Bands & Live Music Venues That Rock The South Bay
And that’s saying something in L.A.
A great example of this is in the small seaside community of Hermosa Beach in what is known as the South Bay. Barely bigger than one square mile, there are several dynamic local bands and three primary lively live music venues for them to play. The music you can hear here – often for free – is enough for PubClub.com to declare it one of the top cities for live music in all of Los Angeles.
The Bands – Hermosa Beach Local Acts
It’s hard to know where to start here but let’s begin with Jeremy Buck & The Bang. This creative group has more than a million YouTube hits on one of its music videos, “Turn My Ship Around.” Jeremy – who wears his hair spiked like extreme skier Glen Plake – writes his own music of soft ballads to drum-pounding punk, tours all over California, the West and also the Midwest to his native Indiana.
The band Barley played the massive KAABOO Music Festival in San Diego this past fall. It played the same day as Jimmy Buffett. This creative band combines a kind of light reggae with folk music, doing songs of local character like “Up North” about Northern California. Barley has a regular gig the first Saturday of the month at the Lighthouse Cafe (4-8, no cover).
Like blues? Shari Puorto is a dynamic singer and performer who blends her creative original music – one of her songs, “Six Months Sober,” is about being sober from a former boyfriend – with rock covers. She’s got somewhat of a raspy voice and always has with her dynamic guitar-playing blues musicians.
“Where do you find all these great people to play in your band.” PubClub once asked her.
“It’s L.A.,” she said. “They are all over the place.”
If you like fun party bands – and those living in the South Bay most certainly do – then there’s the local legend Joe’s Band. Joe crams as many great musicians as will fit onto the small stages and covers songs such as “Hot, Hot, Hot” that has the crowd dancing the entire set. Joe played at the legendary Harry O’s, one of the top singles party bars in all of Los Angeles in the 90s, and was in high demand for local house parties. Today, he’s even branched out and put together a jazz band, which sometimes plays for free at Bay Club in Redondo Beach and El Segundo.
Angry Donkey is another fun local party band with, well, let’s call it a lively following. “Oh, Angry Donkey is playing tonite,” someone will exclaim, and the people will pour into the Lighthouse and Standing Room to hear them perform.
Soul Shaker is the band of Los Angeles promoter Berry Bly, who lives in the South Bay. He often plays at Standing Room and Saint Rocke.
And just for run – real fun – Graceband is an Elvis Presley cover band that plays local festivals and at Saint Rocke and Standing Room. This 12-piece band with backup singers brings the old Elvis shows back to life in Hermosa.
The Bars – Hermosa Beach Live Music Venues
Hermosa Beach has live music at several bars with three hosting bands on a regular basis.
The most famous of these is the Lighthouse Cafe (Hermosa Beach Pier Plaza). A top jazz club from as far back as the 1040s, it’s most known today for being featured in the Academy Award-winning film La La Land. Movie buffs should know it was also featured in the beach volleyball movie Sideout, which featured a young Courtney Thorne-Smith. Today, the Lighthouse is the only bar in Hermosa that features bands seven days a week.
Saint Rocke (2nd Street & Pacific Coast Highway) provides a home for touring bands, both local and some national acts. Because of the acts it attracts, it’s recognized as the top live music venue in the South Bay.
Standing Room (Hermosa Ave. & 13th Street) has bands on weekends in a small but lively restaurant/bar. There’s always a good, fun crowd and no cover charges.