A little about me, a little about PRE
When I was a student at UCLA, I saw a ton of great shows on campus. Public Enemy, Rollins Band, Jane's Addiction, Bikini Kill, Chumbawamba, Snuff, Jawbreaker, Phleg Camp, ALL, Chemical People, Redd Kross, St. Vitus, fIREHOSE... Actually, a lot of them took place after I graduated and kept me coming back--thanks to booking by Craig, Lynn, and other friends in Campus Events. Eric was the photographer!
This is where we bands used to play: the corner of the Cooperage pizza parlor. Now the stage is leveled and the carpet is stripped. I was bummed about this for a second--this is where I told Q Tip how much I enjoyed the afternoon Jungle Brothers show when A Tribe Called Quest played later that night--but it turns out that the new concert space at Kerkhoff is actually a much better venue. With the vaulted ceiling, stained glass, and rust chandeliers, it's more like the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland than Shakey's. Too bad non-students can't just walk in anymore.
This is the sort of audience that bands used to have to play in front of. People studying, eating, flirting, or whatever. In the Treehouse area, I saw a group of tables where students hang out and play poker with chips and everything. It was right in front of Panda Express! I can't remember if it was Peter Case or John Doe who worked the numbers of pizza customers into a folky acoustic song at the Cooperage.
But back to the rock. Tonight I returned to campus to see PRE. They are on the noise label Skin Graft Records, and play a choppy, arty style of hardcore that you don't usually associate with England. It's super heavy but really fun at the same time. More like Lightning Bolt than The Locust.
The double bass action was cool to hear live, and Akiko is nonstop energy onstage. (Offstage, too.) PRE puts on an action-packed show with plenty of dates left on the tour. They're cruising up and down the west coast before returning to their hometown of London, so check them out if you get a chance.
Afterwards, PRE's buddies Health played. I swear there's some taiko influence in their pretty but noisy style. More on this L.A.-based band in the future...
And more on PRE in GR54. Akiko gave some honest, awesome answers about shitty food in London, touring being her detox, and dealing with Yellow Fever. Also, Ben shot some great live shots that put my hack snapshots to shame.