17 Apr 19
When thousands of music lovers flock to the inaugural three-day BeachLife Festival next month, all eyes will be on the headliners: Willie Nelson, Brian Wilson and Bob Weir. Smaller, but still well-known acts will also get love: Ziggy Marley, Violent Femmes and Jason Mraz.
But for five South Bay bands performing on the smaller “Riptide Stage,” BeachLife will provide the biggest showcase of their careers.
Jonny Perdue, of the local band Lost Beach, said for independent music artists, it’s all about small victories and big victories alike.
“There’s a lot of paying dues and a lot of rejection and a lot of heartache,” Perdue said. “Then you do all of that, so you can get one of these.”
Here’s a rundown of the South Bay bands that will take the stage at BeachLIfe from May 3 to 5.
Perdue grew up in Texas and moved to Los Angeles when he was in his early 20s.
“To be on the same bill as Willie is a big thing,” he said about Lost Beach, which will play at 4 p.m. on the final day, just three hours before Nelson headlines on the main stage. “It’s a right of passage from where I come from.”
Perdue grew up on country and the blues.
Jonny Perdue from the South Bay band Lost Beach. The band plays BeachLife Festival Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 4 p.m. on the Riptide stage. (Photo courtesy Jonny Perdue)
Perdue was trying to find an indie sound with blues roots when Lost Beach got started more than five years ago. The South Bay, he said, was the “perfect cradle” for the band to “cut its teeth.”
Perdue said South Bay audiences were really receptive to his band when it started. He ultimately broadened the band’s scope and started playing in Hollywood and outside of L.A. But he always likes coming back.
“I wanted to make sure the band just didn’t stay in the South Bay,” he said. “So when we come back to the South Bay, we have this great feeling and this great audience, this great vibe.
“The South Bay,” Perdue added, “has been great for that.”
The Hollow Legs, with Kira Lingman on lead guitar, will kick off the Sunday, May 5, festivities at 11:20 a.m.
Lingman is from Manhattan Beach, but The Hollow Legs also features Hermosa Beach’s Zach Bozeman on drums and bassist Hugh DeFrance, a Palos Verdes native.
“It feels like we’re playing in our backyard,” Lingman said.
Lingman, a 2005 Mira Costa High School graduate, didn’t start playing the guitar until she was 16 years old and didn’t perform for anyone until after she graduated from Arizona State University in 2009.
After college, Lingman said, she “got the courage” and started playing at open mics. She eventually played her first acoustic gig at Barnacles Bar & Grill, in Hermosa Beach, around 2010.
“I was late in the game,” Lingman said.
Four years ago, Lingman performed at the Kaaboo Del Mar Music Festival, which was her first big festival gig.
But BeachLife, she said, has much to offer.
“I love how eclectic the lineup really is,” Lingman said.
Veronica Torres, known professionally as V Torres, will be well-connected at BeachLife:
Perdue produced songs for her solo career, for example. Kira Lingman will play guitar for her on Saturday, May 4. And Torres shared rehearsal space with the band Barley around 10 years ago, when she was with with her old band, “Gorgeous Got a Gun.” Torres also first performed at Saint Rocke in 2006, when it was newly opened.
“I’m very grateful to be asked to play alongside my peers,” Torres said. “There’s a lot of respect there.”
V Torres (Veronica Torres) will play BeachLife Festival May 4, 5 in Redondo Beach. (Photo courtesy V Torres)
Torres, who grew up in Harbor City and attended Bishop Montgomery High School, said indie bands are “constantly grinding to keep up in this business.”
“You’re recording new music, writing new music or performing new music,” Torres said. “But to be able to get your music out there to a broader audience is always the hardest thing because there’s so much out there these days.
“To be a part of something like this is not only exposure,” she continued, “but it’s also credibility and a little bit of a pat on the back for the hard work we’ve been doing for a long time.”
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Barley’s core members were friends or they met at open mic events at Suzy’s in Hermosa Beach. Ten years later, they will take the stage at BeachLife.
“We figured out our love for music together and started going out playing,” said founding member Jason Carver.
Barley, which plays May 4, got its start performing at On the Rocks Sports Bar in Redondo Beach, where they played every Sunday during the summer. The money the band earned at that gig funded its first album, “All Your Stories,” in 2010.
Aside from performing at Kaaboo and the winning the Battle of the Bands, which earned them a spot at the Hermosa Beach Summer Concert Series, BeachLife will be one of the band’s biggest events, Carver said.
“You look for that thing that’s going to be that great win for the year,” he said. “It keeps hitting you at different times, where you see the names on the poster and you go, ‘Oh my god.’”
Latch Key Kid
Gavin Heaney, known as Latch Key Kid, has played in the South Bay for more than 20 years.
He will get the party started on May 4, taking the Riptide Stage at 11:15 a.m.
Heaney, who grew up in Manhattan Beach and graduated from Mira Costa in 1995, took lessons at Dietz Brothers Music, which opened in 1976. He went to college in Santa Barbara and came back to the South Bay, where he started teaching guitar. He also started writing and producing music, and forming a few bands of his own. His songs have also been used in film and television.
Heaney saida lot of preparation goes into such an important show.
“Every day I do a little something, whether it’s testing my equipment or planning a rehearsal finishing up the set list, doing some social media,” Heaney said. “I’ve been working hard every day because it’s such a great opportunity.”
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