222 Play Last LA Gig Of The Year At The Intimate Cafe Nela THOUGHTS+PHOTOS: 222 @ CAFE NELA LIVE 12/2/17
LOS ANGELES, CA- When I first got turned on to 222 earlier this year, they had just released their sophomore album “I”m Not Trying To Be You”. I was able to catch them play a gig at Lucky Strike Live, and I was instantly impressed with not only their infectious tunes but the joy that they exhibited on stage. They’ve played about a dozen regional shows since then, but I hadn’t been to catch them again until this gig at Cafe Nela.
The line up of the band has changed a little with Valerie Franco stepping in to drum since Tosha Jones moved to Nashville (I think) to drum for The Dead Deads, but the pumped up energy and musicianship from the first time I caught was still all there. Jules Tolentino is still thumping that badass bass-line, and Jade and Dennis are just as fiery fronting the band with their chemistry and rock and roll attitude.
The venue itself, with its low ceilings and dive bar like setting, gave the performance a house-party type vibe. Almost like we were rocking out and partying in high school in friend’s garage. Their large sound filled every inch of the tiny venue, bouncing off the low ceiling as weird psychedelic visuals projected onto them. It all made for a terrifically entertaining (albeit difficult to photograph) performance.
This band’s music hits the right spot. It has catchy pop sensibilities with attitude, and has apparently caught on digitally with their music locally ranked (currently #2 as of December 22, 2017) on Reverbnation.com in the “Dance” category. Dennis and Jade are hoping to set up regional tours in 2018, and I think that’s exactly what they need to get their music on other charts as well.
For you vinyl lovers, their latest album, “I’m Not Trying to be You” is now available on wax. In two colors. Pick up a copy of each.