On November 18th Soft Lions made their way to Chico, Ca as the last stop of theirtour. Soft Lions is a trio from San Diego, Ca made up of Megan Liscomb (Vocals/Guitar), Ana Ramundo (Keyboard/back-up vocals), and Jon Bosner (Drums). With a sound that combines garage distortion, surf rock, and 60’s pop into what is self-described as “moody psychedelic post riot grrrl noise,” Soft Lions delivers a wall of noise and emotion that makes for an amazing live show that can’t be forgotten.
The venue was the Maltese a small bar in Chico, Ca that resembles the den of a vampire, but is yet oddly welcoming. This isn’t your average bar in a college town filled with students, young couples arguing, and binge drinking; instead you have a small bar situated near a neighborhood with a different crowd. Older people are much more present with a very small portion being college aged, making for a different atmosphere. It felt like the people at the Maltese were there for the music, and not just to be on their phone the whole time. As the opening act The Feisties started to end their set you started to see a group prowl near the stage. A small blue haired woman carrying a guitar case that was the same size as her, another woman with straight across bangs, and a bearded man in glasses confidently made their way to the stage. It was Soft Lions and what came next was an experience that can’t be forgotten.
The trio opened with “Free Way” the first track off of their new album XOXO and from the moment the first chord was struck by Liscomb the energy in the room changed. Liscomb started to command attention not only with her voice and unique guitar sounds, but with her mannerisms. Liscomb started to move as if she was one with the so metaphysical sound waves the trio were producing. From standing on the tips of her toes, stomping, and swaying she was giving physical expressions to not only the sounds being made but the lyrics of their songs. Behind the primarily in your face up tempo style that occasionally slows down are songs of frustration and vulnerability.
I walk for miles when there’s nowhere to go
I get so lonely I just can’t stay home
I can’t stand my thoughts
My thoughts are gray when the sky is blue
Gray in my bones straight through the goo
I can’t think my way up
This is from the song “I Get Lost” which sonically resembles an upbeat pop song from the 60’s with more distortion added. But the lyrics paint a different story of a person frustrated with their life but has someone to help them through.
That’s when I thank my lucky stars
That I love you and you love me
That’s when I thank my lucky stars
A lot of their songs share these themes and it creates an interesting juxtaposition when combined with their sound. As the night went on and they started to play “Run in Dreams” Liscomb threw her beanie off to the side and entered into a mini-solo that brought the song to life. As magnetic as Liscomb may be she would be nothing without her fellow band mates. The band has no bassist and you don’t really notice since Ana Ramundo does a fantastic job on the keys. It creates the deeper and more bass heavy tone that the band needs. She is the backbone of the band and is highly present in every single one of their songs, never buried by the guitar and drums. Jon Bosner does a fantastic job on the drums creating a tempo and sound that not only exemplifies the other instruments, but also the lyrics of whatever song they are playing.
As their set drew to a close and Liscomb started to say her thanks the crowd called for “one more song.” After the band deliberated between themselves they came back and played two more songs to a roar of applause and cheering. Soft Lions not only won over the Chico crowd, but also seemed to have played their entire song list. After the show I had started a conversation with Liscomb. She told me that “it’s shows like these that help remind me why I play music…and because of people like you who keep on supporting music.” I ended buying some merch from them, which they were selling out of an old suitcase surrounded by blue Christmas lights. I bought a shirt and XOXO on vinyl, Liscomb even gave me small buttons which she drew herself. After a bit of conversation the band signed the album and we took a photo together. Once I started to leave the venue I realized that I had witnessed a show with so much charm, emotion, and energy that I could never forget it. Soft Lions are a band that have a sound that is unique and band members who are charming and great people. Hopefully they visit the Chico area again soon, because their live show is something to witness.
Reviewed by Carlos RodriguezRead More