The Dollyrots at The Hi Hat, July 13, 2019
The Dollyrots, The Darts, Not Ur Girlfrenz, Tidal Babes, The Hi Hat, July 13, 2019
Another night for the books at The Hi Hat in Los Angeles. I don’t do many shows that aren’t metal or 70s/80s rock and industrial, it’s just where my heart is at. However, if I can tell you one thing from the get-go, it’s that all the bands that played this release party are a MUST to check out. Let’s get to it, and I’ll do my best to tell you why each band stood out.
First up was Tidal Babes, a female-fronted, dirty beach pop-rock group from Los Angeles. They just released their own EP recently titled ‘OMG.’ The five-track EP is addicting with the songs bordering pop-punk, bubblegum pop, and classic surf tones. Live, you’ll experience a lively set with the lovely front-lady, Lyndsi, switching between playing guitar and tambourine. The music will transport you to being on a Cali beach in no time; I could almost feel the sun on my skin and drink in hand. Wait… You get what I am saying though. The tracks live, as well as some surprise covers, kept the crowd dancing and moving. Please pick up the EP, it’s rad-tastic!
The band to follow I was hesitant about. Three young girls from Texas, their instruments almost as bit as they are, took the stage. I began thinking that this was just a filler band for someone’s kids, but oh boy, was I wrong! Not Ur Girlfrenz consists of Liv (vocals and guitar), Gigi (bass), and Maren (drums). They are the youngest group to ever play the Vans Warped Tour. Their EP ‘New Kids In America’ is classic pop-punk, and quickly found its way to my album rotation. You’ll even find covers of Paramore’s ‘Misery Business’ and My Chemical Romance’s ‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise)’! What really was surprising though was how talented these young ladies were. Ranging in ages from 13-14, they jump, headbang, and overall rock their instruments. I have never seen a more impressive female drummer! So, don’t judge a book by its cover here, these ladies are going far with their talent. I look forward to seeing them again soon!
The band I was most excited for was The Darts, label mates on Alternative Tentacles to some of my favorite bands ever. It had been a few years since I had seen the Horror-punk girls. From what I remembered, the show was lively and is reminiscent of 60s garage-style rock with hypnotizing vocals, and I was right about that. And this set included a surprise guest as well. Our frontwoman Nicole makes sure the crowd is engaged and entertained, dancing around while playing classic horror notes on the keyboard in all sorts of positions (see pics to see what I mean). Fun show fact: Nicole passed the top of the keyboard to someone in the crowd, but not before it whacked me in the head haha! Nicole will have your bloody heart in the palm of her hand, and you won’t be able to look away. Halfway through the set I was confused as to why Rikki was stepping away from her drums, and why a few members were disappearing offstage for a surprise. Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live, Portlandia, and Trenchmouth) stepped out and sat at the drums to join The Darts for their song ‘Get Messy’! If you are unfamiliar with Armisen’s skills as a musician, fix that now. The entire crowd was moving even more, and before we knew it the set was over. If you get a chance to The Darts are a band you should catch live. Hint Hint: They are back at The Viper Room on August 30th.
Alright, after three amazing sets I was excited to catch the pop-punk headliners The Dollyrots! I had never seen them live, but I had heard nothing but amazing things. Upon hearing them, I realized I was familiar with them. They have released several albums over 18 years, have been on Billboard’s Top 20 Heatseekers chart a few times, and have a heavy rotation on XM/Sirius radio. The band started as a hobby project but quickly exploded. Their songs have hints of The Ramones, The Pixies, Sex Pistols, and Green Day. Live was a whole other experience. I didn’t know what to expect, but how fun it was! The crowd was singing and dancing the entire set, I gave up my spot upfront to let fans have a better spot, and so I could enjoy the show and see everyone doing the same. Some fans even flew in from out of state to see The Dollyrots! If that doesn’t tell you how awesome this band is, nothing I say will change your mind, and you’ll just have to see for yourselves… Pink and blue balloons started flying around the venue a few songs in, creating an even more fun environment, and a feast for the eyes. I managed to bop a balloon back into my own face, leaving fans around me laughing at my dorkish moment. Not Ur Girlfrenz even joined The Dollyrots on stage for a song! The pop-punk trio really put on a fantastic show! If you want a show where the band is great to watch, the music is infectious and will leave you dancing, and the fans are just having a fantastic time all together in a venue, then this is the band for you! Some of my fav songs are ‘Twist Me To The Left,’ the cover ‘Ruby Soho,’ ‘Because I’m Awesome’ (has been in several TV commercials), and my fav ‘Brand New Key.’ Their new album ‘Daydream Explosion’ is a must with its 14 tracks of pop-punk dance music that will have your two left feet moving! I have had it on repeat since picking it up. The song ‘I Know How to Party’ applies to many of us 😉
A show like this doesn’t happen very often… The line up in its entirety was phenomenal. Each band tonight I really urge you to check out, album and live! Even though The Darts bonked my head with the keyboard, I don’t think I’ll be forgetting this show anytime soon!
(Review and Photos by Erica Vincent)
The Dollyrots on Facebook
The Darts on Facebook
Not Ur Girlfrenz on Facebook
Tidal Babes on Facebook