13 Detroit Bar Shows Worth Remembering

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Robert Fayette
When Detroit Bar closes its doors at the end of the week, OC music lovers will definitely witness the end of an era. Since 2001, Detroit's reputation was forged on being the causal, average venue with the ability to surprise us with greatness. Regulars remember it as a place to see a packed local residency night, the anticipated local gig of the season, or the random landing pad for some star musician that could've easily filled any prestigious venue in L.A.--but somehow wound up jamming at a beloved little club inside a Costa Mesa strip mall. We saw a countless number of shows there--we have the bar tab and the memories to prove it.

As we look back at the job that owners Dan Bradley, Diego Velasco,Scott Hamilton, Jason Husted, and former talent buyers Chris Fahey and Jon Reiser did to make this place special over the years, we also have to give ourselves a little credit (of course) for catching some of the highlights and relaying them to you fine folks on Heard Mentality. In honor of the 13-year legacy of our favorite Costa Mesa haunt, we dug into our live review vaults (as far back as search engines would allow) to bring you reviews of 13 (out of many) Detroit Bar shows worth remembering. Click artist/band name to see the full review.

See also: The 50 Best Things About the OC Music Scene

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Andrew Youssef
Delta Spirit (April 20, 2008)
The Alex Benefit was put together to help support Alex, a boy suffering from a hole in his heart, and his family from Uganda. Alex needs open heart surgery to save his live and surmounting medical bills have placed a financial burden on his family. So local bands Delta Spirit, Cold War Kids and We Barbarians came to the rescue....The Alex Benefit was put together to help support Alex, a boy suffering from a hole in his heart, and his family from Uganda. Alex needs open heart surgery to save his live and surmounting medical bills have placed a financial burden on his family. So local bands Delta Spirit, Cold War Kids and We Barbarians came to the rescue...

Having recently wrapped up a tour with Huntington Beach's Matt Costa, Delta Spirit were road tested and ready when they hit stage. "Bleeding Bells" warmed the crowd up with its steady back beat and a raucous pit broke out with "Tom Gerald" as the whiskey-drenched tunes of Delta Spirit started to intoxicate the crowd. I was amazed when I turned around to see the audience singing and swaying and back and forth to "People, Turn Around" near the end of the set. And the momentum of the show did not fall as Brandon Young (Drums) served as a human engine propelling the throttling "Trashcan" to new heights with his piston like drumming. (Andrew Youssef)


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Kim Conlan
Sleepy Sun (May 17, 2011)
Everyone showed up promptly for this Tuesday night show so as not to miss Sleepy Sun and The Black Angels. Last fall, Sleepy Sun was hypnotizing a packed crowd at Spaceland (now called The Satellite) in Los Angeles. Back then, a petite female vocalist, named Rachel Fannan, crooned enchanting harmonies alongside the male lead vocalist, Bret Constantino. Tonight, the psychedelic rock band from Santa Cruz is now a solid setup of straight testosterone. As before, the groove of Sleepy Sun's music was mesmerizing, their passion just as strong. But without Fannan's angelic melodies, Sleepy Sun lost the true awe factor that tied the members together so perfectly, and kept the crowd's attention. (Kim Conlan)

See also: The 50 Worst Things About the OC Music Scene


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54 comments
casaoc
casaoc

Wow so many good shows and you blew it ! Guess you missed the best ones.. This is the oc weakly.

Kristy Perry
Kristy Perry

Yes! The Melvins, Matt Costa, Black Lips, and KRS 1, are deeply ingrained in my soul.... not on this list is School of Seven Bells, Fu Manchu, and the many nights spent with March trying to get their shit together.

Dos Chinos
Dos Chinos

The chinos will be there for support

John Santana
John Santana

I missed this one. That had to be awesome.

John Santana
John Santana

ANYTHING BOX with Claude S. AnythingBox, Paul Rijnders, Dania Morales AnythingBox 9-27-2008, best show ever at the DETROIT BAR.....

Dustin Poulton
Dustin Poulton

Char Char Breneman remember the slings/sendaero/spider show? that one always sticks out to me as one of the funnest shows we ever played. also the slings/deep sea diver one was pretty great.

joegiant500
joegiant500

You forgot to mention THE BREEDERS show!  Full 2 hour set with all their songs plus a few Pixies.


And the Fu Manch "ACTION IS GO" show was unbelievable!

Missing Link
Missing Link

Static age at club mesa when the owner had a heart attack.

Ryan Harris
Ryan Harris

Peter Bjorn and John and The Black Ghosts

James C Cooks III
James C Cooks III

KRS 1..Cappadonna frm What Tang..s/o to Huey the bar tender..

pr4mojo
pr4mojo

Dr. Dog w/Delta Spirit.

Delta Spirit

Any one of the many, many Fu Manchu shows





paulifornia
paulifornia

Totally forgot the Elliot Smith Show. The Yeah yeah yeahs w/ the liars and jon spencer blues explosion. What about MEW? come on OC WEEKLY!

John Enriquez
John Enriquez

I agree with John Van Gaston. I've seen some pretty good shows here - from Claude AnythingBox to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart to The Dum Dum Girls to Asobi Seksu, WASI, etc.

Nick Emmons
Nick Emmons

The bouncer getting pissed off at me for drinking outside.

Kevin Burwick
Kevin Burwick

Breeders, melvins, and gza falling off of the stage

Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

How about any of the shows Stereolab would play to kick off their US tours?

Otis Denim
Otis Denim

When Club Mesa switched from glass beer mugs to plastic because people would smash each other over the head with the mugs . Can't forget the gent named Bash who would regulate the shows crowd with his fists . It's 19-19 , 19-19 , 19-19 NINETY THREE !

Roland Robles
Roland Robles

Lots of memories in that place,drunk nights are remembered more than sober ones :'(

Vinnie Gagliano
Vinnie Gagliano

Elliot Smith, Modest Mouse, Dr. Dog, and Bad Brains.

machinegunn
machinegunn

Elliot Smith?  Modest Mouse?  Dr. Dog? Bad Brains? 

Kent Harrison
Kent Harrison

Katie Mallen Steve Aoki! Drinking in the parking lot, pre-partying and my friend almost getting raped at the liquor store across the street haha. Hot summer nights driving the truck. will miss this place!

Niko Babic
Niko Babic

Miike Snow, Mike Relm, Comedy Night.

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