Dragons, Creepy Creeps, The Phantoms – Jan. 14, 2014

2014 Flashback…

If anyone needed a reminder of how fun rock ‘n’ roll can still be, they should have been to this show at The Casbah in San Diego. The Casbah was celebrating its 25th anniversary and was hosting bands from throughout its storied history, along with the kind of acts that should keep the venue vital for another quarter of a century.

First up on an all San Diego bill were newcomers, The Phantoms. This group features Victor Penalosa, the current drummer for the Flamin’ Groovies, on guitar and vocals, and a fantastic backing band of Xavier Anaya on lead guitar, Chris Iandolo on bass and Jarrod Lucas (from The Dragons) on drums. They opened with the lead song from their self-titled debut album, “Baby Loves Her Rock and Roll”, which sounded like a revved up long-lost song by The Beat (Paul Collins’ not English). The Phantoms then charged through their 10 song set as if they were the headliners with songs like “Stab My Broken Heart”, which besides kicking ass throughout, ended with the opening riff to “Love Gun” by KISS. The set then ended with a garage rockin’ version of Bob Seger’s “Rosalie” and then an homage to the bassist for glam-rock heroes Mott The Hoople with “The Ballad of Overend Watts”.  These guys seem to be channeling the late 70’s/early 80’s power pop of The Plimsouls, 20/20 and the aforementioned Beat and are definitely a band keep an eye on.

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The Creepy Creeps – Belly Up Tavern 4/19/16

The Belly Up crowd usually doesn’t start to really fill in the space until the headliners are getting ready to go on.  Not so on this night, as San Diego’s own garage/punk/surf-rockers, the Creepy Creeps, brought their demented brand of “dance numbers” to the Solana Beach venue as the warm up act for The Damned (look right below this post for a review of the Damned set).  And warm up the crowd they did – exhorting the crowd to dance and cut loose while they played with their usual reckless abandon.  Every time I see this band play they have a full dance floor in front of them and it doesn’t matter if they are the headliners or the 1st act on a 4 band bill – they bring everything they’ve got.

Check out this clip recorded at The Belly Up last summer: Creepy Creeps – Belly Up