On a brisk and cold Fall Saturday night in Pittsburgh, lead singer/guitarist Jen Clavin leads an all out rock and roll assault in the intimate music venue Cattivo. It was a night of high energy punk rock passionate gems which tasted even sweeter in a small confined space.
The Philadelphia based band Beach Slang opened the show with a solo performance. Beach Slang is currently promoting their new LP “A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings”, which is an LP that is best played with the volume all the way up. I didn’t know how the songs would sound without the raucousness of a full band. It turned out to be amazing. James Alex, songwriter and guitarist behind Beach Slang, sounded even more personal when playing his electric guitar to the crowd. You could really hear the lyrics and it proved to be a successful result. It really gave the show an intimate “we are all in this together” type feel.
There was even a point when he asked me what song I’d like to hear next. I requested “Tramps in a Disco Bar”, a passionately sincere rock and roll trip straight to the heart of adolescence. James responded, saying, “That’s after the next one.” The show also featured a cover of “Bastards of Young”. There was even a point when James brought up a dude from the crowd to play drums, along with a girl to sing backup. Yes, the show was as fun as it sounds. Beach Slang speaks to their audience with honesty. The show reminded us all about the raw power of just a guitar and mic.
I made sure that I was in the front row for Bleached. You have to be front row for this type of show. Well, I do at least. I’ve had the California based band’s new LP “Welcome The Worms” on repeat since its release this past March. In my opinion, it is one of the best rock records of 2016. If anything, I love this band even more after witnessing their incredible set.
The band kicked off the show with “Keep on Keepin’ On”, which features a driving guitar from guitarist Jess Clavin. I was jumping up and down for pretty much the entire show. Bleached exude a very contagious energy that makes you want to dance and pump your fists in the air. The band launched into euphoric jams like “Sleepwalking”, a fast paced rager with epic guitar solos where Clavin would come over to me, shaking her hips while standing at the end of the stage, and sing her lungs out to the chorus. There was also “Trying To Lose Myself Again”, a rapid drum pounding anthem, where Clavin dropped to the ground, guitar in hand, while Micayla Grace slayed on bass, whipping her hair to rock goddess levels.
Bleached owned the stage, letting the crowd ride the wave throughout the entire show. One of the highlights was “Sour Candy”, complete with a catchy chorus and an ode to 80’s style rock which begs to be played on a summer road trip. The band also ripped through one of the big heavy hitters off of their new album, “Wednesday Night Melody”. Grace’s bass was powerful as Clavin came over to the end of the stage and sang the chorus in front of me.
It was such a thrill to hear these songs live. Bleached proved that they are an unreal live act. I can’t wait to see them again in the near future. With the success of their current LP and tour, I wouldn’t be surprised if the show is held at a larger venue. They are a band that rock and roll desperately needs right now. Bleached fucking rules.