The bar area of the House of Blues in Anaheim is riddled with soaked-through Converse All-Stars shoes and a sea of various black hoodies while the merchandise area of the venue keeps moving inward to seek shelter from the rain under the HOB’s second-floor awning. Hanging out with family and friends of their band, Your Enemies Friends, bass player and vocalist Dana James, along with lead singer/guitarist Ronnie Washburn, stop and talk to fans while trying to keep warm. Later on, they will share the stage with guitarist Allen Watke, drummer Luis-Carlos Contreas and keyboardist/guitarist Allison Ables.
At the end of long tables filled with sample shirts and sweaters sporting band names is a young pink-haired girl selling merchandise for Your Enemies Friends. Juxtaposed against the metal/hardcore standard of jet-black T-shirts is a pile of what looks to be donations for the Salvation Army.
Self-screen printed designs showing rows of guns and Your Enemies Friends peek through here and there in this random pile of clothes, including skirts, dress shirts and ties.
Where most bands rely on sending away for their shirts, Your Enemies Friends like to keep it simple while still being creative. This attitude is also reflected in their music.
Comprised of former members of Pressure, this band constantly reinvents itself. As Dana James pointed out, ‘We just wanted to move away from that sound.’ Ronnie and Dana left Pressure in order start Your Enemies Friends, whose name comes from ‘an ancient proverb that basically says that your enemies’ friends will become friends. That they’ll always co-conspire against you,’ James explained.
On the bill, the headlining band is the cacophonic Dillinger Escape Plan and, absent due to an accident earlier that day, The Locust. Collectively, these bands’ live shows make you want to fall on the ground seizuring. This isn’t the show for you if you think Story of the Year is a hardcore band.
Although slated to play third to last, posters of Your Enemies Friends grace the walls of the House of Blues. Fans devise stratagems to take the posters after the show while 10 to 15 television screens flash more pictures of the band.
When the curtain finally opens, a surprising number of fans erupts as they start to play a song from their 2002 debut, ‘The Wiretap EP.’ Ables comes in with her Nord Lead and Korg keyboards while Washburn bursts out in sporadic screams that are reminiscent of Dennis Lyxz
Filed Under: A & E