Night Riots Play Biggest Headliner to Date at the El Rey Theatre



As an original art-deco theatre and registered Historic-Cultural Monument, the El Rey Theatre is definitely performance ready. Complete with massive chandeliers and an impressive ballroom turned concert hall, the historic venue is a prime setting for making grand memories. With a toe still visibly dipped in the theatrical past, the El Rey also serves as the perfect fit for bands with an exciting stage presence and just the right amount of charismatic flair.

Que Night Riots, an alternative synth-rock group who, composed of Travis Hawley (vocals), Nick Fotinakes (guitar), Matt DePauw (guitar), Mikel Van Kranenburg (bass), and Rico Rodriguez (drums), were the ultimate dream team to bring the venue to life.  Brimming with energy and ready to knock the socks off the crowd of their largest headliner to date, Night Riots exhibited a performance to remember. Complete with neon skull masks, a glow-in-the-dark full-band drum off, and two new songs, fans couldn’t help but have the time of their lives as they sang along and illuminated the ballroom with waves of their cell phone flashlights. Yet, even better still, was the fact that Night Riots clearly took all the love exuded by the audience to heart. There were smiles all around, and at times, Hawley could be seen glancing out at the crowd before placing his hand over his eyes. His infectious grin radiated both a sense of awe and disbelief that joyfully seemed to scream, “I can’t believe my eyes”!   

In fact, watching the whole venue dance and sing along to not one, but every song on the band’s setlist was indeed, quite a sight. There was thundering applause for fan favorite tracks such as “Contagious”, “Breaking Free” (which was aired on the hit television series, Thirteen Reasons Why), as well as the band’s newly released songs, “Colour Morning” and “On the Line”. The sing-along support was so strong that Hawley even lifted his microphone to the crowd, capturing an entire venue full of voices singing together in harmony.     

Overall, between the exciting theatrical atmosphere and heart-warming emotions, Night Riots crafted a performance that not only served as the perfect end to the Dark Violet Tour but ultimately captured the pure joy of the artist-fan bond that Night Riots so clearly embrace.  



Currently based in Los Angeles, CA, Silent Rival is unique in the sense that each of the three band members can call a different country home. Sara Coda of the U.S. (vocals), Joz Ramirez of Mexico (guitar), and Yutaka Sao of Japan (bass), each bring a different experience and perspective to the table. However, all three rally behind a love for creating music together. In fact, Silent Rival’s mixed array of backgrounds leans itself nicely to a genre blending sound that echoes elements of punk, rock, and pop music. In combination with the high dosage of energy emitted by Coda’s spunky dance moves and hair flips, tracks such as “Burn”, “Die A Little”, and the band’s latest release, “Just One Voice”, left fans cheering them on with proper hometown crowd enthusiasm.



Following Silent Rival was yet another hometown hero group. Courtship (stylized courtship.), is an indie-pop-fusion duo consisting of Micah Gordon (keyboard, vocals), and Eli Hirsch (guitar, vocals). Together, the self-proclaimed “hipsters” produce laid-back but groovy tracks that served as a dynamic contrast to Silent Rival’s punk-rock notes. Nonetheless, songs such as “Sunroof” and the undeniably catchy “Tell Me Tell Me”, kept fans swaying to the beat and nodding their heads in approval.   

Coverage by Jessica Nakamoto

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