Article and Photo Credit L. Paul Mann
The legendary Troubadour nightclub was buzzing early on a cold Valentines day evening in Beverly Hills. A seemingly endless line of enthusiastic music fans stretched around the block for the sold out concert. But this wasn’t the likes of Guns N Roses or Depeche Mode, both of which recently played much-hyped gigs at the tiny nightclub. This was a young new band, the Vista Kicks, joyfully kicking off a whirlwind national tour at the prestigious venue.
Ever since the four young musicians in the band moved from their hometown of Sacramento to a tiny apartment in Hollywood in 2015, Vista Kicks have been making a name for themselves in the local music scene. The young long-haired musicians have a very retro almost Beatlesque sound. The band’s youthful good looks and the sheer musicality of their endeavors have led to a loyal following of excited young fans. As members of the group came onstage periodically through the night to announce the opening acts, there would be a flurry of screaming young females adding an even more retro feel to the show.
Speaking of retro music the opening act, Tom Kenny & The Hi-Seas from Los Angeles, brought the ‘50s and ’60s Rock, Soul, and R&B dance party sound to the venue. The band had the sold-out crowd dancing early on with their big band sound. The festive atmosphere counted with the next act, The Jacks. The four young rockers played a set drenched with a heavy influence from the British Invasion of the 1960s and 70s. The band connected well with the young audience.
By the time the Vista Kicks made it to the stage, the excited crowd had surged and pressed against every available space on the floor in front of the stage. The charismatic foursome arrived onstage amidst a sea of screaming young women. The band features Derek Thomas on guitar, keyboards, and vocals, Sam Plecker on guitars and vocals, Trevor Sutton on bass and vocals and Nolan Le Vine on drums and vocals. The band immediately launched into a very retro sounding set of music mostly culled from their new debut album, Booty Shakers Ball. The groups infectious sound mesmerized the crowd and had them dancing and shouting during the entire set. The band has more in common with the pop music of the 60’s and 70’s than most of the other groups in the Indie pop world today. But in their case that is a compliment as the band producers are rich pop sound not unlike that of the Raspberries did back in their day. But somehow the band portrays their retro drenched music as fresh and new, and the young crowd responded accordingly. The group employed a guest guitarist and guest female singer halfway into their set that kept the cement of surprise alive until the end. All together it was a great night of Indie pop music fun at the much revered Troubadour nightclub. The band continues their mini-tour for another month in select cities across the country.