Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Hunter Valentine's Laura Petracca
Hunter Valentine's Laura Petracca
photo by picksysticks

Last week, the Canuck invasion continued their assault on Los Angeles. At the Grammys, we saw Best New Artists nominees Drake and Justin Bieber then we saw Arcade Fire take home Album of the Year honoKiyomi McCloskey of Hunter Valentiners. Saturday night, at The Roxy, our neighbors to the north gave us their latest offering – Hunter Valentine.

Since their EP release in 2007, Hunter Valentine has been building a dedicated following. Now, they've solidified their rock star status and growing fanbase by touring off the strength of their latest release, Letters from the Late Night. Saturday night only proved that with a sick live performance in front of huddled masses of a Los Angeles crowd seeking refuge from the pouring rain outside.

"I hear rain here in L.A. is like snow," frontwoman Kiyomi McCloskey says. "You pussies," she smirks before taking off her slim white jacket revealing a body hugging wife-beater. McCloskey was ready to turn up the heat. And like a rusty nail dipped in coca cola, Hunter Valentine's sharp hooks bleeds surgary melodies normally saved for John Hughes teen flicks. Themes of love and heartbreak, like attitude-laced mentos washed down with red bull, this Toronto based trio are a walking 80s movie montage. Where's Molly Ringwald when you need her? As thunderous beats from Laura Petracca poured down, lighting filled syringes shot up Kiyomi's guitars and vocals as cool-as-ice bassist Adrienne Lloyd cleared their path for a downpour of hits like "Scarface," "Stalker," and "Treadmills of Love." A little rain wasn't going to damper their sold out show. Hunter Valentine made sure of that. They continue their North American tour through March. Click HERE for their remaining tour dates.

"Stalker" by Hunter Valentine

Alicia Grodecki of Vanity Theft
Vanity Theft's Alicia Grodecki performs to a sold out Roxy Theater.
photo by picksysticks

Ohio-based rockers Vanity Theft performed a solid set earlier in the night. Only in their early twenties, Vanity Theft are already tour veterans, generating industry buzz long before they were signed to a label. With an electro-rock specialty, these gals liVanity Theft's Alicia Grodeckit up the stage with a confident performance. Having the tools to make it big, these press darlings have a lot to live up to. They garnered numerous 'Pick Lists" and were recently dubbed "The Band You Must Know" by the New York Post and voted No. 1 debut album by a Dayton Band in 2008 by The Dayton Daily News while also playing Vans Warped Tour a year later. Taking it all in stride, this media attention doesn't seem to phase them. Straight forward lyrics and a hard-edge sound with catchy melodies, Vanity Theft are sure to separate themselves from all the other 'chick bands' currently out there who sing about butterflies and rainbows. Vanity Fair is currently on tour with Hunter Valentine and their latest album, Get What You Came For, was released digitally earlier this month with a store drop date March 1st.

This marathon night continued well past the next day with 100 Monkeys, aka: the guy from Twilight, aka: Jasper, aka: Jackson Rathbone. Screams from Twi-hard fans erupted well before the Roxy velvet curtains raised. And when they finally did, a quick search of the stage was all they needed to find their friendly vamp. This LA band are more than just window dressing. They consist of Uncle, Jerad Anderson, Ben Graupner and Ben Johnson – a talented group playing musical-chairs (but with their instruments) and trading vocal duties to boot. I have to admit, having hearing them for the first time, they did sound pretty good.

100 Monkeys' Jackson Rathbone
Jackson Rathbone of 100 Monkeys performs at The Roxy.
photo by picksysticks