We all know that Sunday nights can be pretty rough territory in the hunt for live local music.
After a few minutes spent roaming the empty sidewalks of Downtown Fullerton without hearing so much as a drunken karaoke wail from the deserted bar scene, it seemed like the entire city had succumbed to another post-weekend lull.
But fortunately for me and the rest of the restless bar hoppers at The Continental Room, that wasn't the case. A packed show by Local Natives and The Living Suns resurrected another stale Sunday, offering an hour and a half of hard-drinking, boot-stomping, curtain-climbing energy.
The hoots and hollers from the late night crowd didn't let up at as the red velvet curtain rose on Continental's cramped stage around 10:30 p.m.
With a few fresh songs in their quiver, The Living Suns wasted little time launching their brand of attitude-driven, vintage rock. They're swagger was almost too much for the stage. From the get go, head banging guitarist Aaron Glines, and keyboardist Lucas Drake were almost spilling off the padded stage railing .
At first I really had no idea how either of the bands were going to display their spastic jumping skills in such cramped quarters. Shoe-less front man Bryan King decided that one way to save space was to jump on the front stage railing and swing on the curtains. Hey, whatever works.
As the show progressed, the crowd seemed lap up hard hitting jams like "Hook Line and Sinker" and "Dog Time". However, the vibes in the room was lacking that crowd-induced reckless abandon that the Suns tend to thrive on. But for fans in the search for new material from the Fullerton-based five-piece, there set was more than satisfying.
South County's Local Natives had a satisfying moment themselves last night. Before the show, the bands new song "Airplanes" blared on the stereos of KROQ listeners for the very first time. It's only been a short time since the former members of Cavil at Rest made the name switch to Local Natives and started rocking a bit more percussive pounding into their sound. I guess it's working.
Who knows, some time next year we could all be forking over half a week's pay check to watch them play at the House of Blues or something.
If there's one thing that hasn't changed since their days as Cavil at Rest it's their boot stomping fervor that never fails to get a party going. Coming out with a mix of material old and new, the over all set didn't indicate much of a shift from their pervious sound. Although I'm sure they can't go wrong with polished harmonies, deep lyrics and boundless energy, no matter how they tweak it. Ending the night with the wild hillbilly stomping of "Sun Hands", another great Cavil oldie, it was clear that OC's scruffy haired youth are proud call these guys Local Natives...even if it is redundant.
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Nate Jackson is the gatekeeper to your dreams of local dive bar stardom. If he writes about you, expect your band to be offered at least one more drink ticket than the rest of the bands on the bill. Get his attention with some groovy tunes and he might just do it. Then, boy will you feel special.