Anyone that goes to shows on Monday night is crazy, right? Wrong! The Avalon Nightclub in Hollywood puts on a live music series called School Night every Monday (hence the name). With it being in the heart of the music industry, of course you’ll be able to check out some local artists, some out of town (or out of the country) bands, and even well-known acts. New alternative sensation SomeKindaWonderful came in for School Night shortly after the release of their debut self-titled album and they definitely could teach artists a thing or two about putting on a good show.
Starting off School Night was LA bred singer-songwriter Romeo Testa. He’s got the chops to make it somewhere so he should absolutely use his young, yet matured indie soul vocal style to get on a tour. Maybe a tour with the main act since his music is similar to theirs (minus having multiple bandmates of course)? Following Testa should’ve been powerhouse songstress Morgan Kibby (AKA White Sea), but we had UK indie-folk Fink kind of throwing off the vibe with their excruciatingly slow paced tracks that made me want to go nap in a corner than be pumped up for the other two performers. A word of advice, if you’re going to be performing at a nightclub, please don’t play music that’s going to make the audience want to call it a night.
White Sea absolutely brought everyone out from their musical slumber with her impressive high notes that rival Mariah Carey and her unique indie fusion/pop opera (popera?) musical style. There is an undeniable untapped potential here purely based on the instrumentation alone. It’s the right amount of atmospheric and ambient without feeling like you need to be smoking a joint paired with heavier drumming and guitars that give each track an attention-grabbing appeal to them while still embodying emotion within the lyrics. Kibby performs on her keyboard to bring romantic and dark elements to her tracks and her crazy amazing voice is absolutely perfect recording due to it being naturally synthesized. She’s already been on tour with M83 and The Romanovs so I don’t doubt that she will be gaining some serious attention very soon.
Finally, our main act SomeKindaWonderful arrived on stage and boy were they ready to get the crowd pumped up by starting off their set with the club rock track “Hard For Days.” Throughout the set we find out that you can headbang to “Cornbread”, that “Amaretto” is about a stripper, that “Devilish Man” is a semi-autobiographical song about lead singer Jordy Towers, and that they’re just as good live (maybe even better) as they are on the record. Towers has undeniable charisma, but all of the band members are equally as theatrical and can hold their own if they were separate artists (which hopefully never happens).
Within the last half of their extra long set they performed a chilling rendition of Tupac‘s “California Love” to represent their journey from Cleveland, Ohio to California. They then got the audience dancing with their ‘fuck love’ track “Honeymoon”, and seriously made your heart break into a billion tiny pieces (even though the song is about a guy who has a wandering eye) with their smash hit “Reverse.” They ended the night with an encore of “Burn”, the song about their relationship as a band, and an impromptu reggae jam-sesh at the very end because they simply were not ready for the night to end.
The lineup was very strong (well, minus one) and the atmosphere felt like they were on a mini-tour of their own. It helped the local artists (Romeo Testa and White Sea) to showcase their raw and refreshing talent as well as made us realize that one artist can totally just kill the vibe of the entire night (sorry Fink). After seeing SomeKindaWonderful perform live, I learned a lot more about them on a much more intimate and personal level – and they are no longer clouded by mystery. Do I see this band selling out stadiums in the near future? After this performance, my answer definitely has to be a ‘Hell Yeah!’