February 26, 2010
The El Rey Theater, Los Angeles
I love it when a band transforms a venue. I’ve experienced it before – that feeling that a venue I know so well, and associate with hundreds of other live performances, has been transformed into another band’s playground. For a moment you’re transported to an alternate reality. You lose track of space and time, forget that you own a cell phone, and question what city you’re in. That’s what Nico Vega did at the El Rey Friday night.
I’ve seen this band perform countless times and have always been impressed, but something was different this time. I don’t think drummer Dan Epand sat on his stool for more than a few seconds. With each strike of the drumsticks, Epand levitated completely. Rich Koehler was playing guitar as if it were a rocket launcher and we were all headed to another galaxy. And Aja Volkman, who is and always has been, a star, took us there.
When their set concluded, my friend looked at me and said, “Well, I don’t need to see anything else!”
I’d say we should all see Nico Vega again. Hopefully soon.