Pulling up to the VLHS warehouse, one would think they were misled to an industrial side of town where they would be meeting their demise. The nondescript Pomona venue has no indication on the building’s exterior that inside its walls about a hundred people were about to sing and sweat together for a few hours on this October 22nd night.
Upset opened up the show, and channeled the riot grrl punk of previous generations with a catchy spirit. They feature veteran members previously in bands such as Hole and Vivian Girls. Upset does not let the audience catch a breath. Their set was an electrifying start to the night, the perfect way to warm up those in attendance (quite literally).
LVL UP performing at VLHS.
The next band to play was LVL UP, recent signees to the legendary Sub Pop Records. On tour from New York, LVL UP play a brand of mellow punk that has found itself growing exponentially through circles in DIY scenes and the internet. I watched from atop a half-pipe crammed into the back of the venue to get a good vantage point of the whole scene unfolding. LVL UP was efficient, allowing little downtime between songs, thus creating a raucous set that kept propelling itself forward. They started with several songs from their latest release (Return to Love) before finishing with 3 songs from their previous LP, Hoodwink’d. Nearing the end, they mentioned their favorite venue in SoCal is VLHS. Watching the audience’s reactions throughout the set gave clear evidence as to why.
The third band to play was Walter Etc. but I could not stay to watch them.