Concerts reviews brought to you by the 987FM staff and our friends at Moheak Radio. Since 6/5/12
Music nerd. DJing all over California since 1991 (I was really young) and currently found on Moheak.com. I unabashedly love both Duran Duran and Pixies equally. Follow me on Twitter @shebmo
This British quartet has hardly been on the scene two years, but my, what a long way they have come! When the Vaccines released their first album in March 2011, they came to LA playing small venues and shyly presenting their big sound, one compared to the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and the Strokes. Cut to now and they are back supporting their 2012 sophomore effort Come of Age, a strong and straight up rock fest.
Another change from past visits would be the packed house at the large Fonda Theater and the commanding show these now very self assured lads put on that night. Singer Justin Young practically swaggered onto the stage to kick off the show with “No Hope” from the latest album, a song that crosses an anguished Pulp with the spunkiest of Undertones vibes, and got the crowd bouncing up and down right away. Following up with “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)” was shaggariffic as Young and bassist Árni Arnason shook their mop toppy heads wildly to the screams of fans while guitarist Freddie Cowan owned his whole corner of the stage. The apprehensive players of just last year were gone, and these confident rockers tore the Fonda up, from the sinister pop punk of “Teenage Icon” to the mean spirited but wackily anthemic “Post Break Up Sex.” Rounding out the first set with their melodic and upbeat “If You Wanna” gave drummer Pete Robertson a chance to show off and also gave the audience some time to harmonize with the band.
There was still an encore to go, though, as they veered into Ramones territory with bouncy punk that erupted into rabid pogo-ing and a little crowd surfing, ending with the energizing ditty “Norgaard.” For a band that has received accolade after accolade in their homeland, it’s great to see that the Vaccines translate across the pond, as they owe much of their sound to our punk rock roots as well.