Over the Weekend: Moon Block Party in Pomona

The Moon Block Party served as a crash course in the gems of our local music scene. The festival was a first of what's to be an annual arts and music festival in the Pomona Arts Colony. It benefited the Pomona School of the Arts.

Several big hitters from LA and OC music scene came out and played on indoor and outdoor stages, with four stages going at once. All of the festivities were hugged between the row of art galleries along Second Street. There were close to ten food trucks, including Slap Yo Momma soul food at the entrance, to feed the hungry audiophiles and art enthusiasts.

Unlike some music and art festivals that are music dominated, the Moon Block Party was a perfect blend of the two. The Aerolight stage was placed in an awesome garden of scrap metal sculptures.

 But, because we're a music blog, here are a few highlights of the music side of the festival:

Kiev eased into their set with a mellow beginning that rose to a solid jam session. Gotta say, Andy Stavas makes the saxophone sexy. The only unfortunate thing about their set was that it was too early. They should have played later in the day so that a larger crowd could have the opportunity to enjoy their music. 

Lovely Bad Things

The La Mirada four-piece brought a high-energy set to the block, which made them a perfect band to start the day off with. They drew a crowd that spilled out of the cramped room they played in and into the street. The fast-driving garage rock–along with such antics as bassist Timothy Hatch playing his way through the crowd and out into the street–served to get the crowd sufficiently pumped. The trade-off of male and female vocals and the instruments the members play keep their sound fresh from one song to the next.
Summer Twins

The sisters Brown, Chelsea and Justine, made the day a little more adorable. Their dream-pop is a fun nod to the music of the '50s, with its generous helpings of “aahs” and “woos.” And the songs were totally sing-along-able and danceable–though few in the crowd did either.

Races give an Arcade Fire-style show, with their ensemble cast of musicians and slightly ethereal set of songs. But the blend of the guitar, synth and percussion kept them grounded and solid. Interesting fact: They were formerly known as Black Jesus but “it offended some people,” singer Wade Ryff said. Wonder if that had to do with the number of posters pasted on the walls of the festival claiming that Jesus was black, but not a racist? We hope the Los Angeles-based band will make their way down to Orange County soon.

Afghan Hounds

The crowd really loosened up for Afghan Hounds. Their set was just a ball of fun; they attracted some of the most entertaining dancers in the festival. Matt Taylor of the Growlers did what he does best, offering up some surf-inspired garage rock.

Dahga Bloom

Gotta give it up for co-headliners Dahga Bloom, who delivered their unique, slightly experimental sound to a full crowd. They played at sunset, which was an awesome backdrop for their grooving set. It was certainly one of the standout performances of the day in terms of innovative local music. 

The Crowd: A collection of young folks dressed in their underground-music-fest best. We'll probably see them again at this fall's FYF Fest.

Critic's Bias: I am a fan of Dahga Bloom, whether or not the feeling's mutual. 

Random Notebook Dump: Winner for best outfit of the day goes to the guy in the lime-green blazer and white fur hat with the “lesbian in training” note pinned to his jacket.

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