Mos Generator & The Great Electric Quest Bring Righteous Jams To Five Star Bar

Review & photos by Andrew Bansal

image February 24th 2015, Five Star Bar, Los Angeles CA: Hailing from the town of Port Orchard near Seattle WA, stoner rock trio Mos Generator have been in existence for a number of years but haven’t ventured to play in the Los Angeles area too often. They rectified that last Tuesday February 24 with a free headline show at the very aptly chosen Five Star Bar in downtown LA, along with support from San Diego heavy rockers The Great Electric Quest and local bands Suns Of Jimi, Asstronauts and The Mercury Wheel. The prospect of a stoner rock night at the Five Star, with no cover charge, was just too inticing and the decision to attend this show was an absolute no-brainer. This low-key event turned out to be a pleasantly interesting experience, not only showcasing new talent but also bringing forth a characteristic of this venue most regular attendees perhaps aren’t aware of. Continue reading

Mr. Big Rocks Los Angeles, Pat Torpey Returns To Stage

Review by Andrew Bansal, photos by Brad Worsham

imageFebruary 22nd 2015, Saban Theatre, Beverly Hills CA: Los Angeles hard rock giants Mr. Big, arguably the world’s most talented group of musicians, have been on an unstoppable journey ever since the original members reuinted in 2009, releasing two excellent studio albums and touring the world several times over in the subsequent five-year period. Their latest full-length effort ‘The Stories We Could Tell’ was released in 2014, and as expected, the band embarked on a tour to present it on stages worldwide. Despite them still calling Los Angeles their hometown for all intents and purposes, a Mr. Big show in this city is somewhat of a rarity. But, the band announced an eagerly awaited homecoming show in Beverly Hills, to bring an end to their current touring run. For Mr. Big fans and hard rock/heavy metal enthusiasts, the Saban Theatre was where the stars had descended upon, this was the stage on which all fireworks would be lit and acknowledgement speeches would be made, on Oscar night in rainy Los Angeles. Continue reading

Napalm Death, Voivod, Exhumed & Iron Reagan Play Sold-Out Show In Oakland

Review by Avinash Mittur, photos by Raymond Ahner

imageFebruary 20th 2015, Oakland Metro Operahouse, Oakland CA: Nothing in this review will come as a surprise. Absolutely nothing. After releasing yet another superb new record just a month ago, Napalm Death have decided to support it with a nation-wide trek with a bill that simply cannot be fucked with. This particular date at the Oakland Metro Operahouse, sold-out clean by the time the show began, was an exceptional display of the power of this tour, dubbed Through Space And Grind. Though no locals were featured on the bill, the show felt drenched in Bay Area culture. Members of Impaled, Autopsy, Lecherous Gaze, Death Angel and scores of other local acts could be spotted in the crowd, enjoying the festivities alongside fans and friends alike. That communal feeling paired with an energy-packed lineup made for a show was simply unforgettable. Continue reading

Tartar Control Conquers The Roxy

Review by Andrew Bansal, photos by Brad Worsham

IMG_1152 - CopyFebruary 21st 2015, The Roxy, West Hollywood CA: Los Angeles-based Tartar Control is a hardcore punk band like no other. Comprising the duo of Robert Selander on vocals, Sean Hart on guitar, and a robot playing bass and drums, Tartar Control have gained a reputation for off-the-chain live performances in the past few years, playing prolifically in Los Angeles and Orange County, winning new fans one gig at a time. In the meanwhile, they’ve also released excellent studio material with catchy music and hilarious lyrics such as that on the 2011 effort ‘Holy Crap!’, but on stage is where they liberate themselves and truly bring these songs to life, as they present them through a unique live act. Having heard a lot of great things about Tartar Control from local friends that had witnessed them live, I decided to check them out at the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood last Saturday February 21 2015, as they opened for The Dickies and The Muffs, and completely owned the stage.    Continue reading

Photo Gallery: Caveman Voicebox At Dyzzy On Vinyl

Writeup by Andrew Bansal, photos by Brad Worsham

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February 20th 2015, Dyzzy On Vinyl, Long Beach CA: In the midst of Long Beach’s vibrant rock and metal scene lies local rock ‘n roll trio Caveman Voicebox, in existence since 2011 with three EPs and a string of live performances under their belt. Following the 2012 five-song effort ‘Strippers, Mullets & Beer’ and its 2014 three-song successor ‘Facial Hair & Harmonies’, Caveman Voicebox released a two-song EP called ‘No Template’ in December 2014, featuring new drummer Sofi Montez along with the core duo of Graham Wilson (bass, vocals) and Karl Caleb (guitars). Working on a select few songs and releasing EPs as opposed to full-length albums clearly works for this band as they’re able to deliver quality material that does justice to Caveman Voicebox the live band. But even then, the sheer flow of guitar riffs and solos, the clean, prominent bass tone, the part Lemmy, part Danzig-esque vocals, and the groovy drumming is all the more appreciable upon seeing the band on stage, as was evident last night at a very intimate record store called Dyzzy On Vinyl on a chilled-out Friday evening in Long Beach. Our photographer Brad Worsham and I were in attendance, and the turnout was great, proving the relevance of the genre in this town. The size and sound quality of the room turned out to be perfectly suitable for Caveman Voicebox. They played a ten-song set comprising material old, new and unheard, and left no doubt that for fans of hard rock and heavy metal, they’re an extremely easy band to like. Check out Brad’s sweet photos of them below. Continue reading

Photo Gallery: The Vigils At La Cuevita

Writeup by Andrew Bansal, photos by Brad Worsham

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February 19th 2015. La Cuevita, Los Angeles CA: Los Angeles-based quintet The Vigils are perhaps the hardest band to describe to someone who’s never heard or seen them, such is the diversity captured within their musicianship. The best, most accurate term one would associate with them is quite simply rock ‘n roll, as the energy and spirit of their live performances is synonymous with the very essence of the genre. Singer Daniel Cieplinski is a huge NWOBHM fanatic, so much so that he successfully stumps me with obscure bands I’ve never heard of every time I engage in conversation with him, and it’s perhaps no coincidence that his appearance and on-stage mannerisms strongly resemble that of a Brave New World-era Bruce Dickinson. While Cieplinski serves as The Vigils’ link between punk rock and straight-up heavy metal, each of his four band-mates express themselves freely and showcase their individual talents in plenty. Guitarist David St. Davids and bassist Sol Del Sur  match the singer with their energy levels and wild moves of their own, as drummer Skeeter Joplin and saxophone player Jessy Bender hold fort with flawless grip on their respective instruments. Although The Vigils aren’t metal in the strict sense, they’re very much the metalhead’s rock band. They keep themselves active with gigs in the LA area on a regular basis, and last Thursday February 19, they played at the very aptly named La Cuevita (the little cave) in the Highland Park region of the great city. Our photographer Brad Worsham and I were in attendance to witness yet another insanely energetic performance from The Vigils, and even in this dark room, Brad managed to get a few photos that capture the show. Check them out below: Continue reading