The Fabulous Miss Wendy At Cafe Nela, Thursday March 30th 2017
Cafe Nela is a strange place, a place which seems to have been forgotten by time and the ever-increasing gentrification, a bar stuck between two freeways and San Fernando Road, with walls crowded with stickers and flyers, a multicolor lightning garland which looked like some Christmas party leftovers, two TV sets showing back and white movie classics, and a large Corona light sign. It is actually an authentic place, still hosting punk rock shows, and I was there to see The Fabulous Miss Wendy, which played at 10 pm, leaving me plenty of time to observe the neighborhood before the band took the stage. Half trucker and biker stop with banjo music, half punk hangout with cheap Tiffany lamps and worn out red leather booths, I was wondering if I was still in LA,… this place smelled country and suburbs and was certainly not a hipster place.
When the Fabulous Miss Wendy took the stage, the atmosphere abruptly changed from quiet hangout to furious rock arena, and I partially understood why this guy at the bar had kept his sunglasses till 10 pm, may be he wanted to get some protection from this explosion of glam rock. Frontwoman Wendy Jacobson is a ball of fire, and just what she says, fabulous,… the epitome of a rock goddess in the making. Even though she obviously took inspiration from acts like the Misfits, The Dead Kennedys and The Ramones, she is not a copy cat as she shreds like an old school punk in constant guitar assault, while taking all the photogenic pauses of the greatest acts.
The trio played a short but furious set with long shreds, which were tearing the place apart, and Wendy’s punk moan à la Courtney Love, showing us a constant ecstatic smile on her face, as if she was experiencing the bliss of rock and roll, before launching a new assault under the low ceiling of Cafe Nela. The trio blew up the small venue and Wendy was not the type to stay still, exhibiting 3 different outfits in 30 minutes, kneeling down with her guitar, shredding her instrument on all four, rolling her back on the floor, she was a new incarnation of rock and roll, a hot pink hair rock princess, pulling her tongue out or even licking the strings.
Wendy Jacobson took a guitar at the age of 10, got the lead spot in a Nickelodeon all-girl rock band, finished third in the United States’ “World Battle of the Bands Competition” and even won a VU-1 award… In 2011, she released her debut album engineered by Goo Goo Dolls’ own, Paul David Hagar, and even joined Slash on tour, before working with infamous producer Kim Fowley on her next album, ‘No One Can Stop Me’… think what you want about Kim but he always found a way to get very close to pretty young female rockers!
On Thursday night, Wendy Jacobson was on a mission, a mission to save rock and roll, gaining everyone’s attention, covering the Ramones’ ‘Hey Ho Let’s Go’… They ended the show too soon but came back on stage for an even more raucous number, as she was screaming a few ‘thank you’ over aggressive riffs. This girl was on a roll, she was restless with a fearless attitude, as the guitar-bass-drums trio crashed into a big final as energetic as the whole set, getting even a bit more vicious than the rest. And, as if she was possessed by the rock n roll demons, she rolled her back in the dusty floor for a few good minutes, despite her glam-fab moniker.