First the bikinis, then the band.
Thursday, December 13, 2001
First, let''s get the glitzy stuff at Blue Fin Cafe & Billiards tonight out of the way: There will be beautiful, bikini-clad women there from 7-9pm for the Politically Incorrect party brought to you by KSJO 92.7FM and DJ''s Lamont and Tonelli. The evening is a promotion for a calendar which features the most beautiful women these guys could come up with.
But, after all the flaunting and hoopla over scantily clad females is over, the four guys (hopefully not in bikinis) who make up the band InBalance will throw their gear up on stage and attempt to woo the crowd with some musical flaunting of their own.
"They (the bikini clad women) are going to be there from seven to nine; they''re going to be gone by the time we start," says InBalance founder and guitarist Ethan Roberts in a mock-melancholy voice. "We''re just going to get the leftovers and try to draw them back in."
InBalance doesn''t have that much to worry about. The group has been performing regularly in Monterey for two years following a succession of Band Competitions that Roberts affectionately recalls losing.
"We didn''t want to play another one," he says.
Of course, they did play another one: The KMBY band competition at Blue Fin this past summer--which, ironically, they won.
The band represents a coagulation of brotherly love and simple joy of rocking a crowd. Roberts, Chris Thomas, and Anthony Gonzales all went to Monterey High School, where the trio played in the marching band''s percussion section. Years later, Roberts started a band called Kimosabi, that ultimately became InBalance as it is today.
Robert''s first gig was at Dorothy''s Kitchen, a homeless shelter, on Soledad in Salinas.
"Here I was, 14-years old, and old drunk folks are walking up to shake my hand, it was strange to say the least," Roberts says wistfully.
Currently InBalance has a sound that borders on the mainstream alternative, with heavy rhythm changes boosted by the vocal chops of singer Brian Coelho.
"Things started happening to us when we got Brian. With him there came somebody with whom to identify the group and Brian does that. We have people telling us how great our singer is now, and it''s like yeah, but isn''t the band great, too?"
The bandmembers are very close to one another, and that closeness manifests itself in how tight the band is, musically. InBalance has a kind of jazz-ish quality that allows members to feed off of each other and this improvisational spirit makes almost every song sound new each time they play it. InBalance is not a band you can hear the same way twice--which is a good quality in almost any genre. In the band''s mixture of ''90s-style alternative rock blended with current mainstream pop, InBalance delivers a real and vibrant sound that captures almost all listeners immediately. It isn''t just a bunch of guys playing their set and collecting their money. You could throw beer at them and they''d play for free--which they have done numerous times for friends, clubs, and radio station events. Sometimes they do it for exposure but mostly it''s just because they love what they do.
"We hope we can make a living at it," Roberts says, "and quit our day jobs that support our habit (playing music)."
Tonight''s show is entirely free (including the bikini-clad girls) and the band is sure to please anyone who not only enjoys flaunted sexuality but who also wants to hear a band with a definite shot at the big time.
"It''s (playing) better than sitting at home," says Roberts, at the end of his rambling. "If we want anything...I think we want to be bigger than Creed."