Last night the Bootleg Theater had a line going for over a block down the street with people trying to get in. For those who don’t know, the Bootleg is not some hot club on the Sunset strip, but instead a small mixed use non-profit bar and performance space in Rampart Village, nestled neatly in between Echo Park and Westlake. Since 2000 the venue has hosted many national and local acts, most recently of which is PAPA, the band who drew the over capacity crowd to yesterday’s show.
PAPA is currently just over halfway through their month long residency at the Bootleg, and although the group has been around since 2008, in 2012 the band grew its fan base exponentially by being break out hits at the FYF and Outsidelands festivals, as well as opening for bands like Of Monsters And Men, Grouplove, the Temper Trap, and Ra Ra Riot. While PAPA managed to break out a bit nationally this past year, it has garnered an almost a cult status in Los Angeles with some fans coming to every single one of the band’s shows at the Bootleg. And these adoring crowds scream before, during and after each song, declaring their love for the band. At one point a group of friends shouted, “MAKE ME PREGNANT!” Guitarist Ben Lear laughed and added, “Funny you should say that.” He then launched into the band’s song “Let’s Make You Pregnant.”
The band members were also unique in their visual presentation and showmanship. Lead singer and percussionist Darren Weiss covered his drum kit in colorful strips of post-it notes, giving the illusion that with every beat the instrument was exploding into confetti. The stage was also lit by lamps, and although it was a noble attempt to create a homey aesthetic, it failed at times when founding member and bassist Daniel Present knocked over his lamp on a few occasions.