Every once in a while we go to a show and we are completely captivated by a band’s performance. Tonight was one of those nights. Having just been crowned best Indie Band of 2012 by the OC Weekly, Yellow Red Sparks came into Fingerprints Records and won over the crowd with their original brand of acoustic folk rock. The band was playing tonight celebrating the release of their new self-titled record out now on ORG Music.
Lead Vocalist/Guitarist Joshua Hanson
The three piece band out of Southern California played ten songs within an hour set, focusing mainly on the material from their debut album. Lead vocalist Joshua Hanson mentioned to the crowd that the Long Beach show was their second of three shows that they were playing that day. The last show of the day was a South by Southwest preview which was back in Los Angeles later that evening. Talk about a hard working indie band!
Bassist Sara Lynn and Singer/Guitarist Joshua Hanson
The band’s sound revolves around poetic songwriting, beautiful harmonies and folky acoustic guitars. Singer/guitarist Joshua Hanson’s lyrics reveal insight of personal relationships and heartbreak. Hanson, Bassist Sara Lynn and drummer Goldy are all excellent musicians and form a tight cohesive unit. They seem to feed off of each other’s energy. Sara Lynn showed her versitility tonight by switching instruments during the set and playing banjo for a few songs.
About half way through tonight’s set the band played a spellbinding, unplugged version of the Elvis Presley classic “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” complete with an audience sing along. The band seems to enjoy connecting with their audience and encourages the audience to participate. Tonights audience willingly obliged. The intimate environment Yellow Red Sparks creates, makes it easy for the audience to feel connected to the performers. Earlier in the show  Josua Hanson had requested that the audience  move closer to the stage to (jokingly) “make it a little more akward “. Another highlight from the set was the band’s perfomance of “Happiness Comes In A Box” which Hanson said was simply about, “trying to make someone happy.”

Below is a link for the band’s video for “My Machine Gun” which is a song they performed this evening at Fingerprints. This is my favorite track from the album and it reminds me a little of the “Hallowed Ground” era of the Violent Femmes. Click to take a look.


A fan in the crowd asked singer Joshua Hanson how he came up with the name of the band. He said that he liked the idea of the color yellow being passive and the color red being aggressive, together, the two opposing colors forming a spark. With a new album out now and an official South By Southwest Showcase this spark should ignite a wildfire.

Drummer Goldy
Sara Lynn, Me (Jody), Joshua Hanson, Goldy



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About the Author

Jody & Judy

We met over 15 years ago when we were booking rock bands for the Beachfest, a local music festival here in Long Beach, CA. Since then we have seen hundreds of shows together. This is our forum to talk about concerts, bands and records that we love in the hope that we can keep rock alive.

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