Great Escape into LA’s dive bar culture
In such a vibrantly dynamic city such as Los Angeles, the discovery of a hip new bar, restaurant or lounge is the key to survival. Known for its uniquely different neighborhoods, Los Angeles has brand spanking new openings around the clock.
The difficulty to get over boredom in this city is ridiculously easy, the real challenge; however, is to find a venue hot enough to attract that “special something, ” but not too hot that it’s listed on every Thrillist, Buzzfeed, LAist type website possible. More specifically, a speakeasy or dive bar – a hole in the wall.
In a city run by the entertainment industry, it’s easy to forget that celebrities also search for such locations. Now, how kick ass would it be if that celebrity, a musician, played live at that same kick ass underground dimly lit speakeasy? Look no further because Los Angeles based threesome, The Great Escape, fit that scenario to a tee. With a voice as soulful as Amy Winehouse, singer Amie Miriello possesses the power to make even the grungiest of men drool. Not only is she incredibly talented, Amie’s quite the rock ‘n’ roll bad gal herself as she chants her scar-bearing, chain-breaking habits in “Rebel.”
All the while, guitarist Malte Hagemeister, and drummer Kristian Nord bang out jumpy, unexpected hard-hitting rhythms that blow good girl’s skirts up. Similar to the Black Keys’ blend of classic rock ‘n’ roll and touching blues, The Great Escape listeners can’t help but feel transported to that third class, below deck party scene in Titanic where Jack and Rose really let loose (minus the Irish-ness). Like Mr. Jack Dawson’s passionate, yet frowned upon affection for Rose, The Great Escape isn’t afraid to be a selfish go-getter in the cat and mouse game of love.
Members Amie, Malte and Kristian expose their hearts on a sleeve, and put it all on the line with hits, “All I Think About” and “I Want It All.” There’s no shame in getting caught up in the fame, fortune, paparazzi, and spotlight of Hollywood. Fortunately, this city spreads out far enough to easily escape the bright lights, and explore mischievously darker areas.
The Great Escape symbolize that escape: a grim staircase that leads to a room, filled with overhanging red lights and a bar tucked away in the back that may or may not have its liquor license. Like the third class deck, The Great Escape feels dirty, grimy and sweaty in the best of ways. There’s something undeniably charming about urine-covered bathroom stalls, and freakishly narrow graphitized hallways that hopefully lead to an unattended ping pong table out back.
The best of L.A. refer to this (debatable) good time as “casual drinks on a typical Friday night.” And yes, The Great Escape was playing live that night.
Sophie is a recent graduate from Arizona State University with a BA in Film and Media Studies. Born in London, and raised in Prague, she is a natural born traveller, which led to exploring Southeast Asia and most recently, Alaska. Whilst traveling, she’s expanded her knowledge and passion for foreign film and music. Upon moving to Los Angeles, she’s worked on television sets, a 2014 Sundance short, and participated in a live taping of “America’s Got Talent.” Sophie’s attentiveness for music began at seventeen, when she first gained access to the senior lounge’s speaker system, and often got into trouble for blasting explicit lyrics through her high school’s hallways. In her free time, Sophie spends countless hours at the movies, tattoo parlors, and local dog parks.