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Thee Commons & Brown Sabbath at The Roxy- Los Angeles, CA

Land in LA, rent a car, find the Airbnb, drop bags find food. That was the itinerary for the first leg of an eight-day trip that would also include Laguna Beach, San Francisco, and Sebastopol. There were a few potential events on deck for this Thursday night. Food was the priority and a hookah bar was in close second. While eating at Real Food Daily (yummy vegan without all the meat substitutes and reliance on soy) I noticed I was close to the Sunset strip. My previous two trips to LA were short and interesting but I had some more freedom this week and I was eager to explore some new sites. The Sunset strip is famous for a few sad things and a few amazing things. Within two blocks you can find the Viper Room (Where River Phoenix overdosed), Rainbow (where Lemmy would play video poker all day), Whisky A Go Go (the west coast Cafe Wha when it comes to launching bands), and The Roxy. Volumes could be written about the Roxy and not for the music. Among Zappa, Depeche Mode, Neil Young, and The Sex Pistols, this venue launched some iconic stage shows including the US premiere of The Rocky Horror Show, The Pee Wee Herman Show, and Hedwig. I checked the calendar and to my joy, Brown Sabbath was playing in 45 minutes.

As if my luck wasn’t already overflowing (did I mention it was only $15?) I managed to catch the opening band as well. Thee Commons are an interesting band from East LA that they describe as Cholo Surf.  It’s a grungy mix of LA attitude and California surf. I often like surf but find I can’t listen to a full album. These guys though were super entertaining and kept the vibe fresh and fun. Imagine Gogol Bordello with more surf and less punk. Here’s a sample:

Brown Sabbath is indeed a Black Sabbath cover band run as a side project of the Austin-based band Brownout.This latin-funk band brings their congas and horn section with two guitars, drums, bass, and an amazing singer into the world of Black Sabbath. The set included your favorites, no worries there. War Pigs closed the set and Fairies Wear Boots was the encore closer:

The Roxy has an AMAZING sound system (not to self, write a post about tinnitus) You know when you are in the presence of great sound. It certainly helps when the bands know their sounds but even a new band with pawn shop gear can sound good at the Roxy. The crowd agreed. All ages were represented and the heads were banging as much as the drunk chick up front wished she was. She reminded that some metal groupies grow up but never run out of steam. You go girl. Get some.

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