Friday, February 15, 2008

Editors at the Wiltern Theatre

It seemed like years ago, but it turns out that the Editors played the Wiltern back in September of 2007. The Editors continue to tour in support of their excellent sophomore album "An End Has A Start". The Editors brought with them some heavy hitting friends with support from Louis XIV and Hot Hot Heat.

Louis XIV

Louis XIV strutted on stage to start the evening with their brand of sexy garage rock. They have a new album "Slick Dogs and Ponies" that offers a wider sonic palette with more violins, keyboards, and orchestration. Jason Hill (Guitars/Vocals) is the ringmaster of the band and leads the troops into battle with his Epiphone Hollowbody guitar. The first canon blast from Louis XIV was a sped up rollicking version of "The Grand Apartment". Louis XIV has come a long way since I saw them open for the Killers at the Troubadour. Louis XIV has been on tour ever since I caught them at the FM 94.9 show and were still as sharp as ever as they ripped into an improvised feedback jam intro that melted into the opening chords of "Louis XIV". Brian Karscig (Guitars/Vocals/Keys) manned the piano and keys while adding his voice to the David Bowie homage "Air Traffic Control". Louis XIV never let up with their all too brief forty minute set. I was glad I would catch them two more times.

Hot Hot Heat

Female screams filled the Wiltern theater as Hot Hot Heat took the stage. "Dirty Mouth" from their second album "Elevator" got the party started as Steve Bays (Keyboards/Vocals) frantically paced the stage when not in front of his Greek pillar keyboard setup. "Oh, Goddamnit" had Steve working on his Roland keyboard as Luke Paquin (Guitars) had a sweet lefty Gibson Hollowbody. "Middle Of Nowhere" had a fair amount of crowd singing along as the song was all over KROQ when it originally came out. Hot Hot Heat are touring in support of their new album entitled "Happiness Ltd." I especially liked the caffeine buzz of "My Best Fiend" and the synth punk vibe of "5 times out of 100". "Bandages" elicited the largest crowd reaction and was performed with a manic like pace. The secret weapon of the band though was Paul Hawley (Drums) who looked and sounded like he was playing drums for a heavy metal band. I was having a good time already and the Editors hadn't even played a note.


The synth swells of "Camera" were ironic as I started taking pictures of the Editors. The light show was simply stunning and matched the mood of each song as the Editors gave a memorable performance. Chris Urbanowicz (Guitars) had his trademark Rickenbacker set to tremelo stun as the Wiltern amplified his sound perfectly. "An End Has A Start" kicked things into overdrive with Tom Smith (Guitars/Vocals) effectively conveying his smoky baritone voice as Ed Lay (Drums) propelled the songs with his clockwork drumming. The Editors play at such a high level live that it borders on ridiculous. Tom was unbridled energy in motion as the band worked through the electronic drum tinged "Blood". Russell Leetch (Bass) was swinging his Rickenbacker bass around and would frequently stand in front of Ed's drumkit as they were locked in rhythm. Tom is usually the focal point of the band, but if you see the band live you will gain a better understanding of how integral each person is to the Editors's sound. "Push Your Head Towards The Air" was a breathtaking performance that had Tom on acoustic guitar and Russell on piano giving the song an added weight of emotion. The choice of "You Are Fading" for the second to last song for the encore was a nice surprise as I appreciate it when bands play B-sides because they tend to be some of my favorites. "Fingers In The Factories" closed out the night in grand style as the crowd desperately tried to get a second encore to no avail. I was fortunate that my second encore would be the next night in Anaheim at the House of Blues.

Editors setlist at the Wiltern theatre (2/9/08)
"An End Has A Start"
"The Weight Of The World"
"Escape The Nest"
"When Anger Shows"
"All Sparks"
"Push Your Head Towards The Air"
"Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors"
"The Racing Rats"
"You Are Fading"
"Fingers In The Factories"

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