During my broke-ass years in Los Angeles, I was fortunate enough to see superstars Katy Perry, Sara Bareilles, Eric Hutchinson and Brooke White (among others) while they were still unknown club acts at Hollywood’s trendy Hotel Cafe. But on the other side of The Hills, in a seedy San Fernando Valley dive, I discovered the Dreaming Society.
I was only at this joint to meet a girl, an edgy chick I met outside Amoeba Records who probably invited me there on a dare. When the band (then known by a different name) took the stage, I plumb forgot about her after setting my eyes on the spellbinding lead singer, Shelah Kelso. With heavenly beauty, otherworldly deep eyes and faerie blonde locks, she looked as ready to protect me and my precious ring as she was to sing me a song. Lead guitarist Karl Strauss stood in the shadows… but not for long. Decades after Reagan commanded someone to “tear down these walls,” Karl almost did during one hell of a guitar solo.
The Dreaming Society steps in where Evanescence left off. Amy Lee and Ben Moody only make it down their sides of the stormy mountain once in a howling moon, so someone’s gotta fill the void. The Dreaming Society’s video for “It’s All Caving In” features an expanded lineup. It provides everything breathless True Blood/Evanescence fans desire: dark, brooding rhythms, shredding guitars, whip crack drums and copious amounts of lace, corsets, eyeliner, tattoos, dungeons and doppelgängers.
That said, I was shocked to see the band also has a lighter, playful side. Check out this Nutty Professor meets Shrek clip for their song “The Alchemist.” It has everything a Kate Hudson film fan would want: beautiful blonde, “will they or won’t they?” romantic tension, makeovers, dressing room montage (but with a Comic-Con twist):
Nerds rejoice. Take that, girl from outside Amoeba Records.
The Dreaming Society’s self-titled debut is now available on Amazon.