Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Astra Heights, Von Iva, The Blacks, The Bruises @ BOTH, 5/23/08

May 24, 2008

It was the beginning of a 3 day weekend, and Bottom of the Hill was percolating with the local hip crowd ready to kick it off right. The eclectic but well balanced lineup was ready to deliver: 3 locals, 1 LA neighbor, lots of chicks and a few dudes, some rock, some electro, and a lot of tambourine.

The night began with Astra Heights, from LA, who I have been trying to see for what seems like a year now. This always worries me because I’ve built up expectations listening to the album, and I’ve often been let down. I was floored to discover that this was not the case. Normally when bands try to pull from a wide variety of influences, it works against them, but Astra Heights pulls it off. You can hear that these guys grew up on Queen, Zeppelin, Santana, The Beatles, and perhaps a little grunge era hits here and there. But these influences were just a jumping off point for their own distinct sound. Their substance is backed by a great rock n roll style presentation- they’ve got the right ‘look’ without seeming like they are trying too hard, and they make the most of moving around the little stage; they are fun to watch. Mark’s vocals have an impressive range; the live version is just as good as the recorded version, something that many bands have problems with. The highlight of the set was ‘The Whole World Changes’, a great love song that transcends being sappy.



Next up was The Bruises, which sounded good ‘on paper’ but came across way too whiny emo estrogen-y for me. I did like their Lite Brite setup at the merch booth.

After this set, we were handed tambourines. Apparently, there would be audience participation in this next set. Some classic Snoop Dogg toons started blaring, and who knew that the tambourine went so well with Gin and Juice. When The Blacks hit the stage, there was a tambourine explosion headed by Mr. Tambourine Man, dressed in white on stage. Seriously, all he did was wildly play the tambourine- on the stage, on the floor, on the drums, everywhere. He was a living breathing gimmick for this band, and I’ve have to say, I think it worked. The minimalist rock sound was way, way too close to the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, especially when paired with the singer, who looked like Karen O’s slightly older doppleganger, dressed in fishnets, hot pants, and a shirt that said MC Gee. It was interesting…



Last but not least, Von Iva brought the electro to the stage. The lead singer has an amazing voice, but her stage presence needs a little work. The major mistake was forgetting the words to one of their new songs. Then she tried to swing the mic and it hit the ceiling. They also has some problems with crunchy sound which was cutting out the vocals. They have some catchy songs, but ‘Not Hot to Trot’ sounds decidedly The Faint-ish. It’s fun if you’re drunk music, but I thought that they were slightly overhyped.

OVERALL: 7.5/10
Von Iva performance: 6.5/10
The Blacks performance: 7.5/10
The Bruises performance: 5/10
Astra Heights performance: 8/10
venue (Bottom of the Hill): 8.5/10
crowd/scene: 8/10
value ($10.00/ticket): 9/10
memorable: 7.5/10

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

A New Level: Metallica, Pantera, and Mammoth VH @ SoFi Stadium Los Angeles, 8/25/23

“Now a new look in my eyes my spirit riseForget the pastPresent tense works and lastsGot shit on, pissed on,…

September 4, 2023

Gimme Danger: Iggy Pop & The Losers with Grace McKagan @ The Pearl Las Vegas, 4/29/23

“Gimme danger, little strangerAnd I feel with you at easeGimme danger, little strangerAnd I’ll feel your disease There’s nothing in…

May 29, 2023

Kill or Become: Cannibal Corpse, Dark Funeral, Immolation, Black Anvil at House of Blues Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay 11/25/22

“Living out the days and nights in absolute fearNever knowing when and where thethreat of the undead draws nearThoughts of…

December 3, 2022

Looks That Kill: Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison, & Joan Jett & The Blackhearts @ Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, 9/9/22

“Now, listen up She’s a razor sharp If she don’t get her way She’ll slice you apart Now she’s a…

September 19, 2022

A Dangerous Meeting: Mercyful Fate, High on Fire, Paradise Lost, Fugitive, Suicidal Tendencies, Bone Thugs -n- Harmony, Frozen Soul, Emperor, Mayhem, Carcass, and Wolves in the Throne Room @ Psycho Las Vegas @ Resort World, 8/19-21/22

“Oh, they should have knownNot to play with the powers of HellSome people have lost their waySome people have lost…

August 30, 2022

Among the Living: Anthrax 40th Anniversary Tour with Black Label Society @ Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, 7/28/22

“I’m the walking dudeI can see all the worldTwist your minds with fearI’m the man with the powerAmong the living,…

August 19, 2022

Mad World: Tears for Fears, Garbage @ Kia Forum in Los Angeles, 6/4/22

“And I find it kind of funny I find it kind of sad The dreams in which I’m dying Are…

June 12, 2022

She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult, Des Roc @ House of Blues Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay 5/8/22

“The sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive And the sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive, keeps me alive…

May 27, 2022

Rock You Like A Hurricane: Scorpions, Skid Row @ Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas 4/3/22

“It’s early morning, the sun comes out Last night was shaking and pretty loud My cat is purring, it scratches…

April 15, 2022

Turbo Lover: 50 Years of Heavy Metal with Judas Priest and Queensrÿche @ Zappos Theater, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino Las Vegas, 3/13/22

“We hold each other closer, as we shift to overdrive And everything goes rushing by, with every nerve alive We…

March 22, 2022