Sunday, November 19, 2017

Daikaiju, The Viking Surfers and Via Combusta at Lucky Liquor. 11-18-17

As I walked out of Lucky Liquor, I was trying to process what I had just seen. My head was buzzing and the feeling I had was of amazement and confusion. I walked around back to where the rig was parked and the drummer of Daikaiju was having an apres show smoke. I said, what the hell just happened? He looked at me with a inquisitive look, I said that was devastating! He smiled sheepishly.

Here is what I had just witnessed, these pics tell some of the story.

This was a hastily assembled show. In talking with Gabe the drummer of Daikaiju, he said that he is from B-Ham while the rest of the band is from Texas. He told me that they had some business in the Northwest so why not arrange some gigs, with 2 weeks notice. Most of the venues are long booked out and I was so pleased when I saw that they had found several bars locally that still had room.

These guys set the bar for surf theater. I asked Gabe how many shows they can do this impossible performance and he mentioned that they tour 6-8 months out of the year. They played 2 shows this evening. They are tour animals.

But they were the icing on a very yummy surf cake this evening. Via Combusta, a relatively new band (this was their 2nd performance) opened and were surprisingly good.

I have an unfortunate situation. I am in what is basically an ankle to crotch cast. It is hard to stand without a cane and that is very impractical in the mosh pit. I had a hard time getting decent pics.

They played a mix of covers and originals with skill and gusto. They also played in cool mix-match suits with the bottom (the bass and the drum) in stylish dark burgundy and the lead and rhythm were in the same cool suits in a dark blue. This was a nice touch.

Via Combusta is: Shay Childress, bass, John Healy, guitar, Jordan Lock, drums and Michael Tyler, guitar. They are all skilled musicians and played a great mixed set.

I am looking forward to see the progression of this band, they have the tools and produced some great arrangements already. I see good things for them and look forward to their next performance. I have played a couple of their tunes on my Surf radio show on Space 101. You can connect with them here:

Next up was one of my favorite local bands, The Viking Surfers. They have progressed so much, you can tell they have been practicing, but you also can tell they are having a blast. It was an all ages event and they brought their kids. I loved seeing their kids watch mom and dad rock.

I think I got 2 pics. As I cannot get into the crowd easily, I couldn't get to a place to get good pics. Too bad because this was a screaming great performance. They had quite the crowd for their show. There were a lot of kids with their parents. I commend the folks for opening the kids to live music.

I swear Paul just gets better with every performance but I really think he is just that good all the time. I especially love when they take some of his native folk music and surf-ize it. Everything about this show was memorable and fun.

Horrible shots I know, I am really bummed. Marcy is really great on drums. She is a pretty amazing person; she is in at least 3 bands that I know of, is producing solo work, is mom to 2 kids and is working in the Aerospace industry.

The Viking Surfers are: Paul Rugland-Gitar, Marcy Rugland-Trommer and Kate Lint-Bassgitar. They were spot on tonight and I love their music. You can find them on Bandcamp. I have played all their tunes on my show. I can't pronounce the titles, but I can listen, share and enjoy.
You can connect with them here:

Lucky Liquor had a great selection of excellent adult beverages as well as good viddles.

And then Daikaiju happened.

They came on like a natural disaster; it had it's phases. It started with a hurricane that only got stronger with time.

Then it changed to an earthquake; the floor was shaking, the pictures and signs on the walls started vibrating and the walls were wiggly. The poor guitarist had to be carried on his way through the crowd.

And it finally ended with a volcano and resulting fire and flame.

I hadn't caught a breath from the first note, this was surf war. A suupaa-mecha-kingu rock experience. I had seen the videos, listened to the music, knew their reputation, but none of that prepares you for the real thing.

I had watched them set up then disappear out the back boor. When they reappeared they were bare chested and wore what I am going to guess were Kabuki (Japanese dance-drama) masks.

5 notes and the place was shaking. They had so much freaking energy that it made you feel that you wanted part of it. Then they gave that too with the guitarist jumping all over the dance floor, bar-top, mugging for the camera, hanging out with the common folk while he shredded the guitar. He even shared drinks with us at the bar.

Almost at the very beginning they moved into the crowd on the dance floor. They wanted no separation from the peeps. This is where it started to get crazy.

After Gabe got out his magic squirt bottle, the place lit up. It seemed well controlled and I didn't feel uncomfortable. I did get a warming sensation.

It had a great effect and everybody was howling and clapping and the band didn't miss a lick. This was a normal performance for them. Just when you thought they had played everything in their playlist the started a whole new surge.

The guitarist (none of the guys list their names on their FB page) started interacting with the crowd, alternately getting carried on the shoulders of the fans to laying down using a fan as a pillow. One big love-in.

Just amazing theater; every eye was on them and most fans were interacting in some fashion. Then of course, another surge of entertainment and interactivity. They moved farther into the crowd and higher. The drummer passed 4 of his most used percussion pieces to the crowd, had them hold them high, then he played from atop a barstool.

The guitar kabuki performer walked all over the place on these chairs.

Then he got on the shoulders of the bass man.

I half expect them to collapse at any time but they just kept cranking, really great music performed in a unique and awesome way!

At the end instead of putting down their instruments and walking away, they handed them out to the audience to keep the craziness going. It was epic. The fans went crazy on 2 sets of drums and a guitar as Diakaiju encouraged them on, and slowly slinked out the back door. Phenomenal performance.

Big thanks to Lucky Liquor for hosting this show and to Brian Foss who set this up. Thanks to all the marvelous surf bands that are being created and making great music.

You can hear my surf show; Head's Up! with your host Carmen Ghia on Space 101 KMGP 101.1-LP FM on Saturdays at 5. Go to my FB webpage to find the stream on Mixcloud here:

And as always: