Words and Photos by Kevin Baker

I had the pleasure to shoot Culture Abuse, Tony Molina, Dare, and Entry the other night, and it was definitely one for the books, felt more like a celebration of music, and art, friends, and just having a good time. I’m pretty impressed with the tour that Culture Abuse has decided to embark on for their summer activities. It’s completely stacked with some of the best and unique artists working today. Bands like Regional Justice Center, Young Guv, Wild Side, and a lot more. Honestly, everyone should have no problem finding something they like on this smorgasbord of a tour.

The show started with lots of smiles and familiar faces. Then before you know it, local LA hardcore band Entry went on. Members of Touché Amore, play in this well articulated hardcore act with a pinch of power violence, and punk. This is a local band that’s on the brink of doing cool things, and I wish more people would check them out.
They’ll actually be on a small tour till the 15th if you’d like to.

Next up was Dare. This is a band that’s on everyone’s radar, If you don’t know about this act, now you do. They are the band to see, another local SoCal band doing really big things, in your face attitudes, encourage people to go crazy and stage dive. They opened with the guitarist Marco Soto sending the set out to a close friend he recently lost. So that was a nice moment before the chaos happened. They ended up playing a new song. So maybe they have something in the works, but in the meantime, I’d highly recommend their self titled 7” that came out last year via Reaper Records.

After all the stage dives and spin kicks, we were treated with a surprisingly pleasant breather known as Tony Molina. I’ll admit, I was quite unfamiliar with his solo/band stuff. But it was a good set, Tony himself seemed quite engaging and energetic with the crowd, and even friends that jumped on stage to help him sing parts in songs, and even play guitar for him to go full frontman. All in all, it was a good set, even to the point where I wanna have a deeper dive into their discography.

Finally, the party really started with Culture Abuse as the singer David Kelling tossing up his megaphone and watched it fall smashing to pieces. In an almost poetic moment that kinda says “F You” to power and dominance and allowing everyone to be equal. Listening to Culture Abuse on recordings compared to a live experience is almost completely opposite. On recordings, their music can make for the perfect beach summer soundtrack, but live it’s more like the beach party with stage dives and catchy guitar riffs thrown in. One by one they played all the hits from their newest record Bay Dream, I personally was standing side stage when they played “Bee Kind to the Bugs,” and I can say I never felt more obligated to do a front flip into the crowd.

As the set came to a close, there was quite a sentimental moment where singer David Kelling sorta confided with the audience about the idea that we’re the reason this (Culture Abuse) is a thing. I’d highly recommend catching Culture Abuse on their summer tour and any other tour after.

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