Zig Zags: Fellowship and Rock at K23

click to enlarge CHRIS CONDE
Chris Conde
My favorite thing about K23 (besides the dope live acts they host, obviously) is the sense of family and community that you immediately feel a part of when you walk through the door. Granted, our scene is small and everyone kind of knows everyone, but even with the people I didn’t know at the show last night, I felt like I could trust them. I felt safe, something you don’t always get at other venues in town. It’s clear that Glenn and Gem Hotvet are working hard to curate incredible evenings at K23, and Monday night did not disappoint.

Opening the night was Whatever?, a one piece consisting of singer/guitarist Tony Gnosis and his Tascam 424 4 track recorder. For just one dude with a guitar and a machine, Whatever? packs an unexpected punch. Throughout the 20 minute set, there were some technical difficulties with the Tascam but a member of the audience, maybe a friend (we’re all friends, yay!) came up to assist and hold the chord connecting the machine to the speakers. Despite the occasional break in sound, Whatever? delivered a healthy dose of loud, grungy garage punk in poppy waves of reverb and distortion.

Up next was touring headliners Zig Zags, an all killer, no filler rock and roll band from Los Angeles. It’s easy to label Zig Zags stoner rock (funny cuz they’re named after shoes and not actually the rolling papers) but the trio incorporates so many different elements of rock that the “stoner rock” label just seems (wait for it) unmotivated and lazy. Throughout the show, the LA trio called upon the gods of rock n roll as they channeled old Black Sabbath, Ramones, 80’s thrash, and even Joy Division. Distorted riffs and punk rock drums reverberated off the walls of the small gallery as *Jed, Dane and Caleb enslaved us with heavy hits of nostalgia. Towards the end of the hour-ish set, a friendly mosh pit broke out, shoulders bumping and lone star cans rising in the fists of a cheering audience crying out for more.

Closing the night was Cursus, a doomy two-piece from San Antonio consisting of guitars/vocals/samples by C.J. Salem with drummer Sarah Ann. Distorted melancholic riffs repeated over drums slamming in 6/8 time – felt like an old viking ship riding over the waves through a magnificent storm. Heads banged through the smoke machine fog as CJ and Sarah Ann whisked us to an enchanting close to an evening of friends, fellowship and good ol fashion rock and roll.

*Correction 1:55pm: The original version of this story misidentified the band members (apparently there was a lineup change we weren't aware of). The Current regrets the error.
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