Symbol Six, Barrio Tiger, Brainspoon & The Blackerbys
Cafe Nela, Los Angeles, CA
March 7, 2015
Prior to this show I have only ventured out to Café Nela one time and it was over thirteen months back. Last time I was there I, pretty much, had a shitty time. So, needless to say I was hesitant about going. Well, this night was one of those rare shows where every single band on the bill was really good. Usually there are one or two duds. This night was good.
The first band on was The Blackerbys. This was my first time seeing them. To my surprise they were really good, sort of punk, and sort of rock. All around good band.
In between bands I received two completely different, but compliments. The first came from a guy out on the patio, he said, “I love all of your stories, each one has that little nugget of gold in it.” I thanked him. And of course analyzed that statement.
Later in the evening a guy came up to me, slightly inebriated and said, “I just want to thank you for being such a great writer.” I thanked him also and said, “I’m not sure that I am, but I appreciate it.”
I love getting peoples reaction to what I do. Sometimes you sit for so long, banging on the keyboard, you forget people are seeing this. It’s great to hear people’s reactions.
The second band on was Brainspoon. I really like them. I saw them four or five years back at The Redwood. Guitarist Michelle Balderrama has been my secret crush for years, that is until I told my wife, and then shit got weird for a minute. Bygones. Anyway, great band. Very good guitarist.
So, I’m talking to an old friend, when that scene from the movie Friday pops into my head. The character played by the very cute Nia Long asks Ice Cube, “Craig, are you high?” He brushes his pants, straightens his shirt and says, “Do I look high?”
I was talking to a guy about music, bands he’s been in, the bands he’s in now. And all through the conversation he’s doing the “Nod.” So, I say, “Fuck the bands, get yourself better, then worry about the music.” He looked at me like I had said, “Your fuckin’ face is purple!”
Right before he could respond, he nodded again.
The third band of the night was Barrio Tiger. I’m not exactly sure how to describe them. There are elements of punk, rock and rockabilly. I was lucky enough to see them about a year or so back at a show with Rikk Agnew. Great show then and pretty damn good this time too.
The final band of the night was Symbol Six. They opened up with some kind of eerie musical introduction that made a few people say, “This doesn’t sound like Symbol Six.”
And then faster that you can turn from the Spice channel to Desperate Housewives when your wife walks in the room, Symbol Six steamrolls into a completely new set-list. I thought I was familiar with their songs, but there was only a couple I recognized this night.
As a four-piece they are working like a well oiled machine. I heard a couple people mention they have a split coming out with Rikk Agnew. Should be good.
If you have a chance to see any of these bands, go. All in all, a great show. The PA was off for a few songs or so, I couldn’t hear a lot of the vocals, but I had a clear view of the bands and I had fun.
As I was leaving Cafe Nela that night there was a crowd of people on the patio, I walked closer to get a good look at what everyone was checking out. Apparently, people were taking turns lighting some guy’s chest hair on fire.
If you were there you had fun, if you weren’t there – you wish you were.
One of the things that I used to love, and I don’t see people doing any longer are going out to eat after shows. In my younger years we’d hit up a Denny’s or whatever local diner we could find. And have a 2:00, 3:00 or 4:00am breakfast. Nowadays, everybody just wants to sleep.
So, that night after leaving Cafe Nela I was hungry, I got off the 405 at Roscoe and drove through the Taco Bell that said “Open 24 Hours!” It was closed. I found a Jack In The Box; it would have to do, because I didn’t want to walk into a Denny’s by myself.
Anyway, I order and when I pulled up to pay, the cashier yells, “Oh shit!” I thought it was in regards to my dashing good looks, but no. He said, “Did you see that shadow run by your car.” I said, “A lot of homeless people live by the railroad tracks here.” I was about six feet from the tracks and every morning ten or twelve make their way over to Jack In The Box to wash up and eat whatever they could afford.
He said, “No, there was no person. Just a shadow ran by.” Shit. It was 1:30 or so in the morning I was in no frame of mind to deal with ghosts, spirits or voodoo. I wanted to pay and eat a cheap taco.
The cashier went into the restaurant and said, “Hey Juan that shadow is back running around.”
I made sure my car was locked, and once the bag was handed to me I boned the fuck out.
Born Frustrated is coming, Summer 2015: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb