A couple days ago, I entered DoTheBay’s ticket giveaway to the Hot Flash Heat Wave show because one of my friends asked me if I would attend with her, and I ended up entering the giveaway just for kicks. And then I won the tickets so I brought her along. It was probably one of my favorite shows that I’ve attended. So here’s a shoutout to DoTheBay for hooking it up with the pair of tickets and other goodies that I got – it was honestly pure coincidence but the kind that leaves a smile on your face.
I went to this show not knowing a single band that was playing but I left with some new acts to listen to that I’m actually super stoked about. Opening the night was Bobey, a solo act of just a man, his acoustic guitar, and some pedals. His music was like experimental folk and it was lovely on all aspects. His voice reminded me of Sufjan Stevens, especially when he hits the high notes. I loved that everything was acoustic and he could change the sound of his music with just his pedals. The emphasis on the guitar picking was incredible and I seriously loved the whimsicality of his music.
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Following Bobey was probably my favorite act of the night: Loco Tranquilo. I think the easiest way to describe this band is a psychedelic version of Devendra Banhart. I honestly loved this band right when they stepped one because they had a saxophone player. The band name translates to crazy calm, which is such a good way to describe their own music. The psychedelia of their music is so peaceful but they actually have a really funky sound, especially when the sax comes in. I loved that they all jammed to their own music while playing. The lead is also a fantastic human being and I would 100% catch them live again. They also put out a new EP HYPNOTIC SEA last November (embed below).
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Both Bobey and Loco Tranquilo are bands from the Bay so I was surprised when a Los Angeles act The Fontaines followed Loco Tranquilo. I thought their sound was weird honestly. The music itself was good, very indie rock and sounded great but their vocalist didn’t really match their sound. Her voice is very powerful and actually has a super sophisticated sound, so it was weird hearing it with indie rock. Their sound clashed too much for my taste but near the end of their set, it was just the vocalist and their guitarist doing a slow song. That was honestly so perfect and it suited the sound of her vocals so much more. But for the rest of their songs, it just clashed too much.
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And finally, the headliner: Hot Flash Heat Wave. My friend actually came to this show to see them, and they’re right up her alley of surf pop. However, their sound is very different from Southern California surf pop, especially the music that comes out of San Diego. After the concert, I listened to the studio version of their song and I like them better live just because their vibe is more lax and fun live. They seriously put on a good show, people were dancing and having a great time as they played. But this band is still relatively new so I think they’ll definitely grow into the likes of bigger surf pop bands.
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