The thing about house shows is, the start time is irrelevant, a guesstimate at best. Saturday night’s show at the Chillanova House in Davis was a prime example. The concert was advertised to start at eight. Sitting on one of the cushy couches in the living room at two minutes past the hour gave one a front row seat for watching the opening band, No Sects. They tuned their instruments for a while on the faded Persian rug that denoted the stage, before wandering off. They didn’t come back for nearly an hour. Then the Vacaville band found themselves back on the stage and played a short set of energetically moody screaming shoegaze music. The threesome was atmospheric and interesting, though their subject matter and lyrics were not easily discerned. At one point, it seemed like the drummer and the bassist were having a screaming gibberish fight as the guitarist stood on a corner of the rug, wisely deciding to stay out of it.
The turnaround for the next band was a lot quicker, and within twenty minutes Cruel Summer was ready to go. The quartet played songs off their ST/EP EP with energetic if a bit muddy distorted guitars, and weaving melodies. The two female singers dueted harmonies together, creating a dreamy ambience for their songs. The lead singer played guitar, while the back-up singer managed to dance around and play bass without ever moving her feet. They played so hard the guitarist broke a string. However, they persevered and were able to finish the set with a guitar borrowed from Male Gaze.
After the singer reclaimed his guitar from Cruel Summer Male Gaze started their set. The band consisted of three guys in black clothes who were ex-members of, respectively, The Mall, Blasted Canyons, and Mayyors. They were more on the punk end of the spectrum of music played that night, with very high energy and respectable amounts of headbanging. By the end of the night, the atmosphere was intense, the living room of the Chillanova house was crowded, and the world had narrowed down to just three guys playing their hearts out on a faded Persian rug. It was quite an experience.