Viva Pomona Downtown Pomona 7/27/13 Viva Pomona is a small festival of artists celebrating the locality of what's going on in Pomona's music scene. If you look at the landscape of Southern California's population under the lens of music or arts, it's hard to distinguish exactly where Pomona belongs. Technically, it's part of Los Angeles County Pomona, but borders both San Bernardino County and Orange County.
Within walking distance Pomona's downtown fosters two of the best venues Southern California has to offer, The Glasshouse and the Fox Theater. Pomona's DIY scene also thrives, harboring Aladdin Jr. and VLHS. Every year, as a part of the Vans Warped Tour Pomona's Fairplex holds one of the most attended dates and held a two-day Warped Tour stop for the first time in the tour's history.
What does all this mean? For such a small town in a seemingly random area, the culture of the city is deeply involved in the music scene. Commuting from LA, Riverside, or Orange County beach cities, Pomona has become a hub for music.
As I arrived to event, I was surprised to see that two of the stages were outside and free to the public. The only part of the show that needed a ticket was Main Stage acts like The Lovely Bad Things and Allah-Lahs, who were playing inside the Glasshouse. I could see how this could piss some people off since the online information didn't advertise any free stages and if someone bought a ticket they probably still spend most of their night outside where a lot of the bands were playing. However, the weather was great, the atmosphere outside was nice, and food was offered as a part of the Street Fair that was going on around the concert.
One of the best sets of the night was held by a smaller band, The Aquadolls. In the middle of the courtyard in front of the glasshouse kids were throwing flowers and dancing to the bands simplistic garage rock. Lee Rickard, co-founder of Burger Records, was looking on as the band played their song "I'm Your Burger Dream Girl." Later on the same outdoor stage You Me & Us played their set with a heavy noise presence doing a lot of pedal work and shoegazing in between songs. Along with the Aquadolls, You Me & Us have a female singer guitarist and female bassist. Hailing from Palm Springs the band put on an amazing set playing songs from their latest release Stay Inside as well as a few re-touched songs from their debut release Paperweights.
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Inside the Glass House, the standing room for every band was mostly empty. When The Lovely Bad Things played there was some moshing, but it was kept to a minimum. For the majority of the night, there was somewhere between 20-50 people inside the room watching the bands, a disappointing turnout for the event coordinators I assume.
The crowd: A mix of girls in high-waisted shorts, hip Burger Records types, and locals who came out for the weekly farmers market.