Broke L.A. At The Regent Theater, Sunday April 22nd 2018
The second day at Broke L.A. was a bit more traditional as a music adventure, but once again there were no headliners, only a long list of bands playing from 2 pm to 1:30 am, and once again I spent a lot of time inside the Regent theater on Sunday afternoon and evening like a crazy music addict, watching about 15 more bands.
I obviously couldn’t see everything but the global impression was about this new abundance of pop rock with a few escapes toward R&B and electronica. The guitars were back, with plenty of keyboards, and even some crazy punk rock by the Drac and the Swamp Rats, a mad scientist/ horror-show band with a mummy, a wolf, a Frankenstein monster, and a frontman who seemed to have an epileptic crisis on stage. They boosted the energy to the roof right away with an old sci-fi movie vibe and seemed to be the closest thing to punk rock, just like One High Five, a playful, ready-for-a-party band which went on stage later on,…I can’t even tell how much fun these guys brought on stage, a complete blast of fast pop punk rock whipped with infectious dance grooves and an impetuous bassist.
All these guys rocked hard but there were much calmer acts like the serene songs of Saigo coming with a touch of R&B and layered with funk and soulful vocal harmonies. His song preaching the goodness of diversity was as multi-influenced as his diverse neo soul. Crow, fronted by a wide-eyed siren with a sensual voice was just in between, with tempestuous numbers and soothing emotional songs. She was a multi instrumentalist, and played a sexy electric guitar or even a saxo, suddenly quieting the place with a solemn grace à la Angel Olsen. Later, Clara Nova was in the same vibe in a more churchy way, a pure and sophisticated electro-pop beauty with many keyboards or an isolated guitar, with ethereal poignant vocals…her style reminded me Weyes Blood who played Desert Daze last year. And women were certainly represented with another fierce frontgirl, Tillie, who sang delicious fighting pop songs, with a Cyndy Lauper voice (she did ‘Girls just want to have fun’)… She was sweet but in total command of the crowd, and because the night belonged to pop bands this time, Pink Skies had a dream pop vibe with double keys going a bit psychedelic, and if at times their escapism pop sounded like Tame Impala they had true thunder moments. Low Hum had nice melancholic textures but their layered soundscapes were more complex and dynamic than they first appeared.. Suddenly guitars were back with a vengeance
And it was the same inside the Love Song bar, with the surfing pop of Small Forward and their floating lush harmonies, with the punk rock via India of Doctors and Engineers and their loud punchy sound with stick beats, with the electrifying and sharp guitar of Shiva Linga, who was switching to drums with ease during her exotic and lonely compositions, with the exuberant passion of Foxtrax and their high-energy heartfelt songs, and with Blushh’s cute wide-eyed pop and a series of youth anthems sounding like the soundtrack for a cute teen movie.
There was a lot to see and hear, and my night ended with Holy Wars and another mesmerizing performance by frontwoman Kat Leon who wrapped the Regent like a gothic storm and blew away the minds of people who had never witnessed her in action…actually I hang out a bit more to see a few songs by Sizzy Rocket, whose collaboration with Flosstradamus, ‘Don’t Trip’, was featured on his most recent EP with Run The Jewels. .. there were still 3 acts to go, and I wonder who stick around so late on a Sunday night, that was truly a lot of music to digest for just $25, yes, the price of the weekend pass, and less than the 10th of a Coachella ticket.