HOLIDAY IN CAMBODIA: Dengue Fever, Johnny Brendas, Last Night
TEXT & PHOTOS BY TIFFANY YOON The sold out show was sardine-packed with super fans that kept the energy and spirits high at Johnny Brenda’s, despite the sauna-like conditions. (During Chicha Libre’s set, a woman fainted from the heat and had to be taken away by an ambulance, but is said to be in good condition.) The off-the-boat Cambodian superfans in the crowd bought the band Hennessy shots throughout the night. Cambodian pride spread through the room. One of these fans, sporting braces, repeatedly screamed out “sixteen! sixteen!” Begging for a cover of “Chnom oun 16 (I’m only 16),” originally sung by Ros Sereysothea in the 1960s. He exclaimed, “It’s like a childhood favorite.” The band waited until the end of their encore to cover the song and as Chhom Nimol sang the lyrics, she and Zach gave their mics to their Cambodian friends to fill in the gaps. For the record, there is now only one weird-beard in the band, Zach Holtzman, the guitarist/vocalist. Senon Williams, the bassist, only grew out his beard during the first year of his first son’s life. Once his son turned one, he shaved it off. So now you know.
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