March 8th, 2015 | Photos

Photos and words by Debi Del Grande

The hype is all true. The Canadian quartet Viet Cong took complete hold of everyone at The Echoplex with music from their highly-stimulating debut self-titled album. And Viet Cong didn’t come just to rock, and rock they did. Our friends across the border came bearing gifts. Matt Flegel (vocals/bass) brought out a sack of goodies, including water, PBR, Moon Pies, Red Vines, etc. But he kept the banana for himself – to play guitar with. The band has a lot of fun on stage, with that energy flowing onto the crowd and back. Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace hail from the band Women. Together with Scott “Monty” Munro (guitar/synth) and Daniel Christiansen (guitar), they took everything to the highest level possible.

Viet Cong is pretty tight with their touring support band Freak Heat Waves. It’s no wonder Christiansen was on side stage losing his mind as they played tunes from their album Bonnie’s State of Mind. With so many bands rushing lyrics and playing as fast as they can these days, Freak Heat Waves takes their time to build. Their minimalistic approach works. It also works with their minimalistic drum set.

LA’s Heathers were the start of the solid lineup. “Frank” was a definite highlight. There was also “David.” Heathers’ songs are uniquely structured – almost not – making them that much more interesting.