Fierce Creatures were once the darlings of Fresno’s indie scene, creating buzz with music – infectiously danceable, yet moody, alternative rock – and their drive to create sense of place within the city.
So, it’s perfect that the band’s first performance in two years comes as part of the Summer Sweat block party, happening Saturday, July 30, in downtown Fresno. After all, the band’s Catacomb Party release show in 2012 spawned its own downtown music festival and set the tone for these kind of like-minded events. The Catacomb Party is officially on hiatus this year, but Tioga Sequoia had a stockpile of its signature Catacomb brew, the band was looking to do a reunion show and the only date available happened to coincide with the already-booked Summer Sweat party.
The result is a Catacomb Party/Summer Sweat collaboration, with Fierce Creatures joining more than a dozen local and touring bands and Tioga Sequoia releasing a new brew for the occasion – a Belgian style saison aged in chardonnay wine barrels.
“By some miracle it’s happening,” says Catacomb organizer and Fierce Creatures frontman Mathr de León.
Mostly, he’s talking about the reunion of the band.
These days, the Creatures are spread out across the West Coast. De León will be coming in from San Diego. Singer Amanda Valdez will be coming from Las Vegas.
Though the band has been kicking around a song list for the past few months and encouraging each other to “do their homework,” as de León puts it, it’s been tough to get rehearsals in. It was only earlier this month that all seven members finally got together in the same room. There was a bit of canned nostalgia having everyone together again, de León says.
“The most surprising thing was we didn’t sound awful,” he says.
While several of the members play in other projects (the Light Thieves, 1800s) several of the members, de León included, have stepped away from the music scene.
So, is this the band making a return?
Not exactly, de León says. Fierce Creatures only make up a band in the sense that members may get together from time to time for musical collaborations. There is talk of new music and also the release of old B-side records and the like. While playing live is no longer the band’s focus, de León imagines Fierce Creatures will perform again: “As long as there’s an excuse.”
For the first time in two years, the seven of us were in the same room together.
Mathr de León, on Fierce Creatures rehearsal earlier this month in anticipation of the band performance at Summer Sweat
Fierce Creatures are scheduled to play at 10:30 p.m. Here’s info on the rest of the Summer Sweat lineup:
▪ Black Milk – The Detroit hip-hop emcee/producer headlines the night as part of his Rebellion tour.
▪ The Soft White Sixties – The guys have played Fresno fairly consistently since 2012, when they were named one of the top 10 bands in the Bay Area by Live 105.
▪ Zee Will – Part of the Love City movement. Poetic hip-hop from one of Fresno’s freshest emcees.
▪ Goldboot – Las Vegas pop duo band has played Fresno often. That includes a spot at the Catacomb Party in 2015.
▪ Radio Skies – Folk-inspired jam-band psychedelia from Ojai.
▪ Banta – Throwback indie-folk from Echo Park. The sextet puts off heavy Fleetwood Mac vibes.
▪ Yip Yops – ’80s inspired electronic rock from Coachella Valley.
▪ 1800’s – The debut performance of the indie-surf rock project from Fierce Creatures drummer Tomas Galvan.
▪ Macondo – Folkish indie rock from Orosi. Featuring the guys behind the Spanspek Festival.
▪ Crash – Animated hip-hop from emcee aka Larren “Crash” Mathershed.
▪ Sister Grizzly – Four piece indie-rock band on visit from the Bay Area.
▪ Tomi Jean – Straightforward indie-rock with dance-rock moments. From Fresno.
▪ Misé – Folktronica (folk + electronic + Americana) duo from Moscow. Idaho, not the USSR.
▪ Where Sea Meets Sky – The return of the Fresno post-punk trio.
▪ Cinco – Hip-hop laced R&B from the 559.
Summer Sweat Vol. 2
- 1 p.m. Saturday, July 30
- Tioga Sequoia, 745 Fulton St.
- $10, all ages