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Neon Reverb Saturday: Leslie’s journal

Leslie Ventura

It’s 10:45 p.m., and the Beauty Bar is flowing steadily. Outside, nu-disco locals GoldBoot are performing “Get Some” to a pretty unenthusiastic crowd, but singer Logan Lanning is compensating for the crowd’s lethargy by rocking out on his guitar. I’ve seen GoldBoot before, and unfortunately tonight the sound is turned up way too high for us to fully appreciate the group’s funky beats and vocals.

An hour later, lead singer Ricky Reed of indie dance band Wallpaper wanders onstage in sunglasses and a fedora. The crowd has already doubled in size for the Bay Area group’s hip-hop/electro set, which opens with “T Rex.” Everyone is dancing and Reed’s Four Loko banter between songs makes the experience that much more fun. The live duo is usually just Reed and a percussionist, who tonight is wailing away to Reed’s outlandish lyrics. By this point Wallpaper is only on its third song “Getting’ Drip” and Reed asks, “How many of you all pre-partied tonight?” before he sings the song’s catchy hook (“Let’s pre-party tonight”). The guys perform a few new songs, the last one a catchy tropical song with Reed on electric guitar.

By 1 a.m., local worldbeat/social-activist trio Pan de Sal is about to play its first show in months. The trio is clad in its trademark black and white stripes, and images of the band are being projected onto the wall. After tackling a few sound problems, PDS starts to get into the groove. PDS invites its audience to dance onstage for “Emma Goldman,” then performs a new song, “Herstory.” “How many of you have heard of history?” singer Jeff Madlambayan asks. “Well we’re gonna school you guys on herstory.” The group wraps it up after a short breakdance circle, led by Madlambayan and guitarist Sheila Hall.

Inside it’s going on 2, and I’m not sure if I’m actually seeing what I think I’m seeing. Electro-pop band Easy Street must be wearing more than 10,000 sequins––a lot of sequins considering the band is half-naked. There’s also a guy in a giant bunny suit wandering around who’s apparently part of the band’s traveling act. The group keeps the dance party alive until it’s time to head over to the Royal Resort for the afterparty, where San Diego electro duo Hyena, who performed at Beauty Bar earlier in the night, plays a second show around 3:30 a.m.

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