By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
"I proclaim myself the sweetheart of Long Beach!" trilled Orphans singer Jenny Quitter, and tonight—her birthday!—she was right. Unlike during last year's considerably runnier set at Que Sera, this year's Orphans opted for a heartfelt selection of greatest hits: Wade helicoptering his bass around his back, Wade unplugging himself and sliding around the stage, Wade grabbing a beer bottle—one of several eagerly volunteered by a crowd who knew what was coming—and busting it happily over his unprotected head . . . oh, and they had some songs, too, but only a few because at this point in the night, the after-party must have already been sucking them into the future. You've gotta scorecard an Orphans show like Police Beat—one fight, one guy carried out (but even he looked like he was having fun), alcohol levels way above the legal limit—but like the Germs, they've got quality songs buried under the glass and blood, waiting for the rescue dogs to drag them out. And Jenny looked like she was having such a good time. Openers and longtime Orphans fellow travelers Street Trash were all business (unlike months before, when they were all monster masks and crowd-wrestling): with a new guitarist lifted from broken-up LA hardcore cham-peens Life's Halt, they've exchanged lean, mean spasticity for blunt, unrelenting power. "They sound like Void," says Weekly investigative reporter Nick Schou—true! "And they're out of tune," he added—not to our ears, but would it matter anyway? Their drummer, Mike, is the loudest-hardest drummer in the world (Under-25 Non-Lincoln-Town-Car-in-Pool Division), but no one cares, because when Street Trash turns up, it's nothing but guitar bombs and reasons to kill your parents. Seattle's Girls got the same lame-o heckle they reportedly get everywhere: "What's this band called?" slurred some dude; told, he smirked at their eyeliner and grunted, "They sure look like girls!" Well, maybe the girls in your cellblock, buddy—they really looked like the Dolls on a bad makeup day and played like Street Trash after five down-tempo years and a Roxy Music box set (the way the guitarists kept vaulting off the monitor bespoke a lot of time spent skateboarding). The glam look stopped at nice-try, but the Girls never even took a second to rest—they've got Blondie's shtick but Grace Jones' S&M tendencies, whipping themselves into a sweaty, mascara-melting lather just because it's so fun. And it was catching: when the guitarist from Street Trash had his beer snatched by the Girls, he didn't do anything but smile—eventually. It's a birthday party—no one gets punched unless they want to. (Chris Ziegler)
Reventón Super Estrella
Saturday, July 19
After surviving the six hours of annual terrestrial hell known as the Reventón Super Estrella, only unpleasant memories remain:
• Too-polite Orange County Register Latin music writer Richard Chang. The man who would praise a jingle if it were written in Spanish (Mazola oil comes to mind) was looking for a strong cup of joe to fend off the boredom—one hour into the program.
• The cheery United States Air Force booth inside the Arrowhead Pond lobby. Is our military so pressed for potential killing machines that they actually think worthy recruits would be found at a concert where the average IQ of a concertgoer wouldn't qualify them to be an MP?
• Monterrey morons Inspector and Alberto y Roberto. The former group opened the Reventón with a ska sound that's so Orange County—circa 1997. The brothers Alberto y Roberto followed with their wimpy smash "Tú Forma de Ser" and then proceeded to caterwaul variations on that theme backed by horrific disco thumps. Together, the two groups nearly ruined their city's reputation as home to the continent's finest Latin alternative bands.
• The Kumbia Kings. We thank our savior Jesus Christ for rumors the pseudo hip-hop group will soon call it quits. Warbling their cheapo cumbias dressed in matching baggy shorts and dress-length white T-shirts, the Kumbia Kings reminded us of *NSYNC without the street cred.
• Jaguares. What's a talented group like you doing in a place like this?
• Sin Bandera. The Argentine and Mexican male duo proved with their set that the historical rivalry between their respective countries can be bridged—and that such a partnership isn't necessarily desirable.
• David Bisbal, Myriam and Yahir. The former comes from Spain, the latter two call Mexico casa. Both are products of their respective country's American Idol spin-offs. All would make Simon Cowell puke.
• The girl who grabbed my ass at concert's end. Sorry I kicked you, muchacha. But you'd smack someone, too, if you had to endure the Reventón. Come to think of it, you did. (Gustavo Arellano)