House of Blues Disney was busting at the seams last Friday 1/4/2013. It was no surprise with As You Were, illFx, Nations Afire, Sederra, Divide the Day and Valora as the lineup. All of these bands alone are capable of being headliners, so putting them on the same stage together was a dream come true for any true music fan. Props go to Promoter Kelly McGarry for bringing together such a incredible line up of established and up and coming SoCal bands. If you did not make the show, here is a bit of what you missed.
As You Were is taking over the music scene like gangbusters. This Rancho Cucamonga, CA band is the full package. Dripping with musical talent, their sound is a mix of hard rock and as they put it, "lower case metal". Lead singer Jeff Zazueta and crew never disappoint and are one of the few hard rock bands that has a fan base that is comprised of approximately 60% - 70% females. They were in the unfamiliar spot as the show openers, which is never an easy task, but as great bands do, they brought the people to the floor and kept them there. Also being on so early it is hard to get your fans to the show. They pulled this off and appeared to have a few hundred people out to support.
Second on the bill was illFx, a rock/reggae/hip hop band out of L.A. The minute they hit the stage they raised the energy level to a 12 on the scale of 1 to 10. This band, featuring two MC's, has a way of connecting with the fans on the floor and that always makes for a killer set. When you see this band live you are in for a surprise hearing all the talent on stage. One thing that caught my eye was Brian Cook - keys and guitar. He flowed from one instrument to the other and did not miss a beat. The whole band is awesome and they have a bond that makes for great music and a killer show.
Nations Afire, another LA band is a Rock/Punk/Hardcore band. This band not only has an impressive resume, they can back it up. Chris Chasse: Guitar/vocals did time in Rise Against. The fans were up front and in the pit during this set. This is always a good sight from the stage. If you have not seen this band and you like it hard, check them out.
Sederra describes themselves this way “Powerful and infusing the energy and raw emotion of punk and hardcore, Sederra is a melodic blend of expressive rock.” They proved this on stage by playing a high energy and entertaining set. This band has been proudly melting faces since 2006. They are hard and heavy and just what any hardcore music fan could ask for. This was the first time we saw them live but it won’t be the last. This band had even the upper deck of HOB on its feet.
Divide the Day would tell you this about themselves; “The Southern California five piece plays uncompromising hard rock with just the right mix of Sunset Strip attitude and swagger.”, and that statement is not a lie. They are tops in the local music scene and have broken out nationally with the song “Let it Roll”, which had been featured on the WWE's "Friday Night Smack Down". But that is not the only thing that makes this band so impressive. Their stage show is top notch and they have a very loyal fan base. At the show bassist Billy Haig shouted out a fan who was wearing a old school Divide The Day tee, which was so old that Billy thought that he may have made it personally. It's always awesome and a smart thing to do when a band can give fans recognition.
Valora is a six piece hard rock band from Whittier, CA. They separate themselves from many hard rock bands in part because, unlike most bands in the same genre, their lead vocalist is a chick. Syd Duran has sex appeal, a strong and engaging stage presence, and tops it off with rock vocals. Keyboardist and back up vocalist Taelor Duran is equally talented, and together with Syd they give Valora songs incredible harmony. If you are a fan that wants to see a rock band with a kick, this is your band.
Now that you have a glimpse of what you missed you have a choice to read about the show or be at the show. Thank You for reading, but we hope to see you at the next show. As always, support the local music scene - "Occupy Your Local Venue & Support Your Local Bands" - the talent is endless and the shows are priceless.
By: Melissa & Wes (Rockwell) Anderson, http://www.ROCKwellUnScene.com
Photos By: Melissa and Wes Anderson (Rockwell Anderson Media)