Monday, April 30, 2012 at 4:31 a.m.
Allensworth The Copper Door April 27, 2012
The Copper Door in downtown Santa Ana has pros and cons. The eclectic beer bar turned live music venue is a haven for local talent and an incredible melting pot of college students, hipsters, fine beer connoisseurs and the occasional gangster. In the past few months, it seems the amount of patrons has nearly doubled, making the basement a sweaty experience. But the Copper Door's lack of a powerful air conditioner didn't seem to bother those in the audience. Nor did the heat seem to bother Best Live Acoustic winner at the 2012 OC Music Awards, Allensworth who played not one, but two groovy sets to nearly 300 people.
Local band Allensworth is no stranger to the Orange County music scene, and since the band's debut this year as Orange County's favorite acoustic act, they seem to have doubled their fan base. They've come a long way from their humble beginnings at what was once one of Orange County's most important musical entities, eVocal -- the musical family that housed shows for other OCMA winners such as Yellow Red Sparks, Micah Brown, Danny Maika, and The Jakes (now known as Young the Giant).
The understaffed bar was packed all night long and many of those who occupied the space between the stage and the random hanging ropes in the middle of the room were, appropriately, under the influence of large amounts of alcohol. Audience members swayed back and forth to the sweet bass lines and melodies that make Allensworth unique.
While Allensworth's licks may not resemble that of typical Orange County bands, they are not making explicitly creative or groundbreaking music (not that they are going for that, anyway). In fact, in becoming a new-age jam band possibly influenced in part by the Grateful Dead, Jack Johnson and the Steve Miller Band, sometimes it's hard to tell which songs are original and which are covers. Sad, given the band's intensely talented and solid group of musicians. While the band's musicianship is extremely tight and noteworthy, it lacks a certain edge.
Despite our reservations about Allensworth, the sound quality at the Copper Door was exceptional last night. Many who frequent the Copper Door know that the basement with cement floors and a low ceiling has had its difficulties in the past. However, given the improvements -- including upgraded monitors and new sound guys -- the Copper Door is right up there with its competitors and definitely has better sound than many smaller venues in the area. Hopefully Allensworth will continue to play local shows and satisfy their many fans in Orange County; after all, it's not everyday that the Copper Door nearly hits capacity.
The Crowd: Classy folks with deep pockets buying tons of beer.
Overheard in the Crowd: I have to pee. Why does the Copper Door only have one bathroom for girls!!!