Yost Theater Music Review
September 4, 2011
Editor: Megan Farquhar
If you haven't seen a show at Yost Theater yet, you're missing out on an amazing venue.The Yost Theater re-opened in April by Dennis Lluy, but this historical site had worn many hats before its re-opening. It originated as a theater for Vaudville in 1912, once had cells in the basement to hold criminals and drunks, and is now an allages venue that's already hosted many great performers.
I had the pleasure of seeing my first show at The Yost on Friday, September 2. The lineup was Save the Swim team, Defunked, HB Surround Sound, and the headliner Starpool. From the outside The Yost looks like a classic, historical theater. Walking into the venue though, it's a different experience with the colorful lights, fog, and red brick walls. In front of the stage is the pit where fans can watch the band up close and dance or mosh. Along the walls are the balcony areas with VIP tables. The red glowing bar in the back is perfect for guests to have drinks while enjoying the show and amazing sound acoustics this intimate space creates.
Starpool, a ska band from Orange County, went on last and were amazing to watch. Alan Meade, the lead singer and former member of No Doubt, has a way of mesmerizing the crowd. When Alan said, "I wanna see you jump!" the fans obeyed. Watching the crowd was almost as much fun as watching Starpool because everyone was dancing, swaying their arms in the air, moshing, and singing along. The band is known for bringing guests on stage to perform with them, and this time they sang an old school No Doubt song with Katrina Kinzler. Her voice was breathtaking and her fifties style dress and tinseled blond hair accented her performance. At one point during the show the trombonist, Tbone Willy, got off stage and joined the mosh circle, which had the crowd going wild. Brian Mashburn, former member of Save Ferris, killed it on guitar.
The band wouldn't be complete though without Bill Uechi on bass, Eric Zamara on Sax, Oliver Zavala on trumpet, and Evan Kilbourne rocking the drums. Alan is also a comedian on stage, telling the crowd "don't let me drink before shows" and then pulling a red handkerchief out of his pants.
I spoke with one of Starpools fans after the show, Caprice Kirkpatrick, and asked her how the show was. "Awesome as always! Top notch, they are great entertainers," said Caprice. "They do it because they love it, not for the money." Indeed Starpool knows how to put on a show, and are still humble in all their glory. I interviewed Alan, Tbone, and Brian after the show wanting to know how Alan got the nickname "chocolate penis" and what happened to Save Ferris. Watch my video interview with the band on warfest.com to find out the answers.
Another great band was HB Surround Sound from Huntington Beach, CA.The Orange County natives have a unique swagger in their music, infusing rockabilly with ska and punk. Singer, Jake Bushnell, moved across the stage like he's been performing his whole life and Mike Broberg's style reminded me of Slash. Mike even had a curly bush of hair like Slash, but instead of a top hat, he wore a trucker hat.
Matt Denne, guitarist and backup vocals, sang a songhe had written only three days before called "This is Rock and Roll", which was definitely a crowd pleaser. "This one is for the ladies," said Jake. "It's for the fellas too, fuck it!" before they performed "You Again" from their album. The band also had Doug Cooper on guitar, and Tim Tintari banging on the drums. I had a fun, impromptu interview withJake and Matt before they went on stage, which you can also see on the warfest.com.
Save the Swim Team also performed, and although I didn't get to see their set, I caught up with the band after the show. The ska, punk, hardcore band was also from Huntington Beach, CA and I was dizzy after all seven members introduced themselves by name. They perform with Starpool often, but it was their first time performing at Yost Theater and they loved it. They were a younger band, ages ranging from 21-26 and the members joked that Scott Wellborn, guitarist, was the "grandpa" of the group and only one not to graduate from high school. Some of the songs they performed were "Miss Fortune" and "ThemsFightin' Words". Their biggest inspirations in music are Suicide Mission, Naked Dudes, and Less Than Jake.
You can see my on-camera interviews with Starpool, HB Surround Sound, and Dennis Lluy on Warfest.com. Warfest.com is a music website dedicated to supporting musicians and fans. You can register for FREE today using my invite code "MF87" and check it out. Remember to keep supporting music so musicians can keep writing it.