Not everyone wants to spend Valentine’s Day watching local talent rip up a stage so 6 bands from the Long Beach area convened a day early in hopes of capturing the hearts of those looking for love. Bliss 53, The Blob, Mr. Crumb, d, Tarter Control and Honor Meets the Outlaw played a mixture of Rock, Punk, Alternative and Funk to a welcoming unsuspecting crowd. Bliss 53 opened the show mixing Nirvana style vocals with Metallica style rhythms. Kevin Batres, Cole Donelan and Jay Weiner combine their passions for Metal and Alternative Rock well as Bliss 53. With songs like “Hemophiliac”, “Black Window” and crowd favorite “Paper Airplanes” the future looks bright for these young lads. Redondo Beach’s The Blob followed and this 5 piece veteran punk band proved why loud and fast 77 punk is still a welcome sound. Jeremy, Ronda, Dee, Brian and Meri were determined to show everyone a good time. The band is tight and plays good, fun, fast punk rock. Whether telling stories about stolen bikes and life’s up’s and down’s or just making sure everyone has fun this band is one that takes pleasure in making people happy. Mr. Crumb came out in Valentine’s regalia and with some heavy hitters behind him. Mic Dangerously (Jelly of the Month Club/Zen Robbi) and Ian McGrath (B-Foundation) joined in the festivities on guitar and drums. The set started out just as eclectic as one would expect from this innovative songwriter. Fusing rock, punk, alternative, funk and jazz together makes this act one of those rare breeds that you just have to watch. The set was good but not as good as Mr. Crumb has been in the past. The rendition of the “Oompa Loompa Song” was not as Tim Burton dark as before but the hits were still there. “Here’s to New Beginning’s” and “Insane” were great as usual. The highlight of the set “Where Have You Been” a radio friendly hit that could soon catapult Mr. Crumb to the realms outside of the city where the sewer meets the sea. The new funk alternative “d” that is playing a residency in February at diPiazza’s followed with a truly inspired set. This duo consists of Darren and Bliss but if you’re not watching the stage you would think a 4 or 5 piece band is playing. “Affair” was the big hit of the set but “On That Girl” and “Everybody Wants You” was just as good. Most in the crowd stunned by the non stop groove of d as many didn’t expect the duo to pull off such a set.
But the party was just about to begin as Tarter Control were gathering the masses for an all out punk ministry. For those of have not yet had the chance to see Robert, Sean and Robot perform you are missing out on one of the best shows around. Inspired by The Vandals, Leftover Crack and Lawrence Welk this comedy band will shock and rock you at the same time. Sending a message through what the lads call Hug Rock, these 2 Mormon Missionaries and their Robot take their shows on a ride of Punk Rock, black ties, clean pressed black pants, good morals, ironing, robots and whole some good times. Robert doesn’t spend much time on the stage during the songs as he is a wild caged animal that has the verve of a man in his teen years. Sean and Robot hold down the stage and music while the multitudes get entertained by the self afflicting assault Robert puts himself through. The songs “Jesus is Love”, “Sodomy Basket” and the crowd favorite “Peach Cobbler Party” were just some of the highlights from this set. The final band Honor Meets the Outlaw was not fazed in the slightest by any of the other bands. Delivering one of their best sets ever, Joey, Kris, Moses and Matt took their brand of pop punk and the crowd on an amazing journey. “Calling the Sirens”, “Love in LA” and “After All This” were standouts and proved why the future looks very bright for this Long Beach foursome.