November 18, 2021 | Concert Review by Rachael Contreras
This past Friday we donned our best tiki attire and went on down to the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa to see the next big thing in music, Hu3m3n, and a fantastic established industrial rock band, Julien-K.
Hu3m3n is a new band from SoCal whose members consist of guitarist Wes Geer ((Hed)pe, Korn), bassist Clinton Carlton (D.I.), drummer Scott Underwood (Train) and singer Matthew Bartosch. On this night, Underwood had a prior engagement with Train so the exceptional drummer, Tosh filled in. Tosh is fresh off a tour drumming for Jaden Hossler (jxdn) who opened for Machine Gun Kelly.
Hu3m3n has played a few times in intimate settings but this night brought their first real show. Hu3m3n eviscerated that stage with their talent. They opened with the sound of something resembling an organ but more intense that went straight into their newest release, “3DGING,” or “Edging”.
“3DGING” has an amazingly sensual yet catchy appeal. Even though singer Matt Bartosch’s voice is high-pitched and in a key only God’s favorite can sing, this song makes you want to try to sing along anyway. They played new songs not yet posted on their digital streaming accounts and intermixed them with old favorites that we loved before they temporarily removed them from their YouTube account. Guitarist Wes Geer told us it’s to keep us on the edge of our seats until they rerecord them and release them next year.
Every member of the band is a skilled professional and it shows. Not only did the substitute drummer, Tosh bring his A-game and keep up with the band after only one rehearsal, he blew the drum kit away with his amazing skills and threw his whole body into each new note. Even though he doesn’t look old enough to buy alcohol, you could tell this guy has breathed percussion most of his life.
Another thing that stood out was Geer’s stage presence. We are huge fans of old school (Hed)pe and saw them live back in the late ’90s when Geer played guitar for them. Watching him in Hu3m3n well over twenty years later brings us back to those (Hed) shows. He still plays shirtless with his eyes closed most of the time when he isn’t dancing around in his area doing spins and engaging the other band members and the crowd. He has the presence of a lead singer without taking the attention away from any other members.
Bassist Clinton Carlton seemed like he could play in the dark with his arms behind his back; (unless he really does put his eyes behind his back, he’s so proficient in what he does. With his maroon Dr. Martens, solid black bass and a smile, he was captivating to watch. Hu3m3n is a great band and we can’t wait till they have an album but in the mean time they are progressively building their digital platform and that will do for now.
Next up came Julien-K consisting of former members of Orgy, Ryan Shuck and Amir Derakh. On came the fog machine that quickly filled up the stage and looked radical against the floor lights that were pointed toward the ceiling. The stage lit up in different colors and the music started with a long industrial intro keeping the crowd in suspense of when Shuck and Derakh were going to hit the stage and then, BOOM! On came Derakh in a full black outfit and his iconic blue lip, then he put on his guitar and the crowd cheered. Then again, BOOM! Shuck appeared also in a full black outfit and large sunglasses clapping to the beat with his arms stretched out wide to show the intensity of the pop when his hands hit over and over.
They opened with a sonic blast of, “Harmonic Disruptor” the title-track off their latest album released in 2020. This song has a little feel of Powerman 5000’s “When Worlds Collide” so it really gets you entangled in the industrial rock feel and you can’t wait for more.
At one point when Shuck wasn’t playing his 8-string guitar, he turned and shook his booty in a way that only reminded us of George Michael’s “Faith” music video and we weren’t mad at it… and neither were the other ladies in the crowd as they cheered on like a wild bachelorette party. Shuck’s beautiful and very sweet girlfriend was in the crowd watching and we saw her smile when the influx of cheers erupted.
Musician, The Anix joined them on stage for their collaborative hit, “Lies Like Fire” and it sounded just as amazing as the recording but better to watch it live. It was quite the night of entertainment.
When Derakh wasn’t playing his guitar, he was playing what resembled an iPad taking the industrial music programing live and to the next level on stage. Julien-K and The Anix played one of their hidden gems, “Renegade” that got the crowd really amped. Ryan was very animated onstage with his choreography for each song. “
Then for something extra special, Shuck and Derakh treated the crowd to a live rendition of their massive Orgy hit, “Blue Monday,” and the crowd lost their minds. It was a great way to end the night. We can’t wait to see either of these bands play again!