Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 8:26 a.m.
The HypeThe Show:
: Fans of Stars At Night
were not thrilled when the Ninth Annual Grrrl Fair Manifesto
in Santa Ana was canceled in March, thus nixing band's scheduled performance. The female foursome have since released their aggressively punky and danceable songs; their debut album, The Beginning
, came out last April. Fortunately, they had a show at the Wreck Fest at Proof Bar
this Sunday. Unfortunately, the only thing wrecked that night was their sound.
Sounding like an agitated Le Tigre
or distaff Rapture
, Stars at Night got shouty-shouty. The all female quartet--singer Irene Quiles, guitarist Seleste Diaz, bassist Elizabeth Bañ
uelos and drummer Joana Rubio--are set to bring their dance-punk sound to the masses, but still need some time to hone their attack.
The mix was off right from the get-go. On their first track "Heartbeat," Quiles vocals were nearly inaudible. The drumming of Rubio was impressive, but totally overwhelmed the rest of the band. There were gaffes in the playing, as well. On "Get Up," the group had to stop and restart after just seconds. The net impact was that of a band who weren't quite ready for prime time (or, in this case, Sunday afternoon).
There were highlights, though. "Your Destiny" rocked hard with a galloping rhythm, pounding drums and chat-along vocals. The song never lets up, drilling its way into your brain like Daniel Plainview
on crystal meth. Quiles gave her best effort on this track: a sultry and seductive wail that takes the song to another level.
"Never" was perhaps the most heartfelt song by this often-aggro group. Quiles fell to her knees, crying out, "You took my life away!" to someone who clearly has done her wrong. It's not subtle, but great rock gestures usually aren't. They closed the set with "Fairy Tales," a tense, hypnotic dirge. Quiles amped up the drama by directly singing at one lucky guy in the audience. It's in moments like these that one can see the appeal of Stars At Night: they aren't the best or technicians going, but they capture the grit and passion that make people want to rock.
The Crowd: A couple of rockers were drinking pints of beer while lounging around intently listening to the music. Several old rockers sat in the crowd bobbing their heads, gazing at the female band in awe. Girls dressed in high heels and short T-shirts while nodding their heads to the punk jams.
"Man, I should've gotten stoned for this!"