So-Cal’s self-professed Indie Graveyard rock band, Ned and the Dirt, summoned three L.A.-based Alt-Rock bands to their dirty little seance with a notable closing set by a newly resurrected band Young Winona, formerly under the moniker, Santa Barbara.
The historic Silver Lake watering hole, The Virgil, served as a gathering of ghouls on a hauntingly still and warm Indian summer Halloween night. As the neighborhood trick-or-treaters called it an early night due to school the next morning, the summoning on Santa Monica Boulevard congregated the masses like moths to the flame, albeit later than the scheduled 8:30pm start time. Chase Petra, Esemae and Ned and the Dirt brought their wicked sets to an intimate yet spellbound crowd. Ned and the Dirt’s final song belted a befitting chant that included the lyric ‘don’t let me die.’
At the witching hour of midnight, Young Winona, a 3-piece band with deep Kiwi roots dug into their instruments like grunge gods obliterating anything in their path. They tore open their set with a divinely disheveled, “Red Dress” and segued into the multi-tempo’d “Sadistic” which transported me to The Pretenders’ “Middle of the Road.” The tom-heavy breakdown was pulsating and the ending in half time was a refreshing rhythmic jolt to the senses.
The Chanteuse, Cassie Gaffaney, wearing skeleton make-up and braided pony-tails topped with a black beanie came up for air and a sip of water and introduced the band as Young Winona. A heavy bass and drum intro to their next tune kept the heat hot with an old Santa B. ditty, “Confess” which included a scalding guitar solo by the sexy skeleton herself on her cream and white custom solid-body by Lush Guitars.
With a “Happy Halloween” and an intro to their new song, “L.A. Waste” she exclaimed, “it is a bit of a love song about Los Angeles.” The slow methodical dirge took us on a somber tour of the dark streets of L.A. The crowd favorite, “Reptile Lover” had a rooster, a pirate, a witch, a lumberjack and other costumed freaks dancing and screaming to the catchy tune.
The closing treat was the new “Slo Motion Wave” with impressive vocals laced with tricky hi-hat and drum fills that captivated the ghostly gathering.
Young Winona has another upcoming show on November 6 at 8:00PM at The Federal, North Hollywood for “Indie Night” with Spare Parts for Broken Hearts, Others (Single Release), Bad Town and Valley Echo.
All photos: Tyler Furtado