The Matches and Dizzy Balloon at the Cat Club in Los Angeles

The Matches played The Cat Club in Los Angeles Wednesday night! It’s no secret that these Oakland, Cali rockers are a MiscPause favorite, and it’s been almost two months since the last time we sat down with the band so it only seemed appropriate that we highlight their set.

If you haven’t already been to The Cat Club, it’s a tiny venue next to the Whiskey A Go Go on the Sunset Strip. If you’re looking for a sign you’ll miss it. Just park behind the Whiskey ($8) and walk around the building. Next to Duke’s you’ll see a small door with a velvet rope and absolutely no name or indication that you’re at a venue. The only clue will be the music streaming through the door.

Once The Cat Club was located, it was time for the show. The Matches went on around 10pm and played a full set of fan favorites and threw in three new songs from what will be their much-anticipated fourth studio album, which unfortunately, at this point, has no anticipated release date. The new tunes, “Wicked Walk” (about singer Sean Harris’ girlfriend and the way she saunters down the stree), “My Day” (a birthday song) and “Needs and Wants” (about making the distinction between the two) were well-recieved by the crowd, who packed out the tiny venues tables, and stood along the bar craning necks to see the stage. Of course, the guys closed with the groovy “Papercut Skin” which has become a super favorite of mine, and the crowd roared (as loud as 50 people can) in applause.

As a special surprise to everyone, The Matches brought fellow Oaklanders and quirky pop/rock divas Dizzy Balloon to Los Angeles with them. Apparently there was an opening on the bill, and The Matches called DB that morning asking them to play. So, much to my surprise, I had to opportunity to catch an amazing set by Dizzy Balloon too!

These guys have become on of my favorite new bands. (Check out the feature we did for RedGorilla back in March.) Their sound is a mix of bands like HelloGoodbye, and Boys Like Girls but with an alternative edge that’s upbeat and fun. The shining quality that sets DB apart from the rest, however, is their strong Beatles influences that are ever-present in their simple melodies and huge on-stage presence. This band knows how to bring down the house and that’s just what they did Wednesday night. Even though most of the room had cleared out, halfway through their set DB busted out a cover of the Beatles’ “She’s So Heavy” and absolutely killed it. Normally I would cringe at hearing a young band like them were tackling such an iconic song, but everything from the vocals to the arrangement fit these guys perfectly. I would say it was reminiscent of the Across The Universe version that appeared on the soundtrack, but DB fleshed out the feeling of the song, and really made it their own with soaring guitars shredding over the top of sultry power chords. For me, there’s no better cover they could have done. “She’s So Heavy” showcased everything that makes DB special, and I’m so glad they’ve continued to make it part of their set list.

Dizzy Balloon played other favorites like “Chinatown” and “Jane” and then ended their set with the infectious “Raise A Glass” which had the few remaining patrons dancing along, glasses in the air as the song calls for. The whole set was fantastic, and seeing these guys again was the cherry on top of a perfect evening.

If you’re going to be in L.A. on the 29t of April make sure you catch The Matches’ next show at The Roxy’s upstairs bar. This show was originally scheduled for the Troubadour, but has been moved so make sure to check their MySpace for further updates as they come.

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