The Dollyrots, a Los Angeles based pop/punk duo visited the North Highland Park neighborhood of L.A. to headline a show at the Hi Hat. The Dollyrots, who’s songs are laced with sardonic, tongue in cheek social commentary are completing a 15 dates in 17 days tour which began in Indianapolis and concludes with two shows here in Southern California. The Rah! Rah! Radical Tour is in support of their early 2017 release, Whiplash Splash, and a single on Wicked Cool Records (Steve Van Zandt’s Underground Garage label) called Get Radical.
Honeychain, a Los Angeles trio playing garage alternative rock is the first act of the evening. Consisting of Hillary Burton (guitar,vocals), Loye Aubrey Jr. (drums) and Andre Tusques (bass), Honeychain plays a 30 minute set of their self described chaotic romance, in-your-face garage pop swagger and hypnotic heartbreak. Next up is the duo of Adam Bones (guitar) and Rikki Styxx (drums), known together as The Two Tens. Their half hour slice of the evening is a revved up, quick assault of harmonized punk. They make a good noise for just a two-piece.
The last opener is a quartet with members from Phoenix and L.A., The Darts. The Darts are Michelle Balderrama (guitar), Nicole Laurenne (lead vocals, organ), Christina Nunez (bass), and Rikki Styxx (drums). Styxx, half of The Two Tens, has also toured as drummer for the headliners. The Darts’ utilize their short residence on the stage to indulge the expanding crowd to their brand of grungy, psych rock with industrial-style guitar and an undercurrent of eerie 1960’s horror film organ. Their set is energetic and entertaining, raising the room to an acceptable temperature for the main attraction.
With a set time of 10:45 p.m., it’s 11:20 p.m. when The Dollyrots get to the stage, but nobody within the Hi Hat confines seems to mind. When Luis Cabezas (guitar, vocals) and Kelly Ogden (bass, vocals) hit the stage in front of the brick backdrop, the room is ready to explode. They churn out one satirical tune after another. Starting with I Do, an ode to rather unconventional love in an equally unconventional tempo for a love song. In between songs, they take turns telling elementary school style jokes. The jokes are bad and they know it, which is what makes them funny. The third figure on the stage is the drummer, Justin McGrath, who is playing drums for this tour, and handling the temporary assignment extremely well. The cover of Melanie’s 1971 hit Brand New Key is a crowd favorite and a nicely done, edgier retelling of the classic.
The headliners play for about one hour and 20 minutes. Ramping up the intensity with numbers like the aforementioned Get Radical and Jackie Chan, the audience is swaying and jumping. The duo is joined on stage by The Darts who true to the title of the song, Dance Like a Maniac through the entire tune. Finishing with their hit Because I’m Awesome, the 80 minute musical dash is over. After two and a half weeks of day in and day out playing, the Dollyrots have earned a night’s sleep in their own beds.
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