Before the show, guitarist-singer Echo Diaz chugs from two beers, gripping one in each fist. Genevieve Rodriguez, the other singer-guitarist, approaches the mic to announce a brief delay.
“I think our drummer is peeing,” she says. While Ernesto Olivo breaks the seal, Rodriguez promises new songs on the set list tonight, but the band will have to warm up with some Kick It! standards first. “Consider this foreplay,” she says.
The crowd, packed past fire-code-mocking capacity, screams. Olivo fights his way back from the bathroom, and the band launches into “LP,” a Rodriguez-screeched vocal-chord ripper spiked with sharp dual-guitar thrash and Jeremy Rhodes’ squealing keyboards. Playing with two guitarists and no bassist, Rhodes’ keys and microKorg occasionally provide a low-end balance, but more often add to the high-pitched aural assault.
And speaking of aural assault, put your ear to the “Glory Hole,” in which Rhodes belts out steady high notes with an industrial-strength diaphragm while Diaz shreds an off-kilter riff requiring a trance-like state of concentration. She stands facing the window behind Olivo’s drum kit with her eyes rolled back, tilting her head from side to side and mouthing the occasional lyric.
Olivo, drenched in sweat by the second song, provides frenzied drum work that is high-speed and high-hat heavy, giving a supportive rhythmic structure for new song “They Want Your Blood” before it descends into pure glorious noise. The front row simultaneously dances and moshes, threatening to topple the tightly clustered crowd with every beat.
Unbelievably, three rows of spectators have forced themselves to the front since the show began, pushing Diaz back until she’s nearly straddling the bass drum. Twice she kicks over the Corona she’s set on the floor behind her. A dreadlocked girl slings her nearly empty beer above her head, flinging droplets in nearby faces.
Rodriguez, in a feathered fedora and unhooked suspenders, takes back the mic.
“This is for all the straight guys who think I’m gonna steal their girlfriends,” she says, introducing “Gay Thunder Rolls,” and by the time her Western-tinge guitar hook becomes distorted by Diaz’s string scratches, it’s clear those breeders won’t stand a chance.