As many of you know, I've had the pleasure of logging in thousands of hours at the Riviera Supper Club in La Mesa (7777 University Avenue). Originally lured in by the cool old school atmosphere, a great jukebox, strong drinks, and the company of my fellow Wolf (Two Wolves) Stephen Rey, I also caught more and more bands at the venue. My favorite local bands were many, but included the Baja Bugs, Blackout Party, Low Volts, and Billy Joe and the Roosters.
Not long after I started frequenting the Riviera for fun, I also found myself occupying the drum throne there with Westside Inflection. The laid-back, fun, and yet classy feel of both the venue and the band meant a great match, and I've played there regularly with Westside Inflection for close to two years now. Westside's renditions of classic songs made famous by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, and Nat King Cole are an ideal soundtrack for DIY steak grillers, and it always seems to be a fun time every time I'm there. I'm absolutely not offended to fill the role of "background music" -- in fact I love it. When I'm playing at the "Riv", I get the feeling of playing this particular music in the way it was originally experienced all those years ago, and that somehow makes it feel all the more pertinent and alive.
The thing that is most striking to me about the Riviera -- especially with the current ownership -- is the sort of seamless feel of patrons, musicians, and staff. The restaurant and bar flow into each other naturally, and familiar faces are the norm rather than the exception there. It may sound cliché, but there's a real family feel to place now. My friends Ashley, Dean, Chino, and Mikaela work here, strengthening this feeling.
Westside Inflection plays at the Riviera every Wednesday evening from 7-10, and I hope this residency continues for a good long while! Good old school food, classic music, and friends...the Riviera is really my kind of place!