Aeonic Impulse (Left to right: Jordan Salfity, Gasper Gray, Fernando Guerrero, Ryan Rappaport, Pete Bucci). Photo by Sean Carroll
Much like how the empire struck back in the Star Wars sequel thirty-four years ago, Los Angeles-based progressive-rock band Aeonic Impulse has indeed too struck back last Thursday night, returning to the same spot of conquest they conquered nearly a year ago: Suzy’s Bar and Grill in Hermosa Beach, this being their first show of the year.
Performing live is of high importance for the band, according to rhythm guitarist Ryan Rappaport.
“There’s gonna be people there that have never heard of you before, and you have to impress them,” he explained. “It’s just as crucial as studio.”
“We’ve been around for like a year now,” added lead singer Gasper Gray.
Not only is this the first show of the year for Aeonic Impulse, but there has been a slight change: A new drummer in Fernando Guerrero, who took over for the old drummer that left the band due to his personal life.
“Ever since I got into progressive rock, mainly it’s like it allowed me to become more open,” he said. “There’s so many things that you can’t get with a lot of other things…your so constructed to one genre or one topic, that you just really can’t do whatever you want.”
As far as the actual show goes, Aeonic Impulse made their stage presence known right from the beginning, once again bringing back the smoke machine from last time, seducing the audience, luring them into the mystical realm of prog-rock. Gasper Gray’s theatrical stage presence was ever in full force, his arms outstretched like Leo Dicaprio in Titanic. The only thing missing was him proclaiming, “I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD!”
But much like Kate Winslet’s vow to “never let go” in that film, that could have easily been the motto of the band itself: To never let go. And they didn’t. Everyone was in top form that night, and everyone in the band were clearly enjoying themselves. Each member embraced their opportunities to shine. Jordan Salfity and Ryan Rappaport, with their visceral guitar riffs, along with Rappaport’s goofy expressions as he jammed, Salfity’s soulful solos, Fernando Guerrero, making his impressive debut with his gut-wrenching, pulsating drum work, sending shockwaves throughout the bar, Pete Bucci, with his groovy bass lines, including one standout solo mid-song, drawing some cheers from the crowd, and finally, Gasper Gray, along with his after-mentioned stage presence, let loose with his passionate lyricism and vocals, only this time, he didn’t doff his shirt, only getting down to a tank top, despite the plea of “TAKE IT OFF” from an audience member.
The only downside was the mic feedback, letting out the occasional obnoxious screech. Before the band went into an explosive, earth-shattering finale, Rappaport exclaimed what all of us had on our minds: “G*DDAMN FEEDBACK!”
Aeonic Impulse has struck back indeed, kicking off this year with an excellent first show. The prog-rock gods would highly approve.
Catch them at their next show at “The Prospector” in Long Beach on June 24th. 2400 E 7th St, Long Beach, CA 90804