Los Angeles, CA — Allow me to just get a quick rant out of the way before we begin. First of all, there were WAY too many bands on this bill. For a town that is supposedly known as the “Entertainment Capital of the World”, you would think that Hollywood’s booking agents would be able to schedule things around the lifestyles of the clubgoers by now, you know? How about arranging a show so that people will be able to see it?
For this club to have opened the doors at an obnoxiously early 7:30 (what, is there a curfew I don’t know about?) and for 6 bands to be on a bill in a hot, packed like sardines venue like the Whisky is not only ridiculous, but uncomfortable and unsafe. Several people had to leave after the fourth band just to be able to breathe. Once outside the sauna of sweat that the club had become, everyone had to fight their way out because the sidewalk was literally mobbed with even more people waiting to get in. Where all these people thought they were going, I have no idea. The whole episode did a great disservice to the bands, the industry people who were there to see them, and especially to the fans who paid good money to get in, and attempt to comfortably enjoy a show. Sorry, but that’s just bad booking, guys. Get it together, would ya? Get back to me on that. Oh, and I’ll take a Vanilla Latte.
Now, let’s talk music.
Grateful to have been able to catch the tail end of Elemental‘s impressive set, the band was already testing the sound barriers by the time I was inside. The Whisky was full of booming sound from the monitors and sweaty bodies; all giving Elemental the attention they deserved. There is no doubt that this band is on the way up in a big way. My first Elemental experience was at the Troubadour, and since then they have done nothing but continue to give it 1000% at every show I’ve seen since. Elemental are definitely one of my favorite up and coming bands right now. Their dynamic performance had everyone on their feet, and ended with just as much explosive energy. Congratulations to Erik, Anthony, Agro, and Doug of Elemental for their awesome industry showcase performance. It was obviously a total success for everyone involved!
Next up were the headliners, Sacramento’s Simon Says. This band was stunning to watch. It’s been a while since I have witnessed that much physical energy put into a live show. Probably not since the last Slipknot show have I seen a band give their all in the physical sense in the way that Simon Says did last night. All of the members of Simon Says are astonishing and compelling live performers, not to mention that they were completely tight musically.
The set list included several brand new tracks and a couple from the more radio-friendly, debut CD Jump Start, but things have really changed in the Simon Says camp. They are doing things on their own terms and making music for themselves and making no apologies for it. The re-vamped sound is a truer representation of this band, and it’s something they will be able to live with and be proud of for years to come. Sometimes you just can’t shove something this raw into a pretty, perfect package. Kudos to them for being brave enough to take that leap. Apparently, it’s working.
Every song the band performed from their upcoming, sophomore CD Shut Your Breath was heavy, intense, and crackling with fierce energy. This band is ready to play hard with the big boys, and their new material was proof of that. Some of the songs played were: “Hey You”, “Dyslexic”, “Slider”, “El Ess”, “Silkmoth”, and “Train Wreck”.
Let it be said that Matt Franks has an excellent voice, which holds merit all by itself. Paired with his non-stop, action-packed stage presence; you’ve got some serious energy that is tough to beat. Let Britney Spears try to do what Matt does and still have any breath left! She’d collapse in the first round. Add to that Zac Diebels (guitar) and Michael Arrieta (bass) doing their thing, and it’s difficult to decide just who to keep an eye on. Behind all this mayhem is Mike Johnston beating his drums to a pulp. Seeing Simon Says is like going to a movie that you have to see twice in order to catch all the action! Be sure to check out Simon Says live when they roll into your city! Shut Your Breath comes out in June – so stay tuned for another in-depth UnEarthed.com review!
I was pleasantly surprised by OneSideZero. They were the first band of the night to incite a mini-mosh pit in the center of the crowd, and for that they get the honorary m/ symbol! (In fact, I just may start a rating system!) The 5 members of OneSide Zero had little room to do their thing on the cramped stage of the Whisky, but they certainly made the most of it! The band performed some really great tunes including “Tap Water” and “Eight” that were all new to my ears, this being my first OneSideZero show, but it won’t be the last.
Special thanks to the beautiful and always lovely Hilary (and to Diana!) at Hollywood Records for bringing us out to the show, and for wining and dining us; to Erik of Elemental; and to the members of all the bands for sweating way more than we did. I’m still bummed out for missing Boy Hits Car and theSTART. Next time…