Andrew Jackson Jihad are currently on tour across the Southwest area with their good friend The Gunshy. Their tour wraps up this Friday and I was able to catch them on this run of dates at their show in Pomona this past Tuesday. Over the years I’ve seen the band blow up from playing house shows and the basements of coffee shops to selling out venues like The Troubadour. So hearing they would be playing VLHS brought back a memory of nostalgia from the shows of yesteryear. Seeing a band who has been playing larger shows as of late play a more intimate show? Hell yeah! However, as I looked at the facebook event page I realized that just because the venue is smaller doesn’t mean the crowd would be as well. With a number well over the official capacity I was a bit skeptical about going as I didn’t want to be squashed but I decided to tough it up and head out anyway. I’ve been to enough overcrowded punk shows in the past so I figured what’s another to add to the list?
I got there a bit late and missed Merry Christmas(I saved you the trouble of googling them as conducting an internet search for a band named ” Merry Christmas” in November might be a bit more taxing than one would like) . A bummer but they’re local and I’ve seen them before so not too much of a loss. I did however make it in time to see hometown heroes and all around handsome hunx, Summer Vacation. Their set was fun if not a bit short but truth be told had they played much longer the crowd might have moshed the place out of existence.
After Summer Vacation wrapped up their set and complimented my fez The Gunshy began to set up. A one piece acoustic act from Chicago whom I had heard of but never really heard to much of to be honest. I heard his songs on the split he put out with Andrew Jackson Jihad but other than that I wasn’t too familiar with his music but I knew that I at least enjoyed what I listened to before. He put on a fun little set even if some of the younger folks mistook his stage time as an opportunity to talk loudly about the latest trends on twitter and their yolo lifestyle. Towards the end of his set he announced he would be playing a final song but then sadly disappeared for reasons unknown. I’m still not sure what exactly happened, technical difficulties perhaps? Whatever the reason I would consider myself a fan of what I did hear that night. With a voice that sounds like gargles nails, in the best way possible I might add, and lyrics that touch the soul I would definitely checkout The Gunshy again should he roll through southern California in the future.
The band set up rather quickly as The Gunshy cleared his gear and before they began their set they issued out a warning of safety to the crowd which I very much appreciated even if at times some audience members acted as if that warning never happened. The duo busted out hit after hit in the time that they had but with a discography like theirs its next to impossible to play every song you want to hear. At one point the band had to tell people to stop requesting songs that they had no intention of playing. 4 songs in I was somehow pushed up to the front of the crowd and enjoyed the show from there even if i had some close calls with the floor.
The funniest part of the evening may have been seeing the band negotiate an exit plan after their encore as the crowd would not let them leave at the end of their set. Those darn kids want their music at any cost; damn the band’s needs to hell! Still, I applaud the guys for going above and beyond most acts to help keep the fans satisfied. Overall the show was awesome if not a bit trying at times due to things being more crowded than I would have liked but the bands helped take my mind off of that. No time to complain about small stuff when the show is that good right? Also, a puppy showed up at one point after the show and that was pretty cool.