Music Review: Rockstock 2013
Young and established bands alike played at the Rockstock Music Festival
By Jason Mally | Guest Contributor
October 30, 2013
Saturday, October 19, a multitude of local musicians and bands convened at the Dos Pueblos Ranch to perform at the second annual Rockstock Music Festival. With an impressive lineup, featuring notable homegrown acts Iration and Rebelution as headliners, expectations for the night were set rather high. Fortunately, these expectations were certainly met, if not exceeded, for many of the show’s 1500 plus attendees.
The daylong festival began with a set by the Rockshop Academy musicians, who worked hard over the summer to collaborate on and master many songs. Highlights of their set included a cover of “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet, featuring Alex Epstein and Adele Shraiman, both sophomores at Dos Pueblos, and “Henrietta,” originally by the Fratellis.
The “Rockshoppers” were followed by several newcomers to the Santa Barbara youth band scene. The first of these was Let Flo Go, who showed off their fresh interpretations of several modern alternative and rock songs, including an inventive cover of “Little Black Submarines.” After them was Monkey House, an invigorating hardcore punk band who set the audience amoshing to a number of brief, rapid-fire melodic bursts. Their intensity truly shone through in their performance; guitarist Chimaway Lopez ended the set with bloody knuckles and two snapped strings. Lopez’s performance was met with both shock and first aid.
After a short interlude, featuring several more tunes by the Rockshop students, several veteran bands took to the stage to show off their musical mastery. Among these groups were Stolen Thunder, 50 Below, and Technical Difficulties. Technical Difficulties, now frequently known as Tech D, played a set of almost entirely new music, including their recently written songs “Octanuevo” and “Suspended.” Stone Roshell, drummer for the band and sophomore at San Marcos, reflected on the set, saying, “We had a lot of fun. It was a great venue, with plenty of people, and it was a nice change to play a set of new music.” The change was indeed evident for Tech D, who are promoting their latest EP, Please Stand By.
After another short break, two prominent young bands performed and warmed up the audience for the big names of the night. False Puppet’s tight, energetic set brought a crowd of teenage girls up front and close, as per usual. The Caverns, consisting of two current Dos Pueblos students and one alumnus, kept them there with their flowing, classic rock-inspired vibes and guitarist Sam Kulchin’s electrifying solos. Following them was the Alastair Greene Band, serving up some powerful bluesy rock before the headliners made their appearances.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the night was the level of captivation Iration and Rebelution held over the audience, even with acoustic sets. Iration, in particular, was able to keep the audience grooving to some of their best known hits, despite an issue with a guitar being out of tune. The satisfied attendees sang along in unison to one of their most famous songs, “Falling,” and were left invigorated, waiting for more from Rebelution. As the last act of the night, Rebelution featured a saxophonist, a rather unique component for an acoustic set. Nevertheless, they dazzled the audience, which contained many familiar faces among new fans.
At the night’s close, the crowds of fans filtered out of Dos Pueblos Ranch, both in carpools and Bill’s Bus, tired but happy. Overall, the daylong festival was a definite victory for both music fans and the Rockshop Academy. Prospects are surely bright for next year’s show.