On Saturday June 14th, The Ché Cafe hosted a killer line-up of San Diego’s top local bands. Considering the 9 RSVP’s online I wasn’t expecting much, but it was a solid show.
In a true Ché Cafe fashion the show didn’t actually start until 8 despite the advertised 7:00 start time. I pity the newbie fool who shows up right at 7 only to find the whole venue completely deserted. First up were The Nformals soon to be renamed Shady Francos. The Nformals have this eclectic energy about them, anchored by front man Joshua Kmak. Its hard to categorize them but if I had to choose I would say garage rock meets Surf Punk in a way that is completely their own. After listening to their stuff for while it was refreshing to see them live. A definite highlight of their set was Kmak’s dance moves although I would suggest that the Nformals start writing set lists as the gaps in between songs lost the magic for me. The Nformals brought in a good crowd mostly teenage punks and all the members of Sandy Cheeks and it was all good fun.
Next up was The New Kinetics. I basically have fan-girled TNK for the last three years and only now have played at the Ché. The New Kinetics symbolize an internal evolution within me in music style and I am forever indebted. From a non biased perspective, The New Kinetics are pretty fantastic. Every song is artistic tapestry, weaving great riffs and killer harmonies. Guitar player Brian Reilly and lead singer Birdy Bardot work incredibly well together, as they feed off each others energy in a very cool way. Birdy herself has all the characteristics of an amazing front women. Her voice is cool and sultry and her vocals complement Reilly’s shrieking quite well. I am very familiar with the bands older material but I am very perplexed with the new stuff. In your face in the best possible way. If you want to listen to more of The New Kinetics check them out on band camp, and pester them to play more all ages shows.
Headlining for the night was The Burning of Rome. Born out of a laundry room in Oceanside, The Burning of Rome is a proverbial music powerhouse touring on the local and international level, playing along side giants like Arcade Fire. Watching them for the first time, I couldn’t help feeling anything but mystified, enchanted in the dynamic between ordinary people and their instruments. These were no ordinary instruments however. On the piano a light system was constructed, every chord corresponding to a light turning on. It was through this and the frantic energy of pianist and guitarist Adam Traub that set the tempo for their set. While Traub’s playing was memorable, it was that of all the band members that contributed to the collective sound. Guitar playing was solid, and the drummer had a very unique clean style. All in all, very impressed with The Burning of Rome and will look forward to seeing them in the future.
Saturday was one rad show. Much thanks to all the bands that played and to the Ché Cafe, for staying open, and for finally stocking toilet paper in your bathrooms.
If you want to see photos from the show check out the KimCheezy’s gallery. Sorry for not catching any photos of Joshua Kmak’s dance moves. Our photographer came late and missed the Nformals set.