A crowd of students waited for the first guitar riff of the semester to fill up The Depot’s tight corners this past Wednesday night. The room transformed into a showcase of unique soundscapes, blending the chatter of the audience with live music, heavily dominated by rhythm guitar and dripping with reverb.
Tucked away in the “dungeon” of the Cesar Chavez Student Center, the crowd danced away a long day of classes to the music of local bands Tino Drima and Talk of Shamans, along with LA-based Wax Children.
Singer and guitarist Greg DiMartino and drummer Bobby Pills make up the psychedelic indie-rock duo Tino Drima. Marked by a melodious guitar, poppy backbeats and strong vocals, the duet had the audience stomping their feet throughout the whole set.
The audience held onto cups of beer from The Pub, creating a relaxed atmosphere evocative of a good old-fashioned garage party or house show.
Wax Children, a quartet from Covina, Calif., incorporates elements of progressive, experimental, psychedelic and distinct ’60s and ’70s rock influences. The band is made up of lead singer and guitarist Victor Paredes, bassist Luis Rodarte, guitarist Alfonso Salcido III and drummer Julian Keith.
Having gone through several different names and band members over the past couple of years, Wax Children settled with their current name, feeling that it correctly encompasses their equally mysterious and psychedelic sound, according to Salcido.
“(The name is) kind of like our music… hard to define,” said the guitarist.
Talk of Shamans, the headliners of the show, are no strangers to the intimate campus venue after performing on its stage nearly 15 times. As soon as the alt-rock trio hit the stage and set up their instruments, a wave of tension washed over the audience.
Front man Eric Alban, along with bassist Joey Buttita and drummer Ian Adels create a mix of raw vocals and psychedelic sound patterns with a strong bassline, a sound slightly reminiscent of early Strokes and Animal Collective. Adels describes it as “psychedelic, experimental pop.”
Between bands, The Depot was filled with students and chatter as they waited. “My favorite part is creating a space for people to meet each other and have a good time,” said Lizzy Schliessman, a BECA student who has been organizing shows at The Depot for two years.
The Depot kicked off the first week of classes with a bang and will continue to bring the noise with one or two shows a week throughout the semester.