If the Red Hot Chili Peppers raised a reggae blues baby today, it might come to know itself as the “red-headed stepchild of Sublime.”
Such is the identity coming forth from Southern California’s Top Shelf Shake, who will be throwing down four hours of music at The Blu Pig on Saturday evening, Feb. 24. The show will start at 6 p.m. and go until 10 p.m., free of a cover charge.
The trio is comprised of Aaron Zuniga on guitar and vocals, Zac Graham on bass and Dennis Quijano on drums as “the ultimate keeper of time.”
Zuniga and Graham started playing garage band covers together in 2010 – songs from artists previously mentioned, as well as Santana, Prince, John Mayer and many others. After four years of steady progression, the duo brought on percussion with Quijano, projecting its sound into the realm of larger shows, tours and overall increased exposure. In 2016, the trio discovered its dormant ability to create original music. Since then, the band has built a repertoire that successfully plays into its developed act and head nods, and pays homage to its many heroes.
Top Shelf Shake says its catchy choruses and “booty-bumpin’ rhythm section” are made to get the audience dancing and singing along with “blissful abandon.”
Zuniga writes the majority of the lyrics, at times collaborating with Graham.
“My mission, as an individual, is to follow this crazy dream of mine to the ends of the Earth and back,” Zuniga said. “For me, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ I’ll make it, but ‘when.’ I believe that if you dedicate yourself to something wholeheartedly, and just have the courage to never give up on it, success will follow as naturally as the bright day follows the dark night.”
It’s safe to say Zuniga’s sentiment represents the drive of the trio. The band has been making an impact on the music scene in Chino, California, and surrounding areas. Its latest tour is the band’s first opportunity to spread its music and message to Utah, and around the United States.
“As an individual, I am always growing as a person, musician and drummer,” said Quijano, who wants to reach “a master level” by his mid-30s. “As a band … the more we (play), the more we build our following as well as build a name for ourselves.”
The Blu Pig’s General Manager Jake Tanner says he found the band on YouTube and booked them in the restaurant’s Blu Bar (ages 21 and over) for something different.
“(Because we do) music seven days a week – every night – it’s nice to be able to get weekend acts who switch it up,” Tanner said. “Their covers from blues to rock and roll seemed fun and like a good fit.”
Top Shelf Shake has never been to Utah before, and other than the cold, the trio isn’t sure what to expect.
“We hope to stay warm and melt some faces as we shake things up,” Quijano said.
“We’re just excited to be able to travel the country and (follow) our dreams,” Zuniga said. “I’m just hoping we find some people there that enjoy what we contribute to the universe.”
SoCal’s Top Shelf Shake comes to town on Feb. 24
What: Live music with Top Shelf Shake in the Blu Bar
When: Saturday, Feb. 24, from 6 to 10 p.m.
Where: The Blu Bar at The Blu Pig, 811 S. Main St.
Cost: No cover charge; 21 and over
Information: 435-259-3333; facebook.com/topshelfshake/
We hope to stay warm and melt some faces as we shake things up.