THE RETURN OF ‘THE DUDE’
Temecula, CA – Welcome to the cross-over, music fans who have come from The Vault Concerts magazine to the full story here of why this was a legendary night. To make this ‘cross-over event’ special, only those who subscribe to the Vault Mag know Scott Russo’s exact quote about the show. For the rest of you, here are my criteria of what makes a legendary night at The Vault better than a night at the opera. As this is a recurring phenomenon, I have the checklist in my breast pocket.
The weather being perfect is a no-brainer and this is a part of southern California having a Mediterranean climate, so in the scene, it starts out at a place, the pre-show party at Black Market Brewing Co. or BMBCO.
The party was full as many in the crowd were tied in to the bands appearing at The Vault. 3 old friends later I had a new favorite beer maid, a raven-haired Sicilian named Jenni. But the night was just starting. While in the presence of Strike Twelve, who should I hear but ‘The Dude’, the number one fan of the band, see archives. I hadn’t heard from ‘The Dude’ since shortly before she had gotten preggos. Now a wedding is planned for September and the young little baby wanted to come to the show with her roller derby mama, who I know as ‘The Dude’.
Meanwhile at the Vault, Monkeys In Space was killing it. How do I know since I was crawling distance away being a social butterfly? The second thing that makes for a legendary night is swagga my nigga. With the night’s total at 4 CDs [meaning that I have music from everyone on the card] and 3 new band shirts [(2) appropriately for the upcoming political GMO festival weekend, TBA], I had a haul.
Sederra played a solid set as the Vault crowd filled in to the seven band set line-up. Devocean was next and they too rocked it in a set that seemed much too short but added to the total electricity building the night.
“I’m surprised that Ivan has us playing after Devocean,” said Matt, (guitar. Vox) before he, Joe (bass, vox), Dan (drums), and Andy (lead guitar hero and Joe’s brother) of Strike Twelve took the stage. The local punk band delivered a stellar set that made me as proud, knowing them for as long as I have, as if one of them had gone to college and become a doctor. Oh wait, one of them did. But that’s not scene news. Scene news is that the band has a new CD planned for release soon.
Strike Twelve has been around since the scene started. They played a host of shows at Madlins that at times were hardly more than band practice, but the charm, wit, and ‘Aw shucks’ attitude plus some of the catchiest ‘jingo punk rock’ you ever heard made them a hometown staple. Later on when they hit the road, playing in places like Long Beach, a spunky depressed manic girl wondering what to do with her life chanced upon a Strike Twelve bar show. That one night turned the life of the young girl who was in high school at the time, around, and ‘The Dude’ became a ST fan for life.
Rolling in the wake of Strike Twelve was Versus The World, the tour mates with Unwritten Law. VTW is a four piece made up of members from Ataris and Lagwagon. Versus The World reconvened in 2010 and began writing and recording their long awaited follow-up which they wrapped in early 2012. Soon after, the band inked a deal with Viking Funeral Records, a label imprint started by Ken Seaton of Hardline Entertainment and Pennywise guitarist Fletcher Dragge along with Kevin Zinger of Suburban Noize Records. Produced by Thom Flowers (The Ataris) at Playback Recording and Orange Whip studios in Santa Barbara, mixed by Ian MacGregor (All American Rejects, Katy Perry) and mastered by Jason Livermore at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins. The band is touring in promotion of the upcoming 7/31 release of VTW’s Drink, Sing, Live, Love CD. Another solid set that fused elements of post-hardcore, pop-punk and rock but you could feel the room temperature rising and the pressure building for the headliner, Unwritten Law.
From the moment UL hit the stage in their area debut you could tell the band from southern California who rolls in the company of Suburban Noise Records roustabout Mickey Avalon and sells out the Belly Up, was there to take no prisoners, SRH fashion. The nearly packed house rocked out right from the start and the band took notice. Though I have seen it before, it is still a thrill to watch a band realize that the audience is nothing but fans that know your songs and came to the show for you, pumped.
The rest of the night was a blur of face-melting, fist-pumping American rock music fury in a passion pit tug of war. Touring in support of the latest CD* release, Swan, Unwritten Law dug deep into their library of titles to further excite and satisfy the crowd. The band has a number of songs that have charted on Billboard’s Modern Rock countdown. From the last time I saw the band and this, I can tell you that the CDs are easy on the ears but the live shows blow your face off.
Catch them live soon!
(* - The Vault’s Alex Pappas co-engineer)