Easy Friend, Magic Bronson at Hi Hat




By DONNA BALANCIA

The Hi Hat in Highland Park is really having its great days, booking bands that can easily steal the spotlight from other acts in other venues across the city.

With bands like Easy Friend and Magic Bronson on the stage, it’s a sure bet the Hi Hat booker is a fan of good rock music.

Easy Friend - Photo by Donna Balancia
Easy Friend – Photo by Donna Balancia

Easy Friend

Easy Friend has a cool performance style.  With melody-driven reggae-influenced rock, the band has a great presence with an ever-evolving frontman, Eric Brown, guitarist and vocalist. Matthew Faulkner is the bassist and Paul Heiman drums.

Easy Friend is Eric Brown, Matthew Faulkner and Paul Heiman - Photo by Donna Balancia
Easy Friend is Eric Brown, Matthew Faulkner and Paul Heiman – Photo by Donna Balancia

The band was joined by Sarsten of Hydro Kitten and Melissa from the Slugs who joined in on a song called “Pieces.”

Easy Friend with Sarsten and Melissa of Hydro Kitty and Slugs - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Easy Friend with Sarsten and Melissa of Hydro Kitty and Slugs – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

Easy Friend gives hope that good music can thrive in LA. Check out the video:

Magic Bronson

Magic Bronson does not need more cowbell. The band knows how to have a good time on stage and one of the favorites of the night was the cover of “Lime in the Coconut.”

Magic Bronson - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Magic Bronson – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

‘You Better Be Good’

On hand was Kevin Bronson of Buzzbands.la who recalled that three or four years ago Magic Bronson emailed him to come check them out. He noted that there was an abundance of confidence in the note and Bronson replied that he would check them out with a warning: “With a name like that, you better be good.”

“Night Owl” was one of the favorite songs, it starts with high pitched tubular sounds and clanking drums and descends into uplifting chaos.

Magic Bronson is pure energy - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Magic Bronson is pure energy – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

Apollo Beebop

Apollo Beebop gave an eclectic sax-laden rap performance, complete with quick, efficient guitar work. The frontman raps about life’s challenges.

Apollo Beebop - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Apollo Beebop – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

The band is from the OC and they guys say they’re working on getting gigs. Apollo Beebop has interesting and sophisticated style, blending several types of sound. Aaron the frontman said they are influenced by a range of rap and jazz artists, notably John Coltrane.

Apollo Beebop - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Apollo Beebop – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

Naia Izumi

The night opened with Naia Izumi, whose sound is unique: Beautiful and eerily high pitched. Reminicent of an avant garde Billy Holliday. What is perhaps the most interesting aspect is the guitar style, with two hands on the neck producing a sound like stormy raindrops hitting a harp.

Naia Izumi - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Naia Izumi – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia