It’s Friday night and teenage angst is in full effect. I made my way out to Pomona for what seemed like a high school reunion. The scene was The Glass House for an all ages show featuring Plague Vendor and Seahaven. I was mainly out there to see Plague Vendor, but because I was born and raised in the South Bay and Seahaven comes from Torrance, I was put in the awkward high school reunion scenario. I ran into multiple old buddies from high school who I lost touch with for multiple reasons, and they all seamed to be happier or doing better than me. Great.
The first band, Warm Thoughts (formerly Dad Punchers), reminded me of just that. There isn’t a name for their genre but I gave it the name South Bay Punk which, according to the history of Taylor Wong, started in a backyard in Hawthorne, California where, bands such as Joyce Manor and Touche Amore would play before they became who they are now. These kids were legit because they gave me that warm nostalgic feeling which is rare to come by these days. The frontman, Eliot Babin thrashed around the stage singing out of tune giving no fucks. The crowd loved it.
Plague Vendor took the stage with no time wasted. I had the privilege of catching a small Plague Vendor set at Echo Park Rising over the summer. To say I was excited for tonight’s performance would be an understatement. Brandon Blaine took the stage wearing more layers than I have ever seen. I knew this wouldn’t last long. As soon as the music started Brandon was possessed by the spirit of the Plague Vendor. Moving around the stage like a young Iggy Pop, slowly stripping away his clothes. I have noticed that Plague Vendor has a different sound when you see them live compared to hearing their recorded work and I mean this in a good way. While Brandon is moving around like Iggy he also gives off the vocal vibes of Lux Interior of The Cramps. Throughout their set they played such thrashers as “Break Dance on Broken Glass” and “Black Sap Scriptures”. Plague Vendor was the only band all night that had the crowd moving. They closed out with an unnamed new song that they had never played before. It amazes me how much these guys care about their fans. As Brandon walked off stage he went directly upstairs to their merch table to sell merch and take photos with fans. Many people came out from Plague Vendors home town of Whittier, just based on home town pride.
The rest of the show was all downhill from this point on. Jon Simmons of Balance and Composure took a chair on stage and his acoustic guitar. He played soft songs that would serenade the preteens in the audience. He just kind of put me to sleep, to be honest. Following him was the headliners Seahaven. For a group with a teenage fan base, they are doing big things. I guess you could say they are really bringing back that emo, Brand New meets Conor Oberst, Genre. Thats chill for those folks who romanticize the high school days. They take the stage announcing their pride for Torrance, one of those towns that no one ever leaves. Singing songs about “honey bee’s” and again Torrance. These guys were definitely the coolest kids in the cafeteria.
Words and Photos: Taylor Wong