Photos By: Amanda Martinek

By: April Almarez

Unless you were on your death bed Tuesday night, you have no excuse for not being at Soda Bar. The night was truly epic. Three bands all born to play a show together took the stage at our local bar; Amerikan Bear, Mild High Club, and lastly King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. The energy these bands put out was something I had never experienced before.

Local rising stars, Amerikan Bear consists of 5 guys straight out of Vista, CA. 60’s psychedelic soul members include Nathan on guitar/vocals, Nick – bass, Omar-12-string guitar, Andrew- drums, and Conor- keys. The crowd was slowly creeping in when the band started with their single “Lean On Me”. With plenty of soul and aggressive guitar playing, Amerikan Bear glided through their nearly 45 minute set. The 30 second guitar riffs knocked me into a state of trance. 12 string guitar player Omar was throwing down some of the fastest hand strums I’ve ever seen in my life. “It Ain’t Free” was a crowed pleaser. With strong garage rock vocals, it was like being in a different era. Playing their whole self-titled EP, Amerikan Bear definitely set the mood for the night. You can catch these guys next at The Casbah, opening up for The Mystic Braves on September 11th.

Mild High Club opened up with their dreamy single “Undeniable”. Rocking a bedazzled purple cap and a pocket-watch kimono, Alexander Brettin and his band brought a very lazy psychedelia vibe, sweetness with a pure 60’s feel. Each song had the electronic organ in the background, only making everything better. Collaborating with Ariel Pink, and touring with Mac DeMarco, Alexander has come up with a sound that is so simple and hazy that I understand where being “mildy high” could be a good idea; music for the responsible smoker. Only playing 4 songs, Mild High Club closed out with “Window Pane”. The ever so slothful song brought a peace amongst the crowd.

Lastly was fucking King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. Holy shit! Melbourne, Australia has been holding out on us. If you do not know about this band, please stop reading this article, go on your favorite music streaming service and listen to every song they have on there. Better yet, buy their albums. Coming straight to San Diego from FYF fest, King Gizzard put on a show of a lifetime. These guys play a show with everything they’ve got, no matter how big the crowd is. Lead singer Stu Mackenzie and his band RULED the stage. Stu’s shake face is something everyone should witness at least once in their lives. Hard rock ‘n’ roll in a nut shell is what they play; psychedelic lights and sounds that these boys put out are so fucking mind-blowing you never want the severe head-banging  to stop. Every instrument trembled through your body. I am so happy with how every bit of this show flowed together. Hugs, signatures and words were exchanged after the show and I didn’t want the night to end.

I’m pretty sure I had a life epiphany during your set. Thank you, almighty King Gizzard, once again for the mind-altering, kaleidoscopic experience.