By: Ned Molder
Los Angeles garage-punk trio Together PANGEA turned Che Café into a sweat lodge on Friday. The crowd, consisting mostly high school and college kids, moshed and crowd surfed inside the tiny, packed student Co-op, raising the ambient temperature 2 degrees per song during PANGEA’s performance. Together PANGEA is part of the growing DIY punk/garage-rock scene out of LA, with renown indie label Burger Records at its hub. Burger released their latest album The Phage on October 16th and kicked off the EP supporting tour Friday at the Che.
Opening for PANGEA was San Diego-based garage rock trio Shady Francos, who has gone a lineup change with a brand new female bassist and drummer joining the party. MELTED, another skuzzy punk on the Burger Records roster from Anaheim, played next with the trio wearing pumpkin ski-masks and thrashing through tracks that fired up circle pits and head-banging.
This was my first show at the UCSD co-op, though I knew a little about it’s history. The Che was founded in 1980 by a few UCSD students as a gathering place for activists, forward thinkers, artists, punk music shows, as well as a place to get good vegan cuisine (co-op is officially called Cheap Healthy Eats). Over the course of it’s lifetime, the ~150 person capacity venue has hosted Green Day, Rise Against, Bon Iver, Bright Eyes and Hella. The walls are stenciled with famous historical and cultural figures, abstract paint splotches and scribbled words that might be three decades old. The whole place is a representation of DIY culture and activism and feels slightly out of place, although completely refreshing in staunch-y La Jolla.
It felt perfect to see a band like Together PANGEA perform on the tiny wooden stage in this historic shack. They played whiny popular tracks from last year’s album Badillac like “River”, “Offer” or “Badillac“, along with old favorites like “Too Drunk to Cum” and even a few brand new songs off The Phage like “Looked In Too” and everyone lost their minds. In the same way it seems appropriate to watch hugely successful, highly-produced pop artists perform in sold-out baseball stadiums, it felt right to watch PANGEA do what they love in front of a hundred adoring fans in a grungy San Diego punk cafe.
Together PANGEA has a string of tour dates through early December, check them out on their website and listen to their new EP “The Phage”, out now on Burger Records.