Grow Well hail from the Coachella Valley, and play music that is as sunny as the locale that spawned them. Playing at the Oakland Metro Operahouse, located in the warehouse district near Jack London Square, on Saturday, June 12, Grow Well put on a bombastic, adrenaline filled show, jumping and screaming through a set that seemed determined to find the sweet spot between Rage Against the Machine and Blink-182.
Opening with the drunken anthem “Beer Song” and with beers in hand, the band set the crowd at ease before ripping into riffing pop-punk that would be very much at home on LA megastation KROQ. Made up of siblings Shawn and Brett Growell (guitar and drums, respectively) with Ernie Cortazar III on bass and Nick Cheney on vocals, Grow Well put on an explosive live show, with Nick dancing like a mad-man while howling through reggae-tinged tracks like “Magalia”, “Common Collective” and the sadsack lament “Backseat Blues.”
Grow Well also played an incendiary cover of “Skulls”, the Misfits track, then segueing into the Mumford & Sons track “Little Lion Man”. With songs about beer, girls and good friends, Grow Well are heir apparent to summer-tracking bands like Sublime, 311 and Incubus. Brett played with manic intensity and concentration, while the other three members jumped around and mugged for the cameras.
The night ended with “Rollercoaster”, which saw Ernie climbing on top of his stack and hurtling himself across the stage, Nick falling to the floor, and Shawn and Brett freaking out on their instruments, creating a firestorm of sonic chaos that closed out the set. Musically tight, Grow Well were locked in, with Brett’s solid punk drumming coalescing with Ernie’s hooky bass runs. Shawn laid down shredding guitar noise and Nick provided the soaring vocal lines. Both visually and sonically stimulating, Grow Well are a must-see band when they pass through your town. In the meantime, check them out on Facebook.
Image Courtesy: Grow Well