The Briggs/Cobra Skulls/Longway/Your Arsenal
The Troubadour, West Hollywood, CA
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Time: 8:00 PM
I have my 16-year-old Daughter, Breana, out from Hollywood, Florida, for the summer. And we’ve done movies (four), animal parks (two, Los Angeles Zoo, and Long Beach Aquarium), and I was trying to think of what else to do with her. So I searched online for Cobra Skulls, I had heard that they popped up at the Cobalt Café, in Canoga Park a while back.
Within the first few weeks of my Daughter’s arrival I was plugging my mp3 player into her laptop so she could pluck all my music off of my two-gigabyte player onto her 40 plus gigabyte, highly advanced player. And one of the bands that she liked was Cobra Skulls.
So, after I did the above mentioned web search, I found a show coming up that very weekend. Pricing was reasonable, four bands for thirteen bucks if you buy in advance online. Sure why not?
Here’s the thing, I haven’t been to a punk show since 1984, unless you count seeing Helmet, Suicide Girls opening up for Guns “N Rose in 2007, a punk show.
Let me tell you, the audience was 100% different from the 1980’s shows. No fighting, no attitudes, nobody was strung out. Everyone was just happy as hell to be there. I was originally worried about the rowdiness I would be subjecting my Daughter to. Even though I attended my first punk show at age 15, and survived.
First up was Your Arsenal. They hit the stage somewhere between 7:45 and 8:00. These guys need to be signed to a label, yesterday! They were the best surprise, musically, that I have come across in years. The crowd was sparse, but singer/guitarist Chris Wallace, and band mates Shaun Hale, guitar, Chad Sengstock, Bass, and Larry Wyatt, Drums, played as if they were in front of 100,000.
After the first or second song Wallace, mentioned that free demos could be picked up from their merchandise table in the bar of the Troubadour, my Daughter took off in search of this demo. Unfortunately, the table wasn’t set-up until after their set.
The set was tight, and energetic. It was a perfect opening for the next three bands. It you get a chance, check out their Facebook, or My Space page to listen to their demo. Lucky for us we got to hear the three songs off of the demo live: Wouldn’t Trade This For Gold, No Place Like Home, and Trouble. They ended their set with a cover tune, called Son To No One, it was great.
As I said before, somebody needs to sign them quick, in the mean time . . . go see them live.
After their set we picked up copies of the demo, and bought a couple of buttons. I have always believed if you dig a band, throw them a few bucks. So, by the time the next band was about to come on Breana already had a Your Arsenal button on.
Somewhere between 8:45 and 9:00, or maybe later than that, Brian Longway, vocals, guitar, and the guys from Longway, Mikey Pettengill, drums, Trevor Jackson, guitar, and Tim Abramson, bass, hit the stage.
Compared to Your Arsenal, these guys were old pros, Longway mentioned their various albums, singles, and videos onstage.
I can’t put my finger on it, but these guys came off as, somewhat, affected. As if they were a bit too cool for us. Maybe it was just me.
Anyway, the standout of this set was guitarist Trevor Jackson, tall, thin, covered in tattoos, and wearing an eye patch, this guy was hard to miss. From the moment they hit the stage Trevor was all over every inch of the stage, and when he ran out of stage, he was standing on the railing of the upstairs balcony, when that wasn’t enough, he hit the floor, and played from the center of the mosh pit. Fun guy to watch.
The mosh pit wasn’t really working during Longway’s set. Brian called out to the crowd, several times, to all come to the center of the room, and start moshing, and only three people would jump in.
Anyway, stand out cuts were Junkie, from their latest album, and their final song of the night, a cover of Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell. Rebel Yell is a hard one to cover; can you improve on Billy Idol’s vocals, or Steve Stevens’ guitar work?
Somewhere around 10:00 or so, Cobra Skulls, Chad Cleveland, drums, Adam Beck, guitar, Devin Peralta, vocals, & bass, took the stage. I don’t know what to say about these guys, other than they play a flawless set. They played most of the tracks from their latest album, American Rubicon, on the Red Scare label. Absolutely no difference, sound wise between them on album, or live.
All three guys come off as real down to earth guys, joking, and genuinely having a great time. In between songs they took turns blowing one of those obnoxious horns that fans were using during the World Cup, only Devin could do it properly.
Much like people do at the movies, when watching trailers, my Daughter, and I would look at each other after each band, and review. Cobra Skulls received two thumbs up.
Last, but definitely not least, The Briggs hit the stage at about 11:00 or so. From the moment they hit the stage it was as if a bomb hit the Troubadour. The mosh pit, or as it was called in my day the slam pit, was full. The crowd was nuts!
One of the highlights of the pit was a huge guy who was more, or less the Captain of the pit, a big corn-fed white boy, whose girlfriend wanted to mosh, and he would go out there to supervise, anybody that bumped her was leveled, then once she was safe, he would help the levelee back up. I believe he was half man, half mountain. But all in all a good sport through it all.
The Briggs played with the experience, and ability of a veteran band with double the amount of years together. The Briggs boys, Joey LaRocca, vocals & guitar, Jason LaRocca, guitar & vocals, Jake Margolis, drums, and Alex Patterson, bass, were seasoned professionals.
Throughout their hour, to hour, and a half set, I don’t think, there was ever a moment where people stopped singing, and moving.
The absolute high point of the night came when The Briggs did This is LA, as their last song. If the place exploded when they first hit the stage, well . . . now it double-exploded. The stage had half the crowd on it, including the members of Your Arsenal. Everybody was singing his, or her lungs out, it was unbelievable.
After The Briggs finished This is LA, they left the stage. The crowd stood quiet for a bit then started chanting “one more song, one more song.” Then low, and behold, Joey, and the crew came out, and did a kick ass version of their song Molly.
This, by far was the best $13.00 I have spent in decades.
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