Prison for Kids/Guy Blakeslee/Los Angeles @ Three Clubs 1/25/12

Written by Julian Sosa
Photography by Aida Daneshvar

The Wednesday night show at 3 Clubs (a gorgeous double-bar venue, with a small stage in its main room, very much in the vein of the Mint or the defunct Fairfax Ave Largo club, but with a darker, sexier look) featured three bands I did not know much about going in, but I left pleasantly surprised by them and quite inspired by their performances.

The first band to come on was Prison for Kids, a two-man group consisting of Christopher Dreisbach and Cesar Ochoa, but that also counted with the presence of Mike Cameron as guest bassist and Andrew Behjatnia as drummer. Dreisbach’s strong voice ranged from a gentle dreaminess to an exuberating passion, showcasing the band’s distinctive sound, unafraid of juxtaposing softer and louder beats. The transition to Ochoa’s vocals was also seamless, as he displayed great chemistry with Dreisbach on stage, striking their perfect musical balance. This was particularly true during the closing track of their set, one that started with a captivating soft intro before their guitars took over. Overall, it was an electric performance by a group that feels fully realized and ready for prime.

Guy Blakeslee (of The Entrance Band) was next after a relatively long set up time. However, he proved to be worth the wait and when his act began all my doubts raised by his unusual outfit and anxiety by the minor delay dissipated. His haunting voice, combined with some powerful guitar riffs, was as moving as anything I’ve heard in a live show in recent memory, on a quite epic set opener. Blakeslee was truly fearless during a couple of acapella songs, as he dug deep within himself and brought out his heart to put on display. It was definitely visceral, to say the least. This man is genuinely intense and radiates an overwhelming energy and it’s impossible not to get caught up in it.

Mike Cameron’s Los Angeles was the last of the night. This collective, with a wide range of guest vocalists, also features Nick Cullen on guitar and back-up vocals. They opened with some instrumental electronic tracks that made several people in the crowd immediately jump to the dance floor. Christopher Dreisbach, who provided some vocals for Los Angeles, did his part to inspire the audience also, dancing enthusiastically while on stage. Cameron’s presence was something to behold though. It was a show of pure confidence and pure energy, and the dancing crowd fed off of that energy and asked for more and Cameron continually gave it to them. It was a set that made everyone in the club want to jump out of their bones. Nothing but love for Mike Cameron’s exhilarating vocals: his voice becomes very brooding, in the style of an Ian Curtis, behind his synthesizer beats and the result is just intoxicating. Los Angeles feels like an electro ode to that city one can’t help to have a never-ending, torrid love/hate relationship with.

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