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Tijuana Tears At The Satellite, Monday August 12th 2013

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I had seen Tijuana Tears last year at this same place, the Satellite, and I had totally enjoyed their lively set filled with bluesy songs and soaring vocals, so when I saw they were opening the night for this month The Janks’ residency, I rightly showed up at the club at 9 pm, and entered when they had just started their set. Since when bands start right on time? I remembered about Bryce Alber’s interesting high-pitched vocals (a bit reminiscent of Cold War Kids’ Nathan Willett), their explosive performance, and beside the fact that the singer had longer hair at the time, the feeling was the same: catchy songs played with a real enthusiasm and happy vibes all along.

The quintet formed last year and has only released a single EP ‘Phantasmic Consciousness’ on bandcamp, but they played a lot of new songs according to their setlist. The crowd was already big for an opening band, which is always a good sign, and people were cheering and dancing, another very good sign. A favorite track of mine was ‘Howls’, a dynamic stomping-western-ish kind-of song, during which everybody seemed to contribute to a fun-to-watch chaos interrupted by ‘yahooooos’ shout-outs. Singer Bryce Alber said his dad (who was in the room) really liked the next one ‘The Narrows’, a stirring ballad with vocal crescendos oooooos that particularly showcased Alber’s soulful voice. A few bluesy-rock numbers and a few crowd’s handclaps later, people were asking for more after they ended their short set with their EP title song ‘Phantasmic Consciousness’, an uplifting soul-pop-rock song (I actually don’t know exactly what genre it belonged to) with lots of soul and passion, and a groovy ‘ooooo-oo-oo-ooo’ hook which sounded like a call for the crowd to sing along.

Looking at the way they interacted with the crowd these guys sounded very cool and genuine, opening the night (which was sponsored by Badass Bands Blog) with an upbeat sound and the right amount of California and Texas influences, where the different members come from. At the end of the set, I ‘stole’ one of the setlists lying on the floor of the stage, they probably saw me, and one of the members of the band came next to me to handle me three Tijuana Tears stickers! Such a nice gesture, see you again Tijuana Tears, when you fill up the Greek or the Fonda!

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