Angel Castorena on the “new” Korova
July 5 and 6 were two key days in the history of the Korova. First, the Ghostpizza event was supposed to be a sneak preview of what was going to happen with the “remodeled” venue on the next day. I stopped by for a few minutes before the Ghostpizza event (which, by all accounts, was a riot) to speak to Angel Castorena, who is still the promoter but who now also owns 30 percent of the venue. He said “the sound is almost ready, but it will be finished tomorrow,” referring to the Girl in a Coma show.
I took his word for it, so I decided to return the next day and judge the new sound when it was “ready,” but before I left I asked Castorena to show me around the new improvements.
Then, we went outside to see the new feature: bike racks!
One more thing: the Korova will now serve food, and that includes veggie options.
In other words: the remodeling (“we did it for less than $10,000,” Castorena said) is not big deal. The place does look better, but the look was never a problem: the problem was the sound. Mrs. Howl opened for Girl in a Coma on July 6 (I missed it), but the girls were thrilled about it.
“It sounded great from the stage,” said Chelsea, the singer. “We didn’t play there before, so we don’t have anything to compare it with. But we heard ourselves well and enjoyed playing in front of such a large crowd.”
Next up was Langton Drive.
The girls (and boy on drums, Ernesto Olivo) hit it out of the goddamn park (I also saw them Sunday at Saluté, and they’re now one of my favorite newer bands in town). While I was close to the stage, for the first time in my experience with the Korova I could hear every instrument, and that included the vocal harmonies of Christine Rebel (first guitar) and Jessie Riot (second guitar). Once I stepped back, the usual happened: the sound sucked. But guess what: that didn’t stop me and many others in a packed house to enjoy a good time (and bad sound never stopped the Dolls or the Pistols from changing the world, so we should all cut down a little on the bitchin'; just a little).
Girl in a Coma also had an incredible night, so here’s my take on the “new” Korova’s sound: it could and should be better, and I expect improvements before we all go deaf. In the meantime, whenever there’s a good show there, I’ll show up early, get as close to the stage as possible, and have a good time.
After all, it’s only rock and roll. — Enrique Lopetegui