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The Wild Young Hearts At The Whiskey A Go Go, Saturday February 22nd 2014

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The Wild Young Hearts

On Saturday night, The Wild Young Hearts was one of the bands playing the Whiskey A Go Go, a place where I don’t frequent much because I am an east side kind of person – plus finding free parking is a nightmare in this part of town ! In any case, the place is a legendary spot on the Sunset strip which had the Doors for house band in the mid-sixties, and played a truly important role on the career of many rock’ n’ roll legends such as the Byrds, Alice Cooper, Buffalo Springfield, Arthur Lee of Love,… and I wonder what could go through the minds of these young people when they play on this magical stage.

But none of these intimidating ideas seemed to affect these Wild Young Hearts guys, as they looked totally at ease and completely fearless through their set filled of loud guitars, they were joking between songs and even chewing some bad beef jerky. They looked quite proud, after all it was the release party of their first LP, appropriately entitled ‘California Dreams’, and If I had to qualify their music in a few words, I would say it was dynamic, totally upbeat and as catchy as a Weezer’s song… I guess they have a few sing-along tunes that may already be radio-ready such as ‘Katie’ or ‘16’, and this can’t be a bad thing for them. The quartet, fronted by singer Robert Laffoon, whose bright red hair was matching his pants, managed to mix sunny-poppy hooks with enough rock attitude and youthful enthusiasm they could have pleased any Blink 182’s fan. Also there was the song ‘Diamond Street’, which started almost exactly like The Clash’s ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’ – and it can’t be a coincidence, since the lyrics say ‘I grew up on rock’ n’ roll’. However all this was definitively more happy-beach rock than revolution rock.

According to what I read, the band was named after a cool expression that Laffoon’s grandma said one day, and from what I could see the moniker fits them well as there was this desire to live the sunny California dream through foot tapping and loud-harmony-filled anthems combined with some cool coast sporty fashion. When they said they were about to slow down, they played their fastest song of the night (and may be my favorite) ‘There goes my baby’… could they have had a Green Day side too? I am hardly joking, but they displayed their swagger in full force with the last song ‘Supermodel’ with Laffoon singing, ‘Baby I am going home to fuck a supermodel’…okay! May be they aren’t there yet!

Setlist:
Sleep
California Dreams
16
What we know is wrong
Katie
Diamond Street
There goes my baby
Caroline
Supermodel

Go there for more pictures of the show.

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