The Santa Monica Pier has been a SoCal staple for three decades now, but over the past few years the iconic carousel that backdrops countless tourist selfies and family photos has taken on a new purpose as the setting of the Twilight Concert Series. Myspace (that’s right, Myspace) presented PAPA and Cayucas at the Pier this past week, and those of you who follow LA Music Blog know we wouldn’t miss a PAPA performance.


With a drink in your left hand and the ocean to your right, the stage is directly in the center with the sun setting behind the audience. It doesn’t get much better than free entry, clear California skies, phone charging stations, games, food, and let’s not forget, the music. PAPA’s self-titled track requires no lyrics; the anthemic keys and percussion are the perfect anticipatory introduction to the band’s explosive sets.


I’ve gushed and raved about my love for these LA locals. Their A Good Woman Is Hard To Find EP is still the best one I’ve ever heard, and their live set is incomparable. While some might think a drum set would distance a lead singer from the audience, between frontman Darren Weiss’ consistent between-song banter and, of course, his epic crowd surfing, there was no lack of connection with the audience.


We’ve mentioned PAPA’s soulful vocals before, so it should come as no surprise that they added some Aretha Franklin to their set. Their cover of “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” fit perfectly amongst PAPA’s original songs, both new and old. With those new songs came the mention that the band will be heading back into the recording studio soon, so this local show will be the last until the new album is ready. Sad news, of course, but promise of a sophomore LP is the prefect consolation.


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