The thud of the bass could be felt in your chest in the backroom of a music shop sound-proofed by blankets. A projector screen hid the band as they underwent sound check, something new for the band. Marshall amps were stacked like Legos and green, plastic chairs lined the outer perimeter of the venue.
Food vendors were setting up outside, but the crowd of 40 or so people had their attention fixed on the stage where musicians, ranging from middle school kids with braces to graduated 20-somethings, gathered their courage and readied themselves for the show.
Jensen Guitar and Music Co. played host to five bands and a flock of fans to raise money for scholarships that will be given to children who want to attend the music shop’s summer program, Rock Camp. The cost of one week of Rock Camp is $395 and includes the choice of an electric guitar or a $50 Jensen Music gift certificate. Each session takes about 15 students.
There are five sessions of a one-week crash course in how to rock starting in July, with the last two weeks, called Advanced Camp, meant for those more experienced in music and band dynamics.
“Friday, is performance day and you should hear the applause. Man!” said David Heckhouse, the raja of rock and the man in charge of Rock Camp.
In order to raise funds for Rock Camp scholarships, Jensen Music held a benefit where they raised about $1,000. The proceeds will be distributed in the form of scholarships to families with financial difficulties whose kids would still like to attend camp.
“There’s a lot of kids who have no funds whatsoever, and who are outstanding musicians and need to do something like [Rock Camp],” said Heckhouse. Scholarships will be distributed on a case-by-case basis according to how much each family is able to put towards camp, said Heckhouse.
Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch, Chef Karim, Greek House Cafe and other local restaurants were represented in the parking lot for ticket holders to enjoy their food before the bands played and in between sets. An Epiphone Guitar was also raffled off at the beginning of the show.
The set kicked off when Oddjob, formally known as The Visitors, took the stage and rocked the room for a solid 15 minutes. Zach Wallace, Travis Tighe, and Dakota Dobbin, all students at Santa Barbara Middle School, met at Rock Camp and found Ezra Danley to replace their bassist who had left the band only a week before their performance.
Stimulus Package was on next and, despite the drop in attendance, the band played well. Daniel Prezlin, Cameron Remak, Vittorio Dinovi, and William Warner also met through Rock Camp, except the four met through the afterschool camp rather than the typical summer camp.
The crowd spiked back up to 40 when Loomis and the Lust laid the funk down. Lead singer Will Loomis told the crowd, “Sitting down is not cool, everybody stand up.” And not only did they stand, but they grooved along with the soul music.
Formerly known as Kings of Span, this local band had already gathered quite a following within the community and many fans expressed their admiration after their set. Loomis and the Lust also recorded a music video for their newest song “Bright Red Chords.”
Though Noah Babcock, Will Loomis, Jeremy Berisha, and Thomas Masker have only been together as a group for about a year, their stage performance was pivotal and their energy on stage was contagious.
“The energy comes from within and from each other,” said Masker. “We feed off each other.” The energy continued with The Tearaways and The Martyrs finishing up the event.
The raffle at the end of the afternoon needed improvement, as many winners had already left the fundraiser. Despite the winner not being present, the Epiphone guitar was still raffled away as the winner was a regular at Jensen Music.