This Is Just Starting: Echo Park Rising Day 1, Thursday August 17th 2017
Echo Park Rising has started and my entire neighborhood has been hijacked by music, bands and free concerts all over the place. How should I take this? How should I possibly cover this? It’s simply mission impossible but downloading the free app certainly help to find your way through this considerable amount of shows during these very intense four days. Thursday night after a workday was tough and joyful at the same time, because the week was not completely over and the streets and clubs were already packed! I was able to see a few bands already, between the Echo, the Echo patio and the Taix Champagne room across the street, but I always have the feeling it doesn’t represent much in comparison of all these gigs going on every where, but it was just a start and I haven’t used all my options yet!
It was good to start the festival with Joel Jerome and the Cosmic Bears playing around 8 pm at the Echo, because this sounded so cozy. The name of the band was probably a nod to his last album ‘Cosmic Bear Jamboree’, and the music was oscillating between the Beatles, and other British invasion bands, with a touch of the Beach Boys and the Doors. I made the mistake — but may be it was for a good reason — to exit the Echo in order to check a few bands on the patio, but when it was time to get in for Dungen, they were at capacity and I never got to see them… I had seen them at a festival before, so I should have guessed they would be a big deal, stupid me! Anyway this allowed me to see Orchin, an interesting band with a very laidback attitude and a loud pop fuzz pedal, and also the wonderful Hoover III, whose frontman joked, ‘Let’s be honest, if you are here it’s because you could not get in for Dungen!’… I saw so many bands in a few days, I don’t remember why exactly Hoover III sounded so good but they were all Thin Lizzy glory (at least they had the jacket), with an unconditional enthusiasm for a fast fuzzy rock ‘n’ roll, crazy unstoppable guitars and layered keys at the top of shouted lyrics. I just fell in love with them, and I forgot, they used a sax, like the Stooges!
Talking about love, Sextile was playing at the Taix across the street and since I had already seen them opening for Algiers a month ago, I knew it didn’t matter if they were playing after midnight on a school day, I had to see them again. They have infectious dark dance beat, they are punk angry with the right attitude… and I don’t know if they are aware of this, but Sextile is channeling my current frustrations and I have plenty of them at the moment, but there is something in the attitude of the singer, in their electronic UFO-effect beats and punk energy that was totally liberating and I can’t wait to see the again.
It wasn’t too bad for a first day, but I saw even more bands on Friday, I am just starting my day at the festival we are on Saturday and there is also Sunday…. At this point, I have given up covering the event, Echo Park Rising is an unstoppable DIY movement, an uprising force, and whether you decide to be part of it or not, it’s here to stay, blowing up your mind at each street corner along Sunset boulevard, without any doubt the best festival of the summer.