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LIVE AND DANGEROUS: Hell on Heels hits Bar Pink
Killola, Semi Precious Weapons and Von Iva rock North Park last weekend
Mariano Robles, Staff Writer

Updated: Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bar Pink was definitely raging last week with three garage-glam bands rocking the cute, little pink bubbles off the bar’s walls.

The first band of the night, Killola, hailed from Los Angeles and got the crowd all worked up with its infectious mix of art-punk and dance-rock. Lead singer Lisa Rieffel stood on stage in all black, except for her platinum blonde hair with blunt bangs.

As the set continued and Reifell’s black eyeliner began to smear, she got really amped, as if she just stuck her finger into a light socket. Channeling Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs by wrapping the microphone around her pocket-sized frame, Reiffel kept the crowd pumped and dancing to the band’s infectious beats.

Killola has a dark sound, but at the same time, the music is fast and makes you want to scream and dance until the wee hours of the morning.

Next on the bill was New York’s Semi Precious Weapons, which was undeniably the show stealer of the night. The band started to play the opening notes of its self-titled rock anthem as lead singer Justin Tranter entered from the crows and screams the opening line of the song, “I can’t pay my rent, but I’m f***ing gorgeous!”, and the crowd went insane.

Tranter teased, “If I take my top off, will you?” as he stood on stage in spandex and patent leather high-heeled boots that made his already tall form appear towering. After he asked this, the dozens on punk girls squealed and a handful even proceeded to lift up their shirts.

Semi Precious Weapons put on an electric performance with infectious guitar riffs, loud drums and crass lyrics. Tranter and his crew were the epitome of old school glam rock, throwing themselves around the tiny stage, while Tranter sang lyrics too nasty for print.

On stage, Tranter was a sick and twisted mix of David Bowie and Mick Jagger as he seemingly their channeled edginess while he threw his thin body all around the stage, on the floor and in the crowd. At one point he even played a guitar solo with just the heel of his boots. The band closed its set with the smoldering “Rock and Roll Never Looked So Beautiful,” and had the crowd seeming pleased with Semi Precious Weapons’ killer performance.

Next up was San Francisco’s all-girl trio Von Iva who took the small stage for its third time at San Diego’s Bar Pink.

Von Iva is sexy, full of attitude and a mix of old-school soul and dance punk.
It had the crowd dancing and shaking to its retro sound that was emphasized by keyboardist Bex switching between two keyboards.

When not in song, lead singer Jillian Iva was jumping around on stage and captivating the crowd with her strong voice and sultry sounds.