Thursday, April 22, 2010

Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders at the Troubadour

Taking a break from drumming in one of the bigger rock bands on the planet, Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins reassembled his trusty Coattail Riders to record a sophomore album Red Light Fever. The Troubadour was packed with folks eager to check out the new tunes and secretly hoping for some special guests.

Dios Malos

It was fitting that Dios Malos would play on 4/20. Dios Malos continue to pound the pavement in support of their hazy, sun baked new album WE ARE DIOS. Joel Morales gently strummed his black Gibson Les Paul for shimmery THC laced chords backed by the low end Rickenbacker thump of John Paul Caballero.

Since the front row of fans were drummers, they talked amongst themselves stating that Patrick Butterworth was more than capable of holding down a beat and almost restraining himself from going berserk on the drums. They ended their set with a ramshackle cover of "Nervous Breakdown" by Black Flag with Caballero on vocals.

Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders

Drumming while singing is a herculean task that shouldn't be taken on lightly. Taylor Hawkins made it look incredibly easy perched behind his shiny orange Gretsch drum kit. My suspicions of being surrounded by drummers were confirmed when the air drumming commenced around me during "I Don't Think I Trust You Anymore".

Hawkins doesn't shy away from his influences. Each of the songs on the new record come off as a loving tributes to some of his favorite bands. I couldn't help but think Hawkins was making a sequel soundtrack to Fast Times at Ridgemount High by touching upon the sounds of Cheap Trick, The Cars and Styx.

Rifling through songs like "Louise", "Hole In My Shoes", and "You Drive Me Insane" had Hawkins dripping in sweat slamming the skins. Hawkins has assembled a solid band anchored by former Jane's Addiction bassist Chris Chaney who played with Hawkins in their Alanis Morissette stint. Gannin Arnold was phenomenal on guitar, deftly soloing like it was '80s but without the unnecessary flash.

"Way Down", "It's Over" and "Sunshine" closed out their main set that with fists pumping in the air showing signs of approval from the crowd. Hawkins said he needed a two minute break before bringing out some friends which got a large ovation. A beautiful blue left handed Gibson SG was plugged in for Eliot Easton of The Cars fame as he came out for muscle car growl of "Not Bad Luck".

Hawkins didn't rely to heavily on his lyric cheat sheets for a stellar cover of The Cars "You're All I've Got Tonight". While I thought Dave Grohl was still on tour with Them Crooked Vultures, he magically appeared to sit behind the drums for "Your Shoes" as Hawkins did a little bit of air drumming himself. "Cold Day In The Sun" had Hawkins place the vocal microphone back in front of Grohl for some added harmonies.

Grohl and Hawkins exchanged handshakes before walking off the stage to thunderous applause. It wasn't surprising to see the crowd not move after the lights went up and the house music started to play. Drum heads and drum sticks magically appeared in hopes of being autographed. Make sure you check out some of the new Taylor Hawkins tunes via their awesome 8-track player.

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