Los Angeles – Just a handful of days after performing to a packed house at the mid-size venue The Fonda Theater, The Shelters took to the much more intimate confines of Bardot, as part of the venue’s School Night series. Instead of opening for a music legend, like the band did as the opening act for Tom Petty’s rekindled Mudcrutch project, The Shelters performed just a few feet away from the audience that filled the space completely (but could not have numbered more than a few hundred). Attached to the trendy Hollywood nightclub Avalon on Vine Street in Hollywood, the Bardot nightclub provided an excellent setting to witness the band’s hard-hitting rock and roll sound. The band was recently a Featured Artist on Best New Bands. While performing with a rock and roll icon may seem like an intimidating experience for a young band, the quartet from Los Angeles is no stranger to working with legends – Petty himself produced the band’s album.
The band showcased a handful of songs from its self-titled debut studio album, filling in the gaps with some other material. While The Shelters only had around 20 minutes on stage, the four-piece made the most of its brief appearance. The group is led by a trio of vocalists in guitarist Josh Jove, bassist Jacob Pilott, and guitarist Chase Simpson and bolstered by the powerful drumming of Sebestian Harris. The band does not stray far from a pop-oriented garage rock template, which is infused with a touch of virtuosic bluesy guitar riffage. Despite sticking to a trademark sound, the band is never dull or monotonous. The Shelters mix up the pacing and atmosphere in a manner that keeps the band’s albums and live sets intriguing throughout, and much of this is owed to the different vocal dynamics of each singer. The band did not have a hard time connecting with the audience – due to the close quarters of School Night at Bardot many of them were dancing just a few feet from the musicians.
It did not take the band long to launch into the first single from The Shelters and most recognizable song, “Rebel Heart.” A solid chunk of pop-rock, the song has a slight punk edge and bouncing tempos that make it a perfect sing-along track. Those qualities and the undeniable influence of the band’s producer all over it had the audience dancing and singing along throughout. An additional highlight of the short set was another song from the foursome’s debut full-length. Titled “Liars,” this moodier cut featured vocals from bassist Jacob Pillot and has a slightly darker edge than other songs in the band’s discography. Expect to hear a lot more from The Shelters as the band continues to perfect its easy-to-like garage rock sound.