The “Deadicated” come together for a free Dead Sara show in Los Angeles, CA

Dead Sara

July 19, 2014

Pershing Square- Los Angeles, CA

            We are very fortunate, in the city of Angels to be exposed to and graced by amazing artists; music, fashion and art wise. Many of the greatest rock bands got their start in Los Angeles, including Motley Crue, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Runaways and many more. And in this modern era, when everyone wants to get their music out there, it’s those festivals and free summer concert series where people can discover the next “big thing”.

Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles is known as a business area, with many buildings and people walking around in suits, looking important. But they have been host, for several years to a summer concert series which is not only free of charge, but a great way to discover new talent, or support your favorite bands. On the night of Saturday, July 20, the stage was set and fans waited eagerly to be let in for the 4-piece hard rockers, Dead Sara. It was clear that much of the band’s “deadicated” fan base were there to support as well as those who were simply at the right place at the right time-walking in the area and decided to see a free show. The ‘venue’ quickly filled up- in the front were seats where the VIP audience members could watch; then a barricade where everyone else could stand behind and watch from.

Dead Sara-10         Dead Sara took the stage 15 minutes past 8:00pm, to a field full of fans, screaming for the band who began their 12 song set with Sorry For It All. The song began slowly, with lead guitarist Siouxsie Medley kicking it off. For those in attendance who haven’t heard of this band- this song was misleadingly slow and calm, giving the impression that the whole set would be this way. But this was just a warm up- a calm before the storm; and that storm began with Test On My Patience, the second song of the night which was impossible to not bob your head along to. Front-woman, Emily Armstrong commanded the stage, showing off her raspy but pitch-perfect vocals.

Dead Sara only have 1 album out, their self-titled album which was released in 2012. Since it’s been so long, everyone was anxious for new material and boy did the band oblige with that suggestion. Not 1 or 2 new songs- they gave fans a taste of a new album with 7 new, unreleased songs!

“This next one is a new one. And you’re gonna hear a lot of new ones tonight…like this is a new, new one. Anyone that went to our past three shows in LA heard new songs… but this is a new one…I’m still trying to figure out how we are gonna play this and I keep messing up… so try not to record this one.” Armstrong tells the fans, with a smirk on her face as she tunes her guitar. Although Armstrong vocally announced her uncertainty in  performing the new song, California Ombre, the band performed it effortlessly and fans head banged and cheered it on as if it’s been in their playlist for years.

“That wasn’t too bad,” Armstrong announced after the very successful execution and response to the song. “If you guys wanna loosen up a bit, this is the song to do it!” she said as the drummer, Sean Friday went into a banging’, hard hitting fill to start up Monumental Holiday. The whole band was head banging throughout the song with Armstrong and Siouxsie Medley showing how much girls can rock on the guitar and on vocals and the already loose crowd got even more into it, throwing their devil horns in the air.

Following a couple more songs, Armstrong thanked the crowd and informed us that the band was having technical difficulties. There was a humming noise coming from an amp which was fixed in a couple seconds. Although that wasn’t the end of the problem- Armstrong was having trouble with her vocals either being too high or too low and the same with Medley’s guitar. By the 8th song, the problem still hadn’t been fixed (in Armstrong’s opinion), “We are trying to make amends but the sound is a little wonky” she vented to the reassuring crowd who denied any problem and shouted back about how amazing everything sounded from the floor. Armstrong introduced Mr Mr, another new song while explaining that the band was dealing with a broken amplifier. Medley began the Dead Sara-12song with a bluesy rock riff and the song was highlighted by Armstrong, Medley and bassist Chris Null’s vocals. Nearing the end of the song, the band went instrumental with a mosh worthy outro, consisting of Null’s heavy bass lines, similar to Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine; aggressive fills and cymbal crashes by Friday and of course the two front women; Medley tearing through the riffs and Armstrong running around the stage head banging. The song had both the band and more so, the audience, gasping for a breath. “This is good cardio!” Armstrong said after the song.

Following Mr Mr was yet another new song called Part 1 and then the band’s most widely known song, Weatherman! Armstrong put her guitar down for the first time in the set, threw the mic stand down and started running around the stage, screaming into the mic. Fists were pumping in the air and fans were singing as loud as they could. The band did an extended version of the song so Armstrong could get extra personal with her fans. After going over the barricade of the VIP area, she began singing the National Anthem for a short while as she walked all the way through the VIP section to the GA barricade and stood atop of the barricade, singing along with the fans who pushed forward, toward her. Armstrong tried to crowd surf but instead, went a few inches on top of the fans and landed, feet first on the grass. She continued, without pause, singing while surrounded by fans who moshed, danced, and sang around and with her. It was the perfect way to end,what I’m going to say was the best performance at Pershing Square.

Even after two years, the old songs sounded amazing and the new songs gave everyone  something new to be excited about- an album! All we can do now is hope that these rockers release the album soon and get their butts on a world tour! We will be supporting them for sure, as should YOU!

Review by: Nicole Lemberg 

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