Salt Petal

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The Argentine-infused surf rock outfit known as Salt Petal was a feast for the eyes and ears. The group was rounded out on stage Saturday by a couple of additional members, bringing their ensemble to a total of seven, and the group of multi-instrumentalists brought a spunk and spice to the day’s festivities. They put on a display of adept musical arrangements — trumpets, trombones, accordions, multiple vocalists, guitars, bass — corralling with precision, and yet not for one second was there any air of rigidity to the band’s play.

Salt Petal was a vibrant showcase of their members’ rich personalities, a display that lofted their amalgamation of guitar-heavy California musings and jaunty Argentinian folk accordion. Hints of ska also found their way through band’s basslines as bassist Jesse Herrera Pete Orlanski — perfectly decked out in day-glo — strummed songs for kaleidoscopic summer days.

The New Limb

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Indie-folksters The New Limb have been hard to miss around LA over the past year or so, and I wondered what a larger venue like Colorado Blvd would offer.

Vocalist Joey Chavez’s command of the stage was formidable. The band played much of their new material alongside their distinct covers, including Usher’s “Climax” on which Chavez channeled his pre-pubescent days to hit falsetto levels that even my lady voice cannot reach.

What the band does supremely well — as showcased on Saturday’s rendition of “Blood Lust” — is steadily build suspense, heating the tension to the boiling point with a dynamic eruption at each chorus. Guitarist Danilo Perez laid an Sherman-esque assault on guitar, combining the diligent mix of pedal effects with raw shredding ability. Dialing in a manic fit on one of the synthesizers, Chavez finally brought the set to a close as the stage emptied behind him.

The Peach Kings

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The Peach Kings rocked the Indie Rock Stage Saturday. Guitarist Steven Trezevant Dies had some sweet moves, rivaled only by those of Marty McFly’s whirling dervish Johnny B. Goode. Dies stumbled and twisted around the whole stage, propelled by the sheer force of his guitar playing, and at one point, this force literally shot-put his sunglasses clear across the stage.

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Dies draws other, more important, comparisons as well. The steady dose of Jimi Hendrix influence in his electrifying guitar riffs set the stage for his other half, Paige Wood, on vocals. In a sheer peasant-style babydoll top and black boots, Wood’s Woodstock-meets-Hells’-Angels vibe oozed the sexuality to match Dies’ wailing guitar blow for blow.

The Peach Kings’ definitive track, “Thieves & Kings,” set a precedent for the riff-heavy rockers’ star-turning set. Donning a crown of flowers and her equally decorated mic, Wood lorded over the stage, delivering the perfectly ethereal vocal complement to her bandmate’s gritty guitar.

Youngblood Hawke

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Youngblood Hawke was the dynamic exclamation point to a day spent in the electric sun while basking in the sonic sensibilities — both familiar and new — of some of the best independent music around.

Floor toms abounded on the stage for the band’s tribalistic and incendiary percussion-fueled set, violently wailing at the beck and call of the band’s every whim. The phoenix that rose from the ashes of Iglu & Hartley is now the anthemic sextet of entertainers that used the Old Pasadena Indie Rock Stage as their playground.

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Top to bottom, the entire band operated with an animalistic charge. Frontman Sam Martin’s wiry, monkey-like moves kept him bounding across the stage, his curls bouncing violently with him. He catapulted himself onto the speakers in front of the stage and into the crowd awaiting him on Colorado Blvd. The group may offer a casual hippie aesthetic of yesteryear’s rock, but their performance was as current and alive as it gets.

For more info:

Make Music Pasadena
Freedom Fry
Superhumanoids
Hunter Hunted
Simone White
We Are Scientists
Salt Petal
The New Limb
The Peach Kings
Youngblood Hawke