Local band The Vigils are like a poppier version of Sisters of Mercy, and not just because singer Daniel Cieplinski resembles Andrew Eldritch a bit (the dark glasses help). A fun mix of straight-up rock n’ roll with dark, dance-y New Wave, the band will get you moving with their energetic basslines and impressive saxophone leads. Yes, saxophone. As their Facebook says, they “play Rock and Roll music you can dance to,” and they played Club Moscow at Boardners last Wednesday with spastic energy and unabashed joy.
Saxophonist Jessie Bender held down a safe spot in the corner while bassist Soledad Luongo and guitarist David St. Davids were sparks of energy at either side of the stage, and Cieplinski was pogo-ing and wagging his head, occasionally crashing into them. (Rounding out the sound on drums was newcomer Skeeter Joplin, whose hard-hitting drum style gives the songs a definite kick.) While stage antics are always entertaining – and this was the most hyper I’d seen them – none of it would matter if the songs weren’t good, but they are: the opening song “Night Flight” is one of my favorites for its immediately catchy beat and crooning sax. It is sheer 80s glory with a memorable melody and a good representation of the band’s sound, along with “Outsider”, which starts off slow and then bursts into the kind of beat that requires jumping up and down. Before playing that one, Cieplinski intoned the names of the characters from The Outsiders, which certainly ties in with his sleeveless shirt look and the band’s logo (which also makes me think of The Warriors. “Come out to play…!”).
“New World” and “October”, another favorite, are more moody and angular; the latter has a Siouxsie Sioux flavor and some great looping sax lines. The band currently only has two recorded tracks available on Bandcamp but they frequently play the Hollywood area, and have to be seen live to be appreciated. Their next shows are June 11 at the Old Towne Pub in Pasadena and June 28 at Molly Malone’s.
Photo by Lauren Micaela Eubanks