Students got the chance to drop their textbooks and raise their glasses for a few hours while watching experimental rock band Glasspirits perform at the Nugget Grill & Pub Tuesday night.
Glasspirits, took the stage at 5 p.m., giving students a breath of fresh air in the midst of exams.
The duo behind Glasspirits, Joanna Glass and Abe Perez, make an unlikely musical pair. Glass is a classically trained violinist, who also leads on vocals, guitar and keyboard. Perez is self-taught, and provides drums, congas and other percussion.
Together, they brought an original flavor to their performance, reminiscent of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Muse, with afro-cuban influences and a twist of classical and electronic music.
The group’s diverse backgrounds put a refreshing take on traditional rock music. Their energy was contagious, eliciting hearty cheers from the small crowd gathered at the Nugget.
Glass and Perez fed off each other’s energy, bringing a free-spirited atmosphere to the pub. The two switched instruments often, with Perez transitioning from drums to congas, and Glass swapping her violin for the keyboard and electric guitar.
Despite Glass and Perez’s different musical backgrounds, Glasspirits music melded together seamlessly.
“We’re lucky we found each other,” said Glass. “There are a lot of great musicians but I feel like what each one of us brings as a team is unique. We’re like brother and sister, we share a lot of things as friends.”
At one point in the performance, Perez played a wild drum solo for their song, “Ritmos del Ybra,” while Glass danced freely to the music.
“I’m from Cuba, and wanted to come up with a percussion and drum solo that combined all of my Afro-Cuban influences,” said Perez. The song got its title, because Ybra is Perez’s Cuban nickname.
On stage, Glass and Perez maintained a constant energy, as if they were playing for a crowd of thousands, despite the small venue. Between songs, the two exchanged jokes and banter with the crowd, clearly at home on stage.
Glasspirits performed songs from their album, “Mysteries of Rhythm: Dusk.” Glass wrote the songs, while Perez contributed his knowledge of afro-cuban music and years of experience from his previous band “Yankee Rose,” that toured with big-name bands such as Van Halen.
“Her writing is very melodic,” said Perez. “Some of [the songs] have very challenging parts.”
Glass is an artist in more ways than just her music. She designed the cover art for their album, her passion contributes to her musical style.
“Having an artistic open mind helps,” said Glass. “[It] bleeds into the cover, the artwork and the music.”
At the conclusion of their performance, Perez and Glass showcased their diversity as artists by serenading the audience with a gentle cover of “My Angel Baby.” Perez took to the keyboard, while Glass played violin and sang the sweet, sultry lyrics.
Glasspirits’ call themselves “music for everyone,” and they certainly live up to this claim. The duo was just as comfortable head-banging on the electric guitar and drums as playing heartfelt, lyrical music.
Students can have the opportunity to watch Glasspirits perform when the band plays on July 29 at DiPiazza’s in Long Beach.