Congratulations are in order for People Who Could Fly. It’s always nice to see local bands celebrate new releases. Even better when they can celebrate success. It makes you feel that there is mercy out there for those who work hard for their craft and that includes People Who Could Fly.
The Missus and I got in to the Rebel Lounge just as Naked Walrus set up. Branded as alternative rock from Los Angeles, California, these guys are a lot of fun. My first impression was this is a band that love what they do. Naked Walrus has many catchy tunes that all have an energetic, bouncy beat. I greatly appreciate the bite the guitar has in their songs. In seeing them live, I found the lead singer gestures and conducts like an elegant storyteller when he isn’t playing guitar. By the end of their set, I had no problem putting my tusks up for this band. Naked Walrus will be playing shows in the Pacific North West, Nevada, California, and Arizona in the coming months. Expect new music from these guys later this year but you can tide yourself over with Naked Walrus’ EP, Simple.
Seeing Gabe Kubanda was a bit of a surprise. Gabe recognized the Missus and I from Warped Tour this year, which I found to be pretty awesome. We talked briefly before he left to get ready for his set. Once behind the mic, Gabe strummed his guitar and sang a few lines of “Kumbaya” with a gentle voice. The moment gave the Rebel Lounge a brief camp vibe that encouraged laughter from the audience. Gabe really shows an ability to work the audience, whether it’s eliciting laughter or pure joy. On March 1st of this year, Gabe released the video for his song “Sugar” on YouTube. Hearing it live first, it took me back to the girl-next-door fantasy of high school. Upon watching the video, it holds a similar vibe but with an abundance of confidence that you don’t have in your high school years. You can hear his music, live, with the debut of some new songs on July 29th, 2017 at Last Exit Live along with Nick Cejka.
Then came the guys everyone was celebrating. People Who Could Fly came to the stage. With them, they brought my nemesis: balloons. My own personal discomforts aside, it was a party; parties need balloons. Yet, it might have caused some challenges in the name of fun. When People Who Could Fly was not fighting off their own balloons without missing a note, they were a powder keg of energy running amok on stage. While I don’t think their alternative rock sound with pop vibes is something I’d listen to in my own time, People Who Could Fly give an excellent performance. With or without balloons, these guys were bouncing around the stage while keeping the audience on their toes. I foresee People Who Could Fly getting a lot more radio play on stations like Arizona’s local 93.3 KDKB. You can get their latest album, Night/Fire, at their online store now.
At the end of the night, I’d like to think we’ve made a few new friends. The Rebel Lounge is a venue that’s growing on me despite the tall café tables and difficult access to the building. Yet, once inside, it’s intimate with a dedicated staff. Whether it’s a punk show, pop show, or rock show, the Rebel Lounge is a great place to meet new people and feel connected to the music, no matter your preferences. It is with great thanks to Naked Walrus, Gabe Kubanda, and People Who Could Fly to show me that.
All photos are taken by Pardo Photography.