Saturday night Ontario locals, The Violet Mindfield, performed at the DBA 256 in Downtown Pomona and truly intoxicated the night. John Duran (vocals, guitar), Sean McBreen (bass), and Charlie Morales (drums) individually, and collectively, left a memorable impact during the duration of their set. Despite missing band mate Carlos Stark (guitar, vocals) for the night, their delivery was still full and rich in sound.
Heavy influenced on the 60s, The Violet Mindfield, immersed this influential tone, look, and feel, into a retro progressive sound, combing surf-rock elements on some tracks, and an experimentation jump in-between each song. The balance of each song during their set, was effortless, which allowed a natural flow of their music to properly display their musical taste, while holding onto the distinction that can set them apart from other bands dipped in the same musical “genre.”
Aesthetically speaking, you are welcomed into a flashback montage of mid 60s rockers. Each member carried a certain flare which contributed to their stage presence. Morales’ sense of fashion though, perfectly embodied the era. Dubbing a brown vest and long sleeve shirt, that could get in the way, Morales produced a strong performance on drums, heavy on cymbals and the snare, with a traditional grip of the sticks, which caught my eye.
They started the set with “Fools Gold Crown,” which is a great, upbeat opener. It contains surf-rock, and powerful vocals, that is carried on punchy drums and heavy bass riffs, displayed by McBreen, who showed great enthusiasm during this song. The rest of the playlist that followed for the night were: “She don’t lie, Lava Lamp, Hey, Once Upon a Time, Colt 45, Forever Wherever, Have Any Secrets, Candle Magic, and Heart of the Matter. Not all tracks performed are offered on their self-titled debut, or previous EP’s, which is more of a reason to experience these live.
My favorite of the night, and personally stole the spotlight was “Have Any Secrets.” Lyrically, these are personal and simple words that line up with such a relatable feeling any human can indulge in.
“Do you feel / any guilt? / Do you feel / any shame? / When you look / in the mirror / what do you see?” starts off the song. Underneath the heaviness of the lyrics, comes a softening of the bass, which compliments the simplicity of the song. As it progresses deeper into this verbal conversation, or reflection, there is such a genuine and potent honesty that is gushed out by Duran, which dives straight into the heart.
The questions continue throughout the lyrics, as they build to “any secrets,” and the pain it delivered. “Did you try to run and hide? / It’s all right / So did I ” are the words that Duran delivers during the peak of the song. Duran’s reassurance repetition of “it’s all right,” paired with the sincerity value of the lyrics, and well-balanced musical construction, gives this song, and the performance, an overall efficacious delivery.
Despite being talented, being memorable leaves the invitation, and The Violet Mindfield succeeded. Overall, the atmosphere, art, and great selection of wines and beer, provided by the DBA, set the tone for the music. Of course the rest of the bands, The 45’s, Quite Kinky, and Lost Frontiers, brought great vibes and their placement of each other provided fluidity throughout the night.
Suggested bands from the night: