Six years ago Will Castro and Ezequiel “Ziggy” Pelayo started a record label to help out their friend’s bands. In six years they have built a community of like-minded individuals that spans the entire West Coast through one motto – “Without each other, we have nothing.” Seis años later and La Escalera’s birthday party has spread across three days and two countries, with people from all over the US and Mexico converging in Southern California to celebrate. The following takes place at the Tower Bar in San Diego, California.
Sitting at my desk at work, I took a quick glance at the clock and noted it was 1:30 PM. “Great, a few hours and I can ditch this place,” I mumbled to no one in particular. I continued trudging my way through my duties, preparing myself for being away for the upcoming weekend. An eternity passed. I checked the time; it was 1:35 PM. Fuck.
I’ve never moved faster in my life than when that clock finally hit 3:30 PM. I ran out the door as while screaming ‘bye, bye’ like a maniac. I was soon in my car, at my girlfriend’s house, and on our way to Toronado in record time. Kendra and I had been planning on visiting this secret tiki bar in San Diego for months, and I’d be damned if we missed our reservations! Of course… we did. Between San Diego traffic, having ‘just one drink’ at Toronado, convincing Ricky Schmidt to come with us, and me missing the exit off the freeway a solid three times, we missed our window by a half an hour. Thank the fucking lord and savior Jesus Christ that the secret tiki bar wasn’t insanely packed on a Thursday. We were let in with the caveat of don’t even fucking think about sitting in one of the booths, which of course we immediately did. Fuck you if you think we were going to enjoy our overpriced booze in a sauna AND be forced to stand.
We were on our way back to Toronado to drop Ricky off for work when I got the call that Sergio, our good world-traveling buddy, was back in town and going to meet us for a drink. It had been months since I last saw him, and he promised he was going to do his best to actually hang out this year. (He kept showing up and bailing at La Escalera Fest 5). We caught up for a little while before suddenly realized we were all in town for shows and not just to hang. We jammed over to The Tower Bar for our first round of music, the La Escalera Pre-Fest.
By the time we dragged our increasingly drunk asses over there, we had missed Ugly Wars, the new project from Dylan Wolters. However, we were able to catch the second half of Ash Williams‘ set. I don’t take notes at shows because I’m a hella, super-duper professional. So truth be told, I don’t remember much of anything that happened while the next four bands played. The only explanation is I must have slipped through some sort of worm hole, falling out of space time only to regain my grip on the 4th dimension right as City Mouse began playing. Either that or the giant bowl of high proof rum I drank earlier finally caught up to me and whooped my ass. Which is a real bummer because I really wanted to see (and remember) Spanish Love Songs. I do have an extremely vague recollection of Atlantic Answers, and screaming at people “I dig their sound” like a shitty drunk movie version of a scummy 70s record producer. But such is life; sometimes you go hard. The good news is Miski and her band of weekend Mouseketeers were able to close out the night in spectacular fashion. This was made all the more impressive by the fact this iteration of the band had their first full band practice a mere day before.
As soon as the show ended I made sure Kendra had a place to stay for the night, found my girlfriend sleeping in the car, and hauled ass back home. Sure going out and having fun on a Thursday seems like a good idea until you realize, “Oh fuck, I have to be awake tomorrow at 6:00 AM to go to work.” But despite my small bout of show amnesia (shownesia™), the La Escalera Six6Seis Pre-fest show was a nice primer coat for the impending festivities.
Check out the photos from the Pre-Fest at Tower Bar below and make sure to check back tomorrow for Night 1 of La Escalera Fest 6!