The Roxy is a small but iconic venue in Los Angeles. Recently it’s become a hot spot for album release parties. There were two opening acts for this particular party, The Peach Kings and Max and the Moon. Both bands take complete control of the intimate venue.
The Peach Kings is a female-fronted rock-band with vocalist Paige Wood, at the helm. She has a look and personality that I immediately associate with Christina Chriss from Kaleido, and Hayley Williams from Paramore. Like them, off stage, she is loud, energetic and bubbly. When singing, however, her voice has a breathy, sensuous quality an unexpected sound to come out of such a lively person. When their set finishes, a black pleated curtain lowers onto the stage in preparation for the next band, Max and the Moon.
Max and the Moon’s energy is infectious. Every single song they play is catchy and danceable. The boys standing in front of me move as if they are in a mosh pit. I’ve never seen people dance so unconsciously at such a small venue. By the last song, “Mexico,” everyone in the venue is moving.
After too long a break, Nightmare and the Cat finally begin to perform. About a month ago, I caught Nightmare and the Cat opening for Neon Trees on their Pop Psychology tour. At that show the poor sound quality compromised the passion of their performance. This time, they far exceed my expectations. The curtain rises on a girl wearing a cat head. Gary Basemen, an artist and a very close friend of the band, begins painting. Claire Acey, guitarist (and apparently one hell of a makeup artist) wept pastel eye shadow down half her cheek, reappearing on her thigh at the hem of her lacey mini dress. Django Stewart wears all-black with a scarf-like vest, an iconic look for him. Everything from their costumes to their dance moves is memorable.
I spent a good portion of the show trying to figure out who their sound reminded me of. I came up with nothing. This could be attributed to the fact that Django and his brother Samuel grew up in both London and Los Angeles. Their accents blend both cities.
Most songs in the set come off of their two EPs, Nightmare and the Cat and Simple. Though most people don’t know every song, there is one girl, standing on the other side of the stage, who sings every single lyric as passionately as if she had written it herself. You know a band is good when they have fans this dedicated.
Towards the middle of the set, a now shoeless Django spills his beer. He moves the beer bottle, but doesn’t pause. He just keeps dancing, his socks mopping it up.
With a strong sense of musicianship, and an incredible stage presence, this is a band to watch in the coming year.
You can purchase an album or buy concert tickets here for Nightmare and the Cat.
You can purchase an album or buy concert tickets here for Max and the Moon.
You can purchase an album or buy concert tickets here for The Peach Kings.
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