I’m starting to really love the Atlanta music scene; there’s so much variety. First, a huge festival with The Strokes (Shaky Knees) just 2 short weeks ago, and now a small and loud show at a good-kind-of-seedy venue (“Hell” at The Masquerade) with up-and-coming synth-rock-and-rollers Rey Pila.
Rey Pila opened with “Blast” and then dove into “Alexander” right away – probably the song they are best known for at this point. And then: Every. Song. Was. Perfection. My only gripe: They didn’t play any of their songs that are in Spanish. No “Sordo’, no “No. 114”, no “Suspiria.” Did they think the crowd wouldn’t be into it/wouldn’t know them? Sure, if you’re not a Spanish speaker, you many not follow along to the lyrics, but the music speaks for itself. And they are damn fine songs, my friends.
During the show, everyone of the guys – Diego Solórzano, Andrés Velasco, Rodrigo Blanco, Miguel Hernández, and Sebastian – looked out into the crowd, smiled at fans, looked directly at you. It was like they were there just for you, without this unsaid barrier between the spectators and the musicians that you often feel at shows. At many moments, Diego stood on the edge of the stage looking down and out into the crowd. He even jumped down and joined us on the floor, smiling and loving every minute. No one rushed at him; we just danced and sung along with him.
I love these guys. You can tell that everyone really likes each other and loves the music they play together. And they each stand strong individually as musicians as well. Maybe it was the tiny stage, but together in front of the crowd, their energy was electric. I’m guessing that not much of the crowd knew of the band, but I’d bet Rey Pila’s been added to their personal Spotify playlists by now. Song after song, Rey Pila’s sound gets more infectious and dance-able; you can’t help yourself singing along even when you don’t know the words. (Hint to Rey Pila: please play your Spanish songs live!)
Afterwards, each of the guys hung around the merch table, greeting fans, shaking hands, and making new friends. Diego even offered to buy us beers and gave us a shirt. Rodrigo handed us stickers, Miguel introduced us to his girlfriend, and Sebastian asked us how they sounded since there was no sound check. The best word I can think of to describe these guys is accessible. Not only are they polite, but they are appreciative and genuine. Before the show, while we were speculating about which tour bus was theirs, the band pulled up in a cargo van. They unpacked their equipment, and later set up the stage on their own. How could you not love these guys? Surprisingly, I kept my cool – maybe because I’m a new(ish) fan and haven’t been googly-eyed over the band for ages. I did have a total fan girl moment when I took a selfie with Diego (squeeee!!!!).
Radiation City kicked off the nite with their blend of crooning, mumbled vocals and moody melodies. After Rey Pila, The Rentals (including Radiation City band members) headlined the evening – an odd pairing. These guys have played big festivals, little shows, and everything in between. Honestly, I’m surprised to see them opening for The Rentals in hidden underground dungeons like The Masquerade. I mean, come on, they toured with Interpol last year! Hunger taking over, we skipped out and ended the nite the same way we end every great show – at a 24-hour diner.
It’s worth mentioning that as we waited outside under The Masquerade’s awning in the rain, we met Ticket, a homeless man with a gift for the spoken word performance. Watch his 2-minute monologue, where he reflected on his past life (eviction, “not a penny in my pocket”) and his current situation (“What am I stepping into? What has become of me, Lord?”). Ticket: “Look inside my bones. In my bones, all you’ll see is dryness. Not even all the gold, all the cash, or a good piece of ass can defibrillate my dry bones. … Look at that corner over there. It looks dry and comfortable, and tonight it will be the place where I rest my dry bones.”
Rey Pila 052615 @ 9:00 p.m.
The Masquerade, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta, Georgia
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