So & So - Viper Room - 9/7/11

So & So - Viper Room - 9/7/11
Danielle Bacher

So & So 

Viper Room

September 7, 2011

Better than: Being stuck in a steam room with 98.7 FM on the radio.

Los Angeles-based folk-rockers So & So performed a triumphant gig at the center of a nuclear reactor last night. . . oh, wait. It was actually the Viper Room, which seems to have redirected its air conditioning budget into buckets and buckets of black paint. The band's set, and especially lead singer Amie Miriello's sultry stage presence, matched the heat in the room. 

Upon taking the stage, keyboardist/vocalist Brandon Rogers greeted the crowd with a hearty, "What's up, Viper Room?!?" as he manned his two-tiered kit. They kicked things off with the inappropriately-titled "Cold as Hell." Visibly perspiring, Miriello nevertheless wailed and hip-thrusted through the uptempo number. Bassist Bana Haffar deftly added chunky rhythms that teetered on the edge of sonic domination. Somehow, it all fit together.

So & So - Viper Room - 9/7/11
Danielle Bacher
​Middle act Dartmouth sounded like a jukebox that spins out only white-guy radio hits from the 1990s and 2000s. The sextet employed churning guitars, pounding drums and whooshing keyboards into thick modern rock. "Stars" had an anthemic, Killers-ish drive, whereas "Hero" glistened like the slickest Train single. Lead singer Justin Joyce even broke out his falsetto on "Sunshine." Sadly, Dartmouth didn't have the musical smarts to back up their Ivy League moniker through the entire set. Riffs and choruses bled together on their weaker tracks, like hearing a Collective Soul outtake reel through a not-so-great sound system.  

Personal Bias: I was not expecting a band (So & So) that has a former American Idol contestant (Brandon Rogers) to be so good. I was pleasantly surprised.

Overheard in the Crowd: "How old is that guy?" by a young scenester next to me, in reference to an older man in a Led Zeppelin T-shirt who looked like the last surviving Ramone.

Random Notebook Dump: Dartmouth has a lot of female fans, and somehow each of them is the worst dancer I've seen since Elaine Benes.

So & So set list below.
So & So set list:

Cold as Hell

No Sex
What's the Use?
Monkey See
Back to the Front
Use Current Location

Related Location

The Viper Room

8852 W. Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069



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