For the past 15 years, when I’ve been asked to name the best bands in Las Vegas, The Day After has been at the top of my list. Best friends Jenine Cali and KC Wells had a symbiotic songwriting partnership, and their music drew a loyal base of local music lovers. We’ll get to hear some of their sweet songs live one more time when the band—inactive since 2010—gets back together November 8 at Artifice. It’s also a free show, so no excuses.
It’s a good time for The Day After’s music to make a reappearance, too. Their songs would fit right in on the airwaves of today.
“I think we’re in the vein of a ’90s rock sound, and that’s coming back around,” Cali says. When the group first arrived on the scene in the early 2000s, though, their sound didn’t necessarily fit right in. While working their way up from weeknights to weekends at local bars, the musicians also spent time touring (playing South by Southwest twice), releasing albums, and even had a song featured in a video game (Pop Star Guitar). After they split, Cali went on to form still-active trio The Dirty Hooks.
“We decided to do this because it’s the 15-year anniversary of the band,” Wells explains. Original drummer Uffe Moller will step behind the kit for the show, with a renewed passion for playing. “I started the group with these guys as Scared of Dolls back in the day,” he says. Local musician Jesse Pino, previously of The Day After’s contemporary Left Standing, signed on to play guitar. “My band would play with their band tons of times, and they are definitely one of my favorite local bands in town,” Pino says. “KC asked if I wanted to play, and I was like, ‘F*ck, yeah!’” As an extra bonus, The Day After will release a remix album at the gig.
What kind of turnout does the band expect? “I’ve always been scared that nobody’s going to show up to any shows, ever,” Cali says. “[But] when we announced it, there was actually a pretty big response. People were excited about it, so that was awesome and felt really good,” Wells says. “There’s a purity about it, I guess. We accidentally sound the way we did because we didn’t know any better. We just sounded like us, and it’d be cool to introduce that to people.”
The Day After with Leaving Springfield. November 8, 9 p.m., free. Artifice, 702-489-6339.