After months of heavy anticipation, fueled by UK media and indie blogger hype, the London’s latest indie sensation, the Vaccines, made their Los Angeles debut this past Tuesday, January 22, 2011 at the Satellite (formerly Spaceland). Without a doubt, these chaps have been dealt a heavy hand in terms of living up to their hype. Whether they put on a good show or not, you can always expect the haters to start yappin’ (or in this case, Tweeting).
On this evening, the Satellite boasted a hot and steamy sold-out show made up of industry peeps. From the oh-so-dreamy, Jake Gyllenhaal, all the way to members of Mumford & Sons, Silversun Pickups, Arctic Monkeys, Local Natives and more, this was definitely an industry event. I don’t know why anyone was surprised there. The Vaccines are barely a year-old and don’t even have an LP out yet. Not to mention, as we stated in a previous post: “Aside from their rad sound, front-man Justin Young (aka Justin James Hayward-Young) already carried some clout and heartthrob status with his acoustic musings as Jay Jay Pistolet … and knowing the “right people,” the Vaccines are now signed to Columbia and share the same managers as Franz Ferdinand and the Kaiser Chiefs.” So yeah, duh, like this isn’t going to be an “industry” event … moving on.
If you are a lover of rock and roll from days past, especially those early to mid-70s-style quick punk numbers with a taste of slower garage pop ballads, you’ll dig the Vaccines. They have a classic sound which works for many, but if you’re not into nostalgic guitar rock, or you favor more sugary musings with hooks so thick even a two-year old will love them, the Vaccines may not be for you. The boys are catchy, but not saturated.
At some points during their 30-minute set (give or take) however, I did find myself losing interest with some of the slower numbers. But for the majority of their show, I along with much of the crowd was smiling and shaking to their vibrant style. Songs like “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra),” “Post Break-Up Sex,” “Blow It Up” and “If You Wanna,” really got the crowd moving, probably due to the familiarity of the tunes on their social media pages and blogs. The boys even performed a pretty sick cover of The Standells’ “Good Guys Don’t Wear White.” This song really got the crowd jumpin’. I thought the dude next to me was going to clock me in the face as he fist-pumped while bouncing and singing along. Good thing he didn’t!
Despite the Debbie-downers in the crowd, I though the Vaccines played a great set. Their stage presence is full of raw energy and more than inviting. While their songs for the most part are hard, fast and loud, similar to all the iconic garage-punk bands that graced New York’s CBGB’s, Max’s Kansas City or San Francisco’s Mabuhay Gardens, I’d say the Vaccines are off to a very promising start. These guys are just straight up fuckin’ cool, I dig.
The Vaccines’ debut album, What Did You Expect is due for release via Columbia Records on March 21, 2011. You can pre-order the 11-track album here.
Words: Sandra Burciaga
Photos: Wei Shi
The Vaccines at the Satellite, Videos (the sound isn’t the greatest but at least you get to see how the show went down).