Long Beach’s Summer and Music concert series got off to a sensational start tonight with the Third Annual Dancin’ in the Streets event. The free SAM kick off show moved to a new larger location on the Downtown Promenade just a few steps from the building that once housed the legendary Blue Cafe. An estimated crowd of over a thousand people packed the area to see Greater California, California Lions and the LA psychedelic rockers Allah-Las. DJ Lithuanian Prince provided the soundtrack for the dance party that took place throughout the evening and continued after the bands finished their sets.
Greater California kicked off the live performances with an impressive set that seamlessly mixed together both folk and psychedelic rock. The Long Beach band was celebrating the release of their new 7″ single “Long Shadows” which is being released by local record label Porch Party Records. They chose to close their set with the new single and were joined on stage by an all star roster of local musicians including members of Bobby Blunders, The Humpers, Wild Pack of Canaries as well as three members of California Lions. It was a great start to an awesome evening of music.
The Long Beach band took the stage and played a lively set of folk meets California dream pop. The inclusion of a horn section tonight added a soulful, high energy dance feel to several of their songs and kept the crowd dancing throughout their hour long set. The band mixed the set list with songs from their fantastic 2013 debut EP as well as songs from their soon to be released new record. Carina Downing and Daniel Perkins share lead vocal duties and they both have a quality to their voice which makes their music the perfect summer soundtrack. We have been big fans of California Lions since we caught them at last year’s Folk Revival Festival back in November. Click here to see our complete recap with video: http://liverockgig.blogspot.com/2013/11/long-beach-folk-revival-festival-great.html
We have to admit that we were already huge fans of the Allah-Las. Once the announcement was made that they were playing this event we were counting down the days like a kid counts down to Christmas. The band is signed to Innovative Leisure Records which is also home to local retro rocker Nick Waterhouse and the Long Beach surf trio, Tijuana Panthers.
Allah-Las’ sound is a mix of garage, surf and psychedelic all rolled into one. You can hear a little bit of early Stones, Beach Boys and Love in their mesmerizing, hypnotic music. Lead Singer/Guitarist Miles Michaud has always reminded us of a young, Animals-era Eric Burdon. His vocal style comes across as effortless and laid back but he can reach back with intensity just in the right spots. Lead guitarist Pedrum Siadatian, bassist Spencer Dunham and drummer Matthew Correia provide the exceptional Byrds-style harmonies which give their music a cool ethereal quality. Tonight’s Long Beach show was the last stop on the band’s US tour that started June 11th and featured a spot at the legendary Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee.
The band’s excellent self-titled debut album was released back in September 2012. Tonight’s set list was a nice mix of songs from the debut album as well as six songs from their new album Worship the Sun which is being released on September 16th. Drummer Matthew Correia took the lead vocal duties on a few songs toward the end of the band’s set. Below is a video of Matt singing vocals on “De Vida Voz” which is the first track on their soon to be released new record.
We have to give credit to the organizers and sponsors of all of these great SAM events. They have given the residents of Long Beach great shows featuring amazing bands at no charge. After talking to some of the people in the crowd it was apparent that these shows are starting to become more of a regional draw by pulling in people from LA and OC. This bodes well for establishing Long Beach as a destination for music fans and in turn, driving the local economy. Don’t miss Summer and Music’s next event, Twisted at the Pike, which takes place July 11 featuring Fartbarf, De Lux, Free Moral Agents and Wild Park of Canaries.