzz was obviously the tone of their set, that picked in a badass drum solo during their last song.
Broken Baby was next, and the energy didn’t slow down a bit. Vocalist Amber Bollinger is a lightning bolt, a riot grrl jumping, climbing, and crawling, always in movement while the music, with its tones of pop with a punk vibe, had some truly memorable melodies: just listen to the very catchy ‘Manic Panic.’ Juggling between indie, punk, and dancefloor, they were simply restless with some punchy dissonances and an athletic approach. Not afraid of provocative humor (‘Madonna’s a Dick’ was their third song) with some inner rage, they were far more than a band wanting to make you move your ass. Amber, surrounded by rock veteran/producer Alex Dezen (The Damnwells), a drummer and bassist Maxx Diaz, was just a lot of fun to watch, using all the moves of a defiant punk rock attitude, as she was climbing on the public’s shoulders or wrestling with the mic stand like a female Iggy Pop. They ended their set with the post-punk in-your-face ‘It’s My Show,’ but we had completely understood that part from the start.
Since the show was Egg Drop Soup/Broken Baby 7″ Split release party, Egg Drop Soup was next, and the trio didn’t waste a minute to play their punk raging songs filled with heavy riffs and pounding to explosive drums by Bailey Chapman. Since I saw them – during a pre-pandemic show – they got a new drummer, and they are now an all-female band. Lead vocalist and bassist Sam Westervelt’s dark vocals were sometimes completed by banshee-like screams with the help of guitarist Olivia Saperstein, and their rambunctious punk and genreless songs explored new territories with injections of doom metal and psych-rock. Dressed up like a cross between dark priestesses of the occult and dominatrix, they sounded much darker and tougher than I remember, bringing up metal-like tones, desert-tone riffs, while noise, galloping drum and raw distortions dominated their set… without mentioning the awesome hair banging. With song titles such as ‘P.M.S.,’ an unapologetic attitude, and overall a stormy punk-rock collection of songs, they were there to scare people but only managed to delight them.
distinct and wondrous without being obvious or obnoxious
except for the title track the songs are on vacation
simultaneously self-effacing and egomaniacs
essentially a disco remix of “Rocket Man” featuring one of the the UK’s biggest stars…
“I literally really need you to jump up and down”
Friday night might kill us but Thursday evening is a blast
it just isn’t the triumph she needed after six years
an impressive sonic ride.
a high-spirited Post Pandemic anthem