Lessons Learned From My First Trip to Sutra Lounge

Lessons Learned From My First Trip to Sutra Lounge
Chris Victorio

The world is full of the potential to learn new things. Even at a trip to Sutra Lounge in Costa Mesa, to see a mostly forgotten alternative rock band play an acoustic set. (Check out Chris Victorio's slideshow from the night here.)


I finally understand some of the more persistent Orange County stereotypes.

Since moving here last October, I've told multiple people that, no, Orange County is not what you think it is. I've pretty much only met like-minded folks (for better or worse), who seem like they could live anywhere. Sutra gave me a glimpse of some folks that really seem to fit the stereotypical OC mold. Affliction t-shirt wearing types. Douche-y, for lack of a better term. Though, in fairness, I think that's more of a symptom of the type of venue than geography. I saw plenty of douches in Arizona (Scottsdale, for sure).

2) I know a lot more Unwritten Law songs than I thought I did.
Going in there, all I could really remember was "Seein' Red." Because who doesn't know "Seein' Red"? That song was huge in like, 2002. But as the set went on, I recognized more and more, like "Save Me," and closer "Rest of my Life." That's kind of a pretty song. I was also surprised how seamless the transition to acoustic for most of these tunes were.

3) People are judgmental about weird stuff.
When talking to Sutra booker Ashley Eckenweiler afterwards, she said she got "so much shit" for booking Hoobastank, who opened the new acoustic series at Sutra last month. That struck me as really lame. Who cares if a band, even if a band with as admittedly low of a reputation among music snobs as Hoobastank, gets booked at a venue that music snobs would never be seen at in the first place? They definitely have fans ("The Reason" was huge. and not that long ago!), and shouldn't those people, uh, get a chance to see them? Whether or not you're into it, Eckenweiler was doing her job, and booked a client that fit the venue. It was packed for UL, and she told me it was only a little less for the 'stank. If that bugs people, they need to get lives.

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