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The Chameleons Shed New Skin: LIVE at the Belasco Theater

Post-punk group The Chameleons tours this summer in support of the release of their three-song EP 'Where Are You?’ after 20 years. And I am graced by the rock gods to witness this.

The Chameleons at The Belasco in Los Angeles.
The Chameleons, The Belasco, LA (2024)

The night of May 31, 2024, people of all ages flocked the Belasco Theater in LA to witness the comeback of The Chameleons into the limelight as they play the 2nd leg of their US West Coast Tour. This is to celebrate the release of ‘Where Are You’ EP. It is composed of three brand new songs and each with that elegant signature of the post-punk, shoe-gaze group.

Mark Burgess, bass player and vocalist for The Chameleons.
Mark Burgess

People screamed and cheered as the group got on the dark stage. They then enveloped the halls of the Belasco with the intro of 'Mad Jack". Mark Burgess' familiar voice was a treat to the ears. Not to mention the tasty guitars from Reg Smithies and Stephen Rice.

It was an invitation to me, a very irresistible urge to just close my eyes, pout my lips and just bob my head to the music. My friends have only told me stories about how good this band is, and let me tell you, their stories don't do justice to their greatness.

Mark Burgess singing
Mark Burgess plays and sings to the Belasco Crowd.
Reg Smithies of The Chameleons on guitar.
Reg Smithies

4 songs in and anticipation build up as the guitars commandeered the intro for "Swamp Thing". It felt like the music was inside my nerves, my muscle fibers, and even on a cellular-level. This is an undeniable testament to The Chameleons' prowess of making hits. 'Swamp Thing' is an unshakable totem.

The set was ended with the spacey-fuzzy vibes outro of 'I'll Remember'. The group said their thanks and waved as they ran side-stage. 

But we knew we are compelled to be stuck in their spot! An encore was coming!

The Chameleons on stage.
The Chameleons

The lights shimmered as Reg set the stage on fire with burning lines from their newest piece 'Where Are You?'. That insane guitar hook was stuck in our heads! Add Stephen's wailing contrast notes to the jumpy riff, Todd's backbeat, Danny's spacey keys, and Mark's soaring voice. It was a wonderful masterpiece. This is what The Chameleons are known for. I thank the rock gods for letting me witness this!

Let me tell you, for a cold-blooded reptile, The Chameleons sure know how to make warm-blooded music.

THE CHAMELEONS are Mark Burgess (bass/vocals), Reg Smithies (guitar), Stephen Rice (guitar), Danny Ashberry (keys), and Todd Demma (drums).


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