April 1st, 2018 | Live reviews

Photos by Marcos Manrique Words by Zachary Castro

Amid the glory of towering skyscrapers, The Regent sat patiently as hundreds of fans arrived in troves of leather clad and dangly earring donning gangs. The blue sky faded slowly into orange, pink, purple then black, and the night began.

One of the very first notable punk rock bands on the SoCal scene back in the late 70s was Shattered Faith. Fast forward to today’s crazy world, and they are still relevant as ever. They were also the band that got the ball rolling at the Regent. Immediately the crowd’s attention turned toward the oh-so-classy plaid suit that frontman Spencer Bartsch was wearing. He acknowledged it by “That’s right kids-plaid suits are back,” getting a cheerful and affirming response. Aside from this comment, not much talking was to be had as this band came in full force, with relentless power and force.

Almost immediately the pit opened up, and from the balcony it was easy to see that a third of the crowd was involved with the flurry of human bodies that constantly chased and shoved each other, transferring energy and feelings from one to the next. The moshing refused to subside until the last note of the song was uttered. The sound of Shattered Faith is a huge callback to all the L.A punks we cherish and keep close to our hearts. They echoed sounds that radiated familiarity, sounds that remind us of X, T.S.O.L., Agent Orange, and more. This band is like the fossilized remains of Dinosaur blood from Jurassic park, giving life to a new generation of genetically engineered animals that incited awe and imagination.

Following Shattered Faith was Cowgirl Clue, a band that created an early 90’s dream pop atmosphere that expanded to the outer corners of the venue and took the crowd into yet another frenzy. Music like this sends kids of the 90’s era back into a time in their lives where Barbie ruled the earth and the cyber industry was peaking.

Our good friends Tijuana Panthers clambered onto the stage, removing a rack tom from the drum kit then adding an orange amp, Fender Jazzmaster, and Rickenbacker bass. The trio created their punk-esque, garage surf-rock atmosphere they are known for. Of all the songs they played, the most popular song “Creature of The Night” rocked every last person to the bones with the catchy lyrics, a killer bassline, and overall amazing theme, referencing The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Last but certainly not least, headliner The Garden drove their fists through the crowds collective hive mind and begged one question, “You Want The Scoop?” Frontman Wyatt Shears answered “Yeah we got it” as his brother Fletcher flung himself atop the peasants below him. This sent the crowd into an eruption of fists, dropped shoulders, hustling, tussling, brawling, and chaos. The most meek, shy, or low-key people couldn’t even contain themselves as the energy of Vada-Vada surged through every audience member within the venue. For those unfamiliar with Vada Vada, it is quite literally the universe in which cosmic Shears’ energy can be found and sourced. It’s also the genre in which the Shear’s twins coined themselves in order to describe what genre their music falls into.

Containing the energy of ten thousand imploding suns, The Garden played a powerful set, never once ceasing to expel energy from their very souls. They played songs from many of their releases such as the popular song “All Smiles” off of haha as well as songs that were a little more obscure like “Surprise.” They also played many songs from their latest release Mirror Might Steal Your Charm, showcasing their truly diverse taste in sound and mastery of their craft. Songs like “Stallion” nod their head and send a wink to their punk roots, using fast licks, brutal drumming, and tongue twisting vocals. The very next song on the album “Make A Wish” is more contemporary and sounds like the VadaVerse’s version of Hip-Hop.

The Garden cannot fail to impress us with off-the-wall style, sporadic movement, provocative lyrics, and a damn good sense of charisma and charm.