Thee Commons at Teragram Ballroom


It seems the burdensome “radius clause” didn’t effect some of our favorite bands on the Coachella lineup.  Over the past couple weeks, Coachella acts from outside the SoCal bubble – like Downtown Boys and Surfbort – have been gigging all around LA, OC, and SD.  On 4/20, Viva! Presents put on a super rad show at the Teragram Ballroom featuring Thee Commons, Downtown Boys, Surfbort, and Tall Juan.

I’m not sure if all Teragram shows start and end so early, but the festivities started at 8pm sharp, and the headliner (Thee Commons) started their set at least 15 minutes ahead of schedule?!? Are the early times to blame for the thin crowd during the first couple bands?  Or maybe we can blame the 4/20 blaze? Regardless, it took a minute for The Teragram to really warm up, but once it did it was a killer good time!


Tall Juan at Teragram Ballroom


Tall Juan, the Queen’s-based, self-described “Latin Elvis,” opened the night up.  According to Crystal, her favorite part was when Juan took his shirt off, but we were also treated to some new jams from Tall Juan’s upcoming LP, Golden Oldies, which drops on May 5 via BUFU Records.  Brooklyn’s Surfbort were up after and they were entertaining as hell.  Singer Dani Miller (who recently offered up a great contribution to Jennifer Clavin’s Can You Deal? zine) is a serious threat on stage, and the band as a whole were 100% punk attitude.


Downtown Boys at Teragram Ballroom


We had long been waiting for Providence’s Downtown Boys to come back around, and they did not disappoint!  Despite the catchy, chaotic, sax-backed punk a la X-Ray Spex meets Los Crudos, their greatest strength for me is their ability to be direct in their calls to action, and this was certainly on display throughout the show.  Truly fearless in their commitment to questioning hegemony – just take their recent open letter re: the politics and realities of Coachella as a prime example.  So good.

Last up was East LA’s own Thee Commons, who really brought the dance party.  Their self-described brand of “cumbia punk” is likely to suck you in and spit you out dancing your pants off!  Throughout the show different dancers would visit the stage (including a pink gorilla dude!), and in the end they all came together to lead a bumpin’ conga line throughout the venue.

Overall, the show was a great way to celebrate the 4/20 holiday 😉


35mm photos by Sergio Estrada