The Crazy Brave, Easyfriend, Holy Wars At the Hi Hat, Wednesday April 19th 2017
Badass Bands LA had a very special show at the Hi Hat on Wednesday, three bands performed while the Badass community filmed the performances inside the Eagle Rock club, which had transformed itself into a very bright place for the circumstance. They even had two comedians, funny men Morgan Jay and Michael Burnett between sets, and since the whole event was free it would have been a crime to have missed out the evening
After a super fast psychedelic number, the Crazy Brave slowed down a bit, but not for very long, their hooky-poppy choruses had something borrowed from the British classics, and they were all power-chords and bright pop combined with soothing vocal harmonies all set-long. Soon their pop turned very sweaty as their performance was filled with energy and a touch of psychedelia, cooling down with a dreamy side on certain songs, which made them oscillate between Spoon and Beach House. I actually am not sure what comparisons I could come up with, but they were essentially a pop band playing with the energy and ardor of a rock band, and they are about to release a new EP!
EasyFriend followed, and their frontman Eric Brown immediately set the tone when he appeared on stage wearing a long scarlet dress with a shawl combined with black man shoes. A tall guy in a dress always sounds crazy, dramatic and comical at the same time, and, as the rest of the band had matched the red and black theme, they played their pop rock songs with a lot of drama and some red make up running along Brown’s face. Brown wrote on his bio that he spent a lot of time on the road between L.A. and New Orleans in his $150 R.V., which could explain his trans-bohemian look, and his stage antics, which were somewhat over the top in a true rock ‘n’ roll style. The surprising detours of his music, partly hard hitting, hard shaking, and hard rolling with mad guitar solos, were making people smile, jump and bounce, ending into a loud fuzz of guitars with Brown in the middle, crooning then kneeling down in his red dress.
I have seen Holy Wars three times so far, and if I had to vote for the most likely band to blow up, I would pick them! Fronted by the mesmerizing Kat Leon, if you live in L.A. and haven’t seen them perform yet, you immediately should check when they play again. Kat Leon is a warrior who rides the pain through plenty of loud fuzz and distortion, she howls, hurts and dances as if she were the reincarnation of a darker Debbie Harry, and the result is quite spectacular. This time, her wild acrobatic dance was complemented by two creepy cat creatures, wearing black bodysuits covering them from head to toe, which were following her in the shadow, or crawling their way into the crowd. Dark angel or owl of the night, Leon truly looked like this ‘dark orphan rock’ she calls herself, singing her emotional songs, reinventing an explosive drama inside the band’s dark semi-electronic-semi-industrial soundscapes. Throughout the set, the apocalyptic blend of chord vibrations, guitar shredding, hard hitting beats and Leon’s fierce vocals opened some cathartic door with an impressive level of passion, anger and tragedy. A Holy Wars set is both magical and fascinating, a rollercoaster of emotions, from numbing the pain to a back-to-life resurrection, as Kat Leon magically breaks the rules of any performer I have seen. She may sound like the poster girl for Badass Bands, but a good advise for bands would be to not book Holy Wars as openers, since they may steal the show.