I finally ventured out to a show, on a weeknight no less. I went to L Bar, on Sunset, to see two bands: The Whisper in the Roar and Our Hospitality. The venue was ideal: lots of couches (which after sitting on one for about five minutes I became convinced I now had bedbugs), brick walls, rafters, huge open space and a bar situated in the corner. Being somewhat neurotic (see previous sentence re: bedbugs), I wanted to make sure I had all information regarding location, timing, parking, etc., so I did the typical "google website to find FAQ's." This place was like the CIA in terms of finding out details. Googling "L Bar, Los Angeles" was helpful in the way that it brought multiple responses to bars in Los Angeles with the letter L in them...so that was nice. Anyway, I did have an actual address, so I figured it couldn't be that hard. After walking back and forth between the two cross streets on the block where IT HAD TO BE, and trying to look like I totally spun around in the other direction on purpose, I noticed a guy walk into a black doorframe set into the wall along the block. That is the best way to describe it. There are awnings of bars and offices all along the block with signs and numbers, etc. L Bar is a nondescript black door just hanging out. So I followed the guy in thinking a) I have finally found the bar and am one step closer to hearing some great music or b) I was walking into a dog fighting/drug dealing/ prostituting/arms trafficking showdown. Either way, my night was only going to get better, am I right?
First up, The Whisper in the Roar:
Besides having what I think is a pretty cool band name, they also were a pretty cool band. I guess the best way to describe these five guys would be to say if Coldplay, with their crashing stadium sound, married Radiohead, with their haunting drawn out melodies, it would be The Whisper in the Roar. By far my favorite song on the EP, "Bad for You", for lack of a better word, is just sexy. The guitar melody is definitely a panty dropper and the repetition of the line "Don't you know I'm bad for you?" towards the end just cements my statement. "Underground" starts off with a haunting intro, similar to the Shin's "New Slang" and should be played top volume with the windows open the next time you go for a scenic nighttime drive. According to their website, all five members have studied music seriously and a few have toured with mainstream musicians. Basically, I liked this band a lot and look forward to seeing them again soon.
Our Hospitality opened their set with an intense song and never looked back. They are rock and roll and blues all wrapped up in two guys, Dash and Phil, and a girl, Libby. A little bit Rockabilly (Soul Sample) with a lot of bass driven melodies, Our Hospitality exudes fun. Dash,on vocals and guitar, is a born performer, running and twirling around stage to the point where I was 100% sure he was going down. He has a great voice and is not afraid to go from baratone to falsetto in the same verse, like on The Fuzz. Phil, on drums and looking the part with his long blonde hair, directs the songs's flows and keeps his bandmates on target. (He also makes his own mead, which he was so generous to let me sample and of course it was delicious and completely potent. I got flushed cheeks and continuous giggles after half a glass.) Libby, on vocals and bass, really drives the songs' direction from their intensely catchy intros to beyond and her voice is a wonderful compliment to Dash. They harmonize well together and somehow lend a sort of softness to their otherwise hardened rock and roll sound, like on the funky Tonight . The final song of their set, Anywhere, a light, fun track that should absolutely be their first radio single when that time comes, was a crowd favorite. So much so that the man in front of me repeatedly tried to "Free Bird!" his request for the song as soon as the band took the stage. You sir, knew what you were talking about.