Aan exude a certain boyish charm when they walk onstage. It’s unassuming. It’s endearing. It’s part of what makes the raw noise of their emotive performance so disarming.
Last week’s show at The Hi Hat kicked off with a fierce rendition of “Hollywood Buyout,” which may or may not have been a well-deserved jab at LA culture from the Portland dudes. There was some early trouble with the sound system, but the band took it in stride and came out of the first song swinging.
The crowd at The Hi Hat was an eclectic mix of LA music scene regulars and pool sharks looking to show off at the bar’s plentiful tables. The Highland Park staple has a casual camaraderie that’s tough to find in this city – the kind of spot where you’re always about to run into someone you sort of know. (Case in point: I totally saw a dude who ghosted me back in September. Obviously, I did the mature thing and judged his ill-advised mustache from across the room all night.)
Aan packed the last half of their set with all my favorites. They shredded on “Forever Underfoot” and “Bleached Out For Nothing” back to back, and finished off with the wildly unexpected “Wet And Dripping.” The band was fully in their element, wailing into their mics and rolling around on the ground during solos. On a related note, frontman Bud Wilson’s dance moves are not to be missed.
By the time the distortion from the last fuzzed out note sounded it was past midnight and I went home with a high pitched ringing in my ears and the warm glow of rock n roll catharsis.