Live Review: The West Coast Feed at The Hotel Café in Hollywood, CA

Material: It’s hard to put a band like The West Coast Feed into a neat little box, as the nine-piece soul/swagger rock” project hailing from Seattle, WA at times echo some of the bands you often hear on the jam band circuit, like Guster or Blues Traveler. However, their more danceable grooves, high-energy performances, and pop sensibility liken them to more commercial artists such as Bruno Mars, the Barenaked Ladies or Maroon 5.

Performance: The band began with a spirited “Crazy in Love” intro, gearing up the room for what would be a lively and incredibly energetic night you wouldn’t expect out of a club like Hotel Café, which usually caters to folky or Americana artists. The standout tune was their single, “Shake It.” That is, until they played “Not Giving In.” Before erupting into this emotive tearjerker, lead singer Jesse Butterworth gave a courageous, intensely personal account of one of his lowest moments, forcing the entire room to be completely still and silent. Though only two chords, which Butterworth remarked was all he could muster in that moment (talk about gut-wrenching), this heartfelt ballad had more substance, vulnerability and soul than all of the songs in their set combined, which is saying a hell of a lot. What would have made the song absolutely perfect would have been a brief pause immediately at the end, so that the audience could take in and process such a heavy and hauntingly beautiful message. Their immediate transition into the much faster-paced “Blame It On Me” unfortunately took you out of that moment, but not so much so that you couldn’t fall right back in step with their adrenaline-pumping tunes.

Musicianship: It is pretty difficult to avoid stepping on each other as a nine-piece band, but The West Coast Feed does a great job of giving each member their own space, and their own time to shine, so to speak. Violinist DJ Parks was a crowd favorite, wowing the audience with his gypsy-esque runs and stunning vibrato. Also impressive was Matt Simmons’ sax interlude leading into “Blame It On Me,” and the band’s unison singing and stomping at the end of “Not Giving In.” Summary: Simply put, this band just rocks, and puts on an extraordinarily entertaining show that will have you undoubtedly clamoring to the dance floor. It ain’t heavy; it’s just the fun we need to have in these trying, tumultuous times.

Contact: Amanda Blide, Amanda@LaFamos.com
Web: Thewestcoastfeed.com
Players: Jesse Butterworth; lead vocals, guitar; Matt Woll, lead guitar, vocals; DJ Park, violin, vocals; Adam Gerty, electric guitar; Tim Oas, bass, vocals; Chad Elrod, drums; Matt Simmons, sax; Skyler Floe, trumpet; Henry Sparks, trombone