By Megan G. Razzetti
I’ve lived in Los Angeles all of my life and have been absolutely terrible at attending shows at some of the local venues. I finally went to the Redwood Bar and Grill in downtown Los Angeles to see the Great Apes from San Francisco, who made a stop on their short tour with All Eyes West from Chicago.
Instead, I fell in love with locals Gentlemen Prefer Blood—who have a pop punk sound with some resemblance to The Copyrights. The show was supposed to start at three, but as I arrived at the venue, the bands were just pulling up in the van. I don’t even remember what time music started playing because it felt like time was being stretched out. Luckily during this time I ran into Daryl and was introduced to another Razorcake contributor John Mule, so we watched the Dodgers game for a bit.
Local band Lake Effect played a set of long, slowly drawn-out songs that made me a little too relaxed. I dozed off in one of the cushioned booths by the stage.
When Gentlemen Prefer Blood took the stage, they blew me away. This was my first time seeing them live. I had never even heard them. The band put on the best set of the matinee, playing to only a handful of people (including their significant others) in front of the stage. They got my attention with the combination of the two vocalists: Todd and Dr. J. It was a really great touch to their unique sound. Todd unleashed so much energy. He took full advantage of the minimal space he had up on the small stage. It was like he had too much sugar in his bloodstream. The songs I enjoyed the most were “Makeshift or Graves” and “1000 Words” off of their latest release Used Books and Guns. I discovered which songs were played during the set as I purchased their record and talked with Todd afterwards. I ended up liking them so much that after they played I wanted to hear more. I couldn’t take my mind off of what I just witnessed.
All Eyes West played after and were kind of difficult to get into. They had a very heavy melodic punk sound with vocals that hinted of Lagwagon’s JoeyCape. Their guitarist took full advantage of the open space as he hopped on and off the stage and played where the crowd should be. I felt like I spent most of their set trying not to get hit in the face by his swinging guitar.
Lastly, Great Apes took the stage. I discovered them when they opened for The Lawrence Arms a while ago and got into their traditional, raw punk sound. The first time I had seen them play, they were great and full of life. This time they were just okay. They played songs like “Seventeen Years,” which seemed to be everyone’s favorite song. Despite everyone singing along, it was a struggle for singer Brian Moss, whose voice sounded tired. Maybe it was just an off day for him. They have a pretty solid collection of songs that are worth taking a closer listen to and I highly recommend their album Thread.
The show ended and it was still daylight, to my surprise. As I regained my eyesight from being in the darkness of the Redwood, I couldn’t help but feel super lucky that I had the opportunity to be exposed to a band like Gentlemen Prefer Blood.
Megan G. Razzetti—come find me at a show or see what I’m listening to here.