We all know that in addition to aged steaks and lobster tail, La Cave serves up a variety of musical genres under the guise of Costa Mesa's favorite burgundy-brown den of decadence. But while indie bands and trance DJs have done well on the calendar alongside Phil Shane, 80s flashback night and legendary Frank Sinatra impersonator David Kinwald, one style of music is always conspicuously left out. Sure, you might not automatically be able to imagine heavy metal, filet mignon and vintage 60s décor all in that same bar, but one skull bashing band from Newport Beach is trying to change that. It's been a little over a month since singer Kevin Havic and his band Beneath the Buried signed on to play a metal residency that they vowed to turn this restaurant into thriving headbanger's refuge every Tuesday night.
Coming off of a stint as a contender of OC Music Award's Best Live Band and nominees for Best Metal, the band was in need of something to galvanize their loyal crop of fans who show up to literally every gig. Even a few of them questioned BTB's motives at first.
"I was also skeptical because La Cave's not really known for metal," Havic says. "We knew we were really gonna have to push this. When we first started we didn't even book opening acts because we didn't know how we wanted to structure the night or how long it would last." But all it took was one successful acoustic metal set (how they managed to do that, we don't know) for the band to open up to the idea to put on a full show.
They're not exactly the first band to bring guttural screams and beefy riffs into the cramped stage area. You might've been able to see bands like Wulf Bane and Railroad to Alaska turning the tiny dance floor into a small-but-furious mosh pit circa 2010. But lately those shredding performances had sort of vanished, much like a lot of former metal nights, including the recently discontinued Metal Mondays at Slidebar. It's the kind of things that really pushed Beneath the Buried to even take the gig in the first place.
"This goes to show you that metal can pop up anywhere," Havic says. "This place is primarily known for jazz and I think it's cool we can set a tone, knowing that Tuesday we can bring a solid rock night after a couple of years of nothing really being in that slot."
Formed in 2009, the band's furious energy and destructive breakdowns found an early audience that eats up mosh pit anthems "Halowen Hotel" and "Broken Bones" while Havic and guitarists Danny Taylor and Ian Molina thrash and smash into each other alongside bassist Brian Cabral and drummer Josh Animal. Add that to a rabid fan base that treats these guys like Avenged Sevenfold when they're on stage and you've got a recipe for plenty for a show that offers anything but the usual at a place like this.
"Most people think of La Cave and they think of steak and lobster, but when I think of La Cave I think of sweat and mosh pits and having a good time."
Beneath the Buried perform every Tuesday night at La Cave in Costa Mesa. Free, 21+.More details here.