Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Glasvegas at the Henry Fonda Theater

Some of my favorite bands hail from Scotland. Jesus and The Mary Chain, Mogwai and Teenage Fanclub all comprise distinct spots in my music collection and are frequently visited throughout the year. Glasvegas also hail from Scotland and I was interested to see if they could live up to their esteemed countrymen.

Ida Maria

It seems that bands are coming to grips with the notion that they have to tour constantly to sustain momentum from the release of their album. I just saw Ida Maria almost a month ago when she played the Detroit Bar for OC Weekly. I didn't review the show but I do vividly remember her taking shots of Jagermeister on stage.

Ida Maria may have been slightly inebriated for her show at the Detroit bar, but came to slay and play on this particular night. It was a large Los Angeles crowd, so Ida smartly filed a top performance kicking things off with "Morning Light". Clothed in a sparkling gold dress, Ida thrashed away on her Fender Stratocaster in between emphatically waving her arms to "Louie".

Her band mates looked and sounded sharp ably rounding out her poignant tunes. The crowd responded favorably to her set with some of the high points being "Stella" and "I Like You So Much Better When Your Naked". Ida really shines on "Oh My God" in which she demonstrates she has more to offer then raspy vocals.

Ida will continue to open for Glasvegas on this tour with notable slots at Lollapalooza and the Monolith Festival in Colorado. If she turns in performances like she did at the Henry Fonda, she won't be opening for other bands much longer.

Glasvegas continues to storm the US in support of their debut album. I was disappointed they cancelled their appearance at Coachella this year as they were one of the bands I was interested in checking out. I also missed their extremely sold out Troubadour show a few months back coupled with an stripped down show at the Hollywood Forever.

In case you missed the memo, Glasvegas has quite the following in the UK. NME has praised the band and their self-titled debut album lauding it in the same company of Oasis and Blur. Glasvegas have maintained a grueling tour schedule to help spread the word and make an impact here stateside.

Glasvegas made quite a splash opening with my favorite song "Geraldine" with its careening guitars and soaring vocal harmonies. James Allan (Vocals/Guitars) was the essence of cool with his Ray Ban shades and beautiful Fender Jazzmaster. His cousin Rab Allan (Guitars) had a lefty Fender Stratocaster plugged into a wall of Fender amplifiers to produce an avalanche of thick fuzzy guitars.

While I felt Caroline Mckay's drumming was a tad on the robotic side, the wall of sound between the guitars and the steady bass playing of Paul Donoghue lived up to the hype and can't be ignored. Glasvegas also employed a heavy dose of strobe lights along with the brilliant lighting rig of the Henry Fonda theater make it one of the better lit shows of the year.

The guitars continued to jangle during "It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry" while James Allan's thick Scottish accent adds a distinctive charm to all their songs. Glasvegas would even dip into their Christmas EP by tackling the not so warm but definitely fuzzy tune "Fuck You, It's Over".

"Flowers And Football Tops" was another impressive track with James leading the crowd to sing the catchy "Wha Whoa Oh". Glasvegas did slow things down a tad with "Ice Cream Van" but immediately resumed their quickened pace with a scorching version of "Go Square Go". The evening came to a close with faithful versions of "S.A.D Light" and "Daddy's Gone". I would assume this show would bring a close to the touring cycle for their album, but you never know these days.

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