THE STRANGE BOYS + NATURAL CHILD + WHITE FENCE @ EAGLE ROCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS
I hydroplaned my way to Eagle Rock Center for the Arts for a perfect Thursday composed of White Fence, Natural Child, and The Strange Boys (thanks to FYF and ERMF). People sat around the beautiful church-like building, and White Fence began to play at around 8:30 sharp. Tim Presley’s current project got the crowd flowing with a 4 man pit, surrounded by many bobbing heads. They began with “Mr. Adams,” which completely reminds me of psychedelic 1960s anthems. All of their music gives a Byrds/Simon and Garfunkel feel; perfect music for die-hard hippies that need something new to play in their communes. I loved “Stranger Things Have Happened (To You).” It caught my attention the most, because it sounded like the best combination of country and rock. They ended their set with “Get That Heart” which mixed the 1960s vibe with a more alternative aftertaste. I love everything Tim Presley tackles; he is a talented fellow, and this performance left me excited to see White Fence again, and to see his buddies The Strange Boys in a few hours.
Natural Child is fucking hilarious. They’re a trio from Nashville, Tennessee who remind me of what Danny McBride’s children would do if they were skilled musicians who live by beer, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and sex. They played “Shame Walkin'” after announcing every dirty word pertaining to sex when telling us what the song is about. Before all of their songs, they’d say, “This song is about white people,” “This song is about beer,” “This song is about an asshole we know,” “This song is about A BUNCH of assholes,” making their fun carefree attitude apparent. They asked, “Hey do you guys know where Skid Row is? We’re gonna want to be going there later,” before playing “Crack Mountain,” which is more fast paced and alternative than the rest of their southern punk sounding songs. I enjoyed their humor, togetherness, passion, and Zack’s perfect drum rolls.
I didn’t necessarily expect people to mosh for The Strange Boys, since their music is more dance-inducing than violence-worthy. But they moshed indeed, and my knees are so bruised up from being pushed against the stage that even the touch of my sheets to my skin hurts like hell. Feel free to take that as an indication for how awesome the band’s set was. Ryan Sambol said, “That was a good shot,” in response to my photo taking, and the pain subsided. People seemed to go wild for the occasional songs thrown in from their first album and Girls Club, especially for “Woe is You and Me.” This song is very upbeat, loud, and it was an obvious answer as to why I have such wonderful battle scars. When they played “Be Brave” from their new album released last year (also titled Be Brave), everyone sang along to Ryan’s bluesy high-pitched vocals and danced devotedly. The audience went nuts for another Girls Club hit called “Heard You Wanna Beat Me Up,” which is very playful and fun, and quite frankly you’d have to be deaf and blind to not dance to it. They played 16 songs, mostly off of their new album with a few surprises from their first album, and ended the set with the B-side “Keys to the Kingdom” from their 7″ Be Brave vinyl. When they played this, Ryan said to his saddened fans, “This ‘ll be the end of the show, thank you very much ladies and gentlemen,” finishing off a perfect set that purged us all.
—Alyssa Holland (words + photo)