HOCKEY DAD + COLD FRONTS + LILY WATERS @ THE LODGE ROOM
“Fuck yeah, L.A., it’s good to be back!” exclaimed Hockey Dad drummer Billy Fleming at the band’s Lodge Room concert on Saturday. Currently on tour in support of new album Blend Inn, Fleming and bandmate Zach Stephenson displayed unending enthusiasm throughout the night, despite the modestly sized crowd, which was likely due to the Memorial Day weekend.
The night began with local band Lily Waters, featuring the impressive musical talents of singer Gabbi Green. Philadelphia’s Cold Fronts then successfully warmed up the crowd, who began to form a mosh pit. In spite of minor mic issues, the band forged ahead with undiminished fervor. Singer Craig Almquist pointed out the neon sign behind him that had the band’s new album title, Fantasy Du Jour, which was released, fittingly enough, on 4/20. When introducing “Staying In,” Almquist explained that the song is about “when your friends invite you to go out, but you stay in and smoke weed” instead. Their set was capped off with him joining fans on the floor.
When Australia’s Hockey Dad arrived on stage, the audience was suitably amped up. Though an emerging act, the band has been attracting more and more attention, and many of those in the crowd tonight knew first album Boronia by heart. When performing tracks from that debut album, such as “Laura,” cheers of recognition and excitement could be heard … soon followed by several fans loudly singing the lyrics with Stephenson.
Despite being a band of only two, Hockey Dad managed to fill the entire venue with their energetic and high-spirited rock music. Take, for instance, “Can’t Have Them,” whose “we can’t, we can’t” chorus inspired us with its fierceness. “Now we’re getting into the swing of it,” said Stephenson. He then added, “This one you can really pogo around and dance to,” when introducing “A Night Out With.” That Boronia track is clearly one that many hold dear to their hearts, judging by the resounding echo of the chorus “Don’t you say you want it all tonight.”
Those in the mosh pit never ceased their constant movement, and at least two people attempted to crowd surf. Before performing “Running Out,” Stephenson commented, “I hope you haven’t used up all your energy! This song’s a fast one and it requires running around in circles.” But Hockey Dad varied the performance with mellower songs, such as “Danny,” a Walkman-like track from Blend Inn. “It’s pretty fast right now so let’s slow it right down,” Stephenson noted. “Everybody can have a seat and just relax.”
At one point, in tribute to Hockey Dad’s country, fans began to chant “Shoey!” (This refers to the Australian tradition of drinking alcohol from a shoe.) The band quickly got involved, as Stephenson instructed the man about to perform a shoey: “Suck it down! Can you do it? Smash it down!” He then told the crowd: “Everybody, pour your beer into that one shoe! Just get this guy right here. Fuck him up!” When people began to chant “Shoey” again, Stephenson said in disbelief, “You want to do another shoey? You guys are animals.”
At the end of the night, Stephenson remarked, “L.A., you’ve all been so great. Thanks for coming and hanging out with us, and we’ll see you next time. Hopefully real soon.” Fleming then added that if fans had any energy left, they should enjoy the next song, “So Tired,” an ironic title for such an animated, lively song. And to Hockey Dad’s satisfaction, the crowd was not, in fact, tired, dancing along with just as much gusto as they did to the first song of the night.