with Tall Juan, Daddy Issues
The Social; Orlando, FL • September 24, 2017
by Jen Cray
together PANGEA are one of those bands that I stumbled upon a few years ago by accident, immediately fell for, but assumed no one else outside of their native California knew about. Their Orlando debut, at The Social, proved that theory incorrect. My fellow Orlando-ians not only know about these garage punk songmasters, but they know the words to virtually every song. They scream and reach out for a touch of singer/guitarist William Keegan like he’s a half priced burrito served with a free beer. Who knew?!
Their blazing set had no frills, and the band didn’t do much other than play straight the songs that set the room on fire, but it was all the crowd needed. The floor pit was sizable, but friendly, and the venue’s “no crowd surfing” policy was challenged on a number of occassions – mostly by girls ( which is always a welcome switcheroo of gender norms). Like former tour mates, FIDLAR, together PANGEA have that indefinable something that makes punk sound pop without being pop punk. Get it? It’s garage-y, it’s goofy, it’s gnarly — it’s a tumble down a half pipe, a skinned knee bandaged with a joint.
These guys finally making it to town was appealing, but it was the bands they brought with ’em that turned an otherwise cool punk show to hit up on a Sunday night into an irresistibly tasty night out.
Tall Juan, with his infectious smile and inclusive anyone-can-be-in-my-band approach to live music, slays the room with a dreamy Spanish twist on garage rock. He rocks a bold pompadour and seduces speedy punk rock out of a beat-up acoustic guitar, and he does it all with a look of boyish joy on his face. During his 30 minutes onstage he invites audience members up to play drums with him on two different occasions, before taking a turn on them himself to allow his bass player to take center stage for a roaring cover of Nirvana’s “Breed.”
Daddy Issues overcame the disadvantage of playing just after doors opened to a half empty space, and by song three they had hit their groove and brought the audience along with them. This Nashville trio are masters of that in-between where fuzzed out garage rock and pop meet, playing a modern day spin on grunge pop that is not a bit nostalgic. They play like that shy girl at the party who, after a couple of drinks, takes over the stereo, cranks up 80’s music and convinces everyone to jump into the backyard pool. They are a must-see, even if it means showing up at 6:30pm to catch their set!