LIVE REVIEW: Sir Sly, Wolf Gang and The Secret Someones @ El Rey 9/29/14

Photos and Words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

The Secret Someones are a Brooklyn based rock band that made me realize we need more girl-fronted rock bands!  They opened the night with some real, raw energy up there and were able to mesmerize even the audience who didn't know the lyrics (like yours truly).

Wolf Gang nailed it. The British band has a decent following at this point, and their live show was so fun and had the crowd dancing in minutes. Their vocals made you swoon and their grooves made you smile; they pleasantly surprised  us all. 

Finally, by the time Sir Sly went on, the El Rey was packed. You could smell the anticipation growing as we waited for the curtains to open. When they did, and the bassist played his first note, I honestly had to resist the urge to start jumping up and down from the photo pit. The synth/pop/rock that they produce is the perfect formula for the ultimate dance party, especially when it's played live like it was last night, and even more especially with that deep bass. 

The set design was phenomenal, playing on the same concepts of lights and dark that was also very prevalent in their most recent music video for "You Haunt Me". 

The show was everything from entertaining, to talented to just straight up fun. 

USC Springfest 2014

11 hours, 1400 photos, 10 acts.

The USc Concerts Committee KILLED it this year! 

In case you missed it, let me fill you in.

Leo Xia

Leo is a freshman at USC. He won the iVoice competition in the fall, and as a prize got to perform at Springfest. He rocked his singer-songwriter set, and he even brought up a fiddle player (who raps, may I add) to accompany him for his cover of “Thrift Shop”. It was a great way to ease us into the festival, with mellow vibes and simple yet sweet vocals. 


Dale is a five-piece, all-USC rock band, generated from the inner-workings of the Popular Music program in the Thornton School of Music. Their original music had an ever-so-slightly 90’s punk feel, à la Blink182, which reminded how much I miss that genre! I had a great time watching them, and I hope to see them again soon.

Breach The Summit

These guys were fantastic. I had not heard of them until the line-up came out, and can see why they’re being featured on KROQ Locals Only. They’re four young dudes from Orange County, California who are making a very cool kind of indie-rock that I was very easily bopping my head to (and maybe even dancing a little to). I can’t wait to see where these guys go. 

Night Riots

Similar to Breach, I heard these guys for the first time at Springfest. The indie-rock they’re creating also has that eclectic, percussion-based feel, that was perfect for the opening line-up. 

X Ambassadors 

I’d been wanting to see them since I heard they’re touring with Parade of Lights, and was so excited that they were coming to USC. The blend of percussion and synth was very cool, and their live performance had an intimate feel even outside on the USC quad. 

Sir Sly

These guys blew my mind. I’ve been familiar with their music for a while, and always thought they had a more mellow, low-key vibe, but their live performance was  definitely far from ‘low key’. The bass, the percussion, the vocals. I was banging my head and very close to moshing by myself in the photo pit, yet the music still retained its “chill” tone. I can easily say I’ve been listening to them non-stop ever since. 

New Politics. 

Talk about moshing. The crowd LOVED these guys! They were dynamic, witty, hilarious, and extremely great performers. I always say, when the band is having a good time, so will the audience. Their smiles were contagious, and their pop-rock tones had the crowd (and the photographers) jumping up and down. In one word, New Politics’ performance was just pure Brilliance. 

Tyga & DIPLO & DJ Gnash

To say USC kids had a swell time during these last sets is a given understatement. It was INSANE. I personally don’t listen to these artists or genres, but it was a great time watching the crowd. The level of entertainment was unsurpassable, and the USC students (and friends) got way more than they even asked for.  

So do you regret missing out yet?


It’s been quite a ride. The past seven months since the beginning of Beating Lights, I’ve been able to discover so much more music, see (and shoot) so many more concerts, and meet so many more musicians. 

As 2013 ends in a couple days, I am more than excited to begin the new year. I am so thankful for anyone who reads this blog, so grateful for anyone who’s supported me thus far, and of course, so happy to have met the people I have because of Beating Lights. I have big, BIG plans for the future.

So enjoy these last couple days of 2013, happy new year, and get ready for 2014. :)

Much love,