SM PIER – If you listen to The Cayucas it’s hard to imagine them playing anywhere but on a pier.
The beachy indie-pop band will co-headline the third installment of the Twilight Concert Series, which starts at 7 p.m. on the Santa Monica Pier on Thursday night.
The concert series is free to the public and in it’s 30th year.
The Cayucas, a brain-child of Zach Yudin, has deep Santa Monica roots.
Yudin moved to Santa Monica after he dropped out of college in 2006 and only recently left for Venice. His top TCS memory is seeing No Age play the pier last year.
The Cayucas played their first ever show at The Basement Tavern on Main Street.
“We had only rehearsed five songs but really wanted to play a show,” Yudin said. “So we played to a pretty decent-sized group of drunk, young people and after we finished playing all five songs, they just wanted us to keep going. So we just played the exact same five songs all over again. Nobody really knew, they were just like, ‘Oh cool. More music.'”
Don’t worry. They’re ready for you on Thursday. Now they have 10 songs.
“We still have a relatively short set,” Yudin said. “Not drastically more songs.”
The Cayucas first and only full-length album, “Bigfoot,” came out in early 2013.
For Yudin, success came in what previously would have been considered reverse order, but is a route that is becoming increasingly more common: He wrote a few songs, posted them online, and watched them gain traction.
After the popularity and the first album, which his brother Ben Yudin contributed to, he formed the band.
“I wasn’t exactly sure what it was going to be live,” Zach Yudin said. “I realized pretty quickly that I needed to put together the right band, the right guys, laid-back, California vibe. Sort of work on the songs in a live setting which I hadn’t done up to that point.”
Of his web-fueled rise to success and the need to form a band after the album, Yudin searched for a parallel.
“It’s like when you become president or something,” he said. “Once it happens you’re like ‘OK, what do I do now?’ You spend so much time trying to become that but once you actually do, you’re like, ‘Oh shoot.'”
Yudin looks at Thursday’s concert like a hometown show.
“I feel like a Westsider,” he said. “I have a connection to Santa Monica and Venice beach and our music is designed for being on a pier.”
His plans for the show are distinctly Californian.
“I think we’ll probably try to keep things chill,” he said. “Probably have a bottle of wine on stage, if that’s allowed, and just try to relax and have good vibes.”

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