Photos by Liana Minassian
Don’t forget to check out more photos from Hindu Pirates Tape Release Party!
Here’s an idea: throw an all-ages party with free beer and cool bands but neglect to check any IDs and don’t hire bouncers, just hope the kids take care of themselves. What could possibly happen?
As you may have guessed, a lot of shit can happen when you mix up illicit liquor with teen aggression, much of it bad, and we saw it all at Hindu Pirates’ tape release party last Friday at Ambig in Santa Ana. To name a few choice bits: drunk bros, naked people, fights, flying beer cans, people climbing on cars and ladders, people climbing on each other, more fights except this time with extra ultra violence and a special appearance by the cops.
Check out some highlights.
On the one hand, this show was really fun. The night was warm and the bands all played well despite persistent sound issues. There were several really great moments, the best of which was Hindu Pirates turning a shitty situation (the PA blowing out right before their first song) into a spontaneous rock and roll event by playing an entirely instrumental set and entreating the crowd to jump onstage to join in, which they did.
Left without an instrument, Hindu Pirates lead singer/keyboardist Austin Ferreira had to find something to preoccupy himself while his band played on without him. First, he grabbed an extra pair of drumsticks started beating along on with drummer Ben Tinsley’s floor tom.
Then he climbed onto the nearby truck and started banging on its side in time to the music. A tambourine was also involved at some point and, if this photo is any indication, a bass. Though he’d done his fair share of imbibing prior to playing, Austin had enough sense to move his keyboard safely out of reach of the crush of drunk kids who rushed the stage. It was possibly the most responsible thing anyone did that night.
The crowd had turned restless long before Blackfeet Braves started to play (case in point: a circle pit for Black Elephant, really?), but the San Diego based band bore the brunt of the growing disquiet during their truncated set. As they ran through songs off their new CD, a pair of sauced bros kept interrupting by jumping up on stage, singing into the microphone, and generally acting like boorish drunks. For a band that trades in super chilled out retro rock, this was possibly the worst thing that could happen–except that it wasn’t. The wonky sound system threw Blackfeet Braves totally off balance, destroying the band’s careful arrangement of guitar lines and harmonies. They couldn’t recover and ended their set immediately after finishing a particularly affected song, clearly pissed (and not in the British way.) We’ve seen this band win over rooms with their warm beach psych, so chalk this poor show up to bad vibes and shitty planning.
What is it about being on top a vehicle in front of crowds of people that makes drunk people want to take their clothes off? We may never solve that particular mystery, but show goers who were unlucky enough to catch an eyeful of the gentleman above probably wish they could soak their brains in bleach for a week.
The Really Ugly
You expect a little aggression at rock and roll shows, but straight violence should never acceptable. And unfortunately, this show turned violent. From beer cans being thrown to people being kicked in the head to rumors of a gun being pulled (we didn’t see it ourselves so can’t confirm it), things escalated to the point of dangerous stupidity. If anybody was still feeling a beer buzz at that point, it was immediately negated the moment two pale faced teenagers came running back towards the stage, quaking with fear and babbling about guns, fights, and wanting to go home.
It’s easy to point fingers and say the lack of security made it easier for idiots to start shit and take things too far, but ultimately it was the lack of respect on everyone’s part that turned this show from a fun Friday night party into a free-for-all. Kids policing themselves is a nice idea, but let’s be honest: even middle aged adults turn into animals when free booze is involved (seriously, been to a wedding lately?) so there probably wasn’t any other way this could have gone. We’re just glad we got out of there before the cops blockaded the road.
To end on a good note, all the craziness did result in this rad Hindu Pirates .gif. Go on, stare at it some more. We won’t tell.