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St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Big Data, Citizen Cope, Ring in 2017 in Long Beach on New Year’s Eve

Annual New Year’s Eve in Long Beach a Wild Party

broken-bones-2-balancia-1-of-1 St. Paul and the Broken Bones enveloped in confetti - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

St. Paul and the Broken Bones enveloped in confetti – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA

Lucky concert-goers rang in the New Year in Downtown Long Beach with St. Paul and the Broken Bones putting on a wild performance and adding a final exclamation point to a turbulent 2016. ( st paul broken bones )

St. Paul and the Broken Bones bring rock and roll to a new level. On this New Year’s Eve, frontman Paul Janeway sported a shiny gold leopard suit, and boogied, howled and even rolled around on the stage floor to the delight of thousands of onlookers.  This is gonna be one heck of a 2017!

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St. Paul and the Broken Bones – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

St. Paul and the Broken Bones Rip it Up

Hordes of fans of the band pushed front and center to see the antics of the flamboyant and passionate singer. St. Paul and the Broken Bones have been around for a few short years but have made a lasting impression with their new album Sea Of Noise.  The band played most of the songs from the September release and performed “Moonage Daydream” in tribute to David Bowie, who passed away last January 10.

The song was a reminder of how many notable musicians died during 2016, but this night was an effort to put the past behind and think of a positive new year.

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Partygoers enjoying New Year’s Eve in Long Beach – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Party People and DJs

“We’re really looking forward to 2017,” said concert-goer Angela LaMarca. “We want great things this year and tonight we’re starting the New Year right right here in Long Beach.”

The bands making the night special were the electronic-style group Big Data, Salsa beat Boogaloo Assassins, rock and rollers Delta Bombers, the popular Citizen Cope and DJs Cut/Copy, DJ Taharba, DJ Sizwe and DJ Paul V.

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DJs Cut/Copy get the crowd moving on a chilly New Year’s Eve night in Long Beach – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

DT Long Beach a Perennial New Year’s Favorite

Downtown Long Beach is a perennial favorite New Year’s Eve destination for those in Southern California and beyond.  Denise and Rick came from Laguna Nigel, but took a hotel room to play it safe.

“We got lucky, but we were committed; we were going to come out regardless of the weather,” said Denise.

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Big Data has no fear of Big Brother – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Clear Skies and Cool Weather

The rainy weather was a threat, but miraculously, Saturday’s downpours gave way to clear skies by the time the impressive lineup of bands took their respective stages.

Big Data, the New York band, made its statement and on its set list was the hit, “Dangerous.”  A few fans said they were following the band around for the last two years.  Wives of the band members enjoyed their time away from the Big Apple for New Year’s, as temperatures have been brutal back East.

Listen to Big Data on Soundcloud

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Alan Wilkis of Big Data reboots the crowd’s energy on a chilly New Year’s Eve in Long Beach – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Boogaloo Assassins Keep the Salsa Rythm

Boogaloo Assassins got the crowd hopping with the band inviting the non-dancers to the front to keep warm.  Their lineup is dynamic and the big band style is appealing to the salsa and non-salsa lovers alike.

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Boogaloo Assassins – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Citizen Cope, known for his hit “Sideways,” impressed with his dynamic bluesy style and a streetwise voice that is unique in its gravelly style.  Cope, whose real name is Clarence Greenwood is no stranger to the world of music, having written for Santana, Dido and others.  More to come.

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The Delta Bombers warm up the crowd in Long Beach to open New Year’s Eve – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Delta Bombers opened the night on the main stage with a rockabilly-punk rock style that brought drew the crowds.  The Delta Bombers are Christ Moinichen on vocals, Andrew Himmler on guitar, Gregorio Garcia on bass and Kirk Highberger on drums.  This is a riveting band that knows how to open a party. Check out their video for “Lock The Door.”

Big Data reaching out - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Big Data reaching out – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

No Glitches with Big Data

Big Data was a crowd favorite, infusing their act with pre-recorded robotic-like instructions and commands that made social commentary in between songs. Lizy Ryan and Alan Wilkis are the heart and soul of this “paranoid” electronic-style band who have enjoyed some success in the two years they’ve been together. Seems they’re not fond of the direction some of the information gathering companies are going — they’re pretty brash and in your face about it.

newyear2017-24-balancia-longbeach-bigdata-1-of-1 Lizy Ryan

Lizy Ryan of Big Data does the mannequin – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

New Year’s Eve in Long Beach has been going many years, but what makes it special is pretty simple: Cool people, great restaurants and super food and bev vendors.  While there were some complaints about traffic, most everything flowed smoothly with event veterans at the helm, including Knitting Factory and Swinghouse Studios.  Check it out next year.

( st paul broken bones #stpaulandthebrokenbones st paul broken bones big data citizen cope)

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Boogaloo Assassins get the crowd dancing to create heat on a chilly New Year’s Eve in Downtown Long Beach – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

 

 

Best LA Concerts of 2016: Big Stars in Small Venues, Young Trailblazers, and California Rockers

Bob Weir, Desert Trip, Eagles of Death Metal, The Cure, Make Beautiful Music in 2016

Jesse Hughes and Eagles of Death Metal put on a high-voltage show - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jesse Hughes and Eagles of Death Metal put on a high-voltage show – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Eagles of Death Metal at The Teragram Ballroom

The band members in The Eagles of Death Metal have coped with a lot and keep going. The most recent excellent performance was a benefit for Dave Rosser, held at Teragram Ballroom. Frontman Jesse Hughes AKA Boots Electric, is one of the most compelling performers — or poseurs — today and holds the audience spellbound with his wild maneuvers, great voice and excellent guitar work. We got an extra bonus on this night: Josh Homme debuted a new song.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Eagles of Death Metal

 

 

The Reluctant Apostles with Katey Sagal: An impressive crew - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Reluctant Apostles with Katey Sagal: An impressive crew – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Reluctant Apostles at Molly Malone’s

The Reluctant Apostles have come a long way in a short time.  The Katey Sagal and Bob Thiele-fronted band like to play at Molly Malone’s and was formed based on their teamwork during Sons of Anarchy.  The Reluctant Apostles are an offshoot of The Forest Rangers, which came to prominence during the uber successful run of SOA. But new things on the horizon from this star-studded cover band: A new Pledgemusic album and more shows to come.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of the Reluctant Apostles

 

Dick Dale gives his fans all he's got - Photo © Donna Balancia

Dick Dale gives his fans all he’s got – Photo © Donna Balancia

Dick Dale and Se7en Reasons Why at Whisky A Go-Go

Where would modern rock and roll be without remarkable performers Mick Scott and Se7en Reasons Why and the ultimate surf guitar master Dick Dale?  Dale’s varied health issues seem to fade away when Dale is on stage, never far from the watchful eye of his wife, Lana.  New Year’s eve at the Whisky A Go-Go has never been better. Dale comes from an era when you performed no matter what ails you. He led the way in the development of the California sound and he’s a true California Rocker.

The CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Dick Dale at the Whisky A Go-Go

 

The mystical Robert Smith and The Cure are enduring - Photo by Craig Hammons for CaliforniaRocker.com

The mystical Robert Smith and The Cure are enduring – Photo by Craig Hammons for CaliforniaRocker.com

The Cure at The Hollywood Bowl

On one of three sold out nights at The Hollywood Bowl, The Cure would cover over 37 years of Cure songs including the hits, rarities and two unreleased tracks. Reviewer Craig Hammons noted that the set list changed each night with The Cure digging deep into their catalog of impressive material.  Robert Smith and the crew would cover 35 songs in just under 3 hours.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The Cure at The Hollywood Bowl

 

Nick Waterhouse fuses jazz blues and rock and roll, he's depicted here performing from his Never Twice album - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse fuses jazz blues and rock and roll, he’s depicted here performing from his Never Twice album – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse at The Regent Theater

We can’t say enough good things about Nick Waterhouse and His Tarots.  Every time we see Nick, the performance gets better if that’s possible, as was demonstrated at The Regent Theater a couple of weeks ago.  A multi-faceted musician, who writes, performs, and produces others, Nick is a California Rocker on the rise. Openers Sad Girl and Cutty Flam impressed.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Nick Waterhouse, Sad Girl and Cutty Flam

 

The Black Angels were among the bands at Desert Daze - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Black Angels were among the bands at Desert Daze – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Desert Daze

Desert Daze, the enduring fest where up-and-comers and veterans alike kick around in boots, bandanas and shorts still reigns supreme.  An eclectic mix of newbies and veterans, the fest offers a chance to hear new music and gives veterans a chance to show their stuff. Television, Primus and Thee Oh Sees mingled with Brian Jonestown Massacre, L.A. Witch, and Thee Commons.

The CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Desert Daze

 

Gavin Rossdale of Bush on a speaker at The Observatory - Photo © Donna Balancia

Gavin Rossdale of Bush on a speaker at The Observatory – Photo © Donna Balancia

Bush at The Observatory

Gavin Rossdale is a high-energy performer, leaping into the audience and jumping on speakers.  Bush performs all the favorites and this particular show at the Observatory was extremely interactive. After a few rounds of hugs and kisses among his fans, Rossdale jumps onto a speaker and finishes “Monkey” from high above.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Bush at The Observatory

 

Robert Plant - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Robert Plant – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Robert Plant at Theatre at the Ace

Robert Plant and his audience share a special bond and that was illustrated clearly at the Theatre at the Ace.  Bringing flowers, love letters and gifts, Robert still has the gals on the edge of their seats.  Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters put on a show that is Led Zeppelin inspired, but takes us to a new and earthy place.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters

 

Soul Asylum takes off at Whisky A Go-Go - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Soul Asylum takes off at Whisky A Go-Go – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Soul Asylum at The Whisky A Go-Go

Dave Pirner keeps going. Whirling around with his guitar and speaking honestly to the audience, with little regard for his sweaty appearance, Pirner is happy to be on stage.  If nothing else Pirner and Soul Asylum are truthful in their performance and the crowd appreciates it. Soul Asylum’s tour started with The English Beat and wrapped solo.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Soul Asylum at The Whisky A Go-Go

 

The English Beat draws the crowds with great performances - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The English Beat draws the crowds with great performances – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The English Beat at The Canyon Club

The English Beat hits a home run every time.  There is not one song from all their famous hits that goes unheard at an English Beat concert and the crowds are devoted.  Dave Wakeling drives the band that has undergone some changes over the years, but the musicians on board are top talents.  Fortunately, The English Beat plays a lot of dates and 2017 shows are all set.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The English Beat at The Canyon Club

 

Michael Franti and the Soulrocker tour - Photo © 2016 Craig Hammons

Michael Franti and the Soulrocker tour – Photo © 2016 Craig Hammons

Michael Franti and Spearhead

Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Pacific Amphitheatre spreads the message of love and compassion for all. The show was such a warm experience that reviewer Craig Hammons said he felt like he left the stadium with 7,000 new friends.  The crowd interlocked arms, danced and sang songs of inclusion and love.  What’s better than an uplifting performance?

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Michael Franti and Spearhead

 

Fartbarf puts all the electronic bands to shame - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Fartbarf puts all the electronic bands to shame – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

FartBarf, David and The Curse at El Cid

Who would think with name like Fartbarf this band would be amazing?  Something must have happened along the way for three guys in caveman masks to call themselves something so silly but play so good.  The electronic music we heard at El Cid blew us out of our shoes.  This is a talented group that does the creators of the Moog proud.  Opener David and The Curse shows how it’s done as this young veteran gives us a new sound that blends Americana with pure rock.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Fartbarf and David and The Curse

 

Kam Franklin and The Suffers triumph at The Echo LA - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Kam Franklin and The Suffers triumph at The Echo LA – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Suffers at The Echo

The Suffers bring you to your knees, they’re that good.  Whether you call it, “Gulf Coast Soul” or good ol’ rock and roll, Kam Franklin and the band bring a blues-influenced power sound to the masses. We caught The Suffers at the Echo, one of our favorite venues, and the place was busting at the seams trying to contain the adoring fans.

The CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The Suffers at The Echo

 

Sad Lovers and Giants - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Sad Lovers and Giants – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Sad Lovers and Giants at The Echoplex

Sad Lovers and Giants put on a show for a lifetime at our well-loved venue the Echoplex, bringing 80s new wave to a young, enthusiastic crowd. It’s sad for fans that this beloved British band may not return to the U.S. any time soon, but we are thrilled to have caught Garçe Allard, Tony McGuinness, Nigel Pollard, Ian Gibson and Will Hicks at least once.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Sad Lovers and Giants at the Echoplex

 

The Who - Photo courtesy of Desert Trip for CaliforniaRocker.com

The Who – Photo courtesy of Desert Trip

Desert Trip

Reviewer Bob Busby called Desert Trip one of the best experiences of his life.  That comes from someone who has been to thousands of shows and festivals. Aside from Roger Waters’ rantings, the moon appearing during Neil Young’s performance of “Harvest Moon,” was a highlight.  And how can you do much better than Sir Paul McCartney sharing the stage with the pop princess Rihanna? Stay tuned for next year.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Desert Trip

 

Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The Dirty Knobs at The Echoplex

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs put on a fun, upbeat show, complete with cover songs you haven’t heard in a while. Jason Sinay and Campbell play off each other as “Gator” and “Ape” in a band where nicknames are abundant as dolphins in Florida.  The Dirty Knobs is a band to check out when they play their few gigs every year. They haven’t recorded anything so go live or go home.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The Dirty Knobs at The Echoplex

 

Bob Weir on tour with 'Blue Mountain' album - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Bob Weir on tour with ‘Blue Mountain’ album – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Bob Weir at The Wiltern

The well-worn co-founder of The Grateful Dead only gets better as the years go on. He introduced a new album and played to a crowd at The Wiltern that was comprised of not only Grateful Dead veterans but young, rainbow-clad and dread-sporting fans. Bob still has the verve and enthusiasm and the sounds ring true.

See the CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Bob Weir at The Wiltern

 

Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In leaps into the air during a performance at the Hollywood Palladium - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In leaps into the air during a performance at the Hollywood Palladium – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

At The Drive-In at Hollywood Palladium

It’s a rare treat to get to see At The Drive-In, but frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala is one of the most entertaining performers in the business. It’s clear from his leaping at The Hollywood Palladium last summer that he’s got a background in skateboarding and he’s a no-holds-barred, balls-to-the-wall musician, saving nothing for himself and giving the crowd his all.  See our award winning-shot of Cedric Bixler Zavala.

The CaliforniaRocker.com Review of At The Drive-In

 

Teri Le Butcherettes Photo by Donna Balancia

Teri of Le Butcherettes surfs the crowd – Photo by Donna Balancia

Le Butcherettes at Hollywood Palladium

Teri Gender Bender is the most physical female performer out there and her shows at The Regent Theater, The Echoplex and opening set for At The Drive-In prove it. There are few who can compare to this precious young rock and roll veteran whose demeanor after the show is remarkably calm compared to her rebellious and taunting onstage persona.  Despite personnel changes over the years, one thing remains a constant: Teri’s talent.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review for Le Butcherettes

 

Joe Bonamassa performs during celebration of B.B. King - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Joe Bonamassa performs during celebration of B.B. King – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

GRAMMY Foundation Honors BB King at Wallis Annenberg

BB King may be gone, but The GRAMMY Foundation hosted a bevy of blues slinging rock stars to honor him at The Annenberg: Slash, Tedeschi Trucks, Joe Bonamassa and a heavenly host of blues performers sang and played the blues in BB’s honor.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review for B.B. King at the Annenberg

 

Wayne Kramer and Marshall Crenshaw - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne Kramer and Marshall Crenshaw – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Wayne Kramer’s Jail Guitar Doors at The Ford Theatres

Wayne Kramer, Don Was and pals put on an amazingly entertaining show at The Ford Theatres to raise money for their charity that serves those behind bars.  The show featured Marshall Crenshaw and a slew of talent to help Wayne raise money for the charity that is close to his heart.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Wayne Kramer and Jail Guitar Doors

 

Bad Boy Eddy - Photo by Donna Balancia

Bad Boy Eddy Rocks Cruefest – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cruefest 2016 at Whiskey A Go-Go

Cruefest Hollywood 2016 brings the kindest hearted metal performers to the Whisky A Go-Go stage each year.  It was a Who’s Who of metal with  Heartbreak Heroes from Oklahoma and Los Angeles; Snake Bite Whisky from Brisbane, Australia; Bad Boy Eddy from Northern California; Stonebreed; Wreking Crue from Detroit, and Mick Scott and Se7en Reasons Why; Blacklist Union, Lunden Reign, Westfield Massacre, and L.A. Story; all of whom are from Los Angeles.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Cruefest 2016 at the Whisky A Go-Go

 

Brian Wilson and band at Hollywood Bowl - Photo by Craig Hammons

Brian Wilson and band at Hollywood Bowl – Photo by Craig Hammons

Brian Wilson at The Hollywood Bowl

Brian Wilson never disappoints and his performance at reviewer Craig Hammons said his performance at the Hollywood Bowl was one of his best.  Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pet Sounds, considered a unique collection at the time of its release, Wilson held the Hollywood Bowl audience enraptured.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Brian Wilson at The Hollywood Bowl

 

Iggy Pop destroys the mic stand during his show at The Hollywood Bowl - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop destroys the mic stand during his show at The Hollywood Bowl – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop at The Greek Theatre

At a time when most people are slowing down, Iggy Pop is going strong, having his best year yet. The “world’s forgotten boy” has a GRAMMY nomination for Post Pop Depression, there’s a Jim Jarmusch movie out about him, and also a new book released about his life.  He’s a 69-year-old anomaly in the world of rock, proudly resplendent in his hard-earned success. Via his partnerships with the young and hip, Iggy continually adds new admirers to his list of longtime fans. It doesn’t hurt to have the “Ginger Elvis,” Josh Homme and the rest of the crew on stage with you.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Iggy Pop at The Greek

 

Burning Spear, the legendary reggae rocker - Photo by Craig Hammons

Burning Spear, the legendary reggae rocker – Photo by Craig Hammons

Burning Spear at The Hollywood Bowl

Reviewer Craig Hammons says Burning Spear is one of the best shows of the year simply because Burning Spear is a solid reggae performer.  The legendary musician among a sea of young upstarts bid adieu to his fans as “I Man” takes a step down from the stage. Over the many years, with grace and dignity Burning Spear has brought new fans to the reggae flock.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Burning Spear 

Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jackson Browne at Lucky Strike Live

It was a pleasant shock to find Jackson Browne appearing at Lucky Strike, which hosts mostly metal-style rockers every Wednesday night during its weekly Lucky Strike Live events.  Browne is a good-hearted type who shows up for a good cause and for the fun of the performance.  At Lucky Strike Live, he gave the regulars — plus about 600 others — a thrill, jamming with some regular players and he had fun to spare.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Jackson Browne

 

Glam Skanks release new album, "Glitter City" - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Glam Skanks release new album, “Glitter City” – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Glam Skanks at MIME

Where are the young women in rock and roll? Answer: The Glam Skanks are right in Los Angeles and they put on a terrific show each and every time. Climbing on speakers, throwing glitter, taunting the audience. Their show at MIME in Echo Park put on by Echo Box heated up the room and had fans screaming for more. There’s a new album and they’re going on tour with Adam Ant.  Stay tuned!

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of The Glam Skanks 

 

Smash Mouth duo Steve Harwell and Paul DeLisle hang together - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Smash Mouth duo Steve Harwell and Paul DeLisle hang together – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Smash Mouth at The Canyon Club

Say what you will about the in-your-face frontman, but Smash Mouth has made it in a tough rock and roll world. When Paul DeLisle teamed with Steve Harwell, as odd a combination as that may have appeared it worked.  With a little help from a hit animated movie, Smash Mouth reinvigorated “I’m a Believer” from The Monkees and a whole new generation was jumping at The Canyon Club. Openers Paper and Strange Case lit a fire.

CaliforniaRocker.com Review of Smash Mouth, Paper and Strange Case

Editor’s Note: The “Best Concerts of the Year” coverage only includes the performances CaliforniaRocker.com staff attended during 2016.

Review: Holidays Heat Up As Nick Waterhouse, Sad Girl and Cutty Flam Band Rock The Regent Theater

Nick Waterhouse and his Tarots: "The cards don't lie" - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse and his Tarots: “The cards don’t lie” – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA

Nick Waterhouse is a terrific showman and always puts together a night of interesting acts.  This time in Los Angeles at The Regent Theater during his tour for the new album Never Twice, was no different. Nick headlined and the stylish bands Cutty Flam and Sad Girl opened.

Happy not sad: Misha puts a maniacal twist on some very cool music - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Happy not sad: Misha puts a maniacal twist on some very cool music – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Sad Girl

Despite the name, Sad Girl was not a bunch of girls crying but instead a trio of surf-style musicians who have a lot of fun on stage.  Comprised of facial-contortionist frontman Misha, Dakota on bass and Paul on drums, these guys hold the promise of a warm SoCal day even in the dead of winter.

Misha of Sad Girl has the crowd at The Regent Theater enthralled - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Misha of Sad Girl has the crowd at The Regent Theater enthralled – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Not Sad, Happy

Sad Girl makes us happy. We’re fans of the tunes “Little Queenie,” “The Hand That Did the Deed,” and “Love Storm” in particular. Sad Girl’s music makes us feel like we’re enjoying a double feature of a 1950s western, followed with a romantic but nonsensical surf movie.  Misha’s chiseled features initially lead one to believe there’s a movie star quality about him, but any thoughts of that disappear when you see his puppet-like, maniacal expressions as he plays his fuzzy guitar riffs.

Bang Bangs of Cutty Flam Band is the hottest drummer around, prom dress and all - Photo © Donna Balancia

Bang Bangs of Cutty Flam Band is the hottest drummer around, prom dress and all – Photo © Donna Balancia

Cutty Flam

Cutty Flam a rock and roll-inspired band, impressed on several levels. They’ve got a gal on the skins named Bang Bangs who is extremely accomplished despite the foofy bad prom-date dress. Bang Bangs is worth the price of admission on this night. Cutty Flam bassist Chewy Lewy is stylin’ with his rockin bass lines, cool suit and slicked back hair. Frontman Cutty is a big guy who’s got the moves like Elvis. He really interacts with the audience and the crowd enjoyed the band’s ’50s-style sound.

Cutty Flam rocks the house at The Regent Theater - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Cutty Flam rocks the house at The Regent Theater – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse and His Tarots

Nick Waterhouse and his Tarots present their big band sound in a similar vein. “The Cards Don’t Lie” proclaims the banner hung behind the band during the night. This is absolutely true.  Nick Waterhouse and his Tarots are true blue rock and roll. The music is upbeat but some of it, like “The Old Place,” is tinged with remorse over the changes for the worse that modern society brings.

Nick Waterhouse and his Tarots pack The Regent Theater in Downtown LA - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse and his Tarots pack The Regent Theater in Downtown LA – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Thinking Man’s Musician

As we have written before, Nick Waterhouse is the thinking man’s musician.  He produces, he writes and he performs his blues-influenced music to an audience that goes absolutely nuts for him. In the Regent Theater‘s bar — which boasts some of the best whiskey in all of Los Angeles — we were treated to some vinyl-spinning that included Waterhouse-prouduced records by The Allah-Las.

Nick Waterhouse and his Tarots: Fine musicians - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse and his Tarots: Fine musicians – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Never Twice

The new Nick Waterhouse album, Never Twice, was on the front burner on this particular night, but everyone in the crowded house knows the words to mostly every song Nick plays anyway.  Favorites of the night were the haunting “Stanyan Street,” “It’s Time,” and the kooky “Katchi,” which always gets a smile out of the various bandmembers and audience alike.

nick waterhouse donna balancia california rocker

Nick Waterhouse and his Tarots: SoCal’s finest musicians play the big band blues sound – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

SET LIST:

1. It’s Time, 2. I Had Some, 3. Dead Room, 4. Holly, 5. I Can Only Give, 6. Straight Love, 7. High Tiding, 8. Stanyan Street, 9. Sleeping Pills, 10. Voodoo, 11. Tracy 12. Old Place, 13. L.A. Turnaround, 14. Katchi, 15. Is That Clear? 16. Indian Love Call, 17. Trouble, 18. Say I Wanna Know, 19. Some Place, 20. Game, 21. Time’s All Gone, 22. Pushin Too Hard, 23. Don’t You Forget

Nick Waterhouse fuses jazz blues and rock and roll, he's depicted here performing from his Never Twice album - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse fuses jazz blues and rock and roll, he’s depicted here performing from his Never Twice album – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Good Musical Blends

Nick, who produces all sorts of bands, has good taste. Last time in LA his openers were Pearl Charles and Paul Bergmann, who each brought their own cool style.  Charles has been getting some air time on Los Angeles stations. Nick is going on tour in Japan and returns next year.  Nick Waterhouse and his Tarots are worth checking out “live and in person,” where he and his big band shine.

Nick Waterhouse: Performer, producer and writer - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse: Performer, producer and writer – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

 

Leapin’ Lizards: Smash Mouth Packs The Canyon Club, Strange Case Brings Dino and Paper Impresses

Hoyt of Paper gets major air during Smash Mouth Show - Donna Balancia

Hoyt Yeatman of Paper leaps during Smash Mouth Show – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA

Smash Mouth put on a crazy show alternating between storytelling and singing favorite tunes to a capacity crowd at The Canyon Club last weekend.

The place was so crowded with Smash Mouth fans — mostly in the age range of late teens to mid-20s — it was hard to navigate through the audience.

Obnoxious frontman Steve Harwell had the crowd laughing for most of the night, taking drinks from the patrons, and telling stories about stealing weed and his daily hijinx.

Smash Mouth: It's all about the drinks and storytelling - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Smash Mouth: It’s all about the drinks and storytelling – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Harwell, who was a painter in the old days while trying to make it as a punk rocker had a run-in with the law after stealing a couple of pot plants and throwing them in the back of his pickup truck.  Apparently some of the white paint was leaking out while he was making his getaway and led the police right to him.  In addition, when he was reading about his own escapades in a popular rock magazine, the guy standing next to him said, “Hey those were MY plants!”  Some guys can’t catch a break.

But Smash Mouth — Harwell and all — is sure getting a lot of breaks today.  They had critical success with “Walking on The Sun,” crazy popularity with “All-Star,” and financial success with The Monkees cover “I’m a Believer,” which landed in top kids movie Shrek.  But the guys are more than that.

Paper rips it up at Canyon Club during Smash Mouth opener - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Paper rips it up at Canyon Club during Smash Mouth opener – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Harwell’s super entertaining, even if the band prefers to perform sitting down these days.  Doesn’t matter, these guys bring it and have a ball on stage, cracking jokes and taunting the audience.  The fans, most of whom had parents lurking in the back of the venue, enjoyed every minute.

Smash Mouth played the favorites like “Walking On The Sun,” “You’re The Fonz,” and finished out with “I’m a Believer” and “All-Star,” which had the audience up on their feet and jumping around.

Smash Mouth duo Steve Harwell and Paul DeLisle hang together - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Smash Mouth duo Steve Harwell and Paul DeLisle hang together – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“Steve and I have been together a long time now and we’re just having fun,” Smash Mouth founder Paul DeLisle told CaliforniaRocker.com after the show. “We love playing the Canyon and our fans are so great, it was a great night.”

The Dinosaur was a highlight of the Strange Case set - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Dinosaur was a highlight of the Strange Case set – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

What was unexpected and excellent, were the opening bands, Strange Case and Paper, the former of which brought out a gigantic dancing dinosaur.

Packed house at Canyon Club - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Packed house at Canyon Club for Smash Mouth, Paper and Strange Case – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Paper impressed with their energy, and sound and image that was complimentary to Smash Mouth. DeLisle even commented on how much he liked the Southern Caliifornia-based band.

“Their music is really good, this was a good fit tonight,” he said. “They have some cool songs.”

Paper is Hoyt Yeatman, singer-guitarist, Jeff Demorest, drummer and Kyle Hart, bassist and backing singer.

Check out Paper on Soundcloud

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Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth gets a drink delivered while on stage – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Le Butcherettes Turn Up The Heat and Rock The Regent Theater for Riot Grill 2016 in DTLA

Woman-Powered Riot Grill Draws Eclectic Lineup

Julia Shapiro, Gretchen Grimm, Lydia Lund and Annie Truscott are Chastity Belt - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Julia Shapiro, Gretchen Grimm, Lydia Lund and Annie Truscott are Chastity Belt – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA

Emerging from the shadows and into the dim light of emancipated woman power is an ever-present theme for female rockers.  Riot Grill at The Regent Theater proved this to be true as Le Butcherettes, Nadia G., Deap Vally and crew comandeered the stage.

While not exactly burning the bra like they did in the 1960s (never understood that), action is still needed for women to get equal billing, equal pay, and equality in music.

Nadia G. and Spaceland sponsored Riot Grill, an event that is part cooking and eating but mostly music and featuring a great lineup of great rockers, regardless of gender. Headliners Le Butcherettes filled the house, but some strong up-and-comers drew the faithful.

Chastity Belt, Girlpool, Deap Vally

The evening led off with Chastity Belt, a cool band that brought shoegaze into the spotlight.  Nadia G. and her band, The Menstruators, took the stage and played tunes from their new album Dead Glitter. Girlpool, an alt-folk duo that looks like girls you may have known in your high school science class impressed with fun tunes and understated strength.  Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad are well-matched vocally and the performance is mellow but with a cutting edge.

We were particularly impressed by Deap Vally, a duo and sometimes quasi-trio from Southern California, these girls have got it.  What’s “it?”  Deap Vally is pure badassery. Their new album is called Femejism and we were lucky enough to hear some cuts from this cool new release. The drums are relentless courtesy of Julie Edwards. Guitarist Lindsey Troy sports a nifty look in a red, white and blue, all-American star-spangled garb complete with fringy fringe.  With the release of the new album, fringe may very well be a part of this good-natured duo’s past.

Shine a Light on Riot Grill

Riot Grill is a play on the Riot Grrrl movement but serious music making ensued - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Riot Grill is a play on the Riot Grrrl movement but serious music making ensued – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

We were not fond of the fact that the lights were turned to red for all the acts that followed Nadia G.’s band, which came on early.  While decent photos were made when the lights were on, the remaining artists were shrouded in red light, which is worse than no light at all.

Check out Le Butcherettes at the Echoplex and Le Butcherettes at The Hollywood Palladium in CaliforniaRocker.com

But regardless of what we perceive as an intentional snafu, the women prevailed and in particular the headliner, Le Butcherettes packed the house.

We asked the audience members who they were there to see and while many of the attendees wanted to see Nadia (whose band is called The Menstruators) most paid up to see Le Butcherettes and Teri Gender Bender.

Le Butcherettes and Teri Gender Bender

Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes strips off her Castro Khakis down to a signature party dress, at Riot Grill - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia for CaliforniaRocker.com

Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes strips off her Castro Khakis down to a signature party dress, at Riot Grill – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Teri consistently rocks the house.  And we hold firm to our opinion that she may well be the most compelling performer on the stage today.  It’s something one has to see to believe.  Teri goes from obstinate, high-heel-stomping girl to snarling, possessed virago in an instant, leaving a room full of stunned bodies in her wake.

Le Butcherettes lineup is comprised of bassist Ricardo and drummer Alejandra. They’ll be returning to Los Angeles in January with some dates and couple of new tricks up their collective sleeves.

Le Butcherettes Set List

Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes - Beautiful and ever so dangerous - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes – Beautiful and ever so dangereuse – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Burn the Scab
Demon Stuck in Your Eye
The Devil Lived
They Fuck You Over
Boulders Love Over Layers of Rock
I’m Getting Sick Of You
Witchless C Spot
Stab My Back
Dress Off
The Leibniz Language
Bang!
Malcom
Your Weakness Gives me Life
Spider Waves
La Uva
Henry Don’t Got Love

Stomping across the stage in her party dress, Teri from Le Butcherettes headlines Riot Grill - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Stomping across the stage in her party dress, Teri from Le Butcherettes headlines Riot Grill – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Deap Vally puts on a compelling performance at Riot Grill - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Deap Vally puts on a compelling performance at Riot Grill – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Girlpool lent casual and catchy tunes to Riot Grill - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Girlpool: Casual and catchy tunes  – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

 

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Teri Gender Bender from Le Butcherettes rocks – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

 

Deap Vally has a new album, 'Femijism' - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Deap Vally has a new album, ‘Femejism’ – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

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