45 Grave – A Pretty Mess – The UV’s – at The Blue Cafe – Long Beach, CA

March 19, 2011

45 Grave - A Pretty Mess - The UV's - at The Blue Cafe - Long Beach, CA - March 19, 2011An interesting night to say the least. After an awesome dinner of savoury tapas, flaky empanadas, seafood paella, and top-notch sangria at Sevilla's, the guys from Big Wheel and I headed off to the Blue Cafe in DTLB to catch this show. I had not seen 45 Grave in many years, and was interested to see A Pretty Mess, as Stig has played their CD quite a bit on Stench Radio.

First up was The UV's. I caught the last bit of ther set. But from what I did see, there was a lot of raw energy there, and lead vocalist Mia X  can really belt it out from a growl to a howl. It will be interesting to see where they go with their sound. I will be be on the lookout for them out again.

Next up was A Pretty Mess. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect from this band. I thought they were really good on disc, but live? Let's just say, it was akin to being hit by a bus with people shooting bazookas at me from the windows! They are one of the tightest bands I've seen in a long time. And I mean really tight.

The call and response within the band was on point, the guitars tones were perfectly crunchy and backed by an amazing, heavy rhythm section. Vocalist Dee Skusting has incredible stage presence, but it's obvious that she is really enjoying herself. It's refreshing to see a frontperson who not only is void of all the pretentious posturing we see so much of in recent years, but has fun with the musicians she is playing with. If you haven't checked out A Pretty Mess, do yourself a big favour and see the future.

And now for the headliners of the night, 45 Grave. Here is a band that has never disappointed, regardless of personnel changes over the last 32 years. Dinah Cancer is every bit the icon of female fronted punk now as she's always been. She sent chills down my back and stirred people into an undead frenzy! A mix of new and old was a tasty treat indeed.

Frank Agnew nails the songs with that musical precision that is ingrained into the Agnew DNA. Bassist Brandden Blackwell banged out the darkest of dark low-end with a menacing grin, while Tom Coyne couldn't have been a more amazing drummer if he had set his kit on fire (seriously technical prowess on the skins)! Dinah delivered a performance that proves time and time again, that she is truly the Queen of L.A. Punk and deathrock.

She knows how it's supposed to be done...all at once she exhibits beauty, confidence, power, grace, intimidation, fun, and is honest and engaging. But I expected nothing less...

Violent World - Bad Love - 45 Grave - Dream Hits - Highway 666 - Evil - Riboflavin - Night Of The Demons - Anti - Concerned Citizen - Party Time - Surf Bat - Wax - Black Cross


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-Echo Wanderer-
Big Wheel Guest Reporter and host of Noctimania on Stench Radio

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