Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Paul McCartney at the Hollywood Bowl

Check out my photos of Paul McCartney at the Hollywood Bowl over at OC Weekly.

Paul McCartney Setlist at the Hollywood Bowl (3/30/10)
1. “Venus and Mars Rockshow”
2. “Jet”
3. “All My Loving”
4. “Letting Go”
5. “Got To Get You Into My Life”
6. “Highway”
7. “Let Me Roll It”
8. “Long and Winding Road”
9. “1985”
10. “I Want To Come Home”
11. “My Love”
12. “I’m Looking Through You”
13. “Two Of Us”
14. “Blackbird”
15. “Here Today”
16. “Dance Tonight”
17. “Mrs. Vandebilt”
18. “Eleanor Rigby”
19. “Something”
20. “Sing The Changes”
21. “Band On The Run”
22. “Obla Di Obla Da”
23. “Back In The USSR”
24. “I Gotta Feeling”
25. “Paperback Writer”
26. “A Day In The Life”
27. “Let It Be”
28. “Live and Let Die”
29. “Hey Jude”
First Encore
30. “Day Tripper”
31. “Lady Madonna”
32. “Get Back”
Second Encore
33. “Yesterday”
34. “Helter Skelter”
35. “Sgt. Pepper”

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Temper Trap and Darker My Love at the Henry Fonda Theater

The newly remodeled Henry Fonda Theater is stunning. Somebody dropped some serious cash to refurbish and completely renovate both the interior and exterior. They added some risers on the sides and moved in a new soundsystem with hanging speakers topped off with a brand new mixing desk.The stage has been raised allowing those on the side risers to have an excellent view.

Darker My Love

Darker My Love have long been one of my favorite bands with their distinct brand of psychedelic fuzz. In the midst of recording their third album, Darker My Love have been road testing their new material which finds them turning down the fuzz aspect of their sound and embracing their psychedelic side.

Fuzz rockers like "Talking Words" was reworked into a trippy groove that would be unrecognizable to the casual Darker My Love fan. Running through a twelve song setlist padded with new tunes, it was clear they were moving in a new direction. They closed their set with "Helium Heels" and "Summer's Here" for a nice feel of familiarity. I still will be investigating their third album which should be due out soon.

The Temper Trap

The Temper Trap have made quite the leap from playing Spaceland a few months ago to packing the Henry Fonda Theater for a sold out show. It was nearly impossible to make my way through the crowd from the photopit after shooting the first three songs. The Temper Trap have made a large splash due to their song "Sweet Disposition" appearing on television every five minutes and its placement in the movie 500 days of Summer.

I admittedly attended the show to check in with Darker My Love, but was impressed with the falsetto vocals by lead singer Dougie Mandagi. With an upcoming slot on Coachella, it will be interesting to see how well they draw given the impressive assortment of bands on Saturday.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fates Warning at the Avalon

Before Queensryche and Dream Theater brought the spotlight to progressive metal, there was Fates Warning leading the way on Metal Blade records circa 1983. One little known fact about Fates Warning is that their guitarist Jim Matheos once gave guitar lessons to Rivers Cuomo of Weezer.

My heavy metal loving brother is a huge fan of the band and was stoked when he heard that they would be playing their album, Parallels in its entirety at the Avalon. He files his review of the show below.


The year was 1986 and I was entranced in the fantasy progressive metal sounds of Awaken the Guardian by Fates Warning. There was something unique about this band, as both this album and The Spectre Within found regular rotation on my turntable. Today, those albums are in my top 10 albums of all time. A bold statement indeed, along with Metallica's Master of Puppets and Slayer's Reign in Blood.

I appreciated John Arch’s vocal ability and when word spread of his split from the band, their future seemed to be in jeopardy. I soon got word of a Judas Priest like situation where a huge fan of the band, Ray Alder was selected as the new lead singer. Their No Exit album would prove to be a step in the right direction for the band as they achieved Billboard top 200 status, and were in regular rotation on MTV Headbangers ball for their video "Silent Cries".

Fast forward 20 years and 6 albums later, Fates Warning continues to make an impact and produce high quality albums. When I read on Blabbermouth that Fates Warning was reuniting with the original lineup from the Parallels album, I was floored. This show was celebrating the recent re-release of the album which includes additional tracks and content. Of all their prior tours, I only managed to catch their Perfect Symmetry tour when I was residing in Boston.

Fates opened up with “Leave the Past Behind”, a symbolic track to open with as the devoted crowd went crazy. "Life in Still Water" was next, and it was clear they were playing the album in sequential order. Mark Zonder (Drums) nailed the opening drum line and showed no signs of rust. "Eye to Eye" was one of the more popular songs that was boosted by its video. One of my personal favorite songs "Eleventh Hour" featured great crowd participation, along with a crushing bass triplet during the chorus. "Point of View" was followed by the more poppy "We Only Say Goodbye". The chorus on "Don’t Follow Me" was awesome live, and “Road Goes on Forever” finished the CD’s last track. Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti were as sharp as ever with their dualing solos and intertwining riffs flowing flawlessly.

The band proceeded to the Inside Out album with "Pale Fire", "Island in the Stream", "Face the Fear" and "Monument". This was the last album recorded with the lineup. "Monument", another personal favorite of mine, had Joe DiBiase showcasing the explosive bass riff which is the staple throughout the song. The double bass drum roared with Zonder emphasizing the beat to help get the band back in sync. Former Fates Warning and Armored Saint bassist Joey Vera was in attendance snapping photos and helping the band with towels backstage.

"Through Different Eyes" and "Nothing Left to Say" from Perfect Symmetry closed out the set. I stood in awe having just witnessed a classic trip back through time. Just like wine, some albums get better with time, and Parallels is one such album.

The crowd was great, the sound (especially the bass) was heart pounding, and the band smiled throughout the show with the exception of Jim Matheos who effortlessly played his guitar. Thanks to Fates Warning for this great treat, as I hope to see them again when they tour for their next album.

Fates Warning Setlist at the Avalon (3/19/10)
"Leave the Past Behind"
"Life in Still Water"
"Eye to Eye"
"The Eleventh Hour"
"Point of View"
"We Only Say Goodbye"
"Don’t Follow Me"
"Road Goes on Forever"
"Pale Fire"
"Island in the Stream"
"Face the Fear"
"Through Different Eyes"
"Nothing Left to Say"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Serena Maneesh at the Troubadour Ticket Giveaway

Norwegian noise addicts Serena Maneesh have been blowing minds at SXSW in preparation for the release of their second album, S-M 2: Abyss in B Minor and will stop by the Troubadour on 3/22. Contest closed. Winner has been notified. I saw them at the Troubadour the last time they toured and it was intense.

Catch Serena Maneesh in a town near you.
3/22: Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
3/23: San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
3/25: Portland, OR @ Berbati's Pan
3/26: Seattle, WA @ Triple Door
3/27: Vancouver, BC @ Media Club
3/30: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
3/31: Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
4/1: Detroit, MI @ Magic Stik
4/2: Toronto, ON @ Grand Hall
4/3: Montreal QC @ Il Motore
4/4: Cambridge, MA @ TT the Bears
4/5: New Haven, CT @ The Venue
4/6: Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
4/7: Washington, DC @ DC9
4/8: New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge

Monday, March 15, 2010

Orange County Music Awards at the Grove of Anaheim

The rain didn't dampen the attendance at the Orange County Music Awards ceremony at the Grove of Anaheim. Artists, writers, editors, promoters from all across Orange County gathered under one roof to celebrate the county's thriving and diverse music scene.

Host of the evening was KROQ's Psycho Mike

Best Album and Rock Nominee: Melanoid

Best Electronic winner: Electric Valentine

Best Latin nominees: Soul Hustlers

Best Jazz winner: Translucent Ham Sandwich

Best Folk winner: Yellow Red Sparks

Best Live Acoustic showcase winner: Billy Kernkamp

Best Hip Hop winner: BLOK

Best Blues winner: Roman Alexander and the Robbery

Best Country/Americana: Dusty Rhodes and the River Band

Lifetime Achievement in music industry as critic and historian: Jim Washburn

Best Song and Best New Artist: The Steelwells

Best Indie winner: The New Limb

Best Alternative winner: Stereofix

Best Club DJ winner: Chris Alfaro of Free The Robots

Best Pop winner: Stacy Clark

Best World winner: The Dirty Heads

Lit performing a tribute to drummer Allen Shellenberger

Orange County impact award winner: Sugar Ray

Best Album winner: Thrice

A fine evening was had by all. See you next year.