Student Band Earns Spot at House of Blues

From Etta James to Stevie Wonder, almost every famous performer since the mid-nineties has performed at the legendary House of Blues. Now, four fellow Brahmas have added on to this wide variety of faces when the BiPolar Bears opened for the tribute bands Led Zepagain and Fan Halen on August 24, at the Anaheim House of Blues.

The band covered songs from such metal bands as Rush, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Tool, and Danzig for their Saturday night performance. The band members include sophomore Matthew Gamboa from Monterey Park and Diamond Bar freshmen Darryl Matsune, Maddy Landi, Aaron Kerestes, and sophomore Anthony Vasquez. Landi, the vocalist, is backed up by Matsune and Gamboa on guitar, Kerestes on bass, and Vasquez on drums.

Landi shared that they earned this opportunity to perform after winning a battle of the bands in Glendora. This annual contest was held during the Oak Tree Festival at St. Dorothy Catholic Church, in which bands vied for a spot to open for tribute bands Led Zepagain and Fan Halen at the HOB. This is not Landi’s first time winning this contest she had won as a 6th grader singing with a previous band, Jet Propulsion.

The week before they were set to play they practiced from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. “It was so scary,” Kerestes shared about their performance. However, hard efforts paid off as the venue appeared to be a sold out show.

The band members find it difficult to balance both school work and band rehearsals because they are all involved with many sports and extracurricular activities at school. Vasquez, Kerestes, and Gamboa are all members of Diamond Bar High School’s prestigious drumline. Likewise, Vasquez is involved in football, and Kerestes plays bass in DBHS’s Symphony Orchestra. Landi, in addition, is involved in both volleyball and softball.

Bright and early every morning at 7 a.m., all four DBHS band members attend Steve Acciani’s Music Enterprise class. “We’re learning music theory and how to play music,” Matsune explained.

Despite their current success, only Landi desires to pursue a career in music and would like to attend Julliard School one day.

The band is currently in the process of writing their own songs, and they hope to have another opportunity to perform at the HOB once again. But for now, they are planning to have their next performance at another SoCal hotspot. “Our promoter said that he’s getting us a gig at The Grove,” Landi proudly stated.