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LIVE REVIEW: Secret Someones, Wolf Gang, And Sir Sly Ignite Los Angeles

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Hannah Winkler of Secret Someones.
Hannah Winkler of Secret Someones.

Nirvana may not be the greatest band of all time, or deserve a spot in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, but you have to admit. It’s pretty impressive when one of your favorite bands covers a legendary song. And does it right. To add a few extras as to why Brooklyn’s new found glory Secret Someones deserve the utmost respect for going balls to the walls, they covered Nirvana’s “Breed” at the El Rey in Los Angeles, Monday night.

In a sensual setting of dark accented, dim maroon lights, and large curtains that matched, Secret Someones of Brooklyn, NY tore the stage apart. Their style? Think grunge meets the 80s, swirled around with 90s pop features, and modern-day alt-rock. The kind of band you’d expect to hear in your friend’s garage. Lead singer Bess Rogers came out of nowhere with hard, scratchy vocals, weaving in a familiar sound of The Eagles and HAIM. The set got lighter and easier to feel, and Secret Someones opened up. Long-time drummer Zach Jones, and friend of the “Say Something” college duo, A Great Big World, knew how to amp-up keyboardist Hannah Winkler and lead singer Bess Rogers. They wrapped around each other, guitars in hand, battling together during a quick solo. Lelia Broussard and Rogers even did this old-school head-turn to the left… then right… while in front of their mic stands. Secret Someones are harmonious in all they stand for, from their edgy hair and bold fashion statement, to the synchronized timing, control and mechanics of their performance. Jones’s sticks were on point, popping his body to the beat of his drums, together as one, while Broussard kicked up the bass. Even the LA hipster guys with their Toms and Tommy Bahamas were embarrassed by how frequently they would get caught, sub-consciously swaying their bodies to the music, singing lyrics with a bad-ass, mostly female “rock” band. It was almost as if the El Rey had purposely hidden these beautiful gems from and finally presented them like, “Hey, surprise. We have a secret to share. Secret Someones. No big deal.”

Their last song was showed off rather quickly, and Winkler wrapped it up by informing the fans they would be at the merch table. Watching them interact with all of their close friends, family, and new fans, was refreshing to see. It’s always important, when possible, to engage with fans, and let people connect with who you are. Infectious Magazine got to run up the stairs with Bess Rogers and Lelia Broussard to get close and cornered. Click here for the interview!

Suddenly the room is dark and there’s nothing but vibrations from the bass of James Wood. Instead of “dropping it,” they made it explode. From the UK, Max McElligott (lead vocals), Gavin Slater (guitar), James Wood (bass), and Lasse Petersen (drums), and Beau Holland (current keyboarder), joined eccentric forces to create Wolf Gang. Before touring with Sir Sly, they were lucky enough to headline and perform support slots with Coldplay, Florence + The Machine, The Killers, The Naked And Famous, plus countless festival appearances. McElligott’s innocent and charming appearance contrasts his ability to switch up the chords and vocals, while seducing the audience with his beady eyes. That accent though… The crowd grew, and so did the flow of happy energy and music. It was fun listening to, feeling their passion, and swaying to the beat. Wolf Gang’s debut album, Suego Faults was co-produced by Dave Fridmann, who has worked with artists like MGMT and The Flaming Lips, and released in 2011.  We have more to look forward to, while patiently waiting for their second album, out on Cherrytree soon!


Before anyone saw it coming, Wolf Gang was out, but more traffic was in. What started out as three separate artists making music turned into something beyond. Vocalist Landon Jacobs, and instrumentalists Jason Suwito and Hayden Coplen are High School friends from Orange County. What started with performing at a local church, led to the creation Sir Sly whose release of their 2013 EP Gold landed them on tour with bands like The 1975 and St. Lucia. The guys released their newest album, You Haunt Me, Sept. 17 on Interscope Records. Jacobs wore a plain grey long sleeve and worn jeans, perfectly tying together his short and wavy “I haven’t showered while on tour” hair. His eyes were closed for most of the performance, while keyboardist Jason Suwito jammed the keyboard. His ecstasy-like boy language portrayed depths of his soul, forcing his fans to feel some kind of vulnerability. Not only can this guy let go and stay true to who he is, he also has a familiarity in his voice similar to Alt-J‘s lead vocalist Joe Newman, who is on an entirely different level of unique as it is. What Peterson adds is a seamless, yet unexpected delivery of depth, range, and power. The vibes and energy that came along with with it was like a cracked-out, Iggy Pop performance, substituting the skin and bones, meth and heroine, with his extremely good looks. He was everywhere, playing everything, just doing his thing. Since crowd surfing is too simple for these sharp crayons, he took the power and drove it into the ground several times. First, in a yoga pose cradling his guitar, halfway sitting and halfway leaning back with the mic, comfortable in his element. Seconds later, fans are screaming and praising the Spiderman-like hero, who had climbed up the left-side of the stage intriguing his fans, especially the ladies. Sweat stains and drips from his face down to his grey shirt never looked so hot. In honor of Jacobs’ favorite hip-hop artist, Sir Sly covered Drake‘s “Marvin’s Room,” showcasing their talent of taking a well-known piece work, incorporating their style so it flowed with the rest of their music. making it their own  Their hit-single, “Gold” perfectly balanced out the show, in everything from the lighting and stage effects, to the personal moments and hip-hop influenced lyrics . Right at this moment, a group of mid-twenty-something year old girls started rocking out with white sheets over their face, imitating Sir Sly’s logo, and waving them around as if they were praising a king. The El Rey could not stop grooving to the music and kept waiting for an encore, but the night had come to an end, and so did their energetic tour.

Purchase a CD and buy concert tickets for Secret Someones here, for Wolf Gang here, and for Sir Sly here.

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