silversun pickups by sterling andrews – more photos below
Dangerbird Records co-founder Jeff Castelaz’s five-year-old son Pablo has a rare form of cancer, which led him to create the very personal Pablove Foundation to raise awareness and money to fight the disease. What better way to get the word out than a benefit show involving one of L.A.’s hottest bands with an album that just dropped on his own label? Silversun Pickups is an embodiment of the can-do spirit of Dangerbird, and their success is proof that this team’s perserverance will overcome the insurmountable. Opening the night were the Eulogies, fronted by Dangerbird’s other co-founder Peter Walker. The Eulogies have a bigger-rock sound than Walker’s eponymous work. His somber-rock vocals remain strong and his lyric writing is as catchy as it is insightful. “Eyes on the Prize,” from their new album Here Anonymous, was a standout with its floor-stomping beat. Introducing SSPU for their homecoming/send-off show was Shirley Manson, who called attention to the evening’s main objective of finding a cure for this cancer. Swoon, SSPU’s second full-length, just hit the Billboard 200 at number 7, so it is safe to say that they are well on their way to building on the success of Carnavas. They’ve expanded their sound (and song-length) on this sophomore outing and critics and fans alike will have plenty to dig into. They are a great live band and seemed especially excited to be playing the Echoplex for the home-crowd and Pablo. They played the majority of Swoon with new radio hit “Panic Switch” and yes, “Lazy Eye” and “Well Thought Out Twinkles” also made the list. These songs from Carnavas display an extra seasoning and “Kissing Families” (from their EP) has also taken on new bite. SSPU has the quietloudquietloud formula down: Nikki Monninger’s melodious bass line churning through the distortion, the rapid-fire drumming of Christopher Guanlao, sonic structure from keyboardist Joe Lester and effects-laden guitar work and ragged vocals from frontman/guitarist Brian Aubert. SSPU has found their voice and on this night they put it out there for the Pablove Foundation. Please go to pablove.org to find more information on how you can help fight childhood cancer with love.