On Wednesday night I found myself squeezing into an old seventies Dodge with six other USF students all trying to get down to one of the city’s most popular venues, Bottom of The Hill, for a very special show curated by USF junior Dennis Walker. Walker, who is also the lead singer and guitarist of the San Francisco-based psychedelic band Ghost Town Refugees, was given the opportunity to plan his very own show at Bottom of The Hill and pick a headliner and opener.
To make the show very special, he asked USF senior Travis Hayes and USF sophomore Austin Montanari to bring their bands to Bottom of The Hill’s red carpeted stage. Hayes, who plays solo material under his own name opened the show and was the only set I unfortunately missed. Before Ghost Town Refugees took to the stage I asked Dennis Walker what he though of Travis Hayes’ set. Walker said, “It was absolutely beautiful, he had three girls on stage singing harmoniously with him the whole time. It was really something special to see.”
The Ghost Town Refugees played a forty five minute set full of new tracks that have yet to be recorded and old favorites such as “Money in my Pocket.” All around the venue I noticed many USF students and alumni along with regular concert goers cheering and clapping after every song to a very grateful Ghost Town, who were thrilled to be playing at one of the most well-known venues in the city. After finishing their last song, Dennis addressed the crowd, thanking the venue staff, all of the other bands and the entire audience for showing up on a rainy Wednesday night before walking off stage with guitar in hand.
As the refugees started disassembling their drum set, Austin Montanari and the rest of the members of the LA-founded and currently SF-based band Koalacaust took to the stage. After making a name for themselves by playing wild house parties, Koalacaust’s singer Joe Hughes told the audience, “Tonight’s show is the first time we’ve ever done a sound check!” Imediatly after, the band blasted through tracks from their self-titled release. By the time the first song had started, a mosh pit was forming in the front; USF senior Peter Thoene was seen moshing, dancing, and even jumping onto to the stage to hug Montanari halfway through the band’s set.
After the show many of the band members and fans stuck around, where many were heard talking about how great the show had been since it showcased a lot of USF talent but was unique in the fact that it took place at such a popular venue. Sophmore Jaquie Garvey said, “It was definitely worth the trek down here and was a great way for me to celebrate my birthday with my friends too.”
Travis Hayes’s music can be downloaded for free at iamtravishayes.bandcamp.com
Koalacaust’s self titled album “Koalacaust” can be downloaded for free at thefmly.com