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Music Review: Weatherbox stands out at The Wire

Michael Escañuelas
Arts Editor

A majority of Upland missed out on one of the best shows at The Wire venue in the downtown area on Thursday, Feb 4.

Experimental rockers Weatherbox proved how satisfying it is to see a band with this much talent and individuality.

Weatherbox, who hails from San Diego, stems from the mind of Brian Warren. With a reputation of flaky band rotation, Warren recruited three additional band mates for the tour, including Little Brazil and ex-Desaparecidos member, Landon Hedges. The show was composed of two local acts, The Vinyl Thieves and Spirit Fangs, and another San Diego native act, Da Bears.

Weatherbox, who are signed with Doghouse Records, debuted with its release, “American Art” in 2007. The album received critical acclaim and conjured a lot of buzz surrounding the band.

After jumping on tours with acts like Manchester Orchestra and Say Anything, Weatherbox released “The Cosmic Drama” in 2009, their latest release on Doghouse.

Dubbed as the “No Friends” Tour, Weatherbox’s Wire show was the first date for the band and the tour then takes them through California to New York. The tour is composed with many bands sharing the bill, including Da Bears who are playing on the first four dates of the tour.

For this show, the first two slots were composed of two local acts. Bringing in modest crowds consisting of about 15 people, these two acts entertained audience members, but never showed any signs of lasting musicianship.

Da Bears brought some diversity to the stage with songs that were influenced by jazz and rock. The blend was an interesting mix with singer Ryan Solomon’s vocals. Da Bears proved to be an enjoyable opening act and appropriate for the experimental sound Weatherbox promotes.

Following Da Bear’s set, Weathebox took the stage and opened with an explosive new song, called “The Bullets” and continued with some tracks off their last album, “The Cosmic Drama.” The album, which was a blend of acoustic, rock and unique song writing, was a swift change from the tone of “American Art.” The audience stayed consistent throughout the night with Weatherbox playing to about 35 people, proving that most of Upland missed one of the best acts to play at The Wire venue.

After playing a mixture of old songs from “American Art” and “The Cosmic Drama,” Weatherbox played a song off their new 7” vinyl release, “Christ Puncher,” which was one of the highlights of the night.

Entitled “Broken Gold Sticks,” the song again twisted the signature sound of Brian’s Songwriting and musicianship to create one of the best moments of the night. The song was an example of the band’s tightness and mature sound.

Within the middle of the set the band opened up the floor for some questions from the audience during a tuning session. During this time, Weatherbox showed some humor and expressed some hilarious views regarding religion and their new release. These small intermissions took place throughout many of the breaks between songs.

After playing a little less than an hour, the band closed with the song “Trippin’ the Light Fantastic” from their self proclaimed “high brow” release “American Art.” The song displayed some amazing talent from drummer Drew Bent. The song was fast paced and included great drum fills and difficult tempo speeds. The song was a fantastic closer that reflected just how talented these guys really are.

Not many people know about Weatherbox. Although their sound is very unique, they do not have the mainstream appeal that could reach the casual MTV audience. Luckily, their musicianship and talent proves their music is undeniable.

Michael Escañuelas can be reached at

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