The No Name Gang headlining this party.
(L to R: Bassist Zac Harriot, guitarist John Haskin, vocalist Justin Hendrick and guitarist Dana Roselli)

The Merrow was teaming with energy and all sorts of hooliganism on July 7 and not just because of ‘Mericuh’s birthday. Hooliganism on a Friday night? How perfect! Metal Assault and Dark Gem Entertainment kept the 4th of July party alive with local cool kids The No Name Gang and a supporting acts that made the night all the more memorable.

Lighting the first spark of the night was Tijuana heavy metallers Meltdown which happened to be their first time at The Merrow. Frontman/guitarist Ian Roa was the embodiment of old school heavy metal not only because he was donning the tight pleather pants but because he had that charisma metal vets posses. Roa along with bassist Daniel Cázares and guitarist Carlos Savage lit up the stage when they lined up and played side by side and had a mini riff battle.

Meltdown stir The Merrow
(L to R: Guitarist Carlos Savage, vocalist/guitarist Ian Roa, and bassist Daniel Cazares)

When Roa wasn’t hitting those impressive high notes and owning the stage, he was sharing stories of their eager fans while they encountered minor technical difficulties. If you think Tijuana doesn’t get down, well think again. Meltdown reinvigorates an old sound with their jovial energy and will certainly spark your interest. The quartet showcases the type of fun and fresh new acts Tijuana is producing that will appeal to both the youngins and the diehard metal OG’s.

After Meltdown finished their impressive set, Long Beach busted out their big guns with Railgun. No, it was not the Klown’s signature move from his short lived days in the Railing Bros. Circus but it was the kick ass band called Railgun! Railgun came out and meant business with their unique brand of thrashy power metal or whatever they classify themselves as, but all yours truly knows is that they’re damn addicting!

IDK what type of genre Railgun identifies themselves as but we lurrrve it!
(L to R: Bassist Brice Snyder, vocalist/rhythm guitarist Cole Jones and lead guitarist Luke Cohen)

Frontman/rhythm guitarist Cole Jones wasn’t wrangling onstage like a mad man but his storytelling vocals and diligence in his guitar playing was more than enough to reel you in. Guitarist/back up vocalist Luke Cohen, however, didn’t hold back and let it all out. WHOA THERE! Not ALL out, he is a classy gent!  When Cohen wasn’t in a frenzy because of his awesome riffs, he was engaging with fans and playing alongside Jones and bassist/backup vocalist Brice Snyder. These guys certainly gave this night more oomph, not that it needed any.

The night didn’t die there. Not even close! Especially when Livin Alive took over and lived up to their name and stirred the amped crowd some more. Livin Alive shredded with their brand of skater thrash and was the band of cool rockstar kids you went to school with. The vocalist/lead guitarist of the group put the wow in Wowie which is not only his stage name but we’re also going to assume that it’s his birth name ‘cause trust us we be investigators… The drummer Big “This is his real name too…” D, shined brighter than the stage lights by giving us a badass drum solo that resonated even when the show was over. Livin Alive can and will resurrect the dead.

ITS ALIVE!!!! With Livin Alive!
(L to R: Bassist Alain Simental, drummer Big D and vocalist/guitarist Wowie)

After we learned to live with Livin Alive, it was time to give in to the secret society of The No Name Gang. Okay they are not a secret society… YET. They are but a “simple” band…ok ok you caught me again! They are NOT just a simple local band. They were the headliners of the night with an alluring moniker. Though the quartet were not the original headliners of this gig, the hometown collective stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park to say the least. Vocalist Justin Hendrick made us feel the profound power of his lyrics as he belted out the songs and shut his eyes channeling each emotion in to the verses. They even premiered a new song called “I Fear,” guess you shoulda been there huh?

There were many things to celebrate that Friday night, aside from it being Friday, ‘Meriuch, and life. Speaking of which, it was a special birthday show for bassist Zac Harriot who was giddy because who wouldn’t be? Harriot was all of us especially because it was his b-day AND he was performing in the headlining band. Someone buy him a shot! Who cares if it’s a month late, buy him an unbirthday shot! You know what, buy everyone in the band an unbirthday shot.

Justin Hendrick of The No Name Gang can’t contain his excitement over that unbirthday shot you promised him…

Though this band has only been around since 2012, they continue to leave an impression on new and old fans alike. The No Name Gang didn’t need any fancy props, lasers or fog machines to reel the audience in. Sometimes all a band needs to catch a crowd’s attention is the simple humility and passion for the craft which is something this band of free spirited dudes has.

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