Photos by Debra Zeller
Early on, fans were treated to a strong opening by San Diego’s Tropical Popsicle. In spite of their sunny name, and though on record they’re a little more major-key, live and in-person Tropical Popsicle are a slightly shoegaze-y throwback to echoing, ‘80s dance drone. And oh, did they dance: it was nice to see a crowd really and truly dance for once, not just bob around with their arms firmly folded over their chests.
Mystic Braves (formerly Blackfeet Braves), came next. Los Angeles has seen a return to Last-Waltz, Laurel Canyon aesthetic in the last handful of years, and Mystic Braves are spun from that scene. Save for the outline of smartphones visible in the pockets of their tight pants, the band is vintage to the teeth. Even in person, you can almost hear the buzz of an AM radio broadcast over each song.
Terry Malts put on a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of set, plowing through a brief number of tunes old and new and sparing little time for chit-chat. By this point, the crowd was getting riled up, and though they loved Terry Malts, there were a lot of Bleached T-shirts in the crowd.
Whereas Terry Malts got things warmed up, Bleached brought the party. Bleached ripped through a set of now-classics like “Think of You” and “Looking For a Fight,” broken up by a few new songs that haven’t been released yet. Bleached is often seen at outdoor festivals, and the fans treated it like one: Even in the tiny Rickshaw Stop, a number of crowdsurfers, one of them no older than ten, went for a ride, all while the band egged them on. As the show rolled late into the night and the energy in the room only got higher, it became clear that this crowd was not going to let them go without an encore. It didn’t take long after their final song for the band to bound back onstage, but with a disclaimer. “OK, here’s the thing, we only know two more of our songs and we haven’t practiced them that much,” said singer Jennifer Clavin. That said, they brought out a new song, “Dead Boy,” and closed with the mellow “Out of My Mind.”