Concert Review: Perro Bravo and Sprung Monkey

Sprung Monkey providing their hometown with world-class entertainment. Courtesy of Sprung Monkey's Facebook page.

Sprung Monkey providing their hometown with world-class entertainment. Courtesy of Sprung Monkey’s Facebook page.

Juan Barragan

Perro Bravo and Sprung Monkey

House of Blues San Diego

4 May 2014

It’s that time again for the SRH crew. Every year they host a couple of shows all around Southern California to promote their artists and clothing. The lineup was one of the best they have ever had at the House of Blues in San Diego. Originally, the show was supposed to have Big B perform. However, due to his run-in with the law, the court did not allow him to play the show, which is tragic. This wouldn’t stop the crowd from having the time of their lives, however. At around 8:30PM, the Long Beach band, Perro Bravo, took the stage, ready to play some music despite them having just crawled out of bed.

Perro Bravo hit the stage hard by starting out with their catchy surf-rock tune, “S.S.T.”, from their latest album, Smoking Scorpion Tales. To the die-hard fans in attendance, of which there weren’t as many as should have been, the song was enough for them to start dancing around. The fact that the show was only for those old enough to drink meant that these folks would have a chance to unwind while listening to some great music on the stage. Having seen Perro Bravo multiple times in the past and having written just as many reviews about them, I never expected anything in return from the band. However, lead guitarist and front man Michael “Miguel” Happoldt gave me a shout out before the start of the second song. That made my night, considering the history of the man behind the microphone as well as the musical impact he has had on my life, without me even knowing it, back when I first started listening to Sublime in my hometown in South Norwalk, Connecticut. That experience should serve as some good advice for my fellow authors at the station who want to make connections with important and influential figures in the music industry. Keep writing reviews, you never know who might read them. The second song of the band’s short set was “Drowning”, which is one of the first times the band has ever played the song live in the city of San Diego.

The band played some new tunes that should be released on the band’s next album. While the songs’ names are not known to the public yet, they definitely sound extremely promising, as they feature catchy bass lines and lean towards the reggae side of the signature Long Beach sound the band has. Some of the band’s greatest hits were played halfway through the set, such as “Coming of the Dawn,” and “Livin’ in Time.” By then, those few die-hard fans had enough time to unwind appropriately enough to enjoy the music fully. The band decided to close with one of their unreleased hits, which judging by the lyrics of the song, can be appropriately be unofficially named, “As the Sun Sets,” or “False Preachers.” Although Perro Bravo played for only 30 minutes, this was enough for the multitudes of people who had never heard of the band to begin asking around for more information on the band, which is always a good sign. Nevertheless, the band had aptly prepared the crowd for the next great band that would take the stage, Sprung Monkey.

Sprung Monkey, interestingly enough, happens to be from a stone-throw away from the University of San Diego. The band calls Bay Park their home, and they’ve been playing great music since 1991, for a combined total of more than 20 years of music. The band has been promoting their latest album, Dead is Dead, which is the first album the band has released this decade, and the first they have released in over ten years. It’s no wonder why the fans were eager to hear what Sprung Monkey had in store. When the band finally took the stage, they opened with the song, “Stay Down”, from their debut album, Situation Life. The amplifiers were at their peak, and the drums were beginning to lay down the beat to their first song. This alone was enough to get the crowd going. When the band finally started playing the song in its entirety, a huge mosh pit erupted in the middle of the floor, just how the band likes it. The song ended up being a warm up for what was to come right after. The band immediately unleashed their full energy to power through one of their new hits, “Mr. Narcissistic”, from their new album. The next song was especially great, as the lyrics deal with the experiences of a person who is struggling with alcoholism. The song is titled, “Save Me,” and the studio version features Mike Muir from Suicidal Tendencies. The most memorable line goes, “No I, No I can’t seem to find, the strength I need to find, No I can’t seem to find the reason to put that bottle down, when you’re six feet underground, my arms and legs are bound, when you’re six feet under is where I may end up if I don’t turn it around (turn it around), so come on and save me! (Save me!)” They also played other songs from their new album such as “Conspiracy,” and “California.” There wasn’t a single dull song in the band’s set. The band peppered their set with both songs from the new album and songs from their old arsenal of songs, undoubtedly to appease those die-hard Sprung Monkey fans in attendance. Sprung Monkey ended their set with two lightning-fast tunes. The first was “Dead is Dead” and the last was “My Drug (Rock & Roll).” The latter was worthy of mentioning the wicked guitar intro that William Riley pulls off to set the tone for the rest of the song.

Altogether, both Perro Bravo and Sprung Monkey provided the House of Blues in San Diego with world-class entertainment, and the reaction of the crowd reflected this claim. For those of you who want to support local music, I recommend you go listen to Sprung Monkey’s new album. It’s good to jam to when going to the gym or driving in the car. In fact, the album is so awesome; it’s good to jam to anywhere! Support local music, folks! Support Sprung Monkey!