The 138 Collective hosts secret show

The Head and the Heart, Preacher’s Sons and Brad Duncan perform at secret show hosted by The 138 Collective.



Josiah Johnson of The Head and the Heart sings at the 138Collective sponsored event, on September 5, 2011. | Katie Juranek/THE CHIMES

Sarah Enriquez and Sarah Enriquez

Headlining band The Head and the Heart’s lead singer, Jon Russell plays a tambourine at the September 5, 2011 138Collective sponsored concert. | Katie Juranek/THE CHIMES

The 138 Collective]( “”) hosted a secret show on Monday, Sept. 5 that included performances by The Head and the Heart, Preacher’s Sons and Brad Duncan. The show, hosted by the Los Angeles arts and culture blog and put together by Biola alumni, was invite-only and held at a house in La Mirada. It was the blog’s first event, primarily put together by their music editor, Samuel Santos with help from the editor-in-chief of the blog, Phillip Domfeh. The event was created in an attempt to showcase good music and spread the word about The 138 Collective.

Band members include Biola alumni

“The main power behind this event was Samuel Santos. He wanted to present the music in a more intimate setting,” Domfeh said. “This was an opportunity for the band to do something a little different than all of the bigger shows. He is very much dedicated to the proliferation of local music.”

Santos grew up with one of the lead singers from Head and the Heart, who happened to be in town after playing the L.A. musical festival FYF on Saturday, so he was able to get them to play the secret show Monday night.

Seattle native Brad Duncan played an acoustic set and was accompanied by Luke Messimer. Messimer showcased his range of talents during the performance by playing the maraca, the tambourine, and occasionally lending his voice for backup. They dubbed the night’s festivities their “first show as a band.”

Duncan was humble and at times bashful on stage about his abilities, but there was no denying his raw emotion and talent. His strong lyrics were packed with vulnerability and told endearing stories of his past.

Preacher’s Sons, an American-folk rock group from Fullerton, includes Brandon Pfaff, Jeremy Pfaff and Matt Barrios. Both Matt and Jeremy are Biola alumni. They played some songs reminiscent of the days when you spent your time outside with your toes in the grass. Lead singer Brandon Pfaff, has a tone that sounds very similar to Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, which goes really well with the laid back vibe the band has. The played a couple of songs, including a Long Black Van cover.

Bands encourage participation from musicians, crowd

The audience laid out blankets on the grass while Seattle-based The Head and the Heart played. Josiah Johnson and Johnathan Russell, the group’s founding members, were the only two of the six-member group to play. They played an extremely intimate acoustic set.

They planned the first four songs of their set and continued in a more spontaneous manner for the rest of the night, playing whatever songs they decided to in the moment. They even called Duncan up to sing with them near the middle of their set. Johnson is no stranger to La Mirada or Biola; he used to play in a band that practiced on campus, so this was somewhat of a full circle moment after having just played FYF.

Duncan and Messimer joined in to lend their vocals and instrumental skill to one of the songs at the end as well. For one of the final songs of the night, the audience provided their own snaps suddenly turning it into their personal jam session. It was an endearing and unifying moment.

Performances satisfy the audience

After the show was over the attendees mingled in the backyard talking about the performances. Many positive reviews could be overheard in nearby conversations.

“I think it went really well,” Domfeh said. “The fact that we were able to bring in a pretty well-known band and the fact that we’re able to call a gathering with a following is a success. I think part of it’s due to the merit of the acts here, but part of it’s due to what people believe about us and our brand.”

With a backyard full of people, creative energy and enthusiasm the secret show was a definite success in further solidifying the blog’s brand as a safe haven for the intellectual creative type. The 138 Collective plans on holding similar events in the future that showcase different forms of art and expression, but for the meantime these events will remain “secret,” just as Monday’s show was.

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