By: Brittney Victoria Edwards
This past Friday, Saint Rocke at 142 Pacific Coast Hwy in Hermosa Beach opened its doors to the public to come be entertained by three remarkable bands; Gorgeous Got a Gun, Back Pocket Memory, and Goodnight Noises. The Saint Rocke to many southern Californians has gone unnoticed and deserves some huge credit for its magnificence. This venue has been voted the “Number One live music venue for the South Bay” for the past three years. According to their website, it is the only live music venue in the USA to be streaming LIVE VIDEO in high-def and on the Internet.
This way no matter where a person was in the large venue they could watch the show. I will attest to this statement, by saying how awed I was at the flat screen televisions spread throughout the place. If you didn’t want to watch the show from the front of the stage, it was perfectly easy to watch it clearly from one of the flat screens in the several fireplace nooks around the venue.
To say the least, my time at Saint Rocke felt like a fantastic journey and an adventure to the music of unknown. The roomy spaces were dimly illuminated with small table candles and fireplaces, which created a great mood and an atmosphere for entering a new and strange world of talented musicians. To help along with the adventure were the many tentative employees and staff. The entrance lobby had two staff members; one waiting at the door to check your ID, Saint Rocke is a 21+ venue; the other employee was available to handle all ticket sales. A unique service offered by Saint Rocke is that they take reservations, have pre-sale tickets available on the website www.SaintRocke.com (though a $2 transaction surcharge applies.) Tickets at the door are available, but may be limited on some of the larger shows.
In the main lounge and bar, there was a full house buzzing with excitement awaiting the night’s music. The first band to perform was Gorgeous Got a Gun, and judging from their warm up and sound-check, the performance was to be a first-class, rocking show. The band from Los Angeles has been described as “A blend of retro and modern rock sounds with hard-hitting dance beats.” I found this to be fairly accurate, and fitting this band was showed with the other bands of the night. The members are as follows: Lead Singer, Guitar, Synth: Veronica Torres; Bass, Synth: Jimi Blaze; Guitar: Ernesto Rivas; and Drums: Joshua Zeigler. By their camaraderie with each other, I can tell this is one band that has spent some time together. Not only were they crowd pleasing, but they enjoyed getting the crowd involved. They were very pleasingly, the band had several songs that involved some intense drum work, that at times, involved more members other than just the drummer.
To continue the musical momentum of the night, Local Favorites of BurbankNBeyond, Back Pocket Memory was up for their turn to get the crowd screaming, shouting, and swaying their hips. Fresh off a North-West American tour through Oregon and California, this band is not only a Burbank local favorite, but this writer’s as well; thus, I will do my best not to travel off on tangents of how awesome this band is. Back Pocket Memory (referred to as BPM) has been making music together for over four years. All five members: front-man Chris Pennington, guitarists Eddie Rosales and Ian Felchlin, bassist Rob Gallagher and drummer Jason Montgomery grew up in our hometown of Burbank, California. May 2010 marked the debut of their first full-length album entitled “Strangers.” Back Pocket Memory began to hit the ground running, playing as much as they could around the Western US, with repeat and successful visits to Tucson, Flagstaff, Las Vegas, San Jose, and Orange County, not to mention continuously packing local shows in and around their hometown of Burbank, CA. BPM is currently in the studio with Producer Erik Ron (After Midnight Project/Versa Emerge/I the Mighty), working on a new EP to be released July 26, 2011. Though you will be able to get an advanced copy by attending their record release show on July 23rd.
Aside from all this progress, BPM gave one hell of a show, excuse the language, but it was. The start of their set was kicked off with the intensely and wonderfully written, “Alacran”. It is a fan favorite with fast beats that easily entice the audience to wake up their muscles and start dancing. The lyrics are catchy, and due to the many loyal fans, the venue was soon filled with more than just the lead singer, Chris Pennington’s voice. The line that mostly sticks out is in this song is, “I prefer my heads surrounded by clouds,” and is some immense musical poetry.
After BPM played the many preferred and beloved songs of their fans from their first album, “Strangers”, the audience got a sneak peak at the music from their newest album, “Beneath the Trees”, due out toward the end of July. Although the audience didn’t know the lyrics yet to sing along to, the tunes from their newest hits were so optimistic and positive charging that the show continued to bring out the sway and dance in everyone,
All good things must come to an end, and BPM decided to end their set with their hit, “Bergerac”. This song was recently featured on KROQs local hit list for 8 straight weeks and rightly and justly so. Yes this song is usually used as the ending song for a BPM set, but it seems there are almost pauses in the music to highlight each members’ talent; for example, there is intricate guitar work by Ian and Eddie, Chris’ singing range moves all along a music sheet, when the boys sing a soft “ooo” during the bridge that’s when Jason performs a soft drum beat with cymbals, and Rob seems to almost tickle his bass while he hops up and down. It’s difficult to capture the intensity BPM puts out through their music. The best I can do to describe it is that they have the passion and talent to not only create new fans but also to capture, once more, the hearts of their loyal followers.
The third and last band of the night was Goodnight Noises with Chris Vos on guitar, vocals, pedal steel and laptseel guitar; Dylan Halacy on drums; and Patrick Taylor on bass. This musical trio claims they are, “simultaneously going forward and backwards in time and space.” It is a different, but still awesome, sound that this band makes. We will definitely be checking them out again soon!