Concert Review: La Luz @ L'Escogriffe, June 4th, 2018

Ever have one of those nights where you have two bands from two very different genres, play at the same time, at different venues? Well, imagine a concert where, on the same night and at one single venue, you could mosh to some garage punk AND sway and bop to some retro rock. Seems impossible? If this is your ideal Monday night, this past June 4th, L’Escogriffe put on a fantastic dual concert that satisfied musical flip-floppers like myself. Math punk rock band Gym Shorts from Rhode Island and retro doo-wop rock band La Luz from Seattle showcased some sick riffs and mellow ballads. More importantly, the night was full of talented and badass women.

You could see the hype and excitement outside of l’Escogriffe from a block away. People were flooding the entrance puffing away at cigarettes and joints, anxiously awaiting for the night to begin. The stench of sweat and beer mixed with the humidity set the atmosphere for the music that was to come. The sound of feedback called the audience to attention like the last school bell that lets out the anxious and impatient kids.

At the center of the stage was lead vocalist and guitarist Sarah Greenwall, whose intense eye contact seemed to communicate two things: I don’t give a f***, and I’m going to blow your eardrums. Their stage presence was hypnotic and they hadn’t even started yet. Once the music kicked off, the audience hypnotically started headbanging to the fast drums and intense riffs. They played songs from their most recent album WET WILLY from 2016 and their first album NO BACKSIES from 2014. Their old school rock and punk vibes felt a little like a modern-day The Runaways, but with more badass behavior. Most memorable lyrics: “Ding Dong Ditch, Your Mom’s A Bitch.

Before Gym Shorts even took the stage, the atmosphere of L’Esco was hot and humid: just imagine how it was after an hour set of headbanging and moshing. Most people didn’t step out for fresh air or water, more people pressed in anxiously waiting for La Luz to take the stage. The dance floor was buzzing about the band, personal favorite songs, and expectations for the night. Very casually and nonchalantly, three of four of the members of La Luz walked onstage. Keyboardist Alice Sandahl was unfortunately back home with her family due to an emergency, but the audience came together to send good vibes to Alice. Despite her absence, La Luz put on an incredible performance, kicking things off with new content from their newly released album, Floating Features.

Lena Simon (bass), Marian Li Pino (drums), and Shana Cleveland (guitar/lead vocalist) worked beautifully together delivering mellow and California-esque tunes. They played crowd favorites like “Cicada” from Floating Features, and “Sure As Spring” and “Call Me in the Day” from the first album It’s Alive. They were at times delicate and relaxed, closing their eyes as if lost in their dreamy ballads and at times they were wild and indifferent women rock and rollers. In between songs they laughed and talked with the audience showing us their laid back west-coast coolness.