It was a celebration of our artistic identity, a hell of a party, and the culmination of a year’s worth of this paper’s intimate coverage of the creative supernova that is at the heart of our music scene. Last week, our local music issue paid tribute to the vast talent that is emerging on the local landscape by recognizing 10 noteworthy bands that have breathed life into the scene and given us reasons to stay in town for entertainment. We put those words to the test when the VCReporter and Bombay Bar and Grill invited six of our 2010 bands to watch, to come onstage for a free all-night show as proof that they were more than ingratiating sentiments, that the music being created here demands attention, and the experience of its live performance is not to be missed.

The place was packed like the Hollywood House of Blues would be on New Year’s Eve. The late dinner crowd, huddling over their salads, couldn’t have anticipated the onslaught as they were quickly crowded by car-full after car-full of lively revelers careful not to miss the full lineup: Dan Grimm, Shades of Day, We Govern We, Monster Hand, Lovebird and the long-awaited return of Le Meu Le Purr. Bands that individually draw fans in throngs, combined on that night like some mad scientist’s cocktail of volatile chemicals.  “It was the night where it all came together,” said Bombay manager, booker and bartender Diego Gamba, speaking about the collaboration between the artists, the venue and the fans. Local singer Delaney Gibson in attendance called it “an inspiring night of music and kinship.” Nonstop performances kept the venue close to capacity until the wee hours of the morning, when LMLP’s theatrical intensity kept more than 100 rock fans wide awake and even dancing while much of the outside world slept.

On April 23, one of the ’70s most influential rock bands, Blue Oyster Cult plays the Ventura Theatre, and for the third year in a row, The Feisty Piranhas, will be the opening act. The Feisty Piranhas, a So-Cal-style punk/ska band a la NOFX, has also opened for some other respectable acts, including DragonForce, the Misfits and Death By Stereo, and were named one of the Hot 100 Unsigned Artists for 2009 by Music Connection Magazine. The band is led on vocals and guitar by 22 year-old Peter Alexander Lust III (or just “Feisty” if you are into the whole brevity thing), and backedup by his father, Peter Lust (“Pops”), a spacecraft consultant by day and punk rock drummer by night, a sort of “rock hobbyist” if you will. The show should make for an interesting audience mix as the more mature B.O.C. fans mingle with some feisty pop punkers in the pit.

If you happened to pick up our April Fools’ Day issue, in which we ran a series of fictitious stories about sold fairgrounds, Tasmanian rats and a host of other questionable subjects, you may have noticed that my column contained, among other outrageous nonsense and falsities, a paragraph about Alice Cooper buying oven mitts at the Camarillo Outlets, visiting Rock City Studios and recording a 13-minute harmonica solo — a narrative that was, of course, completely a figment of my imagination, intended solely for your amusement. Unlike many of the other stories that ran in that issue and only stirred up interest locally, my column apparently caught the attention of Cooper himself. On April 2, Cooper (I promise I am not making this up) personally called Rock City Studios and very politely informed the staff there via voicemail that he, in fact, had never been there, nor recorded a harmonica solo. (His people also called later in the week with a similar, yet more pointed, refrain). Thanks, Internet. It’s a small world after all.

Sounding the 805 is Ventura County’s only biweekly local music column. If you have a tip, a suggestion, a complaint, some dish or just a kind word, shoot Chris Mastrovito an e-mail.