Thursday, October 28, 2010

Grandchildren & Seabear @ The Troubadour - 10/26/10

I came to see Grandchildren, stayed to see Seabear & both were FANTASTIC. 

After the show, I was lucky enough to chat with Adam & John of Grandchildren for a few minutes. I told them I had come to The Troubadour just to see them & had never even heard of Seabear (although the Icelandic natives turned out to be awesome as well) to which they replied, "You're the first person to tell us that!" They seemed genuinely flattered but they shouldn't be surprised that they already have fans. Their sound is unique & their talent is undeniable. I can't wait for them to come back to LA!

GRANDCHILDREN - Heartbreaker



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Foals @ El Rey Theatre - 10/18/10

A couple months ago, when I learned Foals would be playing the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on 10/18, I resisted the urge to splurge on a pair tickets right away. I figured, after my crazy month of concerts leading up to the 18th (Suckers/Menomena 9/16, The Black Keys 9/27, Spoon 9/30, Belle & Sebastian 10/5, Arcade Fire 10/7 & LCD Soundystem/Hot Chip/Sleigh Bells 10/15), I might either be broke &/or burnt out on concerts. Who was I kidding? I'm always borderline broke & I NEVER burn out on concerts.

Last night was the 1st time I ever intentionally went to a concert alone. The 1st time I went to see a movie alone, I felt really weird about it beforehand then, afterwards, decided it was pretty f*ckin awesome. I now feel the same way about concerts!
Everything fell perfectly into place. I found a chick on Craigslist who was willing to sell me a $30 face value ticket for only $15 cash. That chick turned out to be really nice & was also at the show alone (since she couldn't rally anyone to take her 2nd ticket) so we ended up watching the show together & I now have a new chill concert buddy! You can never have too many.
Towards the end of the show, I was recording one of the last songs of Foals' set (see 1st video below) &, because I was determined to get the entire song from start to finish, I refused to stop filming even while there was big commotion going on directly in front of me. Everyone was scrambling around looking for something on the floor when I had JUST felt something bump my toe. I thought to myself that whatever everyone was looking for was probably next to my foot but I refused to stop filming & look (that's how dedicated I am...haha). A few minutes later, the song ended, I stop filming, I looked down &, sure enough, there was a drumstick lying RIGHT NEXT TO ME! I know a drumstick isn't a huge deal but, at the time, I was STOKED. To be honest, I'm still stoked :-)
Finally, & most importantly, Foals were INCREDIBLE live! They were SO energetic & fun to watch on stage. There wasn't a single song I wasn't TOTALLY into. At one point, during the encore, lead singer Yannis Philippakis was climbing on the railing of the balcony in back. The crowd LOVED it...& so did I. If you ever get a chance to see Foals, I HIGHLY recommend you take it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

LCD Soundsystem & Hot Chip @ The Hollywood Bowl - 10/15/10

I had the great privilege of seeing LCD Soundsystem & Hot Chip at The Hollywood Bowl on Friday night & I'm still on cloud nine because of it. It was the 7th time I've seen LCD Soundsystem & quite possibly the last if James Murphy's claims that this is their last tour are true. I've never seen any other band or artist more than 7 times so LCD holds an extremely important record in my life as well as a very special place in my heart...awwww! :-)

Even though LCD Soundsystem has been fantastic every time I've seen them, I dare to say Friday night's show was the best show yet. James Murphy & his band were TOTALLY on point & the crowd was 100% captivated. Hot Chip had a killer set as well. I would've paid $95 for my fancy box seat just to see Hot Chip alone!

The icing on the cake was when LCD opened with Dance Yrself Clean (the 1st song on their latest album This Is Happening). Rumor has it James Murphy made a point to save that song for the end of LCD's 2010 tour because it's such a difficult song to perform live. They didn't play it at Coachella, Sasquatch or The Hollywood Palladium & I had basically accepted the fact I would never get to hear Dance Yrself Clean live. It was all I hoped it could be & more. The entire show was simply mind-blowing. Hot Chip & LCD Soundsystem rock my world.

HOT CHIP - One Life Stand

HOT CHIP - Hold On - "I'm only going to heaven if it feels like hell. I'm only going to heaven if it tastes like caramel."

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - Dance Yrself Clean

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - All My Friends - LCD's anthem :-)



LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - Home - The perfect closing song!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Arcade Fire @ The Shrine Auditorium - 10/7/10

Arcade Fire is, by far, one of the most incredible live performance bands I have ever seen. Last Thursday night was my 3rd official Arcade Fire show & they just keep getting better! The very 1st time I saw Arcade Fire was when I caught a few of their songs at Coachella 2005. Unfortunately for me, that was before I really knew who they were so I didn't give them the proper attention they deserved (which is why that show doesn't even count as 1 of the official 3).

I'm extremely grateful I got my sh*t together in time for Coachella 2007 when they played the main stage at sunset. The sunset act on the main stage is one of the most coveted Coachella time slots & for good reason. Nothing beats witnessing an amazing show while the sun slowly sets behind the palm trees & desert mountains. It's just beautiful.

The 2nd time I saw Arcade Fire was at The Hollywood Bowl in September 2007 when LCD Soundsystem opened for them. That particular show still stands out in my mind as one of the best I've ever seen. LCD Soundsystem falls into the electro-rock genre while Arcade Fire's style is almost impossible to classify. Despite being very different, LCD complemented AF perfectl
***Side note: I'm seeing LCD Soundsystem (with Hot Chip & Sleigh Bells) this coming Friday at The Hollywood Bowl. According to James Murphy, this is the last leg of LCD Soundsystem's final tour but I don't think I believe it. No matter what, James Murphy will keep making music & that's all that really matters. Only because I'm not 100% sure what James Murphy is going to do next, I'm splurging on a $95 box seat (the most I've ever spent on a single non-festival show) for my 7th LCD Soundsystem show ever & I'm still excited as ever. Hot Chip is badass live as well so Friday night is definitely going to be AWESOME :-)
Despite the fact that the 1st 2 Arcade Fire shows I saw were both fantastic, last Thursday's show was the best so far. It was my 1st time seeing a show at The Shrine Auditorium & I LOVED the venue! Because I CALLED Ticketmaster at 10am on the dot the day tix went on sale instead of trying to purchase tickets online, I managed to snag FRONT row loge seats. The view was spectacular. 
Seeing AF in an indoor venue for the 1st time is what made the most noticeable difference though. The band & audience's energy combined was immeasurable. In reading a couple reviews after the show, I was reminded that there were a few technical difficulties with equipment & instruments but, when you have 8 people running around stage playing everything from the accordion to the xylophone, you're bound to have a few mishaps. Watching the band improvise just made them that much more likable! They rolled with it & so did the crowd. The audience was clapping & singing along practically the entire time.

Some of my video footage is a LITTLE shaky due to the fact that the entire upper level was constantly bouncing because everyone was on their feet dancing. At 1st I was a little upset I couldn't get a steady shot but I quickly decided that, if the reason my footage wasn't going to be flawless was because the crowd was TOO into the show, then that was a damn good reason for slightly less than perfect videos & pics.

Even if my footage doesn't exactly do it justice, in my opinion, Thursday night's Arcade Fire show was utter perfection...performance-wise, crowd-wise, seat-wise & venue-wise. Arcade Fire rocks my world & I will continue to see them EVERY chance I get (& you should too).

Ready to Start (opening song & the shakiest of all the videos...they get better I promise!)

Haiti (LOVE her)

Deep Blue (the piano in this song is magical)

Intervention (this one just never gets old)

We Used To Wait (TRY THIS:

Rebellion (Lies)

Keep The Car Running (PERFECT closing song)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Trainspotting & Belle & Sebastian @ The Hollywood Forever Cemetary - 10/5/10

On Tuesday night, I had the honor of attending an extremely unique event. Belle & Sebastian performed at The Hollywood Forever Cemetary at 9:30pm after a 7:15pm screening of Trainspotting. We were lucky in that it didn't rain a single drop the entire time we were there but, due to the dismal weather forecast, we came prepared with ponchos, garbage bags & LOTS of 2 Buck Chuck. Drinking wine from 6:30pm until 9:30pm lead to me forgetting to take photos & videos of the actual concert (therefore the video below is "borrowed") but I did manage to capture the most infamous scene from Trainspotting. The baby on the ceiling is classic!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Spoon @ The Hollywood Palladium - 9/30/10

Before Thursday night, I had seen Spoon perform 3 times. The 1st time was at KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas Night #2. Night #1 was way more pop rock-ish than Night #2. Night #2 was the indie rock night when Spoon played along with The Shins, The Silversun Pickups, Modest Mouse, Feist & Muse. It was a killer line-up & I was thoroughly impressed. The 2nd time I saw Spoon was at The Hollywood Bowl when they opened for Beck (& MGMT opened for Spoon). MGMT didn't blow me away at the time but Spoon & Beck DEFINITELY did. Beck played 1/2 of his set with The L.A. Philharmonic backing him up & it was amazing. And the 3rd time I saw Spoon was in April at Coachella 2010. Brit Daniel & the boys played the sunset set on the main stage on the 3rd & final day of my 6th Coachella in a row & they were ridiculously awesome. A special treat was when Bradford Cox of Deerhunter joined them for Who Makes Your of my favorite songs of their most recent album, Transference.
After already seeing Spoon 3 times, you'd think I wouldn't feel obliged to see them again when they came to play another show in Los Angeles on September 30th but they're just SO good live. I had to do it. And, boy, am I happy I did! Out of 4 shows, this was the only time Spoon was the headliner. I'm kinda bummed I missed the opening act, Cold Cave, because I like them & was curious to check them out live but, due to the doors opening at 7pm & a lot of traffic getting to Hollywood, I got inside the venue just AFTER Cold Cave had finished their set. Oh well! All I really cared about was Spoon anyway :-)
There were 2 unexpected perks that made Spoon's Hollywood Palladium show even more bad ass:

1 - My buddy Matt was given some free VIP passes on the day of the show so we got to use a special venue entrance where there was no line, we were able to get drinks from the special VIP bar (also with no line) AND we were able to watch the show upstairs from the VIP balcony! We only spent the last 3rd of the show on the balcony because we were in such a good, close spot down on the floor but it was really cool to get a different view where we could better appreciate the cool stage set-up & sick lighting.
2 - About a week before the show, I saw a post on Spoon's Facebook page that said the 1st however many people to RSVP via Email would get special access to the pit to take some footage of Spoon up close & personal. Of course, I RSVPed immediately. About a week later (& 2 days before the show), I still hadn't heard anything back about whether or not I was going to get into the pit so I decided to send a little follow-up Email...just in case. Only about an hour later, I got the oh-so-exciting response I'd been waiting for! I was granted access to the pit for songs 4-6 of Spoon's set! When the time actually came to go into the pit, Spoon was just starting song #4 of their set & I was SO overwhelmed by getting to be RIGHT next to the stage & Brit Daniel, I didn't even record anything. I was too busy dancing & swooning. I did manage to record songs #5 & 6 though & they just happened to be 2 of my favorites, The Ghost of You Lingers & Who Makes Your Money.

I Turn My Camera On

Adding a brass section is never a bad idea...

You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb

Don't You Evah