Vanaprasta’s Monday-night residency at The Satellite was about to kick off as the orchestral soundtrack to Jurassic Park wafted over the foggy stage. The band had an easy confidence. Lead singer Steve Wilkin greeted the room — “What’s up, The Satellite?”
Back in the days when it was known as Spaceland, this venue’s month-long residencies developed into a respected showcase for up-and-coming bands. Infiltrating the usual Silverlake hipsters might be a pack of agents, A&R talent scouts and even the odd celebrity hoping to catch the next stadium act on the small stage.
Tonight is the first night of Vanaprasta’s monthly resident here and their first song pulsates with electronic beats and keyboards. It’s clear this band are creating modern music, but the elements they weave together encompass the full history of rock and roll.
Wilkin evokes the look of the lizard king himself, Jim Morrison circa 1970, complete with the beard and necklace. His vocal range is wide like Thom Yorke’s and includes a few high notes that verged on a heavy metal scream.
Meanwhile, the guitar work of Collin Desha and Cameron Dmytryk is at times textured, and at other moments jangly á la Johnny Marr. Taylor Brown on bass and Ben Smiley on drums keep their sound projecting forward, freeing the others to expand their musical roles within the band.
It’s a friendly atmosphere, and the band are from just down the road, during the songs “Self Indulgent Feeling” (below) and “Color of Sin” the audience sing along rapturously.
At one point Wilkin addresses the audience as “family” with genuine sincerity and when a young woman introduced simply as “Beth” is invited onstage for a rehearsed duet on one song, the show becomes even more communal.
As the crowd left The Satellite and into the cold night air, I could hear many of them making plans to come back next Monday to see them again. Where else would you go?