Two especially memorable shows that I attended in the very early '90s happened to feature Samiam (with Snuff at UCLA's Coop and then at Gilman Street with MTX and Fifteen), so it was super rad to see the post-hardcore, pre-pop punk band play Alex's Bar in Long Beach last week. Twenty years later, I suppose it made sense to finally see them at a venue that was not all-ages.
Opening the show was Southern California's own Tiltwheel. Although the band from San Diego humbly bills itself as “Pleatherface” after a certain UK punk group named after a slasher movie hero, they were dropped onto the stage by helicopters with a blast of pyrotechnics and smoke machines.
A joke. I just happened to capture a “real” photographer's flash in the first image. I love it when that happens. I try to shoot with natural light, so it's always a funky surprise. But back to the show, Tiltwheel was a band that I knew about and was interested in via RazorCake but never got around to seeing live. They lived up to the punk zine's gushing, with ultra melodic hooks and deceptively sharp chops taking the edge off bitter lyrics and drunken rambling.