Cherry Glazerr, Santoros, L.A. Witch, Levitation Room
February 14, 2014
Love was in the air on Friday night at The Smell. It just smelled like stale urine and cigarette smoke wafting from huddles of 16-year-olds.
The show celebrated the release of Cherry Glazerr's first LP, Haxel Princess – let's ignore the fact that it came out a month ago.
It kicked off Santoros and Levitation Room's West Coast tour.
Openers Levitation Room brought hazy, Tame Impala-esque psych-rock vibes to the low-lit room. Magenta lights bounced off a disco ball onto a swaying crowd, a sea of denim, nose rings glimmering.
Next, L.A. Witch took the stage. With their all-black ensembles, heavy hooks, and haunting, reverb drenched riffs, the trio put a spell on the audience. Their set switched between fast and slow-paced songs, which made the a crowd unsure if it was cool to mosh or not. Young lovers locked lips (and braces), while being bumped by those pushing around the pit.
Santoros' energetic set cause moshing to re-ensue whole-heartedly. The seven-piece barely fit on the small platform stage, and their bluesy folk rock certainly wasn't typical of The Smell and its mural covered walls. Keyboards and harmonica rounded out Santoros' raw, DIY surf rock sound and brought a pause to the make-out sessions. It's hard to lock lips when people are crowd-surfing over your head, after all.
[Santoros performed “She Doesn't Love Me Anymore,” which is kind of an anti-Valentine's day song, echoing the despair of a broken heart, but in a way you could still dance to.
Cherry Glazerr took the stage almost 40 minutes late, but someone brought free donuts and cupcakes, so no one minded much. “You guys like Haxel Princess?,” frontwoman Clementine Creevy asked the crowd. Based on the mosh pit that ensued as soon as the band started playing “White's Not My Color this Evening,” it was pretty clear they did. Even bassist Sean Redman's mother was there to celebrate their record release, although she probably stayed out of the pit.
See also: Cherry Glazerr: High School Rockers
Next they performed “Trick or Treat Dancefloor,” which gave off a high school dance kind of vibe, minus the awkward cheesiness, before the twangy, dreamy “Bloody Bandaid” lead to a full-on head-bobbing stupor.
The group followed up with “Teenage Girl,” which is probably their most recognizable song; many folks sang along as Creevy declared that “Rob Kardashian is a tool.” Kids once again began slamming into each other, which was fine until a guy flew through the crowd with flying elbows like a cannonball (you know, the too punk guy) and knocked down about six people.
Creevy demanded: “I want to see your sweaty face kids, I want to see you jump on stage” during the dark, grungy “Sweaty Faces.” She got what she wanted: people rushed the stage and lept into the crowd.
Perhaps not as romantic as a candle-lit dinner, but definitely better than a box of chocolates.