Beady Eye w/ Ican Abrahamn and Black Box Revelations 12/03/11
Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
It’s always nice to spend Saturday night with good friends. On the first Saturday in December, I did exactly that at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to find free parking. One of my pals ran into an old friend who he had not seen in 17 years. There was an exchange of Christmas gifts where I gave the gift of Insane Clown Posse Vinyl and received the latest Limp Bizkit effort on compact disc. Two thirds of Triple Bordego found their way into the house. Those guys are a lot of fun and always a blast to hang out with. I managed to catch up with not one, but two of the best warriors of the new media revolution. The only bad part of the evening was the reason we were all gathered on the corner of Wilshire and Western. That reason was Beady Eye.
My night of music started with the closing song from opener Ican Abrahamn. Musically, I would describe the song I heard as trance heavy indie rock. The best description of what was going down on stage comes from my man JEFF WINSTON. He pointed out that he drummer looked homeless. I couldn’t agree more.
Before I make Oasis fans cry, we must discuss the musical highlight of the night. The Black Box Revelation are a Belgian duo who are capable of cranking out some serious rock and roll. It’s a shame the two only had thirty minutes to spend with the empty auditorium as they were just getting warmed up by the time it was all over. I must assume that guitarist/vocalist Jan Paternoster is using the same trick as Local H guitarist Scott Lucas by having a bass pickup built into his guitar as the sound coming from that thing was fucking massive. Imagine the blues boogie of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or the Black Keys dipped in the demonic tones of Black Sabbath. I realize that is a lot of bands with black in the name used to describe the sound of a band with black in the name but it’s the truth. Highlights of the short set included “I Think I Like You,” “Bitter” and “Love Licks.” Thank you for giving me something good to write about BBR.
So by now you are probably asking why the hell I went to Beady Eye. I wouldn’t call Different Gears, Still Speeding a top 10 album of 2011, but I found the music on the band’s debut album enjoyable. Someone in the Beady Eye camp was smart in putting tickets on sale long before Liam’s brother released a record and toured across America. My pal is obsessed with Oasis and was foaming at the mouth at the chance to see a Gallagher brother in such an intimate venue so tickets were purchased the moment they went on sale. The excitement level for the evening was high which is why what we got was so disappointing.
I knew there would be no Oasis songs and I was fine with that. What I didn’t expect was a lifeless uninspired mess that will no doubt take the crown as the worst show I saw in 2011. Despite the venue being only half full at best, the energy level was high as a pre-recorded version of “Yellow Tail” blasted from the PA. The energy was even higher when the five piece band hit the stage performing “Four Letter Word.” Some jumped, some clapped but on the main floors third tier many were checking Facebook by the time the bands second song “Beatles and Stones” began.
The first major glare of the set was the sound inside the venue. Even when undersold I have heard bands’ sound great inside the Art Deco landmark. When the bands guitars and drums didn’t echo off the walls, Gallagher’s vocals were so loud in the mix that they were often distorted. While it has never been easy for us Yanks to understand what Liam Gallagher is saying through his thick Manchester accent, it took me coming home and watching my videos to discover the front man had insulted the Church of Scientology.
Glancing across the venue the overall feel inside was boredom. Fans chatted over soft songs like “For Anyone.” Multiple security duos walked around desperately seeking someone to bust. The most action I saw them have all night was when they insisted a female fan get off the shoulders of her male counterpart during “Bring The Light.” Yet the biggest violators of looking bored were the band themselves. Liam occasionally moved around and at one point and even autographed a fans recently purchased vinyl copy of Different Gears, Still Speeding. Yet I can’t recall any other of the band moving an inch the entire time. These gentlemen were so still they make Interpol look like Dillinger Escape Plan. It felt as if they want to be there and were simply going through the motions. I found myself watching Liam sweat through his trench coat as Jakob mentioned in his Seattle review while having a conversation on twitter with The Audio Perv instead of enjoying the music. Speaking of Jakob thank God he posted the setlist so I could countdown how many songs we had left.
Even a move to a smaller venue such as the Music Box would not have saved this show. It is clear Beady Eye is a team who is playing out the season with no chance of making the playoffs. Noel won the race with a far superior album and two sold out nights in a slightly smaller venue here in Los Angeles. His High Flying Birds are returning next weekend for a key slot on a major rock radio holiday festival and a late night television performance. Beady Eye didn’t even try to make an effort to shine for Los Angeles. In closing its clear Beady Eye has no desire to be amazing. While they may be able to ride the coattails of past success overseas Beady Eye clearly missed the boat in America and no one really cares. Even if the music left a lot to be desired it’s always nice to have a night out with your friends and that’s exactly what that was on a brisk December night.