While walking into the lush environment of the Dispensary I didn't think that I would be walking into a restaurant type of establishment. The way that it was set up was like walking into a Jazz bar that had not been refurbished since it opened. One of the first things that struck me was all of the ivy that was around. Clearly hosing it down would be the best option to clean these things and it would make life a little easier but the best part of it was the thick carpeting. The color was a dreadful pink but it was a great way to adsorb the sound so that it did not bounce off everywhere. A lot of bars now a days try to have some sort of bare floor but their sound bounce everywhere,this was not the case for this bar. In fact the Sliderbar (Fullerton Ca) should take a note as to have amazing sound like the. (Fox Pomona) For a bar this is quite literally some of the best sounds.
The music started off with a three piece band sans singer. The key board was very unexpected but it still had a very classic sound that people listen for when they want to hear jazz. Aside from the keyboard player there was a stand up bass and drums. The band didn't move around much, in fact the bass player looked like he was painted in the corner, but their set up made more since as the night went on and different people come to play a song or two. My favorite out of everyone who played was the first bass player because his lime green shirt and stoic bass playing made me laugh, in a non mean way, on so many levels. For some reason it really brought me happiness to see him play.
The lead singer David De Costa had the old Vegas feel that everyone loves to see when they come out here. For people who live around here, having to go to the strip is just a pain in the ass but why go to the strip and spend money when the vocalist nephew, Justin Shandor plays Elvis on the strip and you can see him play at the bar for the low low price of two drinks or a meal. When Shandor came on stage and belted out a great Elvis song it really enhanced the sound that was going on. He even had his pomp still which gave the classic feel that his uncle had . The main vocalist, De Costa, on the other hand had a great Frank Sinatra sound and played many of the classic tunes from Sinatra. Although his vocals had that great quality, he also sang other songs from Brazil called “One Note Samara”. It was nice to hear a large variety of sounds come from the band. Not all people can play in those styles and to have a little bit of everything was nice to hear. It had also broke up the set from the customary sounds and classics songs to some tunes that the singer had love for. When we as an audience get to hear a song that the singer or band has a particular feeling towards, it seems like there is more emotion and feeling that doesn't always come across.
As the music changed so did the crowd. At first it seemed like there was a large amount of older people but as the night continued on people of all ages were coming in. It also seemed like some people would stay for a few minutes then continued on with their night. It was really nice to see different faces come in and out of the place. At some point the lead singer was out with the crowd having a drink and mingling with the regulars like he owned the place. The best part was when he lit his cigarette with one of the oil lamps. Most places today have those stupid flame less candles but that is not what we are talking about here.
Although the first half of the show was very organized in the sound and the people that played, it seemed like the other half of the night was dedicated to improve and just the idea of playing a song to play. There would be random people who would play everything from the bass, so the other bassist could go smoke and drink, to a sax player. The ages of these players were significantly younger but it didn't inhibit the sound at all. In fact it gave more of a jazz feel that this was for everyone.
It is definitely a different experience going to a place like this to listen to jazz. Now a days places are so weird about smoking in small environments and in general it seems like people get hammered now and are flat out dicks to the band. This was not the case with the Dispensary. It was a nice refreshing experience to have as close to a classic Vegas experience as one could get. A lot of people take for granted walking into a bar and hearing sound that actually hits the notes one time.