Rumba Cafe has become somewhat of a habitual concert hangout spot for me. For me, shows at venues tend to come in waves. For a period of time, I’ll see a bunch of shows in a row in a particular tiny venue and in recent weeks it’s been this place. And Tuesday, June 4th, a band called Weathers headlined the hallowed stage (in my mind, at least).
You might be asking yourself how Weathers beat the odds (per my title) at this show. The band that simply describes themselves as “Los Angeles Alternative” did thus by performing as a unit and emanating genuine joy while doing so – all while frontman Cameron Boyer was nursing an injured foot. On a night of trendy fashion, and trendier sounding tunes, Boyer made the most of his predicament, and used his crutch as an extra prop. They haven’t released a ton of material yet, so it’s safe for me to say that they probably played most of it. Some car listens definitely exceeded my expectations, and their enthusiasm onstage matched the freshness of the sound, as familiar on paper as it might have been. The hits are going to keep coming with this band – watch. My favorite moment in their set might have been their performance of a new song which seemed to unlock a new level of energy on and off stage. My least favorite part of their set was the fact that they ended their cover of Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” after one chorus! I’m stoked they played it at all, though.
The Orphan, the Poet are no strangers to this site, so it was fun to see them perform and continue to evolve. They were a proper direct support band for Weathers, playing a mix of pop and rock that had most in the crowd into it. I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t more fervor from the crowd off the bat, though those that weren’t into it gradually warmed up. They are certainly cranking out the bangers, though. And fans are responding in kind. Someone brought a yellow cowboy hat emblazoned with “Beehaw!” – no doubt, a homage to the bands term of endearment for their fans, the hive. This would function as a prop for most of the set. The nostalgic part of me missed hearing songs like “Thieves Beneath the Bed” and “Invincible” live, but that era of the band is past. “Terrible Things” and “Wild & Young” were set placeholders to satisfy my rock craving, while still fitting amongst their new pop canon that includes the summery “Queen Cobra” which just dropped a couple of weeks ago.
Urbania opened the show with their own brand of pop rock with some blues sensibility, that at times sounded like a heavier Abandon Kansas or Mae. They were a suitable warm up act for the evening, but could have done with some more onstage energy, though their unassuming stage presence is endearing in its own way. Their drummer does play very loud, though. They worked in two covers which are both great summer rockers – The Black Keys’ “Little Black Submarines” and Cardboard Kids “Vibe”, the latter of which I think very few in attendance knew – but I appreciated its inclusion. Big riffs always seem to hit the spot at summer shows.