Smoke permeated Velvet Jones, staining the opulence of flannel shirts standing in Tuesday night’s crowd. Onstage, a girl with equally smoldering eyes prompted a riot from the throngs of people, reminding those in attendance that “rock ‘n’ roll will never die.”
Hey, hey, my, my. When a band promises to revive rock, you know they mean business.
The show opened with So Cal natives The Good Deeds, who kicked and stomped and screamed their way across the stage during their punk-leaning setlist. Singer Zac Garfinkel’s wild hair and leather jacket set the scene for the evening — this was not a shoegaze show, fellas. This was hard rock, all the way.
The band’s set was followed shortly after by The Eeries, whose new single “Cool Kid,” a distorted grunge anthem about being uncool, is making its way up the underground charts — an impressive, albeit decidedly counter-culture bragging right. Although I’d originally written them off as Nirvana-wanna-bes, I was pleasantly surprised when they turned out to play the crowning music of the night.
As more fans poured into the venue, The Last Internationale took the stage. They opened with a hard-hitting rock and roll song, “Moanin’ At Midnight,” whose title was imitated by the guitarist’s face throughout the performance. Lead singer Delila Paz alternated between bass, acoustic guitar, and even harmonica throughout the set.
As the fans got drunker, the band played louder, and the crowd got even rowdier. This is what rock and roll is all about. When the trio slowed from their usual fast-paced gritty sound to cover Neil Young’s “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)” everyone in the audience stopped moshing to sing along. The band’s heartfelt performance of the classic was easily the most powerful of the show.
The Last Internationale closed their set with the song “1968,” urging showgoers that now is the time for the next great revolution. Guitarist Edgey Pires finished by jumping into the audience for his solo, while Paz rolled around the stage in dazzling harmony.
The band’s indignant “we’re not gonna take it” spirit and connection with their fans proves that they just might be the ones to save rock ‘n’ roll — or at least keep the beast sated for now.