Issues, White Oak Music & Arts, March 17, 2016
On a Thursday night in mid-March, Issues made a headlining appearance at the White Oak Music & Arts in Vans Nuys – the occasion being a benefit for instruments and gear that were stolen from the venue. A day before their tour with Crown The Empire would commence, Issues stepped out to the plate for our local music scene, and made the night one that will be remembered by the fans for a long time to come! After sets from local bands In Spite and Carried Weight, the room quickly filled up with fans awaiting the arrival of Issues. Even with the intense heat due to the air conditioning being down as well as early equipment problems, there would be no stopping Issues or the fans from coming together as one sonic force within the walls of the White Oak. This would be Issues first show in quite a few months as the band has been recording a new album – and once Issues started playing, the pit went into to overdrive and the crowd would sing along with each and every song.
Playing their hit single Stingray Affliction early on, Issues quickly sent the temperature at the White Oak soaring into the stratosphere – even more than it already was. Songs such as Her Monologue and The Realest enraptured the crowd, showing Issues’ talent for meshing genres together (metalcore, pop, hip-hop) and coming out with something wondrously unique. An older song entitled The Worst Of Them featured lead clean vocalist Tyler Carter performing with a good amount of emotion and spirit to the accompaniment of a single guitar. Then the band would return to the stage to debut a brand new song entitled The Wall, featuring lyrics about police brutality that would grab the listener by the throat.
Towards the end of the set, Sad Ghost was unleashed upon the White Oak, displaying a low end that reverberated chillingly throughout the entire room. And then closing out the set was the tremendously moving Disappear (Remember When), a poignant song about losing a loved one. And even though the room was stifling hot at this point, the audience was not ready to leave just yet, and was calling upon Issues to play even more! And the band happily obliged, with a fantastic encore featuring fans favorites Mad At Myself and Hooligans. An absolutely unforgettable night at the White Oak! Be sure to catch Issues on tour and watch for their upcoming album Headspace which is expected to be released on Rise Records sometime this year.
The tremendously talented Issues lineup consists of Michael Bohn on unclean vocals,Tyler Carter on clean vocals, AJ Rebollo on guitars, Skyler Acord om bass, and Josh Manuel on drums. Many thanks to Issues for playing this special benefit show, presented by John McCrary at Third String Productions! Be sure to support Third String, White Oak Music & Arts, and all of the local and touring bands who play there!
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)