Monday, October 30, 2006

Devo at The Grove of Anaheim

Thanks to my friend Micheal I added Devo at the Grove to get my '80s on. Last time I had seen Devo was Lolla back in '95. Back then I didn't appreciate the sheer genius of Devo as much as I do now. This was reinforced when I had to sit thru some '80s bands before Devo. Bow Wow Wow was first and played a decent set. Annabella looked pretty good but remember she was 15 back in the '80s. Of course they played "I Want Candy" and the crowd appaulded with approval. When in Rome was next and think that they are still in the '80s with two synth players and a laptop/bongo player rounding out the band. I was disappointed when they started their golden ball and chain "The Promise" and tried to get the audience to sing along therefore leaving out singing the major parts of the song. I think you should sing the whole song and leave the audience out next time. Flock of Seagulls was next. The years have not been to nice to Mr. Mike Score. The haircut that defined a decade is now a ponytail and a black baseball cap. "Spaceage Love song" was off by a few notes and I felt bad for the band. Luckily... Devo was next and saved the day. Propelled by the awesomenesss of Josh Freese on drums, Devo rules. All the hits were played and I commend Devo for not closing with "Whip It" but instead inserting it mid set. My favorite by far is "Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA" and "Secret Agent Man". Synths glore reigned supreme and the band played very well together with a lot of energy. They blew away all the other bands on the bill and even a pit formed which I thought was interesting. But then again I have seen a pit at a Morrissey show so you can never tell these days.

The Kooks at Spaceland

The British are coming!!! The British are coming!!! The Brits just keep invading the U.S. with the latest attack being mounted by The Kooks. Having went triple platinum in the U.K, the buzz was quite high at Club NME. I got to the club super early because I missed the sale on ticketweb 4 months earlier. No lineups at spaceland till 8:30 per spaceland security FYI. So I shuffled up the street to get some cashew chicken at the Thai restaurant which was good. Topped it off with a 50/50 bar compliments of the ice cream man who was doing a major press session for MTVU. Trainwreck Riders opened the show with a indie rockabily vibe. One of the guitarists was using metal guitar finger picks which I found commendable. Not a bad set, but the mix was so-so. The Kooks finally came on around 11:30 to a warm reception and played a confident set for a bunch of teenagers. I must have missed the memo about Fuzz pedals because Hugh had a Z.Vex fuzz factory pedal. I was impressed with his pedal board and sound thru a Vox AC30. The Kooks know what they are doing and do a good job at it. I still haven't seen much U.S. press but it will be interesting to see if they can make it to larger venues a la Arctic Monkey style. Annie from Giant Drag also DJ'ed the back room and was rocking out to some tunes. I forgot to ask her about her guest spot on the new Deftones album.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bridge School Benefit at Shoreline Amp

This was an amazing show. The line up was fantastic. Death Cab played a great set. Some of their highlights
include "Brothers on A Hotel Bed", and "Soul Meets Body". Then Trent from NIN came on. You can hear me say wow for the first couple of minutes of video as they were setting up the string quartet. "Something I can never have" was spectacular. They had an Asian bowed instrument and of course Trent's "prepared" piano. I recorded video/audio for both shows but mainly for the audio portion. Piggy was a surprise especially with the egg shaker and the metronome. The stand up bass propelled the track and gave it an added eerieness. I never liked piggy that much untill I heard that version. "Right Where It Belongs" was awesome and meaningful when he faced the children. "Non Entity" was cool because he really belted out the lyrics and was louder then the string quartet. "The Fragile" was SICK. Foo Fighters were spectacular as well but had the unfair advantage of touring acoustically for a few months now. Pearl Jam went old school and I couldn't have been happier. Songs highlights were "Elderly Woman Behind a Counter", "Daughter", and "Crazy Mary". Night 2 they played "Black" I was really impressed. I saw PJ back in '92 and I started to have flashbacks. Death Cab on Night 2 played "Movie Script Ending" and "What Sarah Said" which are 2 of my favorites. Trent's set on NIght 2 seemed more confident and better mixed. Nothing radical but just overall better. This trip was worth every penny. Hopefully I will upload some video for this.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mellowdrone at the OCMA

At the last minute I decided to get my art on at the
Orange County Museum. OC Weekly was holding a Best of OC wrap party for their issue celebrating the "Best of
OC". That was all well and good but I was there to
check out the free concert by Mellowdrone. I was
pleasantly surprised that they had an additional
opening band..Fielding from the way of Long Beach. I
have seen them listed at the detroit bar but missed
them. They have a Wilco/indie rock vibe. They played a
good set but the mix was not quite up to par. After
the set change, Mellowdrone finally appeared on stage.
I had seen them at the chain reaction when I caught
ModWheelMood. Mellowdrone played a full set and even
Tony remarked that it was the longest setlist they
have played in a while. Another interesting tidbit was
the power went out a couple times during both sets
kind of killing the bands momentum. Mellowdrone did
the best to make it up inviting fans on stage for an
acapella version of their songs. Overall great show
and the art was really interesting as well.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ladytron and CSS at the Belly Up

Luckily I had the day off to go for round 2 of Ladytron and CSS. I stopped off at Lou's Records up the road from the Belly Up and picked up Mew's CD Frengers which I haven't been able to find and the super cool Kraftwerk Box Set. Then I drove down to the Belly Up and scored a sweet parking spot. The ticket was $10 cheaper and the parking was free so things were already looking good. I had never been to the Belly Up before but it similar to the size of the Echo. I was surprised they were playing such a small place versus the 1500 capacity John Anson the night before. CSS came out and rocked the crowd as usual. Lovefoxxx made it into the crowd to get the people into party mode. Ladytron then followed up with a spectacular set. I was also fortunate to get a setlist to share with everyone. Even though they didn't change the setlist, you couldn't ask for a better set. It will be interesting to see what will be in store for Pomona and then the Halloween Party.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ladytron and CSS at the John Anson Ford

I already figured that Ladytron would not ask me to come on stage tonight but I was right up front just in case. CSS came up first and with 3 songs left in their set had the whole place dancing in the aisles. Lead singer Lovefoxx was all over the place! They plugged their show at the Echo which promptly sold out by the time I got home. I will see if I can work some magic. Anyways, they played a great set and had lots of energy. CSS was dancing like crazy on the side of the stage for all of Ladytron's set as well.During the CSS set, you could see that they were having a great time on stage which translates to a good live performance. Ladytron was next and was nothing short of spectacular. The fact that Mira had a Ph.D. in genetics from Oxford and plays a mean synth scores huge points with me. I was lucky enought to get a setlist to tally up 19 songs with "Sugar", "Playgirl", and "Destroy Everything You Touch" as the hightlights. I can't wait till the Belly Up.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hold Steady and Sean Na Na at the Detroit Bar

After hanging out with 90,000 people watching USC win, I went home to pick up the camera and head out to the Detroit Bar. For the bargain of $10.00, I got to experience the phenomenon of The Hold Steady. Sean Na Na was up first. Sean "the artist formerly known as Har Mar Superstar" put on a good show with solid songs and lots of "hooks" as he put it. Do you remember when Har Mar opened for Incubus back in the day?? I think he played the forum or something. Anyways, Sean got points for rocking his Costa Mesa shirt. I had to move shortly from my front of the stage position to make way for the case of Budweiser for the Hold Steady. At this point I figured I was going to be in for a hell of a show. I was already envious of Tad's Pedal board, but then he busted out the double neck gibson ala Jimmy Page. Craig had the Budweiser flowing all night which seemed to increase the intensity of his performance. The crowd was going crazy but I couldn't help but think that the band was having even more fun then the crowd was. Just when I thought the night couldn't get better, on the last song of the 16 strong set... Craig and Tad started picking people to come up onstage. Tad asked me, "You Play?" and I said "Yeah!" and he handed me his awesome Gibson Les Paul and said "PLAY G". I frantically starting strumming "G" in time with the rest of the band playing "Killing Parties" and then he said "C" and then "D". I can't tell you what a rush that was. I have been to hundreds of shows and I will NEVER forget this. When they make it huge, I will be like... "Yeah, I rocked it on stage with them".

Friday, October 13, 2006

Aberdeen City, Blue Van at the Galaxy

On a last minute decision, I decided to check out Aberdeen city show down the street at the Galaxy Theatre. I am glad I did that instead of watching the Kings lose. Anyways.... Blue Van came on first hailing from Denmark. A self described combination of the Who and the Kinks. I was blown away with the fact that the organist had a Leslie rotating speaker cab!! That is what I call OG. Usually bands don't travel with those due to the high price and rarity of the item. They put on a great show. Unfortunately they are signed to TVT records. Good Luck guys. Aberdeen City came on next. They are from Boston. Straight ahead indie rock. All were good musicians and played well to a very empty Galaxy theatre. I was impressed they got Steve Lillywhite to produce some of the songs on their album. He has done Morrissey/Smiths back in the day. Bonus points to Ryan from Aberdeen for busting out the POG!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Kasabian and Mew at the Henry Fonda

I was excited about this show. I saw Mew at Street Scene and opening for Bloc Party a few months back. They put on an amazing show. Show highlights include "Zookeepers Boy", "Special" and "White Lips Kissed". The visuals were stellar as well adding an ethereal component to the show. I am disappointed that I will miss them at the El Rey but I will be checking out the Bridge School Benefit which should be awesome. Kasabian came on next and lived up to the hype. I am still getting thru their new album but everything sounded good. Nothing compares though until you see "Club Foot" live. Spectacular!! Also saw Travis from Buddyhead walking around.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

7 concerts in 7 nights

Monday: The Stills at Henry Fonda. Great Show. Tim needs to sing "Love and Death" by himself. A lot tighter then their earlier Troubadour show. Show was underattended due to Band of Horses at the Avalon and Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Palladium that night.

Tuesday: Killers at Jimmy Kimmel. Soundcheck includes "When You Were Young", "Mr. Brightside", and "Sam's Town". Live taping includes "When You Were Young", "Somebody Told Me", "Sam's Town", "Read My Mind", and "Bones". Walked down to Cinespace to see Jet DJ and check out Bloodcat Love. Myles and company have all the hipsters shaking by the end of the set.

Wednesday: Jet at the House of Blues in Anaheim with Bloodcat Love. Bloodcat Love destroys the crowd and I hear chants of encore!!! They will be signed soon. Jet rocks as usual.

Thursday: Asobi Sesku and Darker My Love at the Detroit Bar. Darker My Love rules and Jarrod shreds with the Z.Vex Fuzz Factory pedal. Asobi Sesku blows my mind. Just buy both albums and you won't regret it.

Friday/Saturday: The Killers at the Wiltern with Immigrant. Immigrant was forgettable. The Killers were phenomenal. The new album was meant to be played live. Highlights include "Read my mind", "Bones", "Bling". I refuse to jump on the Killers hater bandwagon. Just see the show live and then tell me how you like the album.

Sunday: Album Leaf/Grand Ole Party at the Troubadour. Grand Ole Party is a white stripes mixed with an exact replica of Karen O(Vocally) killing it on drums. She had me sold once she rocked the vocal headset!!! Run into 30 Paparazzi and snap some photos of Paris/Nicole "reunion" in front of Dan Tana's next door. Welcome to Hollyweird!