Hey ladies and gents! This Musician Monday is dedicated to one of my current favorite bands, whom how I haven’t already written about is beyond me, the Tijuana Panthers. This Valentine’s Day, one of my best friends surprised me with a ticket to their show at the Glasshouse in Pomona alongside fellow bands the Cosmonauts and Bombon. I honestly could not have conjured up a better way to spend the day of love with music I love and my dearest friend whom I love even more. Therefore, I will spend this post gushing about my admiration for my self-proclaimed Valentines, Chad, Phil and Dan or jointly known as the Tijuana Panthers.
The first time Tijuana Panthers were ever brought to my attention was from a friend who knew of their music and brought them up because they happened to be performing at the Make Music Festival in Pasadena in 2011. This was the first time I heard their music and saw them live and I’m pretty sure I had hearts in my eyes the entire time. From then on I was hooked. The Long Beach natives compile a mixture of 1960’s surf-pop with a modern indie-hipster ethos that I feel is better heard and seen than explained. It was fun, energetic and genuine I didn’t even know any of their songs at the time but I couldn’t help but dance around. Not only is their stage presence one of the best I’ve seen, it is even more apparent once the show is over. I have had the privilege of meeting the members several times since that first show and let me be the first to say how down to earth and awesome they truly are. They always make sure to either be around the venue before or after their sets, chatting it up with their fans. If you ever want to meet them or get a picture or autograph, you will have no problem doing so at any given show they are at. Fast forward about 3 years, this last Friday was about my millionth time seeing these guys live and let me tell you, it never gets old.
The minute I got into the Glasshouse, I had an overwhelming sense of nostalgia that I was back at prom. To be honest, I never went to prom but I’m assuming the paper mache strips strung across the ceiling, the cheesy disco ball, and appropriately themed heart cut-outs and pink balloons at least harkened back to the days of dances in the high school gym. The major differences though was that I had a PBR in my hand for most of the first act and way better music was being played than any DJ could provide. Anyway, the first band to come on was an all-girl group call Bombon. I really dug their melodies and guitar riffs and I feel like I would have even more had their songs had words in them. Seriously, I am all for a good instrumental every now and again but for the entire set? I was a little confused especially since this my first introduction to this band but hey, it was something different I suppose. The Cosmonauts were up next and this was actually my second time seeing these guys live. I would describe their sound and look to be reminiscent of 90’s grunge (shout out to the member who totally looks like Kurt Cobain). They even have that grunge aesthetic that says, “We can’t really see the audience through our long hair that keeps getting in our faces and quite frankly, we don’t care cause you know, fuck authority.” I thought their sound was pretty cool I definitely have to give them a listen outside of a live setting to really get a feel for their songs but overall, they were a good precursor to the main attraction. The clock struck 10pm and the Tijuana Panthers didn’t miss their cue for a second. I don’t think I’ve ever been to one of their shows and now come out a sweaty, slightly bruised mess. The crowd goes absolutely nuts for these guys. They played a really good variety of songs off of their first album, Max Baker, their sophomore gem, Semi-Sweet and songs that I wasn’t familiar with that were dare I say, new Tijuana Panthers coming soon? Their set was pure amazingness as usual and such a vibrant crowd that made the whole experience that much more worthwhile. I was able to get a few snapshots of their performance but if you’ve ever been in a Tijuana Panthers pit, you know the dangers you face of falling or dropping said picturing-taking device so bear in mind that they are not the best because I didn’t have my phone out long enough to try and capture quality pictures. Overall, the show was a success and I can’t express my love for this trio any more than the teenage couple standing next to me at the show who were groping each other the entire time. True love I tell ya.
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