The Wayfarer Inspires OC Bands to Inhabit the Sounds of Their Favorite Rock Stars

There’s more than one way to dress up for Halloween. When you're in a band, few things are more fun than trying on the sound of your rock idols and pretending to be them on stage. Last night and this evening mark the occasion of some unique programming at The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa. The two-night of  popular OC bands doing cover songs is billed as “Tricks and Treats.” For each of the evenings, Wayfarer promoter Eric Keilman assembled a collection of several bands which will perform sets from bands that they consider to be their biggest influences. 

Last night, three local bands performed the works of various classic rock groups. Robert Jon & The Wreck performed a collection of songs by The Eagles; Professor Colombo performed songs by The Band, and The Hurricanes performed songs by The Doors. Roach Sánchez, the vocalist / rhythm guitarist for The Hurricanes (of Santa Ana) talked with the Weekly about performing the songs of his heros and about the gig.

Interestingly enough, on their original recordings, The Hurricanes have a very authentic vintage recording sound. Sánchez attributes their sound to the amps, instruments, and period recording gear that their label, Wild Records, uses. As far as what initially interested them in honing their own vintage sounding style, Sánchez says, “I think it’s that we all grew up with [it]…Chicanos are all into the oldies and the whole old lifestyle, so growing up, we all listened to that kind of music, starting out with '50s doo-wop, and it just led to where we're at now.” He pointed out that their sound was the result of a progression of working their way through oldies music.

“It led to rockabilly, [then] to finding out the roots of how rockabilly started…you know like blues,” He says. “But then we were playing to a bunch of new kids and they want to party, so we started kind of doubling the speed. Next thing you know, we start sounding like The Rolling Stones and The Animals and The Yardbirds….and from there we started to do [some] Doors. And, pretty much that built to where we're at now.”

As for how The Hurricanes wound up performing The Doors for the Trick or Treat show, Keilman had the idea of doing a special series of covers for a while. He knew that The Hurricanes were fond of The Doors, so he suggested they took on a whole set, and The Hurricanes agreed.

For night two of the Trick or Treat series, Keilman has four additional acts ready to perform as their respective influences. The Gromble will be performing the music of Weezer; Kandi Jones will perform the tunes of Iggy Pop & The Stooges; The Breakfast Club OC will perform Talking Heads songs, and Big Monsta & Gardeners Logic will perform the music of Fugazi. In advance of this, the Weekly got in a couple words with The Gromble, who hail from Laguna Niguel.

 The Gromble got involved with this show, when a friend of the band from the band The Jeffcoats had the idea to do a show honoring the 20th anniversary of Weezer's Pinkerton. “I asked Eric Keilman of the Wayfarer if he would be interested in doing a Weezer night, and he suggested doing a Weezer set as part of their Halloween tributes,” says lead singer/guitarist Spencer Askin. He went on to commend the programming at the venue, saying, “We always have a great time playing the tribute shows at the Wayfarer. Sets of Bowie and Prince songs at the Wayfarer have been some of the most fun performances we've ever done.”

Asked if there is any special inspiration for performing Weezer music, Askin said, “Early Weezer is a big influence on our sound and writing.” Even though the band is no stranger to performing covers — they do a weekly '90s night performance under the name SEGA Genecide, though they usually do not perform Weezer songs in their Gromble shows. But that's all about to change the minute they hit the stage for Tricks and Treats.“We’re excited to change that this Thursday!” Askin says.

Tricks and Treat, Night 2 happens tonight the Wayfarer. 8 p.m. $8. For full info, click here.

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