Tag: Hollywood (page 2 of 3)

Goldenvoice Adds Coachella Week Shows For Southern California

Goldenvoice Adds Coachella Week Shows For Southern California

Goldenvoice just posted information on which Coachella 2012 bands will be playing shows in/around the greater Los Angeles Area during the week between each festival. Highlights include Kasabian at the Fonda, Refused at the Glass House and Pulp at the Fox Theatre. Check out the above poster to see which of your favorite Coachella Artists are playing in Southern California this April. As always, check out the official Goldenvoice page for up to the minute details on these shows.

 

Win Tickets To See Andrew W.K. Perform I Get Wet In Hollywood

Win Tickets To See Andrew W.K. Perform I Get Wet In Hollywood

It’s hard to believe that Andrew W.K. released his debut album I Get Wet over a decade ago. To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of this classic recording, the man with the bloodied face is about to hit the road for his first headline trek in nearly seven years. The tour kicks off March 3rd in Vancouver, B.C. and will feature Andrew and his backing band performing I Get Wet in its entirety.

Andrew W.K. at the 2010 Golden Gods Awards

To celebrate this tour, we here at Concert Confessions have teamed with Live Nation to give away one pair of tickets for the March 8th stop at Avalon in Hollywood, CA. All you have to do is leave a comment sharing which track from I Get Wet is your personal favorite. Please make sure you leave your e-mail address so we can contact you if you win. The contest will close Sunday March 4th 2012 at 11:59 pm PST. Please note that while all are welcome to take part in this contest, you are responsible for transportation to and from Avalon in Hollywood, CA.

A full list of Tour Dates for Andrew W.K. 2012 North American Tour can be found below. Good luck and see you in the pit.

Andrew WK 2012 Tour Dates:

03/03 – Vancouver, BC @ Venue
03/04 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox at the Market
03/05 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
03/06 – San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
03/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ Avalon
03/09 – Las Vegas, NV @ Body English
03/10 – Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
03/11 – Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
03/13 – San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
03/14-17 – Austin, TX @ South By Southwest
03/18 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
03/20 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird
03/22 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
03/23 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
03/24 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
03/25 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
03/26 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
03/27 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix
03/28 – Boston, MA @ Paradise
03/30 – Philadelphia PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
03/31 – Uncasville, CT @ Wolf Den
04/01 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
04/02 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
04/05 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
04/06 – Orlando, FL @ Beacham Theater
04/07 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution

Die Antwoord Invited Back to Television

About two weeks ago, South African rave-rap trio Die Antwoord performed their new single “I Fink U Freeky” on the Letterman stage in New York. Last night, however, they two songs from their new album “Ten$ion”—including “Freeky”—in Los Angeles on the Jimmy Kimmel stage.

And if the song titles—”I Fink U Freeky” and “Fatty Boom Boom”—and the lyrics aren’t proof enough that the members of this group are clinically insane, then just check out this interview they did with an online Seattle magazine.

So sit back, relax, and force your eyes open a la Clockwork Orange as you witness, well, whatever this is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Orf0isjyy5M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KnDjG0EU3c

Fishbone Brings the Crazy to Jimmy Kimmel

In two weeks’ time, I’ll be journeying to Atlanta to witness influential reggae/ska/funk kings Fishbone playing live, mostly to support their most recent documentary “Everyday Sunshine,” which you can purchase on iTunes.

Before they set out on a short tour of the south, the ‘Bone rocked the stage at JKL, first with classic track “Everyday Sunshine” off their 1991 album “The Reality of My Surroundings.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk7s7FtCGSI

Then they broke into their most recent hit “Crazy Glue,” which was quickly prefaced by the hook/chorus from their recently controversial “Lyin’ Ass Bitch,” which The Roots, Jimmy Fallon’s house band for his talk show, played for Michele Bachmann right before she was interviewed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tj9VnRiDao&feature=player_embedded

Fishbone have been skankin’ and partyin’ for well over 25 years now and show no sign of stopping. And I’ll be checking them out live on February 15, so be on the look out for that. Thanks!

Nada Surf 01/30/12: Amoeba Music – Hollywood, CA

Nada Surf 01/30/12

Amoeba Music – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

As far as Monday’s go, I can think of many that were way worse than this particular one. Sure, I will never know the outcome of the one armed man who may or may not have beaten his wife and my nifty traffic phone app totally lied to me. But none of that really matters when you end your busy Monday in Hollywood, CA enjoying a free in-store performance from Nada Surf. With their new record The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy hitting shelves last week the now four piece group snuck into Amoeba Music to share songs new and old. I found a nice spot next to the Bo Diddley compact discs and enjoyed every last second of the 45+ minute set.

Armed with clear plastic cups of Jesus Juice, the band took to the quaint stage at just past 6pm kicking off their performance with a new number entitled Clear Eye Clouded Mind. Another new number known as Waiting For Something quickly followed. Early on, Nada Surf mastermind Matthew Caws mentioned that the set would be heavy on songs from the just released album and he seemed surprised when the crowd cheered with approval. If there was a recurring theme within the songs performed on this Monday night, it’s that the younger years are in the rear view. I was just excited to catch a band I have enjoyed over the years. Little did I expect new numbers like When I Was Young and Teenage Dreams to have such an impact on me and where my life is at this particular point in time.

It was not just new songs for Nada Surf on this particular evening. The band sprinkled in material spanning their 15+ year career. Some highlights included a bass heavy version of Happy Kid and many in the crowd singing along to Weightless. Before the show started, there were the inevitable duo standing close to me who vowed the show would be a failure if they didn’t hear Popular. While the band avoided their biggest hit as well as Inside of Love, many in the crowd were delighted when the band performed their “final” song Always Love.

Having already been told that their time was up, Cawes and company ignored the red light and kept on driving full speed ahead. With many kids (I assume some belonging to members of the band) set up in the front row, the group launched into the incredibly adorkable rarity Meow Meow Lullaby. Still not ready to let up, the band polished off the last of the Jesus juice before blasting through one more song. When the set was finally over the musicians took time to meet fans and autograph copies of the new record. While I didn’t stay around to meet the band, I hit Sunset Blvd not only thankful to finally catch a performance by Nada Surf, but with the pleasant reminder that there are far worse things than growing old.

 

Grouplove Pay Jimmy Kimmel Live A Visit

Grouplove Pay Jimmy Kimmel Live A Visit

We here at Concert Confessions have been trying to see Grouplove for a while. As you may recall, our founder Reverend Justito attempted to catch the band on the Pan Handle stage at the 2011 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival. However with a massive crowd assembled at the solar powered stage, he couldn’t even get close enough to hear the band let alone see them. Then our youngest and quite possibly brightest contributor Jakob Ross caught them in Seattle last month. While he was able to hear them, sitting at the very top of Key Arena, he didn’t really see them either. Thankfully the group performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this week where we were able to catch them in beautiful 720p HD goodness. You can watch the band perform both “Tongue Tied” and “Colors” below. Oh and if all goes well, perhaps we will get to see and hear them in person later this year when Rev makes a trip out to the desert for the 2012 Coachella Music and Arts Festival.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLsorA7LMBc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZzf1c8ZM1Y&feature=relmfu

 

Death Cab For Cutie Pay Jimmy Kimmel Live A Visit

Death Cab For Cutie Pay Jimmy Kimmel Live A Visit

Fresh off their West Coast tour of corporate radio station holiday festivals, Death Cab For Cutie paid a visit to the Jimmy Kimmel Live show last night (12/13/11). The sons of Seattle performed two songs from their latest effort Codes and Keys. You can watch the videos below.

Death Cab For Cutie will kick off 2012 with a brief tour of Australia.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e17Ck_wo8cE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPKihQyIkM4&feature=channel_video_title

Girls 12/06/11: Music Box at Fonda – Hollywood, CA

Girls 12/06/11

Music Box at Fonda – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

Before we begin, we must give a major shout out to both Girls and Vacation Vinyl in Silver Lake, CA. I don’t know who had the idea to give away a free ticket to the Girls show with the purchase of Father, Son, Holy Ghost on vinyl, but I am sure glad they did. We here at Concert Confessions truly can’t express just how wonderful the folks at Vacation Vinyl are. They have always taken care of us on Record Store Day, host some great in-stores and have a diverse selection of vinyl from hipster indie faves to the blackest of black metal. So THANK YOU to whomever made it possible to see a show and get a double vinyl LP for $23, we sure as hell appreciate it.

When I walked through the doors of the Music Box, I was a guy who was still trying to figure out Girls. My first encounter with Girls was nothing short of magical. How could it not be, here were two guys I grew up with performing at the Hollywood Bowl?!?!?! In the days and weeks after that show, I wondered had I not been connected with some of the players, would I have enjoyed it? I do tend to be the anti-hipster after all and Girls are not something I would usually gravitate towards. After the Bowl appearance, I picked up a copy of Broken Dreams Club and gave it a spin or two before placing back upon the shelf. Father, Son and Holy Ghost was not originally on my shopping list this past Record Store Day – Black Friday, but with the earlier mentioned incredible deal the time was right to dive deep into Girls.

Having secured a front row balcony seat despite arriving well after The Tyde had wrapped their main support set, I patiently waited for the sons of San Francisco to take the stage. When they finally hit the stage at 10 past 10, the near capacity crowd erupted as the opening notes of “My Ma” trickled from the PA. With Father, Son and Holy Ghost being declared the best record of 2011 by MTV News earlier in the day, the mood inside the Music Box was happy and warm despite the cold by Los Angeles standards weather out on Hollywood Blvd.

The front end of the set was loaded with songs for the broken hearted and I am not just saying that because “Heartbreaker” was the second song performed. When front man Christopher Owens sang “Cause when I said I love you honey, I knew it from the very start. And when I said that I loved you, honey I knew that you would break my heart” one couldn’t help feel reminded of the agony that a break up causes on ones soul. If that didn’t hit you in the heart, then the pain within the lyrics of “Laura” and “Love Life” most certainly did.

As the show progressed I realized my love of Girls was not based around the lyrics and hypnotic vocal execution from Christopher Owens. My love of Girls is from the incredible landscapes they create musically. I love the bands ability to mix various genres into one. “Die” manages to sound both like Black Sabbath and Dick Dale yet possess the flair of a 1980’s underground punk song. One thing that really added to the music was the use of three female back up singers. The layer of texture they added took what was a good show and made it an amazing show.

Another great trick under Girls sleeve are songs that begin as a soft and tender ballad and end as a monstrous feedback heavy balls to the wall ass kicking rock and roll extravaganza. The bands best example of that was the eventual set closer “Vomit.” This song truly has it all, tender chords, massive guitar solos and more lyrics that tug upon your heart. “Forgiveness” is another great example of this type of song structure.

I walked into the Music Box with an open mind and the understanding that there was no way the group could be worse than Beady Eye. I left not only having a much better understanding of Girls, but knowing that in a few years I can brag that I saw the band way back when at the intimate Music Box. With the already mentioned MTV accolades and plenty of touring to come in 2012 (may I start the Coachella rumor here) Girls are right on the edge of blowing up big time. As for me, let’s just say my $23 was well spent.

Pixies 11/19/11: Music Box @ Fonda – Hollywood, CA

Pixies 11/19/11

Music Box @ Fonda – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

Ever since the Pixies reunited back in 2004 I have been trying to catch them live. Typically one of three things happen that prevent me from seeing the band. If I am not out of town, I already have tickets for another show and if I happen to have a ticket for the Pixies show (10/23/04 to be exact) then my car breaks down and I never actually make it to the show. I had all but given up my dreams of seeing the band when low and behold I saw a tweet that mentioned the foursome playing a pseudo-secret fan club e-mail invite show at the Music Box in Hollywood, CA. With the password for tickets included in the tweet I added another $50 to my Visa card and prayed for no issues with my car on the night of November 19th, 2011.

With no opening act on this particular evening the Pixies hit the stage inside the sold out theatre just past 9pm. The band kicked things off with a botched version of “Bone Machine.” I am not exactly sure who messed up causing “Bone Machine” to be aborted, but after some serious chuckles from the various musicians on stage the show got back on course with a rocking take on “U-Mass.”

Knowing the group is currently performing their classic 1989 album Doolittle from front to back, I was shocked when that albums third track “Wave of Mutilation” was performed early in the set. Clearly this special show was to be radically different than others on this tour. With “Isla de Encanta” and one of my personal favorites “Caribou” following no one seemed to mind that we were not going to be rocking out to Doolittle like the rest of the nation.

As the set continued on, the band sounded tight musically while being very loose on stage. Bassist/vocalist Kim Deal gave a shout out to guitarist Joey Santiago’s family who happened to be sitting right in front of us (you can hear his daughter scream Daddy in the video for “There Goes My Gun”). This shout out occurred after Pixies front man Black Francis/Frank Black/Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV discussed the difference between crowd members screaming I Love You and Fuck You while the band performed on stage.

While we didn’t get Doolittle from front to back, we did hear every song from the album over the course of the 32 song set. In between timeless numbers from that album like “Here Comes Your Man” and “Monkey Gone To Heaven” we got a mix of rare Pixies gems. Some of those gems included the B-side “Bailey’s Walk” and a cover of Neil Young’s “Winterlong.” After busting out some of the biggest Doolittle songs including “Gouge Away” and “Debaser,” the main set closed with a B-side sung by Deal entitled “Into The White.”

The band never actually left the stage for an encore break; instead they put down their instruments, walked around briefly before taking position and heading into the fan favorite “Where Is My Mind?” With the venue anxious to kick fans out by 11pm so they can host a dance night, the Pixies wrapped their nearly two hour show with “Gigantic.” Much like the first song of the night, the band stumbled, but was saved by Deal and her hilarious good night wishes to her fellow band mates. With a long bus ride up the coast for a Sunday night show in Napa, her goal was to be asleep long before the first dance night patrons found their way into the Music Box. For me, I was just happy to finally catch the Pixies live and in person.

 

 

 

Blitzen Trapper 11/17/11: Music Box at Fonda – Hollywood, CA

Blitzen Trapper 11/17/11

Music Box at Fonda – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

On the wild ride that is life as an amateur rock journalist, Blitzen Trapper has served as my training wheels for much of the journey. A long time ago (a little over three years to be exact) a major network in the Viacom family sent me to Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, CA to shoot the band. While I had taken plenty of photos at shows, I had never been sent on someone else’s dime to shoot and cover a specific artist. I was not only excited to be working as a journalist, but my love for the six piece Portland Oregon based band began on that warm summer day. Then a few months ago, the fine folks at Antiquiet allowed me to review the groups outstanding 2011 release American Goldwing. My first published album review, once again Blitzen Trapper allowed me to experience growth in this crazy day and age where a kid with nothing more than a California public school education and a dream can become Almost Famous on the World Wide Web. So walking into the Music Box at Fonda on Thursday night I assumed I would simply enjoy the show as I do most shows – safely tucked away in the crowd doing our trademark By Fans for Fans below the radar approach on concert coverage. I assumed wrong.

Shortly after walking through the doors of the Hollywood Blvd venue, a Coachella 2011 media pass was slapped upon my wrist and a fancy Canon SLR camera was handed over to me. While I have had multiple experiences in photo pits over the years, this was only the second time I have shot with a “real” camera. After a brief lesson on how to use such a fine photography capturing device I was six inches away from Blitzen Trapper as they opened their 90 minute set with “Sleepy Time in the Western World.” While I imagine my three songs worth of photos will leave a lot to be desired it was great practice as I look to grow in the field of concert reporting.

By the time I was done shooting, the venue was packed to the very back of the balcony. I found a spot on the stage right side for the remaining 75 minutes of Blitzen Trapper’s final co-headline show of 2011 with Dawes. The group did a fine job of mixing songs from American Goldwing with material from their back catalogue. Early on, the group eased into the night with familiar material including the earlier mentioned “Sleepy Time in the Western World” and “Furr.” As I felt when I first heard American Goldwing, the new songs are designed to rock the masses. “Fletcher,” “Love the Way You Walk Away” and “My Own Town” felt larger than the venue the band was performing in.

In a day and age where bands are often disposed of if they don’t hit it big out of the gate, Blitzen Trapper have been allowed the luxury to grow slowly into a fine tuned machine. From the story telling lyrics of “Black River Killer” to the balls to the wall rock and roll onslaught that is “Street Fighting Sun” the six piece group manages to blend so many elements into a unique yet familair sound. On this particular Thursday night we witnessed softer moments where you could hear a pin drop within the crowd, we witnessed soaring guitar solos and pump organ fueled improvisational jams within a collection of songs that make you feel damn proud to be an American. While I don’t know what fantastic journalistic endeavor Blitzen Trapper and I will embark on next, I know I most definitely look forward to it.

Primus Bring Green Naugahyde To Jimmy Kimmel Live

Primus Bring Green Naugahyde To Jimmy Kimmel Live

Fresh off their sold out appearance at the historic Art Deco Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, Primus paid the Jimmy Kimmel Live show an appearance. The trio rocked the late night shows outdoor stage for two televised numbers. As we mentioned in our review of the Wiltern show, Claypool and boys were debating performing “Lee Van Cleef” for a national television audience and as you can see below they did. The Bay Area natives also performed “Jilly’s On Smack” from their latest release Green Naugahyde and you can watch both performances below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1pfvOdkAMk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-yhtjcgh5s

 

Primus will perform at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA on Friday October 28th 2011. You can purchase tickets for the show by clicking here.

St. Vincent 10/18/11: Music Box at Fonda – Hollywood, CA

 St. Vincent 10/18/11

Music Box at Fonda – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

It was towards the end of the set when someone in the crowd screamed “You are a really good guitar player.” I was thinking the exact same thing, yet was not drunk enough to scream it out at Annie Erin Clark, better known as St. Vincent. To be honest, I am not even sure how I ended up at the Music Box in Hollywood for a sold out performance by St. Vincent, but there I was drink in my hand watching a fellow Arrested Development fan rock it out on stage.

What puzzled me most about the evening was the crowd. It was like being at a wax museum, because nobody moved. Folks just stood in place and looked like they were dead. I can’t figure out why, the band sounded great performing plenty of tracks from the just released record Strange Mercy. Some of the highlights included “Cheerleader”, “Neutered Fruit” and “Chloe in the Afternoon.” Not even a cover of a song from the obscure British post-punk noise makers The Pop Group would excite the crowd. Truth be told it was rather depressing.

My lasting impression of the night was that the loud mouth in the crowd was dead on – St. Vincent is a really good guitar player. The tones, the sounds and the unusual licks coming from the six strings made me think of many post hardcore/space rock bands that I adore, yet sounded nothing like them at all. I also would not be shocked if St. Vincent was fighting a cold. If that’s the case, way to get up there and hang and sound great despite not feeling great. An enjoyable night of music I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did, there is no doubt I would check out St. Vincent again.

Dinosaur Jr. Bring Bug To The West Coast

Dinosaur Jr. Bring Bug To The West Coast

Earlier this year, you may remember our man Jay Porks catching Dinosaur Jr. rocking their album Bug from front to back in New York City. You may also remember our man Jay Porks catching Henry Rollins having a heart to heart with Dinosaur Jr. before they rocked Bug from front to back. With a successful East Coast run in the rearview mirror, the team of Dinosaur Jr. and Henry Rollins plan to bring the show out west this December. The six night run kicks off in Orange County on December 12th and wraps December 17th in Seattle.

If catching Dinosaur Jr. out west simply isn’t enough for you the band is re-releasing their first three albums on vinyl October 4th. You can click here to pre-order those now.

 

Dinosaur Jr. w/ Henry Rollins Tour Dates a/o 09/12/11

12/12 – Costa Mesa, CA @ Segerstrom CFA
12/13 – Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
12/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Music Box
12/15 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
12/16 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
12/17 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox at the Market

 

Death From Above 1979 09/04/11: Music Box at Fonda – Hollywood, CA


Death From Above 1979 (w/ Funeral Party) 09/04/11

Music Box at Fonda – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

Just my luck, I was introduced to Death From Above 1979 right before they decided to call it quits. For years I heard epic tales of their live shows and watched hours of footage on the internet. In my personal opinion the reunion of Death From Above 1979 is the most important musical reunion of 2011. When the band announced a post FYF Fest show at the Music Box at Fonda in Hollywood I knew it was time to swap the fest tickets for a case of wine and rock out with the greatest Canadian duo since Terrence and Phillip.

With a crowd made up of kids who had to be in grade school when Death From Above 1979 got their start, the night kicked off with a solid opening set from Funeral Party. Hailing from Southern California, Funeral Party won me over before they even hit the stage by handing out a free 7 inch at the merch table. When the group made it to the stage just past 8pm, their unique blend of early-ought’s post hardcore and various punk genres (dance, pop etc.) kept me entertained and by the end left me wanting more. The entire operation works largely in part to the guitar riffs of James Torres. While there were moments I would wish he would stomp down on a Metal Zone or Big Muff distortion pedal and go to town; he manages to find the right chords that make you want to hop in the pit, yet mosh with a groove that pays respects to Talking Heads, TV On The Radio and The Velvet Underground. Add in a tight rhythm section and an ambiguous front man and you have the right recipe to stand out amongst the countless hipster post emo/screamo posers that currently choke support slot roles. Check these guys out if you ever get a chance.

 

As a former resident, there is something soothing about country-western music on a Sunday evening in Hollywood. As odd as it sounds it was the perfect pre Death From Above 1979 soundtrack. Relaxed from the twang of legends like Dolly, Willie and Johnny; when the duo hit the stage with their insanely loud brand of unapologetic noise-dance-punk rock the adrenaline rush makes one ponder if it’s time to hit the emergency call button on the closest smart phone.

In 75 glorious minutes, Death From Above 1979 performed just about every song from their limited catalogue for an eager and energetic crowd. For the entire night, a huge pit engulfed the general admission floor for favorites like “Dead Womb” “Blood On Our Hands” and “Romantic Rights.” At one point during the show, bassist Jesse F. Keeler asked to be turned up at the request of the fans. Drummer vocalist Sebastien Grainger chimed in informing the crowd that the band was intended to be loud and that if Keeler wasn’t loud enough then we were not getting the full experience.

Words, photos and videos can’t truly express what it is like to see Death From Above 1979 live. How do two men make so much noise with limited instrumentation? How is that noise so damn melodic? How does Grainger manage to scream that hard while pounding the drums so violently? How does Keeler pluck four strings so fast and furiously? Now that I have seen it in person, I still can’t figure out how they do it, which is what makes Death From Above 1979 so damn great. Hopefully the duo stick together long enough to make new music in the not so distant future.

ECHO PARK RISING 08/27/11

ECHO PARK RISING 2011

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

I am not one of the individuals who remember the Sunset Junction as a small community gathering of Silver Lake locals. I know Sunset Junction as a gathering of inebriated individuals from all over Southern California looking to enjoy some music and overpriced churros in the hot summer sun. It had been a few years since I participated in the all day bash, and I was very much looking forward to the 2011 edition. USELESS KEYS, The Stripminers, Vanaprasta, Helmet, Melvins and the Butthole Surfers all in one day – how could you not brave triple digit heat for those acts? For those outside of Southern California, Sunset Junction failed to obtain a permit from the city of Los Angeles (which was not the city being cruel as much as Sunset Junction really fucked a lot of things up) and was subsequently canceled. As soon as Sunset Junction ceased to have a pulse, various artists began to book shows in and around down. With some dubbing the event as Echo Park Rising (a name I am using despite only seeing one show in Echo Park), my man Jeff and I decided to see just how many shows we could hit over the course of one day.

Sunset Junction Live From Dangerbird Records

Located in Sunset Junction, Dangerbird Records is home to such acts as Silversun Pickups and Beady Eye. While I have driven past their Sunset Blvd headquarters on numerous occasions, I have never had an opportunity to stop in for a visit. They have a pretty sweet setup, as the stage overlooks what is basically a back yard with various trees (aka shade), some street art and a basketball hoop. We made it to the free show (with donations requested and gladly handed over to the wonderful non-profit known as The Pablove Foundation) comprised of some of the up and coming local artist who were originally scheduled to perform at Sunset Junction.

Chasing Kings

Perhaps it was the heat, perhaps it was the mix of styles while never truly having their own sound but I lost interest quick in Chasing Kings. Did they meow a song? I think they meowed the lyrics to a song, I don’t really remember as I ended up hanging in the shade somewhere between the trash can and those endless supply of funky supplement drinks that tasted like diet skittles.

The Fling

Not knowing anything about these guys, they win the prize as the only new act to win me over all day. I am a sucker for that rock meets folk with a bit of La Honda psychedelica thrown in for good measure sound. The Fling fly the rock meets folks with a bit of La Honda psychedelica flag high and proud. Well written songs with solid licks and great melodies. With new material to release later in the year, the band debuted some new material, including the song below. I will no doubt be seeking these guys out again.

Vanaprasta

I really want to like Vanaprasta, probably because in the next 18 months everyone will like Vanaprasta. The band had elements I really liked. The energy level (especially the guy who was using the palm tree as a percussion instrument during the first song) in the group was high. Some of the musical passages intrigued my ear. I think the one thing that killed it for me was the vocals. They sounded so much like Kings of Leon that it ruined anything good they can do While the familiarity will help them in the end it made me rush back to a bench in the shade versus diving deeper into the set. Perhaps the group would be more enjoyable inside a club versus playing outside at 3pm. One positive note is that Kevin Bacon and his brother showed up for the set and seemed to enjoy it. If you know Vanaprasta (or Jeff and I) you are now one degree away from Kevin Bacon.

USELESS KEYS

It usually takes something rather special for this Nor Cal West Side boy to hit the Silver Lake/Echo Park section of Los Angeles. Typically those special reasons are Record Store Day, Joseph Arthur or USELESS KEYS. Till someone proves me wrong, I will proclaim USELESS KEYS as the best local band in Los Angeles today. The group used their set not only to wrap up a brief tour of the South West, but as a chance to rock a lot of material assumed to be featured on their upcoming full length release . “Static Friend” “Kamikaze” and “Sea Bells” and songs unfamiliar to me hypnotized the crowd. The four-piece made sure to mix in the material found on their four song debut EP. “Arizona State Highway” was an appropriate call given the concrete baking from the oppressive sun overhead. There is no doubt that “White Noise” is a natural set closer, so when the band began to strum to chords I knew our time at Dangerbird Records was coming to a close. Another great set from USELESS KEYS, till next time gentlemen.

The Growlers

There was a debate to head back to the west side after USELESS KEYS, but that would have been about 2.5 hours in a car for three hours at home? So Jeff and I decided to head down Sunset to Amoeba Records in Hollywood to check out The Growlers. Originally scheduled to perform at the Junction on Sunday, I suppose you take a gig where you can get one right? I had literally looked up The Growlers on YouTube earlier in the day to see if it was worth the trek I enjoyed the spooky Scooby-Doo flavored surf rock thing that The Growlers had going and figured why not make the trip. We made it just as the band wrapped their first song. Standing in the Diamond Head/Ani DiFranco/Dio section of the store, I noticed myself more excited for the air conditioning instead of the music. Once my body cooled, I realized I really didn’t like the music. I take that back, the music while nothing amazing was fine. It was vocalist Brooks Nielson that ruined it for me. He felt as if he did not want to be there, proclaimed that he never comes to Amoeba because he has no money and one must assume he was not just drinking java from that coffee mug. I ended up looking at vinyl for the final 1/3rd of their set ending up with albums by Joseph Arthur and the Lonely Astronauts and TV on the Radio.

UFC 134

Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Man can’t survive on music alone, which is why Jeff and I hit up Big Wangs in Hollywood for dinner and what we assumed would be baseball and pre-season NFL action. While we got the NFL action, we were also treated to UFC 134. Neither of us are fans of UFC, but with cold drinks and pizza tater tots it ended up being a sweet spot to not only recharge our batteries but kill a few hours. Not knowing really anything about UFC, it was a blast to watch this Anderson Silva guy just destroy Yushin Okami. Where other fights I saw featured fighters lunging upon their opponents as soon as they were down on the mat, Silva played cat and mouse with Okami. It was pretty bad ass; I think I finally see the appeal of UFC.

400 Blows

The final leg of our Echo Park Rising 2011 experience was a trip to the Echoplex. Here is where I admit that I have never stepped foot into this venue (of the Echo for that matter) and now I must wonder why as it’s a great place. I spent basically the entire set of 400 Blows towards the back section. Its clear 400 Blows don’t take themselves seriously as I don’t believe a band could be that bad without knowing they are bad. Instead I spent my time playing Words With Friends with fellow journalist/Concert Confessions supporter Adrian Garro. Sure, he was 15 feet away from me, but as we posted to our Facebook wall, Words With Friends is much more entertaining than 400 Blows.

Butthole Surfers

On June 28th 1996 a local radio station in the Bay Area hit up my local Blockbuster Music and gave out free tickets to the Reverend Horton Heat/Toadies/Butthole Surfers gig that night at the Greek Theatre. I was not allowed to attend concerts at this time in my life, especially concerts across the Bay in Berkeley with people my parents didn’t know. So I did what any 17 year old kid would do and told my parents to fuck off and went anyways. As it turns out it was one of the better choices I made as my parents fined me $25 and then started letting me go to shows. For fifteen years I have been trying to see the band again. There was no way in hell I would allow a permit issue to keep me from rocking out with the Butthole Surfers.

The band hit the stage around 11:30pm as front man Gibby Haynes questioned the crowd to see how many had tickets for Sunset Junction. With many hands raised high, Haynes shared his disappointment with the cancellation (Butthole Surfers were set to headline the main stage) before blasting into “100 Million People Were Dead.”

With the bands core members all in their mid-50’s, the four piece rocked Echo Park hard for 90 minutes. What shocked me was the fact that most of the set was that much of the material performed was from the bands mid 80’s material. I didn’t think we would hear anything from Psychic…Powerless…Another Man’s Sac, but there they were rocking “Negro Observer” and “Gary Floyd.” Other classics like “BBQ Pope” “I Saw An Xray of a Girl Passing Gas” and “Bong Song” pleased the hardcore Butthole fans.

While I can’t claim to own the entire Butthole collection, I would say my favorite release by the San Antonio noise rockers is 1993’s “Independent Worm Saloon.” The band blessed the Echoplex with a lot of material from this release including “Goofy’s Concern” “Some Dispute Over T-Shirt Sales” and “Edgar.”

I know on their last tour, the band refused to play their one mainstream hit “Pepper” so I was not expecting to hear it on this particular evening. The band however shocked me and many more as they snuck it into a medley along with “Lady Sniff.” However that was the only material performed from the entire Electricladyland record.

All in all, the Butthole Surfers were the perfect way to end a great day of show hopping. I am grateful I got the chance to see the legends live and in person once again. As far as Echo Park Rising, I think there may very well be something here. Various shows around local venues for a weekend, it could be SXSW for downtown adjacent. I know I had a blast running around and would be down for another round next year.

Chris Cornell 05/04/11: John Anson Ford Amphitheatre – Hollywood, CA

Chris Cornell 05/04/11

John Anson Ford Amphiteatre – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

For this particular review, before we talk about the music, it is important to discuss the venue. Typically booked for plays and movies, the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre is a truly beautiful venue tucked away in the Hollywood Hills. The beauty ends with the setup as the venue as well as the promoters should truly be ashamed of themselves. Our group had a disabled individual with us. With the understanding that the venue only had seven disabled parking spaces, we did out best to get their early. Upon getting there, the uninformed and heartless parking attendants informed us that disabled parking was full. We had to fight to drive up the hill and drop off our guest. When we got up there, we discovered there were indeed disabled access parking spots. When we questioned one of the venues staff, they informed us that it was reserved for the mother of the promoter. I have to be honest, I didn’t realize Goldenvoice had a mother but one must assume it is not the first time nor the last time that Goldenvoice has put themselves before the fans. In calling the toll-free ADA hotline I was informed that it is unlawful for a business to hold disabled parking and that the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre did indeed break the law. To rub salt into the wounds, while I went to park the car, I had to fight security to re-join my party at the top of the hill. As insulting as it was to arrive early and be denied the final disabled access spot, the venue has no means of getting a disabled individual back to the general parking area after the show. The fact is that Goldenvoice and the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre FAILED to take care of their guests on this particular night and they should be truly ashamed of themselves. In the event this review falls into the hands of either Goldenvoice or the management team of the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, I welcome you to leave us a comment explaining what you plan to do in the future to make sure this does not happen again.

I should also point out that I had not one but two fights with security to join back up with my group. During my second fight with security, I was asked if I had any cameras, drugs or dangerous weapons. I lied and informed him that I had none of the items on the list. You can imagine my delight of walking into the venue and seeing the “No Camera/No Warning Shot Will Be Fired” signs posted all over the place. Still furious over how poorly my crew had been treated, I took a page out of the Rage Against The Machine playbook. Your Anger Is A Gift, and you fuckin’ know I was not about to let a bunch of brainless power-tripping minimum wage event staff prevent me from brining you coverage of Mr. Cornell’s Acoustic Songbook tour. With that out of the way, onto the review:

To be honest, I only went to see Chris Cornell because God Frank offered me a free last minute ticket. I figured why not cross the once great singer off the live bucket list. That statement should tell you my feelings on Chris Cornell, especially considering that about ½ way through his sold out night in Hollywood it occurred to me that I had actually walked out on Cornell at the Ventura County Fairgrounds four years earlier. It was either Henry Rollins or Abraham Lincoln who once declared that Cornell’s vocals could peel paint off walls. I miss that Chris Cornell and really have not cared about anything he has done since Superunknown. Despite my reservations on Cornell, I went into the show with an open mind knowing that this had to be better then the sad hack that I saw in Ventura.

The evening started out with a brief opening set from William Elliot Whitmore. Hailing from Lee County, Iowa, the Americana musician won over the crowd with a mix of banjo, acoustic guitars and smokey bluesy vocals. Songs like “Johnny Law” worked perfectly as multiple members of security walked up and down the aisles of the tiny amphitheatre making sure no one in the crowd were able to use a camera, drugs or dangerous weapons. Whitmore also has a sense of humor, joking about how his Compact Discs were available for sale at the merch booth in between songs. For the countless times I have suffered through an opener where the collective crowd couldn’t wait for them to get off the stage, on this particular night the crowd erupted in thunderous applause when Whitmore realized he could perform not one, but two more songs. While I didn’t run out to the merch booth for a Compact Disc, I truly did enjoy Whitmore’s opening set and hope to catch him out on the road sometime in the future.

With the spring sun having sunk into the hills behind us, Cornell took the stage at 8:50pm sharp. Armed with six guitars, a record player and an old rotary phone Cornell opened his Songbook with a mellow cover of Bob Marley’s swan song “Redemption Song.” With plenty of clever banter (including admitting the fact that the phone didn’t work and would be useless in an emergency) Cornell packed the early portion of his show with a mix of hits from both Audioslave and his solo career. The drunk and mostly attentive crowd (we were blessed to have the loud Affliction T-shirt wearing meat heads behind us) sat still taking in radio favorites like “Be Yourself” and “Can’t Change Me.”

Not knowing recent solo material such as “Ground Zero” and “Two Drink Minimum” I found myself struggling to focus on the music early on. I was more interested in the stars above, the over-zealous security and keeping fans updated via our Facebook and Twitter pages. Then Cornell began discussing Emily Dickinson and my attention was back on the stage. My wife’s favorite Chris Cornell song is “Sunshower” from the Great Expectations original motion picture soundtrack. With my wife currently ½ a world away I knew it was time to risk ejection from the venue in order to share the moment with her when she gets home.

One thing I want to point out was Cornell’s tales of the previous night in San Francisco. While I could beat into the ground the fact that no one was allowed to consume drugs within the venue without risk of being beat up by security, I will instead just share with you why Marijuana is a magical medicine. Cornell shared how it has been years since he consumed cannabis, but how there was so much smoke the night before at the Warfield, he no doubt had a contact high. I knew he was not lying about this contact high, as Cornell performed at the Fillmore, not the Warfield. Once again San Francisco, you have made me proud and I am very proud to have grown up as a resident of the greatest city on the face of the Earth.

The first Soundgarden song to appear was “Fell On Black Days” and while the crowd was receptive all night it was clear that I was not alone in wanting to hear the material of one of the greatest bands to call Seattle home. Keeping the momentum up, Cornell followed “Black Days” with Audioslave favorites “Doesn’t Remind Me” and “I Am The Highway.” Yet it is where many lost interest that I became hyper-focused. Walking over to his record player and laying down some vinyl, Cornell spoke not only of playing DJ as a young child, but about a song he recorded with the late Natasha Shneider. “When I’m Down” is a beautiful piano-driven song from his Euphoria Morning release that on this starry night left goose bumps on the few in the crowd blessed enough to be aware of a talented individual who was taken from us far too soon.

With my wife’s favorite song a few chapters back, the one song I truly wanted to see found its way into the set. It was early freshman year when the Compact Disc for the Singles original motion picture soundtrack found its way into my hands. You can imagine my excitement when Cornell performed his solo track “Seasons” from the soundtrack. While the film (which Cornell also appears in) has not withheld the test of time the music sure does and I can die a little happier having seen him perform it live and in person.

The final part of Cornell’s set ended up as a giant camp fire sing along. Starting with the Temple of the Dog classic “Say Hello To Heaven” Cornell drew power from the crowd’s participation. It became so loud that Cornell was drowned out during the Audioslave favorite “Like A Stone.” Just as he began his set with a cover, Cornell closed his set with the Beatles gem “A Day In The Life.” While we all had a chuckle over the PA cutting out mid-way through, for the first time all night Cornell really showed off more as a guitarist versus a vocalist. The fact he managed to pull off the symphonic masterpiece on only six strings was nothing short of impressive.

With plenty of time left before the 11pm curfew, Cornell performed a three song encore that kicked off with more vinyl and a performance of the title track from his Timberland produced effort Scream. While that never managed to fully captivate the crowd, you know folks felt they got their moneys worth when he busted out “Black Hole Sun.” Once again the capacity crowd drowned out Cornell as he performed the biggest hit of his career. Perhaps homage to what’s been going on in the world since Sunday night, Cornell closed the show with a raw and powerful take on John Lennon’s “Imagine.” While it may have felt more like a prison inside of the venue, Cornell and his acoustic guitar united the crowd and released us back into the real world in high spirits. Walking into the show expecting nothing, Cornell restored my faith in a man that I lost faith in a long time ago. I wonder if it’s too late to re-arrange my summer travel plans and catch him perform with Soundgarden at the Gorge.

The Flaming Lips Live at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

The Flaming Lips Live at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

The following just came across the Twitter feed of The Flaming Lips:

Making a poster for 2 nights at Hollywood Forever in June..First night Soft Bulletin second Darkside!!! http://t.co/YL41bvN

While we can’t find any additional information on the web at this time, it appears this may be the coolest Flag Day Hollywood has ever seen.

Update 05/03/11: Tickets for these shows will go on sale on May 6th at 2pm PST. Tickets for each night will run at $40, while a two day pass will cost you $80. For all ticket information, please check out Ticketfly.

Trey Anastasio 03/04/11: Music Box @ Fonda – Hollywood, CA

Trey Anastasio Band 03/04/11

Music Box @ Fonda – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

The only thing more shocking then a rare appearance from Trey Anastasio on the West Coast is where Anastasio decided to play on the West Coast. With the ability to sell out Air Force Bases with his day job known as Phish, Anastasio booked the intimate Music Box for the Southern California stop on his Acoustic/Electric 2011 Winter Tour. Usually reserved for up and coming hipster acts, the 1300 seat Music Box was the hottest ticket in town on the first Friday in March. Thankfully I was able to secure a balcony seat during the Goldenvoice pre-sale and witness my fourth Trey Anastasio Band show. So with my 40 hours in a cubical in the rear view, I blasted over Barham Blvd into Hollywood excited for a night with the Phish mastermind.

With a front row spot right behind a “luxury box” reserved for Anastasio (no one claimed it, so I ended up moving into it myself during the second set) the energy level was high in the quaint venue before Anastasio took the stage alone at 8:25 pm. For the next 45 minutes, the ginger Jedi strummed selections from the vast catalogue of music Phish has created over the past 25 years. The night opened with the hard rocking “Chalkdust Torture” that got the main floor moving as if he had been joined by fellow Phish band mates Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman and Page McConnell. From there Anastasio moved the capacity crowd with “Bathtub Gin>Prince Caspian” proving that he could segue from song to song with or without his friends from Vermont.

One could argue that the highlight of the first set was not the music, but the hilarious banter that came before a wonderful re-imagined “Theme From The Bottom.” Anastasio informed the crowd how the bus had driven past the apartment that Phish had once shared just down the street from The Viper Room. Declaring the year was 1989 and that the band was in town to record the record Hoist, many audience members informed Anastasio that Hoist had been released in 1994. Clearly embarrassed, Anastasio questioned the crowd as if it truly was 1994 (My vote was 93 based off the mention of the Malibu Fires) and told us to Google it. At the conclusion of “Theme” it was decided that 93 was indeed the year the band called West Hollywood home for three months, because Rift had come out out in 1996. Oh Trey, I don’t care if you have no idea what records came out when, I just wish you would come visit your temporary home more often.

I felt that the musical highlight of Anastasio’s time alone on stage was a jazzy take on the Phish classic “Cavern.” It was clear that Anastasio has put a lot of time into re-working phan favorites for the acoustic setting and the results are phenomenal. While it has been clear for years that Anastasio is a totally bitching rock star from Mars; in the event anyone had forgotten they were no doubt reminded with a raucous solo rendition of the Gamehendge classic “Wilson.”

Anastasio welcomed his six piece backing band to the stage towards of the end of the set. “Gotta Jiboo” was grooving so hard that fellow jam rocker Ben Harper had no choice but to stand up and boogie down.  With the smooth “Liquid Time” in the bag, the set eventually wrapped with a smoking version of “Push On Til’ The Day.” As he did a few times this past summer in Berkeley, lighting mastermind Chris Kuroda managed to kill my video camera with his seizure-riffic visual skills during the sets final number. With a few hundred videos now taken with this piece of equipment, Kuroda is the only person who has been able to make it freeze, and I am really starting to hate him for it.

After a brief intermission, the Trey Anastasio Band returned for a set of Adult-Contemporary jam juggernauts along with a few choice covers.  As well dressed ushers had a field day busting peaceful wooks for consuming cannabis and dancing in the aisles, TAB got things underway with an impressive one-two punch of “Cayman Review” and “Burlap Sack and Pumps.” The band had the energy level well beyond the boundaries of the room by the time they wrapped up the sets third song “Ocelot.” Perhaps I will understand this better when I hit my 40’s, but it seems that over the past few years, once that energy is raging, Anastasio loves to kill it. That’s exactly what happened when the soft and rather un-exciting “Valentine” followed “Ocelot.” The same folks who had just shaking the venue by dancing as hard as they could were now motionless as they used “Valentine” to chit-chat or catch up on the latest tweets from @charliesheen.

Thankfully the energy was brought right back up with a somewhat sloppy yet fun cover of the Charlie Daniel’s Band classic “Devil Went Down To Georgia.” While Anastasio may not know when he called the Thirty Mile Zone home, he sure is hip to the week Charlie Sheen is having. I couldn’t 100% make out what he said, but WINNING was indeed mentioned by Anastasio after the band wrapped “Devil.”

One could argue that the covers TAB decided to play were better received then some of the originals. While I doubt Trey and company could hear him, I was excited when they busted out the Levon Helm number “It Makes No Difference” for the simple fact that the old man behind me got his wish and would stop screaming for it. Yet, when it came to covers, the clear high water mark was a take on “Clint Eastwood” by the animated outfit Gorillaz. I’ll be honest, I despise this song, but watching Anastasio and friends tackle it was a true treat. Trumpet player/vocalist Jennifer Hartwick nailed the versus originally laid down by Del The Funky Homosapien while Anastasio did a fine job playing the role of Damon Albarn.

After solid takes on “Nights Speak To A Woman” and “Shine” (which I don’t mind, but many used this as a chance to hit the bathroom) the band blessed the west coast with some “Sand.” While many of the songs on this particular evening had some improvised jams, this was the only moment where the band truly let loose and went deep into the unknown. It finally felt as though the band was warmed up, yet sadly it was the conclusion to the second set.

The group of course returned for an encore. Fulfilling the request of an individual who had begged Anastasio for it all night, the first song was “Dragonfly.” Granted it was my first time hearing the song, I am not sure why someone would have requested the number. It wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t anything to write home about. The energetic Anastasio (I have never seen the man move so much in my life) closed the night with another perfect take on “First Tube.” I swear to God every time I hear this song live, I am convinced it will collapse the venue. The high soaring instrumental can be summed up with one word: WINNING! As my camera once again fought death via Kuroda, Anastasio chanted Charlie Sheen’s million dollar catchphrase at the tail end of the jam. A perfect Hollywood ending if I do say so myself, it was truly great to see a healthy and happy Anastasio rock the Music Box.

 

 

Joseph Arthur Joins Twilight Singers on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Joseph Arthur Joins Twilight Singers on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Last night in Hollywood, Twilight Singers stopped by the Jimmy Kimmel Live program to promote their just released record Dynamite Steps. The Greg Dulli fronted band performed the song “On The Corner” with a little help from our good pal Joseph Arthur. You can watch the complete performance below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1yJekmjZMA

This was not the first time Arthur has joined Twilight Singers on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Click here to check out a performance of “40 Dollars” and “Sublime” from a few years back.

If you want to check out Twilight Singers live and in person, click here for spring 2011 tour dates that find the band performing in both Europe and North America.

Joseph Arthur will wrap his month long residency at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles on March 1st. You can check out additional dates for Arthur (including two shows in China) by clicking here.

 

Social Distortion Makes National Television Debut

Social Distortion Make National Television Debut

With their new album “Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes” due out early next year, OC royalty Social Distortion made their national Television debut last night performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live.  The band used the Bud Light concert stage to perform the lead single from “Machine Gun Blues” – the lead single from Hard Times as well as a modern day classic.  Both clips are posted below (Well they were till Kimmel made them private).

Social Distortion will perform as part of the 2010 KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas this Saturday night in Universal City, CA.  You can view the bands complete list of 2011 tour dates here.

Faith No More 12/01/10: Palladium – Hollywood, CA

Faith No More (w/ Mariachi Los Toros & Redd Kross)

12/01/10 Palladium – Hollywood, CA

Words/photos by Reverend Justito

I am not sure why Live Nation added a second Faith No More show at the Hollywood Palladium.  Granted, I was shocked that the first show didn’t sell out in a matter of minutes, I personally thought two weeknight shows at the mid-size venue was too much in this harsh economy.  I of course was correct, and earlier this week Live Nation had a $20 gets you in the door for night two of Faith No More sale.  Thankfully I was able to pay a bit less and found myself going from a lifelong fan who has never seen the band to being blessed enough to witness them twice in less than thirty hours.

The night started with Mariachi Los Toros.  I feared that the crowd would rip up the traditional Mexican musicians; however it was just the opposite.  The crowd went wild to the point where they may have been the best received non-headline act of the two day run.  I won’t even attempt to tell you song names as I can hardly speak English, let alone Spanish.  I will say that while living in California, I am obviously aware of Mariachi music.  However, I sure don’t seek it out, so this was a much welcomed surprise and treat. 

Up next was Hawthorne California based Redd Kross.  Well into their third decade of rocking, I am always excited to catch the McDonald brothers live and in person.  For 45 minutes, the band won the crowd over with their catchy yet hard rocking alt-punk sound.  Songs like “Lady in the Front Row” had the crowd moving and bouncing around with huge smiles across their faces.  The foursome even performed a few songs that Jeff McDonald wrote when he was 14 (keep in mind he is pushing 50 at this point).  While clearly written by a young teen, the songs have withstood the test of time and rocked  My personal highlight was during the song “Stoned” when I looked to my right and saw Andy from “Weeds” rocking out.  It’s moments like those when I actually enjoy seeing shows in Los Angeles.  Not even guitar issues could stop Redd Kross from kicking the Palladium’s ass on the first day of December.  Highly underappreciated, if you ever have the opportunity to check these guys out – DO IT!

Should I mention the terrible MC we suffered through for two nights?  Her name is Serena Luna and she received a much deserved heckling as she told what some would consider jokes about midgets and tards (her words, not mine).  Or shall I be the bigger person and skip discussing the worlds smallest MC?  Yeah, let’s skip her and get right into Faith No More.

Unlike the night before (and many of the bands version 2.0 gigs) the band did not open with the Peaches and Herb classic “Reunited.”  Instead the five piece opened with the abusive one-two punch of “Faster Disco” and “Be Aggressive.”  Unlike the first night where the crowd was lethargic, night two was the night all the rowdies snuck in.  The crowd bounced up and down as lead singer Mike Patton screamed the “I SWALLOW”  portion of “Be Aggressive” into his microphone. 

With a nice block of Angel Dust (“Land of Sunshine”, “Everything’s Ruined” in the rear-view the group dove deep into the post Jim Martin era with songs like “Evidence”, Got That Feeling” and the always popular “Last Cup of Sorrow.”  “Cuckoo For Caca” somehow managed to sound heavier and beefier than night one as young fans melted to the dance floor from the serious attack on their senses.  While we were promised another heavy tune, the band tricked us and busted out a cover of the Jackson 5 hit “Ben” instead. 

After a larger than life version of “Midlife Crisis” that not only featured the band stopping mid song (the crowd picked up where the band left off), but a moody disco jam – things got strange.  Arguing over what song to perform next, drummer Mike Bordin decided it would be a good chance to take a leak.  While Bordin was absent, Patton found a replacement drummer in the crowd.  Decked out in a Metallica shirt, Rich took his seat behind the kit and ummmmmmmmm let’s just say he tried his best.  Had it not been for Tool drummer Danny Carey emerging (and Bordin’s return) things could have gotten very ugly very quick.  Regardless, a pretty awesome chance for Rich – if you happen to read this we would love to have you send us your version of the story.

The band concluded the set with the massive hit “Epic” and a delightful cover of “Kiss and Say Goodbye” the band came back for the first of two encores.  The reunited rockers welcomed some very special guests to the stage for the occasion.  First up was Sparks for a raucous duet on their 1974 hit “This Town Ain’ Big Enough For Both of Us.”  While most of the crowd (myself included) had no clue who the guests were, it didn’t stop us from getting down and enjoying the jam.  Sparks collaborator and former Faith No More guitarist Dean Menta stayed on stage and was the lone guitarist for the encores second song – “Digging The Grave.”

The band returned for a second encore that opened up with the breakthrough hit “We Care A Lot.”  This was the only time over two nights where it felt as if the band was going through the motions not because they wanted to, but because they had to.  Despite this observation, it was still a great take on the popular song.  To close the two night run, the band broke out the Album of the Year number – “Pristina.”  Bored with the stage, Patton took a long walk along the guard rail that separates the crowd from the band.  With next to no warning, Patton jumped from the rail into the crowd where he remained for a few minutes.  Being passed above our heads (and above my camera as you can see below) fans went nuts attempting to touch the one-of-a-kind talent.  As the song concluded, Patton headed back, slammed his mic onto the stage as hard as he could and walked away.  The band followed, the lights came up and it was all over.  Two nights, two shows; Faith No More gave Hollywood their all and I still can’t wrap my head around the fact I witnessed it all.  I am truly grateful for the chance; I hope round three happens at some point during my life.

Faith No More 11/30/10: Palladium – Hollywood, CA

Faith No More (w/ The Creepy Creeps) 11/30/10

The Palladium – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com

I had always assumed that I would get the chance to see Faith No More.  Sure, the band broke up long before I started seeing concerts on a regular basis, but I knew one day when I was fat, old and bald the time would be right and I would get my chance.  On the last day of November, 2010 this fat, old and balding freakshow got the chance, and it was well worth a lifetime of waiting.

With the Palladium sold out in weeks in advance, I made it into the venue just past 8pm.  Hailing from San Diego, The Creepy Creeps had just taken the stage.  Unknown to me, the four piece band (six if you count the lovely Go-Go dancers) played an action packed set of psychedelic-surf-polka with a dash of pop/punk on the side.  While a few knuckleheads booed, the band did a great job of warming up the crowd.  For as fun as the music was, the bands stage banter was equally as entertaining.  When not discussing backstage catering, the masked foursome was giving out free merch in an attempt to win over the large crowd.  If you like fun bands with catchy three minute songs and silly polyester suits – make sure you check The Creepy Creeps out.

I was very excited to see Tel Aviv rockers Monotonix serve as main support for Faith No More.  I have heard good things about the emerging punk/garage rock movement in Israel, and always welcome a chance to see a band from a distant land.  Yet as it turns out there was a slight issue with the Los Angeles County Fire Marshall who said at the last minute the band was not permitted to use pyros.  Instead of skipping the fire and flames and just rocking, the band decided not to play at all.  So instead of being exposed to new music, I got to sit back, talk to friends both old and new and watch an empty stage for an hour.  Well, 57 minutes, as we were treated to three minutes from some midget and a terrible magician.

At 10:15pm sharp, Faith No More took to the stage at the famous Hollywood venue.  As with all shows on this tour, the band opened with the Peaches and Herb’s triple platinum hit “Reunited.”  From there, the band launched into an hour and forty-five minute set that featured some choice covers and of course classics from the entire Faith No More catalogue. 

While covers of Lady Gaga (Poker Face) and the Bee Gees (I Started a Joke) were fun, it was the bands original material that left the crowd covered from head to toe in goose bumps.  The band sounded awesome on songs like “Everything’s Ruined”, “Last Cup of Sorrow” and “Just A Man.”  The band sounded tight all night, especially front man Mike Patton.  With his 43rd birthday a few weeks away, I was shocked at just how great the pride of Humboldt County sounded. 

It’s always fun to watch a band interact with a crowd, and Faith No More had a field day with the Hollywood elite.  Patton and keyboardist Roddy Bottum encouraged the stiff crowd to let loose all night.  They even shared with us all about the ancient French word Encore and how the band would play the final song, exit the stage only to come back and play some more.  The group actually performed two encores, which featured such beloved songs as “Helpless”, We Care A Lot” and a smoking cover of the Burt Bacharach favorite “This Guy’s In Love With You”  to close the night.

I had such a great time seeing one of my all time favorite bands that I made sure to secure a ticket for night two at the Palladium.  Look for the full review (and hopefully better footage) to be posted right here on Thursday.

Fistful of Mercy 11/13/10 (Early Show): Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Hollywood, CA

Fistful of Mercy 11/13/10 (Early Show)

Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com

The entire process of getting into the first of three sold out shows for Fistful of Mercy at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery could be a post on its own.  So instead of wasting three paragraphs allow me to thank Steve, Melina and the World Champion San Francisco Giants for not only a wonderful evening, but easily one of my top three shows of 2010.  Fact is that as I write this, I have not fully processed what I experienced inside the historic cemetery’s Masonic Lodge last night.  The show was so hauntingly beautiful, perhaps I never will.

Before we discuss the music, it is important to discuss the venue.  This was my first trip to the Masonic Lodge, and I hope it is not my last.  The old hall is painted blood red and lined with one-sheets from classic Hollywood films.  With a small stage below the peaked roof, artists must walk through the crowd to take the stage.  With an already eager crowd going nuts as the hanging chandeliers dimmed, the foursomes walk through the hall sent the 200+ individuals in the crowd into overdrive.

Made up of Joseph Arthur, Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison (with Jessy Greene on Violin) the group got the first of two shows on this particular evening underway with “I Don’t Want To Waste Your Time.”  With cameras clicking and glasses clinking, the room took on a whole new energy as the collective conscious realized just how lucky we were to see the powerful band in such a delicate venue.

I am a bit embarrassed to admit that it took me a few songs to realize why Fistful of Mercy was performing in this location.  As a huge fan of Joseph Arthur, I should have realized that with his lyrical emphasis on spirits Hollywood Forever was a highly appropriate location.  In fact Arthur and Harper discussed the “floating” spirits who were amongst us all night.  Hell, one could argue that songs like “As I Call You Down” managed to take on new meanings due in part to the shows location.

While set mainly consisted of material from the trio’s debut record, however each individual performed a sample of their solo work.  While I do not know the name of the Harrison number, he did dedicate it to a couple somewhere in the crowd who are about to welcome a baby girl into the world.  Following a long-winded (a theme for the night) yet hilarious story about days of touring in a van by Harper, Arthur lead to group through a spot-on take of his hit “In The Sun.”  However, the highlight of the night was Ben Harper performing an emotionally charged version of “Please Me Like You Want To.”  While TMZ can tell you all the latest on Harper’s personal life, watching the man perform this song in this city and this moment in time – words simply can’t express the emotions within that moment.  The Harper led Fistful of Mercy original “Restore Me” followed as an exclamation mark to the “Please Me.”

With a heavy musical mood all night, the group loosened things up with “Things Go ‘Round.”  The song featured Harrison on piano, Harper on Bass and Arthur on a tiny drum kit.  As was prevalent all night, you could see that the band that formed 10 short months ago was having an absolute blast.  Other late set highlights included the song “Fistful of Mercy” and “Father’s Son.”

With the band exiting the stage and the lights coming back up, I had assumed the show was over.  As soon as the lights went back down, the crowd noise doubled in decibel level as we all realized the band would return.  We were treated to a two song encore that kicked off with an emotionally charged cover of the Velvet Underground classic “Pale Blue Eyes.”  After one final round of lengthy-yet-hilarious stage banter, the early show ended with “With Whom You Belong.”  As proof to how powerful the performance was, the band actually managed to get the entire crowd to join in a sing along at the end of the song.  As anyone who has ever attended a concert in Los Angeles is well aware, this is no easy task.  It really was the perfect ending to an amazing show.  Fingers crossed we see future US dates for Fistful of Mercy, as this is one band you can’t afford to miss out on.

MGMT Pay Jimmy Kimmel Live a Visit 10/18/10

MGMT Pay Jimmy Kimmel Live a Visit 10/18/10

Fresh off a tour of Europe and an appearance at the Cypress Hill SmokeOut, MGMT stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live last night to promote their latest release “Congratulations.”  Check out the bands performance (at least what aired) below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZmjIHMf_O4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6GAteO5eqo&feature=channel

 

MGMT Tour Dates (as of 10/19/10)

10.25.2010 Orlando, FL, US Hard Rock Live
10.26.2010 Miami Beach, FL, US Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater
10.29.2010 Asheville, NC, US Moogfest
10.30.2010 Oxford, MS, US The Lyric Oxford
10.31.2010 New Orleans, LA, US Voodoo Music Experience
11.02.2010 Atlanta, GA, US The Tabernacle
11.03.2010 Raleigh, NC, US Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts
11.04.2010 Nashville, TN, US Ryman Auditorium
11.29.2010 Dusseldorf, 0, DE Stahlwerk
11.30.2010 Hamburg, DE Docks Club
12.02.2010 Oslo, NO Sentrum Scene
12.03.2010 Stockholm, SE Berns Asian
12.04.2010 Copenhagen, DK Vega
12.06.2010 Berlin, 0, DE Columbiahalle / Columbia Halle / Columbia-Halle
12.07.2010 Munich, DE Tonhalle
12.08.2010 Vienna / Wien, AT Gasometer
12.10.2010 Prague, Czech Republic Archa Theatre
12.12.2010 Milan, IT Alcatraz
12.13.2010 Zurich, 0, CH Maag Event Hall
12.14.2010 Lyon, 0, FR Transbordeur
12.16.2010 Barcelona, ES Razzmatazz
12.17.2010 Madrid, ES La Riviera
12.18.2010 Lisbon, 0, PT Campo Pequeno

Alain Johannes 10/05/10: Amoeba Records – Hollywood, CA

Alain Johannes 10/05/10

Amoeba Records – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justio

On a night that felt more like Seattle than Hollywood, musical messiah Alain Johannes celebrated the release of his debut album Spark with an intimate set inside Amoeba Records.  Known for his work with Eleven, Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures, the Cigar Box Guitarist managed to move both devoted fans and one plus-sized Asian girl whose only mission on a damp Tuesday night was to purchase the entire Seal catalogue for less than $12.  With many from the extended QOTSA family tree (Josh Homme, Brody Dalle and Joey Castillo just to name a few) in the house, the brief yet beautiful set did not feel like a record store as much as it felt like a family reunion.

Hitting the stage just past 7pm, Johannes silenced the worlds greatest record store with an intense version of“Endless Eyes.”  Johannes performed the first three songs from “Spark” straight through to start off the evening.    As young children with their parents cameras point and clicked away, Johannes reflected upon his late partner in crime Natasha Shneider with dignity and grace.

 

When not giving each individual in the audience a giant lump in their throats, the man can shred on his custom Cigar Box guitar.  Despite being only one man, the way Johannes strums upon the 8-string instrument makes one feel as if they are being assaulted by an acoustic army.  A perfect example of this ferocious playing was “Gentle Ghosts.”  Johannes made you fear that at any second, the delicate instrument would snap in two.

 

The highlight of the set was the only non-Spark song performed by Johannes.  While originally found on “Desert Sessions Volume 7 & 8” – “Making A Cross” has truly become property of Johannes since the passing of Shneider.  One look down the $4.95 or less aisle and you could see multiple individuals holding back tears.  Following outstanding versions of “Spider” and “Unfinished Plans” Johannes swapped his Cigar Box for a 12 string and closed the set with “Making God Jealous.”  Shortly after 40 minutes of soul-baring upon the stage came to an end, Johannes took the time to speak with fans and signed copies of his new record.  For as vulnerable as Johannes was upon the stage, his spirit when face to face is nothing short of warm and inviting.  While short, it was an honor to meet the man.  As I walked out of the stores and into the rain, I looked down and saw that he wrote Love Life as part of the signature.  I couldn’t agree with Mr. Johannes more.

 

Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs Spend Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel

Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs

Spend Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel

Having performed two sold out nights at the Greek Theatre, the very talented Ray LaMontagne cruised down from the hills and into Hollywood to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night (09/09/10).  Backed by his new band – The Pariah Dogs, LaMontagne used his late night appearance to perform songs from his amazing new record God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise.  If you happen to grab an over-priced cup of yuppie coffee from your local Starbucks this weekend, make sure you pick it up.  Or you can just click the Amazon link below and support your local Dunkin’ Donuts, Coffee Bean, Seattle’s Best or local Mom & Pop Coffee provider.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLw3V2RYf0s&feature=sub

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Rcf8S-rw4&feature=sub

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