L.A. Witch Shea Stadium Highlark



The thing about Shea Stadium is that it’s modeled on the DIY music venues of years past; the microscopic stages and painted bathrooms that marked the lives of so many weird teenagers discovering things come back to life in the Bushwick walk-up, and let those who were born a little too late be cool again. Wednesday’s L.A. Witch show fit the place well, saving the theatrics and opting for a laid-back performance under the homemade Christmas- tree light fixtures hanging from the ceiling.


The girls (Ellie English on drums, Irita Pai on bass, and Sade Sanchez on vocals and lead guitar) have a subtle chemistry based on precision, forming a triangle in which each element is dependent on the next- Sade feeds off Irita and her powerhouse bass, who in turn launches her progressions off of Ellie’s classic, pounding beat. The band’s overall effect is a stoic one, stepping away from the scores of indie groups that cannot seem to control their sound on stage and let it run like egg yolks. L.A Witch takes said egg yolks, fries ‘em to a golden crisp, and serves the whole thing up with a day- glo green margarita on the side. There’s no time for stage banter either; Sade throws out a select few thank you’s and goes back to doing her thing, head bent slightly forward, leather boots keeping balance in time to the music.

L.A. Witch Shea Stadium Highlark
L.A. Witch

Her vocal capacity is intriguing; there’s always a bit of venom, a bit of dragging psychedelia, and surprisingly, nothing is lost in translation from recording to reality or vice- versa. All the nuances remain intact, as does the relationship between her guitar and Irita’s bass; when the two decide to work in perfect unison, the effect builds and builds until it can’t go no higher, and that’s when it explodes once again, rushing into the half- lit kaleidoscopic tunnel that defines so many of the band’s tracks. L.A. Witch plays what she loves and loves what she plays, and the band’s charm lies in the fact that they stay entirely innovative and fresh while simultaneously holding on to that smoky, flickering neon Sunset Strip cadence. I can see Sade in the role of lizard queen, driving some pastel blue machine with her band mates beside her, all three of them sipping Jarritos Cola behind dark sunglasses.

Prior to L.A Witch, the show included a set each from Psymon Spine and High Waisted, both bands with enormous potential. The former, a synth/electro- pop four piece was genuinely excited to be playing their first show with a new drummer, and they hit it out of the dark little ballpark that is Shea Stadium. Their blend of harmonics, effects, and down- to- earth instrumentals was by far past opener status, and had a happy- go- lucky tone that, quite simply, felt good.

High Waisted Shea Stadium Highlark
High Waisted

High Waisted followed, and began with a mellow, almost bluesy couple of tunes, amplifying the sound with every song and growing more comfortable at the same time. With a charismatic Jessica Dye on vocals, their set ended with an unbridled display of passion on her part, and characteristically sound instrumentals from the rest of the band members, who pick up on each other’s energy with an inherent and calculated sense of cohesion.

It was a show foreshadowing the soundtrack for the coming Brooklyn summer, which will be fast, air- conditioned, and polluted, but not without its fleeting industrial charm that allows one to venture outside sock-less in dirty vans and dirty baseball cap, sweating bullets and reckless hope.


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L.A. Witch Shea Stadium Highlark

Photos © Anita Maksimiuk. All Rights Reserved.