The banner was up. The VLHS banner was hoisted up on a fence behind the stage at a dive bar in Pomona, California. It was the first thing anyone saw after taking a moment to look around the venue after being bombarded by a billion hugs from people you can call nothing less than ‘family’. As an out-of-towner, I have never felt more welcome at a place than I did at no defunct DIY venue VLHS. This show was an exception though. I felt as if I had come home; on this night, VLHS was this bar.
Tracy Soto started off the night. I had heard a lot about this group and heard them referred to as the new “super-group” of the area, since the band is composed of members half from Turkish Techno and half from Dudes Night. I was not disappointed and they were just as good as they were hyped up to be.
I was pretty down in the dumps earlier that day, but this show was only one band in and already I was feeling like nothing had ever gone wrong. It’s pretty hard not to smile when Secondaries is playing. I was grinning from ear to ear during the whole of their set. The band will be releasing a new album later this year, so make sure to check back for more updates on that!
I got really excited when I realized that DFMK was up next. This band is no joke when it comes to skill. They brought their Rock ‘n’ Roll Hardcore to this party and tore it up like there was no tomorrow, as they always do. They are probably the hardest act for any band to follow… unless you are Turkish Techno who, in this case, was right after. This band gives zero fucks and just plays their drunken little hearts out. It’s impossible to not be belting out “Day by Day” along with them. It was also their 10 year anniversary of being a band and it shows. They were nailing it and we all loved it.
And finally, the VLHS hometown heroes in Horror Squad took the stage. This five piece just spent one hell of a time putting out their new record and it is absolutely fantastic. Their record is so amazing you will just have to listen to it. Like, you need to buy it. Go do that right now. It’s that good. Oh yea and their set was great too, I guess. I’m just kidding; it was more than great. It was absolutely indescribably fantastic!
As the night came to a close, we were treated to a very heartfelt thank you speech by Marty, who booked the show. Although he had come up to speak several times, this last one was extra meaningful. He told us that even though it was gone, we were at VLHS, that this bar was VLHS. And he was right. Everything I had come to know and love about that place was there. Like myself, people had driven to this show from far away to be there in that space together. Because it’s not about where you are at, it’s the people that fill the space. To the wonderful, amazing, talented, beautiful people – I love you all so much. Thank you for letting me come home.
And for once, I didn’t puke at Jimmy’s house later.
The wonderful Eden Kittiver was taking photos for Horror Squad on commission, so you’ll have to deal with a gallery of my photos of the night below. Enjoy!