Backyard concert highlights local artists

Giana Froio
Staff Writer

Local music lovers gathered at a house on West Sixth Street in Pomona to see nine local musicians play in a backyard concert on Saturday.

Parking was scarce as cars lined the block in front.

Toy traffic cones sat on the sidewalk directing concert goers to the back gate. 

An entrance fee of $10 was collected from everyone not wearing a Halloween costume. Those in costumes got in for free. 

“It definitely has the feel of just a bunch of friends getting together and jamming and having a good time,” guitarist Zack Pedrosa said.

Pedrosa is one of the three members of Deer Pond. 

Taking sound inspiration from early ’90s slow-core bands like Duster, Chinese Cigarettes, and Love, Claire, the band describes their sound as a little bit hard, a little bit soft and everything in between. 

“We appreciate the slower music applications, but we like to go hard and heavy too,” drummer Hendrix Hernandez said. 

The band took the stage at 10:30 p.m. 

The music floated through the air like wisps of smoke through a dimly lit room. 

The crowd was captivated by the sound, drawing even those who had planted themselves on the opposite side of the yard to the crowd forming in front of them. 

“I love the feeling I get when I’m dissociating while I’m performing,” bassist Danya Murri said. “It feels like when you are falling asleep, and you feel like you’re falling and you catch yourself.”

A dirt path decorated with spiderwebs and laughing witches led fans into the backyard. The stage was set up in the northeast corner of the yard. 

A table with a soundboard and a turntable was stationed beneath two trees. Mesh netting holding skeleton hands and skulls hung between them to create a spooky backdrop for each performer. 

Two speakers were placed on the corners of the makeshift stage, facing out toward the crowd. Lights pointed toward the center, adorning the artists in colorful lights that projected in a pattern. A line of light started at the ground and moved up to the sky before turning into a bright flash. 

“My favorite part is the energy that the crowd gives me, it can be one or two people, it doesn’t matter, I just love being in front of people,” said Daniel Martinez, a rapper who performs under the name Hephty. 

He describes his music as a “bowl of vomit,” a bunch of things all in one. Martinez has been making music for 14 years and has performed in approximately 700 shows. 

He has taken inspiration from artists like MF DOOM, The Cure, Quasimoto and Madlib. 

A poet before becoming a rapper, Hephty’s music channels lyrical complexity and intricate storytelling with a melancholic ambiance. The surreal dreamscape takes the audience on a musical adventure.

“It kind of cured the sadness I was in and I took off from there,” Martinez said. 

Against the house was a flattop grill where carne asada, el pastor and chicken tacos could be purchased for $2 a taco. 

A few steps away stood another stand selling alcoholic beverages. 

A pink canopy with mosquito nets sat between the taco and alcohol stands. Rainbow string lights provided a soft glow to the area surrounding the tent. Inside the homeowners and family friends sat at tables watching the show. 

“I love seeing the diverse community come together in one melting pot,” Maggie De Leon, a concert lover and friend of the performers, said.

De Leon works for Primary Wave, a music publishing company and frequently attends backyard shows. 

“At this show, we have rappers, poets and musicians in one big space, all vibing and having a good time together,” she said. 

Performances ended around 1 a.m. and fans slowly made their way back to the cars crowding the street. 

Giana Froio can be reached at giana.froio@laverne.edu

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