Escape Artist Lovers, Forever Never Changes, Devon Ross, Capture Hearts at Zebulon

Escape Artist Lovers - All photos by Notes From Vivace

Photos and Review by NOTES FROM VIVACE

LOS ANGELES – Escape Artist Lovers has been growing their fan base across Los Angeles over the last 12 months or so, releasing hypnotic and addictive songs such as “Punctuation,” “Hey Motherfucker,” and “Out Where I Can Wander” while playing local venues such as Gold-Diggers, Lodge Room, and the Zebulon.

All this work culminated this past Monday at their venue “headquarters,” Zebulon, where a packed house showed up early and stayed late for the final night of their March residency. Joining them on the bill was Forever Never Changes and Devon Ross as well as The Rated Z Dance Troupe.

Escape Artist Lovers – All photos by Notes From Vivace

Escape Artist Lovers is fronted by Rain Phoenix and Kirk Hellie. Phoenix and Hellie share lead vocal duties as well as the dynamic and frenetic stage presence of non-stop motion. Hellie provides hypnotic beats while going through five different guitars during a 9-song set. Luckily, the band has a guitar technician to work through all the switches.

Escape Artist Lovers at Zebulon – All photos by Notes From Vivace

Highlight of any Escape Artist Lovers set is the song “Punctuation,” which kicked off their set. “Swimming in dust. Swilling on my lawn. I’m living fast, but I’m the one whose last in my head, in my head.” That should speak to many in the Los Angeles music scene. Their “Hey Motherfucker” starts out low key before erupting in thundering drum beats and then drifting into a silent finish with vocals and guitar going into an out of tune middle finger to whoever that individual is. The band closed it out with “Baby Yer a Bad Blues.” Who is that baby? Maybe the drummer as the whole band turned their backs to the audience and played facing the drum kit.

Escape Artist Lovers – All photos by Notes From Vivace

Opening the night was the debut performance of Forever Never Changes. The band is fronted by Justin Warfield (who also is a member of She Wants Revenge). Warfield mentioned that the songs from the set were from an album that he recorded in 2020. He also said in a matter of fact way that the songs were about the political divide that the nation went through in 2020 and that nothing much had changed in 2024. It was a five song set, which allowed the band to explore the dark wave influences of the individual songs in full. There were plenty of jams that had the band exchanging smiles with each other.

Forever Never Changes – All photos by Notes From Vivace

After Forever Never Changes, The Rated Z Dance Troupe took over the floor of Zebulon. Their performance was a fun dance break in the music. And one has to say that they had the brightest lights ever used inside Zebulon.

Rated Z Dance Troupe – Notes From Vivace

Closing out the night was Devon Ross with a nonchalant coolness that is perhaps more beat poetry punk than American Idol vocals. That is no doubt the vibe she wants. She was challenging Kirk Hellie with the number of guitars she used on stage. Her guitar play excites the senses. And well, she has the pedigree for that. Take that drum stick and scratch those strings to the breaking point. Swing that guitar neck high up to the heavens. Play it down below the knee caps. Hit the floor and play that guitar like a steel pedal.

Devon Ross at Zebulon – Photos by Notes From Vivace

All this with stream of conscious lyrics, “Your standard television couldn’t come up any clearer. Your colored walls make me sick. Your face is fading quick. Cause he’s next. I’m last. You’re wrong.” Side note: I’ve been proposing a Devon music bill to everyone who will listen to me. Who would it include? Devon Ross, Devon Thompson, and the slightly not fitting Devin Davis’ Ramonda Hammer.

Devon Ross – Photos by NOTES FROM VIVACE

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