Saturation Fest..Back to the Grind supports local artists

IMG_1367By Jose Alvarez  |Staff Writer|

The sign reads Back to the Grind a place for all to come together, to leave all labels outside.

Stepping into Back to the Grind, I found myself trying to wiggle into the crowd and unfortunately missing out on the strong aroma of coffee because I was sick.

When I finally managed to take a seat, the band Gemini Fiction took the stage.

Although there was another band downstairs, I did not find out until several bands had played.

You can enjoy the show from either downstairs or upstairs where framed art pieces are displayed all over the walls and some even hang from the ceiling.

The signs and artwork did a great job in adding to the presence and positive vibes of the coffee shop.

The employees were easy going, vibrant and great conversation starters, adding to the homey feel of the environment.

“As soon as I walked in, I felt welcome and the atmosphere in there made me feel almost like I was at home,” said sophomore Enrique Sanson.

“Everyone treated me warm heatedly and because of this I will surely be coming again in the future!” continued Sanson.

They don’t treat you like a customer, they treat you like you’re part of the family.

I fell in love with the sound of Gemini Fiction. They had their own twist on alternative rock with a talented guitarist keeping a nice, rough, head-bobbing rhythm throughout their original songs.

The singer was a young lady with a voice that was softly layered over the songs’ rhythms.

I was impressed overall by how much local talent was there, but the band that stood out the most to me was again, Gemini Fiction.

They caught my eyes and ears early on in the show and really opened me up; instead of just dismissing local and unsigned artists as I usually do, this experience made me realize that there are artists out there worth giving a listen.

IMG_1373The band had a good mix of soft and hard songs.

“The bands sounded great. They all seemed very talented and everyone downstairs was rocking out,” said Joseph Castaneda, a third-year student.

“I could tell that everyone in the crowd was having a good time; they were usually cheering and they all had smiles on their face, including me,” Castaneda continued.

The show was a great time overall, I ended up enjoying myself more than I had originally anticipated.

Though Back to the Grind’s specialty is coffee, I found that they did sell some good sandwiches and that it was vegan friendly.

The menu also included a small variety of pizza, salads, soups and bagels. They had a little bit of everything to satisfy you, no matter what you’re craving.

Some of the different events at Back to The Grind included poetry readings, Open Mic, Chess Night, and live DJs.

The coffee shop is open every day of the week and is located in Downtown Riverside.

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