Dead Sara took the stage last night at the Viper Room to a nice slow baseline and a few beautifully sung verses, lulling the crowd into a (as they would soon realize, very false) feeling of contentment to watch what appeared to be a nice little Indie show. That was before frontwoman Emily Armstrong decided to blow the walls off the Viper Room and shake the crowd awake!! Set to release their self-titled debut album this Spring, Dead Sara played a non-stop set of adrenaline laced hard rock that filled every inch of the Hollywood venue and let everyone there know that this band is the real deal. Add in an opening set by the band Indians and their uncomfortably charismatic frontman Joe Hursley and this was definitely the place to be for music in LA Monday night. Check out more about these bands and the Viper Room show after the jump!
Dead Sara is centered around an enigmatic female core of Armstrong and guitarist Siouxsie Medley. Within seconds of hearing their first song there is no doubt about Armstrong’s prowess. She is an extremely talented vocalist with great range, professional control, and power to spare. She can sing with beauty and emotion one minute and then unleash a guttural howl the next. She is a sonic force all her own.
What makes Dead Sara so compelling is that they are much more than just Armstrong. The band behind her creates a full and powerful sound that leaves no corner of the venue untouched. This onslaught is fueled by Medley’s guitar, layering everything from blues to huge metal riffs, and anchoring the band’s pure rock sound. Chris Null (bass) and Sean Friday (drums) team up to run a hard and fast baseline through the heavier songs while leaving open space at slower moments for Armstrong’s voice to take over. It is easy to imagine Dead Sara going down the Evanescence or Paramore pop track, but if you really listen to what they are saying, they won’t have any fucking part of that!
Dead Sara was not the only band to put on a great show last night. The band Indians set the tone early, led by charismatic frontman/actor/karaoke star Joe Hursley. You might remember him from the Milk commercials where he played faux rock icon White Gold (…or not), but the point is he really does rock! Indians put on a dirty in-your-face rock and roll show that is literally right up in your face. Hursley is dressed in his best spandex and tank combo and he spends as much time off the stage as on it. Hell, he has no problem coming over and sitting down right at your table if it’ll get your attention! There were quite a few very uncomfortable fans thinking their moment in the spotlight couldn’t end soon enough. Not only do Indians put on a great “performance” but they back it up with fun well-written rock songs like “Long Way from Home” and “Dream Store” that could be on your work-out playlist right now.
Thanks to the Viper Room for another great night of live music! All photos were taken by Genie Sanchez.