Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at the Wiltern


Between all the chemotherapy and number of years that have passed, I have lost my count of Black Rebel Motorcycle shows.  I do remember a particular great show by them at Canes in San Diego during their second album. Since October of 2006 when I started my site, I have 11 accounts of seeing Black Rebel Motorcycle Club live and they all have been solid shows.

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It has been awhile since I caught up with thenewno2.  Fronted by Dhani Harrison, thenewno2 are touring in support of their latest release Thefearofmissingout. thenewno2 have three guitarists with a heavy arsenal of modulation effects, moody atmospherics and swirling keyboards that will inevitably bring comparisons to Radiohead. They worked through a strong set that included "Station", "Timezone" and "I Won't Go". thenewno2 are working on a soundtrack to the movie Beautiful Creatures as their next release.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are not known for having brightly lit shows. Two isolated flood lights provided just a sliver of light as the brooding bass of "Let The Day Begin" begun to echo throughout the Wiltern. In his trademark black leather jacket and hoodie, Robert Levon Been held up his red Gibson hollowbody bass and attacked it fearlessly.

It was a full on sonic assault for the rest of the evening as "Rival" and "Red Eyes and Tears" got the crowd worked up. Leah Shapiro was rock solid behind her drum, tirelessly pounding away without missing a beat. She is definitely one of the more underrated drummers out there in the rock world. Peter Hayes had his huge guitar setup of two Fender half stacks and a Marshall half stack blaring at a volume beyond ten to blend in perfectly with his bandmates.

"Hate The Taste" from their new album Specter at the Feast served as the perfect transition to a foot stomping and hand clapping version of "Beat The Devil's Tattoo". The hounds of hell were unleashed for a white hot rendition of "Whatever Happened to My Rock 'N' Roll (Punk Song)". The momentum didn't stop as their hits kept coming with "Ain't No Easy Way" and "Berlin".

Hearing old favorite "Love Burns" brought back memories of seeing BRMC in the clubs giving it their all. I eventually remembered that I saw them at the Wiltern back in 2007 during the Baby 81 tour. Things took a turn for the introspective as slower songs "Promise", "Some Kind Of Ghost" showed how BRMC can be just as powerful at lower volumes.

The trio of older gems "White Palms", "Six Barrel Shotgun" and "Spread Your Love" had me on cloud nine with their mix of razor sharp bass and super fuzzed out guitars. It was the perfect way to close out their main set. Even though they have been touring tirelessly since April, BRMC came back for an inspiring encore of "Sell It" and "Lose Yourself". They were just as good, if not better for their tour closer at the Observatory the next night with a red hot version of "US Government".

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Setlist at the Wiltern
"Let The Day Begin"
"Red Eyes And Tears"
"Hate The Taste"
"Beat The Devil's Tattoo"
"Whatever Happened To My Rock 'N' Roll (Punk Song)"
"Ain't No Easy Way"
"Love Burns"
"Some Kind Of Ghost"
"Fire Walker"
"Funny Games"
"Conscience Killer"
"In Like A Rose"
"White Palms"
"Six Barrel Shotgun"
"Spread Your Love"
"Sell It"
"Lose Yourself"

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