Like most, I have grown tired of attending concerts where the tickets and the beer are astronomically overpriced, and the venue cramped and overcrowded. However, I recently had the pleasure of witnessing some good local bands at cool little venue known as the Casbah. Looking around at the smiles on the faces in the crowd, I can confidently say that I wasn’t the only one enjoying this refreshing change of pace.
Fronted by South Coast’s own Jody Wood, Old Devil took the stage first. With songs about drinking, women, and having a good time, they quickly had the crowd doing just that. Their sound could be described as country fried, psychedelic surf rock. And, other than the free barbequed pork sandwiches provided by Phil’s Barbeque and the tall cans of Pabst from the bar, I couldn’t think of a better combination. Old Devil formed through the friendship of Wood and bass player Eric Clinton, who once worked together in the South Coast warehouse. Their lead guitar player and local charger, Adam Burns, also put in his time at South Coast years ago.
The Black Out Party took the stage next with what could only be described as a symphonic line up, consisting of not only the standard guitar, bass and drums, they also boast a lap steel guitarist, squeeze box organ player, and flutist/ slide guitar player, Tim Lowman, who does graphic design and layout for South Coast. Apparently, they also have a fiddle player, but he must have had the night off due to lack of stage space. Although you couldn’t always hear every instrument clearly, they all combined to form a rich ambient background for their strong vocals and songwriting.
The Deere Johns finished off the evening in style with more solid country and blues inspired rock and roll.
A day or two afterwards, I heard on the radio that Eddie Vedder was rumored to have been among the crowd at the Casbah that night. I laughed to myself as I wondered how often he attends massive stadium concerts like the ones his band normally plays, or if he too, prefers to attend fun, local shows like the one held at the Casbah, on the night of August the 21st.