Some of Southern California’s finest made their way to Costa Mesa to rock the tiny but legendary Detroit Bar on Saturday night. The bill was flipped around a bit, with GAZOOTA kicking off the night to a thin crowd. Those of us who actually showed up early were pleasantly surprised by the four piece’s fresh take on darkwave pop.
For the second act, Costa Mesa natives Semi Sweet had a lot to live up to after the smooth vibe set by GAZOOTA. While the duo was cheered on by friends and family, it didn’t take long to know the young group needs some time to grow. Front lady Cassandra Walter did her best to deliver smoldering vocals, however they just missed the mark. Perhaps the group (formerly including a live bassist, rather than prerecorded tracks) needs a little time to flesh out a proper sound.
After Semi Sweet I was expecting MT. OSSA to take to the stage. Instead, Tapioca And The Flea began setting up, leading many to believe that MT. OSSA had cancelled. (We later found out the groups merely switched spots on the bill as well). Although going on earlier than expected, Tapioca & The Flea were ready get people dancing. Frontman Sam Lopez’s attempts to fog up the room with clouds spewing from the fog machine were mostly futile, as most of the haze dispersed throughout the bar. In any case, the crowd nor band needed a shroud of fog to get into the mood. The band with the oddest name in indie rock has been riding quite a buzz within the music community recently. And no wonder. Lopez captives the crowd with his fluid stage presence as the band adds their contributions in just the right proportions.
Sadly, Detroit Bar nearly emptied as many thought that MT. OSSA had skipped out. The show was running late as it was and the band’s soundcheck was plagued with issues, causing many remaining to call it a night and head home. But what the hell, it was Saturday night, why not stick it out to hear some quality psychedelic pop? Thankfully, we did and we were treated with sweet sonic nectar to fill our ears. Even with sound issues, a late start, and small crowd, as soon as MT. OSSA began playing you could feel them slip into their own jams, allowing the audience to do the same.