Audience members danced, moshed, and crowd surfed at The Haven in Pomona Saturday night as the venue welcomed indie and alternative rock artists Eric Schroeder, Sept, Blair Gun and Funds for Jimmy to the stage.
Eric Schroeder, who said he feels he can better reach the audience when he plays alone, opened the night with a solo, acoustic performance of his song “Suspension Bridge.”
As he sat playing his guitar, audience members were welcome to shout out song requests and he tailored the night’s set list accordingly. He showcased new material like “Never Go Away” to his audience as well in anticipation for his upcoming album for which fans can anticipate a spring release date.
“I’m about to record an album pretty soon here with a producer named Rob Schnapf,” Schroeder said.
Schnapf has produced music for artists like Elliot Smith and Beck.
Between performances and while the bands set up, the audience mingled in and outside of the venue.
Next to take the stage was Sept, composed of lead singer Ben Ochoa, guitarist Misael Lara, drummer Caleb Ervin, and bassist Matt Pagano. They opened their performance with a cover of The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry” and continued their performance with their own original fan favorites like “Braces.”
The energy between the performers and the audience was high during the entire performance, with the audience soon forming a mosh pit.
“You need to be having as good of a time as the people are” and vice versa, Ochoa said. “So if you’re keeping up the energy, usually they’ll keep up the energy, and if they’re keeping up the energy, it’s not as hard to keep up our energy.”
After Sept came Blair Gun, composed of rhythm guitarist and vocalist Joedin Morelock, lead guitarist Zach Cavor, drummer Jake Richter and bassist Eric Schroeder, who also played solo earlier in the night.
The San Diego band began their performance with an unreleased song called “Bitter Men.”
Their setlist was composed of both released and unreleased songs like “ACDC” and “The Thief”. The audience met all of these songs with enthusiasm and continued moshing throughout the performance.
As for upcoming concerts, Blair Gun will be performing at the Knitting Factory in North Hollywood on Sept. 21.
Funds for Jimmy, which features vocalist and rhythmic guitarist Molly Grace, lead guitarist Chips Barranco, lead and rhythmic guitarist Anthony Torres Castillo, bassist Hazel Romero and drummer Dylan Knetge, was the final band to take the stage.
They opened with a fan favorite, “Faye Valentine,” followed by “Can I Have a Glass of Water?,” the band’s most popular single.
As they played, fans soared through the air, held by their fellow concert attendees.
“I crowd surfed for the first time tonight so that was a highlight,” Riverside resident Clare Corley said.
Grace even joined in and crowd surfed, jumping off the stage and into a sea of fans blanketing the venue.
About halfway through the performance, fans and bandmates alike celebrated Romero’s birthday by singing to her.
Nearing the end of the performance, Grace got emotional as audience members sang along to “Nostalgia Ultra,” which is dedicated to her mother and childhood self.
“To have people resonate with that song and sing it back to me — that was surreal,” Grace said.
After their set, the audience applauded, asking for one more song — which they got.
“We kind of consider The Haven as the birthplace of who we are as Funds for Jimmy and our crowd is kind of a reflection of that,” Romero said.
Funds for Jimmy fans can expect a new two song EP in October.
The uniquely decorated venue boasted both chandeliers and a wall full of broken instruments, most of which manager and sound engineer Rell Sol said were broken during performances at The Haven.
“It’s a really unique space because it’s not very common that there’s a for-the-youth by-the-youth space that’s so accessible,” Daniel Dillasenor, who has been attending concerts at The Haven for three years, said of the venue.
He describes it as a DIY community, explaining that many regulars have a hand in making sure everything goes smoothly. He, for instance, has helped out by running the doors and acting as a stagehand.
Olivia Modarelli can be reached at email@example.com.