Spooky Good Witch Hunt

We were all so excited about The Witch Hunt this past Friday with Nico Vega & Saint Motel that we’re bringing you the show from a few different angles. Check it out.

By Taylor Van Arsdale

The veils between the worlds were thin October 29 when Saint Motel took the stage just days before All Hallows Eve for a ritual Witch Hunt of fun, frenzy and musical festivities.

This packed show presented by 98.7 FM also featured opening act, Queen Caveat, Imagine Dragons and co-headliner Nico Vega.

Saint Motel; AJ Jackson (guitar and vocals), A Sharp (lead guitar), Dak Lerdamornpong (bass) and Greg Erwin (drums) kicked off their set with a rousing new number which got fans riled up. Sharp, clad in a large witches hat, then bid the crowd, “Happy Halloween!” and admitted he was feeling “very positive energy.” Good cheer shouldn’t come as a surprise since the band just booked a tour of the Pacific Northwest with co-headliner Nico Vega and Imagine Dragons. They are taking the crazy energy they’ve been consistently bringing to their local gigs on the road. Lookout Northwestern U.S. you’re in for a treat.

Fans, decked out in outrageous costumes, were lined up early and holding steady. Fortunately, since Jackson and Sharp share a filmic background, every Saint Motel show has an arousing array of visuals displayed on a big screen behind the band.

The boys rolled out several new tunes, including the sexy, heart-thumping “Funny Brain.” Then Jackson asked the crowd, “Whose got candy?” Half the crowd raised their hands. “Who wants candy?” The other half raised theirs. “Looks like we’re evenly rationed,” responded Jackson, before launching into Donovan’s “Season Of The Witch.”

They played several songs from their EP, “ForPlay”—the name of which can be taken in many different ways, but the reality is these guys are for…‘play.’ They like to have fun on stage. Jackson writhes on the floor, jumps on and off of Erwin’s drum kit, Erwin tosses sticks into the crowd, rises and claps his hands, as do Lerdamornpong, Jackson and Sharp—prompting the audience to explode in a sedulous frenzy. There’s no quelling it. Saint Motel’s high-octane love fest of music is contagious.

Saint Motel is the type of band you could see every night; each show a kinetic, auditory explosion; surprisingly unexpected, wildly enticing and always the perfect blend of long lasting musical flavors.


Photos: Taylor Van Arsdale

Nico Vega
by The Roxy

Nico Vega took the stage with a fury last Friday night. The curtain rose to see the band in full Witch Hunt garb and lead singer, Aja Volkman, possessed. Behind the band, an amazing old and petrified olive tree lurks as the backdrop. Nooses hung to represent the theme of the night and Nico Vega most definitely paid respects to those who were persecuted for what they believed.

The band was a full powerhouse for the entire set playing a mix of old favorites and amazing new songs. We’re dying to get our hands (ears) on the new tracks that rocked the crowd on October 29.

Nico Vega’s constant interaction with each other was infectious to the rest of the audience. As spooky good as they were (are), a real sense of playfulness filled the air. The comradery the band brought out in the fans was spectacular. It’s not often LA crowds get together to enjoy a band like they did for Nico Vega but for it to happen at The Roxy means even more to us here.

They are no strangers to The Roxy having played here multiple times in the past. Aja Volkman, Rich Koehler (guitarist), and Dan Epand (drums) keep their live shows tight and always bring their best to the stage. This night was no exception.

As fans clapped along in full costume to songs they may or may not have known, the night rapidly came to an end. It’s shows like this that you never want to end and leave you singing the songs for days after. We went home listening to all the bands in the car and, if you were there, you probably did too.

For more on NICO VEGA, check out our friend Trina Green’s sweet write up.

Costume Party Photos by Brent X. Mendoza

For all the Witch Hunt photo booth pictures click here