Close your eyes. Now imagine, there’s a four- piece band on stage and one of the two vocalists has a James Dean aesthetic. They’re filling your ears with what sounds like The Beatles, Johnny Cash and The Black Keys went to the South and made a beautiful music love child and raised it in California. This sound has been cultivated by Los Angeles band The Shelters.

The Shelters performed last night at U Street Music Hall as part of Alt Nation’s Advanced Placement Tour alongside The Hunna and Night Riots. All three bands premiered singles on Alt Nation’s weekly show “Advanced Place,” giving them a hand in the rest of the world having the pleasure of discovering them.

The band has been on tour since September, performing at festivals and shows supporting Band of Horses before beginning the Advanced Placement Tour in October.

On touring with The Shelters, Jermaine Angin, the 24-year-old bassist from British band The Hunna said, “First off they’re amazing guys, so humble, so nice, so welcoming, because obviously coming over to the U.S., we’re so far from where we live, we’re in the unknown … They know exactly what we’re going through; they’re just so, so genuine and so helpful. So that really means a lot to us. And secondly, their music is fucking amazing. We both have completely different vibes … You don’t get to see this type of music in the U.K. that much.”

The Shelters opened the show with one of their more upbeat tracks “Birdwatching” off their self-titled debut album co-produced by Tom Petty. While it was pretty evident that so many in the crowd had yet to listen to the band, they were quick to warm up to them, nodding along and swaying to the beat and being mesmerized by elaborate guitar riffs and a bass line that won’t quit.

Stephanie Gagnon, a 24-year-old resident of Ashburn, Virginia originally came to the show for Night Riots, but left pleasantly surprised by The Shelters.

“I really liked the vibe,” Gagnon said. “I feel like sometimes you go to a show and you like the music but the feeling is off but the feeling was there too and it was just like a really good environment … the way that everyone felt like they were connecting together.”

Rather than closing out the show with something expected like “Rebel Heart,” the band instead eased the crowd to the end of their set by playing “The Ghost Is Gone.” With the hypnotic ostinato of the guitar and bass chords, fast paced instrumental interludes and bluesy guitar riffs throughout, it was a perfect transition into their cover of “Lost Woman” by The Yardbirds. Their rendition brought the song back to life with a more upbeat rock feel and harmonic, powerful vocals from Chase Simpson and Josh Jove.

The Shelters will continue their tour with The Hunna and Night Riots until ending Dec. 3 in Portland, playing one more show with Band of Horses along the way.

Featured Photo Credit: Vocalist and guitarist of The Shelters, Josh Jove, peforms at U Street Music Hall on the Alt Nation Advanced Placement Tour. Pictured right, bassist Jacob Pillot(Cassie Osvatics/Bloc Reporter)

Cassie is a senior English major and can be reached at cosvatics@gmail.com.

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