Showgazing: Dusty Rhodes and the River Band at Alex's Bar
Despite the conventional wisdom that tells us that Sunday nights are meant for sleep, it's good to see that the crowd at Alex's Bar continues to know better. Opting to drain every last drop of weekend fun from the seventh day, fans of Dusty Rhodes and the River Band, Olin & the Moon, Yellow Red Sparks and Death Hymn Number 9 turned out with tall cans of PBR in hand.
Things kicked off around 9:30 p.m. with a performance by Death Hymn Number 9, who should have been right at home under the crimson lights and skeleton-frocked decor of the LBC's beer guzzling shrine to the Day of the Dead. And though some people (ahem, me) might have gotten there a little late to check out the performance, the chaos of their ballsy blues thrash had to be a hit with unsuspecting locals. After all, it's not often that three dudes with zombie face paint jump on stage and brutalize their instruments for 30 minutes.
They were followed by something slightly more down tempo, the folksy spirit of Yellow Red Sparks. Supported by sweet strumming, snare slaps and smoldering bass, frontman Josh Hanson crooned to fans perched on bar stools and those bobbing their heads a healthy distance away from the stage. By their last song, "A Play to End All Plays", their thumping tales of tangled love troubles roped in a few more waves of new fans.
As the party atmosphere thickened and more people piled in, LA indie rockers Olin and the Moon unloaded their gear on stage. Sporting a safe twist on Ryan Adams-esque rock-n-roll, the band hit the ground running with some upbeat folk rattlings complete with banjo, lap steel and gang harmonies. Even if you're not exactly a fan of flannel-wearing country twang, O&TM was a decent warm-up to the curly-haired keyboard frenzy of Dusty Rhodes and the River Band.
It's been a while since Dusty Rhodes breezed into town and onto the stage, especially considering that they've spent most of their time on tour since the release of their latest record Palace and Stage. But every time this Anaheim-based band returns it's obvious that their OC/LB fan base hasn't forgotten them. And as Sunday night stretched into Monday morning, die hard lovers of accordion thrash and shout-out-loud hooks pressed to the front of the stage as Dusty Rhodes smashed through a blend of old and new tracks, from "Dear Honey" to "W.W.M.D.?" and a lot in between as the gravelly growl of front man Dustin Apodaca traded with the vocals of guitarists Edson Choi and Kyle Divine. The band is hitting home turf again this week as they open for State Radio at The House of Blues in Anaheim on Thursday, October 8. Hopefully the crowd can maintain some of that Sunday night energy for the big night.
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