To say that Alex’s bar in Long Beach, CA is legendary would be an understatement. You could actually say that the place falls into the category of Mega-legendary. Possibly Uber-legendary. Maybe even Legendary-Legendary. If you haven’t been there, you really should make it a point to see a show there. Personally, I’ve never been to a bad show. And trust me, I’ve been to a lot of shows there. Their calendar is chock full of good stuff.
The place has a well lived in, “this is home” vibe to it. And since Rona reared its ugly head, opening up the back area was a grand idea. But once inside, the joint comes alive. The staff is very cool and eclectic. No matter the time of day or night.
The sound quality is top-notch. And the stage area makes even non-musicians want to play something up there.
On January 14, 2022, I decided to kick off my year in live music. The main reason I dropped in was because of Get Dead. Yes, the band is called Get Dead. And damm it all if they don’t make you come alive when they play. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m forgetting Ceschi. My bad.
Ceschi Ramos. Photo Credit: Me.
Ceschi was, at that point, an unknown quantity to me. As a one-man band, I was intrigued as he set up his rig. From the first note, I was captivated. The man was on fire as he played with passion and conviction. Although I did not follow him outside when he went into full pied piper mode. One, I did not want to lose my spot for Get Dead. And two, it was a bit on the chilly side that night & I was without a sweater. He played the audience and the sound guy when he started back up as Get Dead was setting up.
His music is somewhere between hip-hop and punk. He challenges you as a listener to pick up what he’s laying down. And when you do get it, you are rewarded beyond compare. His set just goes deeper and deeper. And by the time he finishes up, you do not want him to stop. But just like any good rock star, Ceschi always leaves his audience wanting more.
Get Dead was not an unknown to me. I caught them last year at the OC Sellout Fest. Side note: If you don’t follow the man on Instagram, you need to fix that. His shows are on my “Do Not Miss” list. Speaking of, another example of that caliber of show is the annual “Steve Soto Birthday Show” at this location.
I’ll admit that when it comes to punk-ska, I’m not a big fan. Why you ask? Because most of it has no balls. As a metalhead, the music came off as disingenuous. A pose. And I hate art that has no soul or heart.
To me, it felt that the bands that played this style didn’t know about nor ever listened to the fundamental artists like The Specials, Madness or The Selecter. Not to mention the real ska from the 60’s. DAMM! I’m digressing. Bad SCOTT! BAD!
Live, Get Dead is all about intensity. Sam King dominates the stage with a voice that could melt bank vault hinges. And I mean that in a good way. Yet, there is a street-wise sage deep within the lyrics that leavens their intensity. Musically, they meld ska and punk flawlessly with enough stones to make a Lasha Talakhadze think about another career.
The intensity builds as Get Dead play their set. The highlights are Pepperspray where everyone shouts along to the opening lyrics. But for me, I have to say Stickup is their finest hour. The song goes for broke and leaves nothing but debris in its wake.
Get out there and see some shows.
Now I'm done.
Myself with Sam King. Photo Credit: The Get Dead Merch Guy.