Shinobu/Winter Break/Joyce Manor - Live in Pomona (Cover Artwork)

Shinobu / Winter Break / Joyce Manor

Live in Pomona (2015)

live show

It was a dark and stormy night in Pomona, CA on Saturday, January 10th, 2015. Shinobu was releasing their brand new record 10 Thermidor and decided to throw a party at the VLHS. The VLHS is hands down the best DIY spot in the Southern California area (if not the country). At the beginning of the show, there were already a lot of people there, which is usually weird for an opening band. Some people seemed to be in the know of what was happening.

The first act was Joyce Manor, playing under the name The Snowcones. Joyce Manor came up as a VLHS band. The first few times I saw them was in Calculator’s garage, a garage in Long Beach and also the VLHS. Joyce sadly can't really play VLHS anymore as there would be TOO many people. Using their alias, Joyce Manor seemed to be in their element, like they were back home. They played a bunch of new songs that really ripped. They also played songs off all three LPs. The thing that got people most intrigued though was that they were playing with a new drummer. It was a guy (I forget his name) who sings and strums the guitar in Merry Christmas. They sounded really tight and looked like they had a lot of fun and that’s all that matters. (Also, no one stage dived)

Next, french Exit played. French Exit, a while back, had Bob from Shinobu do a rap set at their record release party at VLHS. It was very fitting to have them come and play Shinobu’s record release. They played all the “hits” and as always French exit rarely misses a beat and are really tight as a live band. Their record is still great and unloved.

Next, Diners played. They put out a great record last year on Shinobu’s label, Phat n Phunky. It is really good, of the label’s strongest releases after Leer’s “Spring Break No Parents”. They sounded much better live than the record and I love their record. Also a lot of people were hearing them for the first time and after their set they sold a lot of LPs which is always good.

Up next was Winter Break. I have seen Winter Break (ex -Summer Vacation) about a half dozen times. They always sound great and everyone really wants to get into it, but no one knows any of the songs except for the one Summer Vacation song they always play, “mental chillness”. It sounds like a really promising from what has come out online as well as what they play live.

Finally, Shinobu took the stage for their record release performance. I grew up in Campbell, CA and when I was in high school back in 2005 ,I got a hold of their album Herostratus vs. Time. It was like nothing I had heard before from the local scene. During that time It was either pop punk bands wanting to be like Blink or warped tour wannabe emo bands. Shinobu felt really raw and fresh. I fell in love with songs like “Existentialists of The World Unite” and “I Am a Lightning Bolt”. Anyways, after they released Worstword, Ho!, I got to see them for my first time. From" Nickel Arcades," to the "Cuddle Shows," to seeing Mike run into the storm run off behind a parking lot at the A’s stadium during “Can Dialectic’s Break Bricks?”. I tried to see them as often as possible. Last night was a rare time to see Shinobu as the original 4 piece. If life teaches us anything is that people move away and things don’t always stay the same. They went on at around 12:30am. Shinobu played great with real raw energy that has never left them. They opened with "Teachers." Next was "The Void." That song live is Shinobu at their creative peak. It is everything Shinobu is contained in one song. Everyone sang that song like it was the last time they would get a chance too. That was the best song of the set. A bunch of songs from the new record were played live and were excellent. They closed their set with “Cat” and “Trepanning”. Seeing "Trepanning" live is one of the purest forms of “punk music” It never gets old and never loses it’s energy.