Hearty Har With The Bash Dogs And Talk In Tongues At The Hi Hat, Tuesday February 27th 2018
In case you hadn’t realized it yet, there’s a strong probability for a progeny to form a band when a parent was/still is in the music business, this is a story we repeatedly see, even though kids of rock legends can’t win the competition against their father/mother’s aura,… We have seen this over and over, but it has never stopped kids to try, and why would they? Music runs in the family, in their blood and it’s a lot of fun. John Fogerty is certainly part of these legends, a Creedence Clearwater Revival legend, and since Hearty Har, the band of his two kids Shane and Tyler, was performing at the Hi Hat last night, it was a good time for me to check them out.
Before them, Orange County-based, the Bash Dogs played a very psychedelic set, with a central organ and a sort of Ray Manzarek vibe. The textures were definitely very ‘70s with complex song structures and many jam-like departures. With Nate Barrett on guitar and lead vocals, his brother Jeremy on drums, Nathan Schmok on bass and a fourth guy often dominating the scene with groovy keys, the trio’s music was deeply enjoyable while being quite adventurous. With the artistic projections of Stranger Liquids on the back of the stage, they were like a kaleidoscopic psych-rock vision of the Doors meet the Beatles meet the Flaming Lips, (they even covered ‘Lucy in the Sky’) with some elements of psych-surf rock, a touch of funk, inventive noises and melodies escaping from the mix. Their music culminated into a full sound with heavy riffs and crowd pleasers.
Talking about grooves, Hearty Har had strong ones coming out of a loud and layered psychedelic sound, as 6 people were occupying the stage, Beside Shane and Tyler Fogerty on guitars and vocals, there were Will Van Santen on drums, Marcus Högsta on bass, Jesse Wilson on keys, and another musician in the back playing an occasional flute or saxophone. During their set, they jammed complete psychedelic parts, losing their mind in a rainbow of colors and sounds, then getting into foot tapping songs, rocking boots against the floor, adding screams and the appropriate rock ‘n’ roll attitude. And since I mention attitude, the Fogerty brothers didn’t have any, after all these two are rock royalties, they have already toured with their dad and played in high places such as the Hollywood Bowl… but it didn’t matter to them, last night, they were rocking the little cool Highland Park club, and they were fine with that. They felt at home on the spacious but cozy stage, while lively covering Van Morrison’s ‘Could You Would You’ and mixing the cards of ‘70s psych rock, modern garage rock with a prism of colors. ‘All My Loving’ was a fun and explosive ‘60s Beatles-esque unbridled singalong neon party, and they ended with their new single a fired-up version of the Sonics’ 1965 classic ‘Psycho’ with knees on stage and arms in the air. Hearty Har have a new EP, and last night was their second show at the Hi Hat celebrating its release. They put on a great show, bringing people wailing and dancing and having a good time,… overall, they were heavy into psychedelia, while navigating between the old sound of the 60-70s and a new and inventive style.
Talk in Tongues finished the night with a sound leaning a bit less toward heavy happy psychedelic guitars, although their music had a strong psych pop rock element. The quartet had a quite sophisticated sound with melancholic textures, surprising and elegant guitar work by Garrett Zeile, falsetto vocals by McCoy Kirgo, and even jazz-inspired parts. Overall their atmospheric sound had some of Tame Impala’s cosmic inspirations mixed with middle-of the-summer torpidity. People rarely go out on Tuesdays because it’s still the beginning of the week, but this was a good night at the Hi Hat with three upcoming young bands.