Queen Caveat's Lauren Little
Photo: The Recording Academy
Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
By Crystal Larsen
West Hollywood, Calif.
Thursday evening was shaping up to be a typical night on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, Calif. There were plenty of waiting concertgoers killing time at the Rainbow Bar and Grill and a solid line of people dressed in black waiting to get into the Key Club, where I found myself waiting for a solid five minutes before realizing there was no blinking red sign and I was actually supposed to be a few skips down at the Roxy Theatre where I was about to see the much-heralded local rock group, Queen Caveat.
Fortunately, Queen Caveat guitarist Ben Epand did not forsake me for parking it outside the wrong venue, and I was led upstairs to the green room where we were first greeted by the striking lead vocalist Lauren Little, who jumped out of a dark corner to give us both a good scare. After that, I knew that I and the rest of the Roxy crowd would be in for a great time.
Upstairs we met the remaining band members, bassist Will Weissman and drummer Jesse Magnuson, both of whom met while in college in Boston. Having never seen Queen Caveat live before last night, the anticipation for that night's performance only grew as I listened to the fire in each member's voice as they described their passion for playing music. Similar to their rock ancestors, Queen Caveat are making a name for themselves the organic way — playing live to audiences up and down the West Coast.
My first question was for Little since I've heard how her stage presence is "incomparable." When I asked where that energy comes from, each member agreed that it's the fiery connection they have with each other onstage and with the audience. Little mentioned that there's "normal Lauren" and then there's the "onstage Lauren," and when those two collide it's an experience that can't be matched. That was clear when the band took the stage approximately an hour after our interview. When she wasn't rolling around onstage with the poise of a seasoned rock songstress, she was dancing around Epand's guitar and Weissman's bass, or thundering toward Magnuson's drum kit. And if she wasn't doing that, she was standing as close to the edge of the stage as she could, feeding off the audience's energy while simultaneously drawing us into her powerhouse prowess. And the crowd loved it. The sheer, black drape that Little wore over her black unitard made the performance all the more mystical.
The band opened with the driving "Resilient Me" from their most recent EP, Slap On The Wrist. Combining Little's sultry vocals with Epand's melodic guitar work and Weissman and Magnuson's smooth grooves, the song takes you to another world. You can get a free download of the song below.
As the set neared the end, Little introduced the song that she had described to me just moments before as her favorite to play live, "Mr. California." The band described the song as one of those that is born out of an authentic, painful experience. And before launching into the song, Little told the audience this is a track they can "give to someone who f***ing sucks." I'll remember that.
Though they've only been around a few years, Queen Caveat are making fast strides on the Sunset Strip and beyond. As a rock band coming up in Los Angeles and playing venues that gave birth to legendary acts such as the Doors and Guns N' Roses, I imagined this whole process has been pretty intimidating thus far. But for Queen Caveat, it's been completely humbling. "We don't take anything for granted," said Little.
You can get to know Queen Caveat for yourself as they appear on the upcoming special episode of ABC's "20/20," "Sunset Boulevard: What's Your Dream?" — set to air on April 21.