By Robert Klimper |Staff Writer|
Broken lovers and lonely hearts celebrated Saddentimes Day at Back to the Grind in Downtown Riverside on Feb. 11.
Saddentimes Day was for those who had no one to share their love with, and those brokenhearted. Regardless, people involved in relationships were also welcome.
The event itself has been held in different locations around the Inland Empire, initially starting at the Katz Alley in Redlands.
The fourth annual event was offered free of charge and open to all ages.
“Originally [Saddentimes Day] was my efforts to go against the Valentine’s Day holiday, cause to be honest, to me, Valentine’s Day is not a real holiday, so I thought it would be funny to create something that would be the opposite of that”, said Melissa Loera, host of Saddentimes Day. Loera is also known by her alternate persona, Miss Chief.
Inland Empire bands Easy Love, the Shingles, Sonny Love and the Moon Parade, Daise and singer Lauren Vargas provided musical entertainment.
Loera stated that she wanted to create a fun event for the lonely hearts during Valentine’s Day, and also allow a place for bands she admired to play for the disheartened during a time of love.
The event started with a decent sized crowd, and grew, with visitors almost completely occupying ever inch of Back to the Grind.
“I think all the bands are bringing the fun out of everyone—everyone’s dancing, everyone’s having a good time, singing along” said Josh Cuadra, an attendee who came to the event looking to see Easy Love.
The event started with Miss Chief (Loera) welcoming the brokenhearted and the heartbreakers to Saddentimes Day, which was followed by a solo performance from Lauren Vargas. Vargas set up the audience for a night of good music and an excellent time.
“In Los Angeles, there is this competitiveness to the music scene, but here in the Inland Empire it is a very welcoming community, everybody’s friends we all get along,” said Lauren Vargas, a former member of the band Towne, who performed her third live solo.
After the Shingles set, Miss Chief called for three contestants to battle in a dance competition, for the reward of a Shingles latest album. The winner was decided by crowd reaction.
“Way less stressful than anything else I have ever done, everyone is super communicative and helpful with each other, a lot of positive vibes,” said Elizabeth Hammons, an employee from Cosmic Coast Records who helped keep all the background tech up and running during the event.
Loera plans to hold another Saddentimes Day next year and is always willing to offer bands a chance to perform live.
“Saddentimes Day is both for the broken hearted and also those who are heartbreakers, and those who are in the middle who don’t want to bother with either,” said Loera
Anyone wanting to enjoy an alternative Valentines Day should keep an eye out next year for a chance to celebrate Saddentimes Day.