Every city has their hometown heroes. Long Beach has the Cold War Kids, Silver Lake has the Silversun Pickups and the city of Riverside had/has Spiderworks. Most of you probably don’t even know where Riverside is, or snarl when you say the word, but growing up in the IE (Inland Empire) myself, Riverside was just a short 15-20 minute drive from my hometown of Upland, Calif. As I sift through blurred memories of my rather “experimental” days in high school, I have some great memories of taking tokes off the bong and chilling with some friends to the psychedelic tunes of Spiderworks — under the stars, in the foothills, in nature, where the surrounding were just epic.
When I heard Spiderworks, were playing a reunion show at Romano’s Concert Lounge in Riverside, I was both totally surprised and totally stoked! These guys were experimenting with such unique varieties of rock ‘n’ roll way back in the early 90s (formed in late 80s). From spaced out sounds, heavy guitars and some crazy textures and distortion that could melt your brains to seep out of your facial orifices, Spiderworks were sonically and creatively well ahead of their time.
Opening up for Spiderworks this past Saturday, August 21st at Romano’s were The Sleeping Sea King. Also native to Riverside, these guys seriously need to get out of their IE bubble and share their gloriously vicious tunes with the rest of us. From a loud clean sound of echoing guitars and drumming that could make your heart skip-a-beat, The Sleeping Sea King also have an intoxicating stage presence that just oozes “rock ‘n’ roll.” Front man, Joey Kohorst, has some seductive deep vocals that summon the smoothness of Elvis Presley, yet rolls out with a nefarious demeanor. Pair those sweet pipes with some swirling, riveting guitars and buzzing bass lines, all held together by a solid backbone of beats led by drummer Andre Morales and you have yourself a kick-ass rock band. The Sleeping Sea King were the perfect prelude to the eventful set that Spiderworks were about to bestow upon us.
The Sleeping Sea King
Kicking off with some warped out electro beats to the background of some colored lights and effects, the anticipation had doubled. Spiderworks was already about 15 minutes late on their set and the mysterious intro added all the more suspense. With a sold-out show of some 300 fans, a lot of speculation was beginning to spark as to whether Spiderworks were actually going to play: well they did. When front man Chris Vigil hit the stage the crowd started cheering and out came the heavy guitar riffs which later morphed into some funky ass jams that delivered a shake n’ groove effect through the crowd.
Spiderworks also played up their heavy raucous of drums and guitars, bringing out their punk side, it was no surprise that a massive mosh pit ensued; followed by a fight of course. Vigil put the music to a halt, pointed out the offenders and yelled out “We’re going to stop playing unless these guys get kicked out right now!” With in minutes the scoundrels were booted from the venue and the music happily presumed. Spiderworks took us on an aural journey with their extraordinary arrangements and wild orchestrations. And the moment they played the intro to “Shiver” the whole crowd was glowing with smiles. Fist pumps (and not the Jersey Shore kind) would later rise to the ceiling above as fans sang along to this nostalgic song that lasted about nine minutes.
Without a doubt, Spiderworks played an amazing show and made a superb comeback. As I stood outside the venue after their set, so many fans were walking out with drunky Colgate smiles as they yelled, “Man, that was such a kick-ass show” or “Oh my God! They were so damn good!” There was definitely a lot of positivity going on. I hope Spiderworks can keep it together and deliver us a new album in the Fall as well as line up some tour dates. These guys are seriously talented and their music should be shared across the world and not only central to Riverside.
Words: Sandra Burciaga
Photos: Dave Fuller
The Sleeping Sea King
Click on thumbnails below for more photos!