Dead Sara made a ferocious return to the stage last night at the Echo

Dead Sara live photos
Dead Sara

Los Angeles’ hard rock warriors, Dead Sara have made a monumental return to the stage after taking some time off to work on recording their sophomore album. Last night’s sold-out show at The Echo was their first official show of 2014, and boy was it memorable!

Upon walking into the venue (which by the way, fans were lined up at the Echo as early as 10:30 a.m.), my ears were pleasantly treated to the infectious psycho-grooves of L.A. trio The Vim Dicta. Matt Tunney’s (vocals, lead guitar) tantalizing guitar riffs and Jack White-esque wail were perfectly in sync with Cori Elliot’s (vocals, bass, rhythm guitar) bold, reverberant vocals and drive. I even caught Matt waving his guitar in the air, like he just didn’t care! A broken guitar string mid set gave way to brief pause, but drummer Chris Infusino took the opportunity for an impromptu drum solo, and being a beast behind the kit, he filled the room with huge fills and crashing cymbals, then smoothly transitioned into a medley of their Latin influenced track “Von Tango” and “Teaspoon.”

The Vim Dicta photos
The Vim Dicta

L.A. indie rockers Vanaprasta were up next and started off with slow, ambient synth swells and a drenching of red light behind them. Just when I thought it was going to be a moody snoozefest, I was pleasantly surprised by a high energy set of indie dance tunes, with a twist of 90s style r&b. Vocalist, Steven Wilkin really let loose and sang his heart out hitting all his high notes with grace and edge. Like Dead Sara, Vanaprasta have been working on a new record as well, so the crowd was perhaps one of the first to get a preview of new songs. Stay tuned for what’s to come.

Vanaprasta
Vanaprasta

I could feel the already packed house grow tighter, as the crowd drew in. Then the moment we’d all been waiting for, Dead Sara came onto the stage. No gimmicks, no distractions, no bullshit. Straight up hard rock n’ roll exploded from the stage, surging through every moving limb and banging head. Some die-hard fans gave singer Emily Armstrong birthday shout outs in between songs, which roused the entire crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” to her. The charming vocalist returned the favor by wildly tossing her guitar into the middle of the crowd (and I’m sure one lucky fan shit their pants at that very moment) and gave us nothing short of 110 percent in her performance, revving us up as the band blasted through a set of both old hits and new songs.

For the finale, guitarist Siouxsie Medley and bassist Chris Null jumped right into the crowd and while several obnoxious photo fanatics dared to ruin the moment as they busted out their phones, the communal connection was still felt. That wasn’t all though. The band had everyone full on headbanging and stomping with a killer cover of Rage Against The Machine’s, “Killing in the Name Of.” I may have even given myself whiplash at that point, it was so good. The crowd then erupted when they played their breakout single “Weatherman” accompanied by Emily’s crowd surfing jump, where she tumbled and rolled all the way out to the middle of the room and back, never missing a beat. The set left me breathless and reminded me that no matter what some may say, rock n’ roll sure as hell ain’t dead.

Words: Emily Saex

Photography: Tamea Agle

Dead Sara live photos
Dead Sara

Dead Sara live photos
Dead Sara

Dead Sara live photos
Dead Sara

Dead Sara live photos
Dead Sara

Dead Sara live photos
Dead Sara

Dead Sara live photos
Dead Sara

For more photos of Dead Sara, Vanaprasta and the Vim Dicta at the Echo, check out the photo gallery below!

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