By Christopher Nolan
California Kings Part II was a chance for the student community in Arcata to come together and vibe for four hours to great live local bands all for free in the comfort of a fellow student’s living room. The event was held at a house on 177B California Ave, in Arcata on a warm Friday evening 6-10 p.m. Sept. 9. 3 bands headlined the event starting with “5 Minutes Alone” from 7-8 p.m., “The Apollo Era” took over the 8-9 p.m. time slot and “Wreckage” wrapped up the show from 9-10pm.
Anticipation for the event was quickly building throughout the week prior. Word was buzzing around campus that someone was hosting a free show Friday night and it was public.
Host Alex Gonzalez, a 20-year-old Mass Comm & Journalism student at HSU was a bit concerned about having the event at his home.
“I hope our wall doesn’t get a hole kicked in it again,” Gonzalez said. “Last show we had people waiting in line for the bathroom (who) got a little too rowdy and ended up stomping a huge hole in the wall near the bathroom.”
Gonzalez wanted people to enjoy themselves all while respecting the venue and house or else he and the rest of the house will be forced to stop having shows.
The day of the show, couches were cleared out of the living area and amps and lights were set up. As the show was about to start, tension and positivity were in the air. Crowds and band members kept showing up with cans of beer and instruments until there was barely any room to move in the living room and porch. The place was a full house with about 50 people and it was about to be 7.
5 Minutes Alone started playing and the crowd was surprisingly calm. The cover band played some Mac Demarco hits such as “My Kind of Woman” and you could sense the people start to vibe more and more as awkward standing turned into playful rhythmic swaying.
8 struck and the Apollo Era started ripping it up playing a bunch of original songs such as “Pub Song” as lead guitarist Danny Moriarty got inventive with his on the spot solos. The music was starting to become faster paced and you could see students start to bump into one another dancing. Eventually a mosh pit was born and people started crashing into each other as the band kept spitting out song after song. Nothing had broken yet, and people were ready for the closing act.
Wreckage came on the scene with their siren-like lead vocalist and once again Moriarty playing bass and a drummer screaming in a gothic, punk-like fashion. The mosh pit was as rowdy as ever as people started flying across the room knocking each other down and sweating profusely all over the place. The heat was getting so intense that many students took breaks in between acts to get a breath of fresh air on the porch.
Four hours felt like four minutes as the show came to a close. People started leaving in herds as band members began to pick up their instruments of choice and students picked up their beverages. Looking around the house during the final act, nothing was punched in or broken, which was the best sign all night. Lead guitarist for the Apollo Era and Wreckage Moriarty was interviewed after the show
“It was rock ‘n’ roll is what it was!” said Moriarty, a 26-year-old communication studies major with a passion for music. “It’s so good to see all the locals coming together for the love of music. This town has been nothing but good to my band and I.”
Moriarty has been playing guitar for over a decade and is looking to tour this upcoming summer.
Hawaii native and part owner of the show house Frank Heggeness had a few closing statements after the mobs cleared out.
“I’m so thankful for everyone’s energy and the fact that nothing broke,” Heggeness said. “It’s good to know you can trust people no matter how big the crowds get.”
Alex Gonzalez- (310)-480-9443
Frank Heggeness- (808)-489-6232
Danny Moriarty- (831)-588-9466