The Hype: If you had to pick a handful of bands that pretty much own the Glass House anytime they take the stage, Rx Bandits would undoubtedly be carved near the top of that list. On the heels of a well-deserved Coachella gig, we expected their legion of hometown fans to line up to celebrate their return. Putting their friends Zechs Marquise and Good Old War on the bill definitely sweetened the deal.
Instead, they've traded it for an extra helping of old-school soul, dub and Latin polyrhythms at work on new Mandala jams like “Mientras la Veo Sonar,” often pairing heavy thumps from bassist Joe Troy with furious drum circles courtesy of drummer Chris Tsagakis, guitarist/keyboardist Steve Choi and Matthew Embree occasionally sitting at one of the three kits set up on stage. At one point, the band was joined by Marcel Rodriguez Lopez from Zechs Marquise who offered his impeccable chops to the party during the band's smoldering, soulful tune “Only For the Night.”
The band ended their first set with the surging punk energy of the politically charged tune “Bring Our Children Home Or Everything is Nothing.” True to form, Embree prefaced the song by pleading with soldiers from all over the world, regardless of race, country or creed to go home to their families. It was a genuine, passionate sentiment that oozed through every second of the band's final number.
That included an epic rendition of “To Our Unborn Daughters,” a thunderous ode to feminism that actually provoked a giant swarm of shirtless dudes to flail around like mad men until the band brought things to an end and stood before their fans in sheer gratitude. Though their sound has morphed quite a bit over the years, one thing that hasn't seemed to change is how much they seem to value the crowds that come out to see them. Friday night was certainly no different.