Dead Sara Continue Los Angeles Residency With Irontom at Intimate El Cid Show [Photos]
One of the joys of being located in Los Angeles is the wealth of music venues, and every once in a while if you're paying attention, you'll find yourself with a truly rare concert experience. Such was the case Thursday night (March 9) as Dead Sara continued their March residency at El Cid restaurant, inviting up-and-comers Irontom to open the show for them. Both acts have bright futures, so the chance to catch each of them for free in El Cid's intimate staging area is something not to be missed as much larger venues await each of them soon.
Dead Sara have been using the shows as a chance to work in some new songs to go along with their tried and true favorites, all within a venue where it's easy to gauge the audience reaction. Adding to the mystique of the set, the band had the smoke machine going in full effect, while an old timey bluesy track welcomed them to the stage.
It didn't take long for Dead Sara to get up to speed, with vocalist Emily Armstrong immediately letting her vocal rasp enrapture listeners with the new song "Losing My Cool," a track that has a Doors-esque kind of vibe that concluded with Armstrong's bandmates speeding up the tempo at the end for an impressive opening salvo. Another solid rocker, "F--k Ur Rock," followed, with "Monumental Holiday" being the first dip into the band's standing catalog.
The energy in the room picked up with the longtime favorite "Lemon Scent." As Armstrong hovered over the crowd, letting her hair fly and imploring the audience to sing along, the energy seemed to take hold. Keeping the audience engaged, she had them snap and clap along to help the beat of the follow-up track "Mona Lisa."
As stated, the band did play some new songs that show great promise. A chugging rocker listed as "Kane" on the set list, a reference to a collaborator on the track and the performance, was a solid addition. The bittersweet track was filled with attitude and angst over moving on from a loved one. Armstrong invited a couple of guests to join in and relieve her of guitar work on a song called "Remember" while she danced around the stage. The hard rocking song that had a bit of disco flavor and killer bass work from Chris Null on it. And another tune titled "Un-American" is an anti-politics statement that cries "future anthem" for the band. It's a rocker in full snarl that Armstrong says just voices what needs to be said and should be a concert favorite for years to come.
Finishing out the night, Dead Sara sent concertgoers home with their biggest hit "Weatherman," breaking things down for the entire audience to sing the "National Anthem" in the middle before transitioning back to a furious finish. The El Cid show just continued to solidify Dead Sara's reputation as a stellar live band, and whetted the appetite for their music to come. With one more week left in the residency, we encourage L.A.'s denizens to get there early and get a spot for their final El Cid date of the run on March 16.
Opening the evening for Dead Sara were Irontom, a group of Los Angeles upstarts on their way to breaking big this year. They were exactly what you hope for in an opener, showing up with energy to spare and warming the crowd up for Dead Sara's set later in the evening. Vocalist Harry Hayes is one of the more animated frontmen you'll come across, playing to the crowd from the word "go," and displaying a stage presence reminiscent of Cage the Elephant's Matt Shultz.
Irontom have an infectious sound that's undeniable, with keyboardist Daniel Saslow bringing something fresh to the stomp rock vibe of the band. Tracks like "Live Like This" and "No Matter What" should fare well for the group, while thanks to Hayes' the entire audience had their hands to the sky rocking along with the stellar set closer "Be Bold Like Elijah." The band's debut disc, Partners, arrives May 5 and the group will get a good shot to make a name for themselves opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers later this spring.
See our photos from the Dead Sara / Irontom show at the El Cid restaurant and club in Los Angeles in the gallery above.