Another night of (mostly) acoustic music came to Santa Clara as five bands took the floor for a stripped down show at Studio Bongiorno on March 13.
Starting the night with a gypsy folk instrumental set by the Hijos de la Llorona (Children of the Woman who Cried), the show, orchestrated by Dragon House Productions, proved to be an eclectic mix of sounds by bands likely to be the next big thing in the music scene.
Santa Clara’s The Citrus Sound, playing as a trio, instead of their normal five–part ensemble, performed second, mixing their folky rock, harmonic melodies into original and cover tunes, before Hella Jalapenos, performing for the second time at the studio, rounded out the first half of the night.
In their debut Studio Bongiorno performance, Sweet HayaH, who was playing in their final show before heading to Texas for a festival this week, added soul to their ska performance, making for an interesting mix that proved to be one of the highlights of the evening.
“It was so fun – intimate,” said Sweet HayaH lead singer Nehal Abuelata. “I’m not used to not having a microphone. It was good energy. As a performer, being this close to the audience is really special because you’re stripped. You can’t lie about how you feel and you can’t lie about how you sound. And, in your audience, the people can’t lie about being into it or not because there’s no distance.”
Closing the night of music was New Jersey’s Survay Says, who will be embarking on a tour of the United Kingdom later this year with Goldfinger. Although not playing acoustically often, Survay Says’ Henry Menzel was excited about the band’s low–key set.
“It’s a little more relaxing,” he said, “because our stage show is more energetic. We’re usually running and jumping around but it’s kind of like having a day off without having a day off – we still get to play … When we do acoustic shows, it’s mostly kind of improv, which is fun and allows us to flex our musical muscle. We play our instruments well and every night we kind of do the same thing – the same songs – and this is kind of peppering in different things. It’s fun. Everybody here is really, really talented and I think our musical translates acoustically well. I just hope we add to the show.”
With a packed house, Survay Says took the floor of the studio’s main space, doing just what Menzel wanted – adding to the show and essentially capping off the night.
“I loved everything about tonight,” said Abuelata, noting that she would enjoy playing at the studio–gallery again when Sweet HayaH returns from Texas. “We’ve never been here before, but this is one of the coolest places I’ve been to in this area.”