Response at California gig energizes local band
As the last chord of the last song was played, David Pilgrim looked out into the screaming crowd and said, “That’s the best sound I’ve heard all night.”
The sound of excitement coming from the Hollywood crowd toward a band from small towns like Basehor and Edwardsville had the members of H GAGE sitting on cloud nine.
Made up of members Pilgrim, Basehor, Chris Quijas, Kansas City, Kan., Samuel Gomer, Edwardsville, and Dustin Taylor, Perry, H GAGE recently returned from Hollywood, Calif., where the band performed at the nightclub Whiskey a Go Go.
The band was sent across the country after winning a California Dreamin’ contest April 3 at Aftershock Bar and Grill in Shawnee.
Now that the band has returned from the trip, its members couldn’t be happier with the experience.
“We stole the show,” guitarist Dustin Taylor said of the Whiskey A Go Go concert, where H GAGE shared the stage with six other bands.
The band members, who have been playing under the moniker H GAGE for a little under a year, describe their style as modern rock — a progressive, melodious genre of music.
Bassist Samuel Gomer said he and the other members of H GAGE were nervous at first for the gig, but by the end of a song the band played during its sound check, he said they had almost everyone in the club turning their attention toward them.
“And that was just a sound check,” Gomer said laughing.
Pilgrim, lead singer, said the biggest difference between playing in Hollywood compared to playing locally in Kansas City was the crowd. He said in Hollywood, people come out to bars specifically to hear the music.
“These people, they really, really do want to hear live music,” he said. “In KC, people will come out to hang out with friends, and they’ll listen to the music, but (in California) they crave it and go out to hear new music.”
Pilgrim said his favorite part of the experience was being up on stage and seeing how much the crowd of strangers was into the band’s music.
“We ate that up,” Pilgrim said. “You look out over the crowd and everyone’s going crazy. It was sick. That kind of response is addicting.”
“It was awesome to see people out there really rocking out to an awesome band,” Taylor added. “It was fun to really see them dig what we were playing.”
For drummer Chris Quijas, the California trip meant a look into the band’s future.
“We gained a lot of insight into what is to come for a band on the rise like us,” Quijas said. “California is the place we need to be. It’s not about the money; it’s about true talent.”
While in Hollywood, the band frequented another club, the Rainbow Room, where they got one of their songs played over the club’s sound system.
But that wasn’t the end of the experience for H GAGE. As part of the California Dreamin’ contest, the band also had a chance to meet with a production company responsible for making move trailers. Pilgrim said one of the band’s songs is being considered for an upcoming trailer, but nothing is decided just yet.
In the meantime, the band is preparing for a release party of its newest CD, titled “Wicked Saints.” The party will be Oct. 16 at the Aftershock Bar and Grill, 5240 Merriam Drive, Shawnee.
For more about H GAGE, go online to hgagemusic.com. For booking information, contact Cathi Pilgrim at (913)269-2323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.