Relocating to Echo Park the collective known as 2nd Saturdays, brainchild of Erik Sanchez and Jesse Rodriguez, aim under their brand to showcase independent music and local talent in a monthly residency at Rafa’s Lounge every second Saturday of the month. In comparison to the collective’s previous residency in Koreatown, the new location provides a broader selection of things to do if one is show hopping, as well as easy parking if anyone is like myself and struggles decoding LA’s street signs. With a constant diverse selection of talent that captures the best from each scene, 2nd Saturdays modest approach of connecting the music community is a breath fresh of air.

First show of the year had a pretty impressive line-up that primarily focused on female artists including Ariel View, The Pantones, ELLA, and VDG.  El Monte locals, VDG, opened the night with a blissful ambient of shoegaze and hazy qualities within the quaint confinement of the lounge. Lighting added to the dreamy vibes the 4-piece brought several years ago with their first single “128.”

VDG // Photo: Visual Culture Studios

Standing out immediately was LA band, ELLA.  From technicality, to post-punk grit, the Xicana indie quartet is a band that will blow you away live. Frontwoman Brenda naturally carried a charismatic glow on stage that beamed within the dim lighting as she belted out a repertoire of English and Spanish songs that stemmed from political awareness. Norma, Jocelyn, and Kimberly equally stood out within their craft and lifted the entire atmosphere of the night.

ELLA // Photo: Visual Culture Studios

In between each set, DJ Othermother brought a classic rock selection that kept the momentum at a constant level. The show’s flow was an asset that stuck out, as Rodriguez and Sanchez each worked together to keep the ship sailing smooth. More LA locals engulfed the stage, as The Pantones geared for the second half of the night. They revisited a softer, shoegaze vibe that VDG brought earlier and cooled the atmosphere.

I.E.’s Ariel View closed the night with their indie-surf sound and energetic fuzz. The band’s interaction and confidence put performing as second nature for the group, naturally letting the music speak within the room. As they thanked the crowd and threw free merch away, Ariel View spoke to a younger wave of listeners that reignited the love of attending a show.

Ariel View / Photo: Visual Culture Studios

The intimacy at Rafa’s Lounge provided a better appreciation of the line-up regardless of where you were at in the vicinity. Not only did it showcase an impressive talent but added another essential element to support local artists– support local collectives. 2nd Saturdays’ mission is admirable and with an eclectic curation of talent that I’ve witness several times, this is sure to be a bridge towards a stronger community.

Next 2nd Saturday show will be Feb.10th, 8 p.m. in Echo Park featuring: Oscura Luna, ModPods, Sonoda, and The Sad Girls


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Categories: Reviews