Tag: Los Angeles (page 1 of 3)

NOFX: Belasco Theater – Los Angeles, Ca – 4/16/16

Los Angeles-based punk rockers NOFX launched their Hepatitis Bathtub tour for punk rockers in a number of US states. With twelve studio albums out and 8 million records sold worldwide, they are one of the most successful independent bands of all time. Along with the tour dates, the band was also offering signing sessions at bookstores for their new book, The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories. One of the first stops on the tour was the Belasco Theater and with the show sold out weeks ahead of time, it was bound to be a crazy night.


    NOFX came out to the venue fully packed as they started the show with 60% and quickly cut into 72 Hookers. Known for their crazy crowds, it was no surprise that the crowd that had been calm all night suddenly burst into mosh pits and shoving as fans against the barricade could be seen being squished by all the shoving. Wanting to give the fans more songs than they could fit into their time slot, NOFX would play half of one song then quickly jump into the next. An example would be when they played Murder the Government and the quickly started Stickin’ In My Eye. As if mosh pits weren’t enough, crowd surfers would also regularly make an appearance which kept the security busy. For the first full song, NOFX played Franco Un-American which is one of their most popular songs and always has the crowd singing along. In Between songs, frontman Fat Mike would talk to audience members and joke with them. Going back to the music, NOFX played songs such as I’m An Oxymoron, Eat the Meek, Seeing Double at the Triple Rock, and even a cover of punk rock band Rancid‘s Radio. In true punk rock style, most of NOFX‘s songs were short and lasted under three minutes and let out quick short bursts of punk energy that drove fans crazy. One of the other notable members was lead guitarist El Hefe (El Jefe, Spanish for “the boss”) would also play the trumpet in a few of the band’s songs aside from playing guitar.


The fans seemed to love getting involved with the band as they would sometimes throw their own shirts at the band for whatever reason. One went right over Fat Mike’s head which caught him off guard and he freaked out for a second and was hysterically laughing which left him unable to continue singing the song, but still kept on playing and continued to laugh after the song was over. A few of the fans on the side stage also got up center stage to dance with the band, but were either escorted out of the stage by roadies or were quick enough to stage dive. One of the funnier songs of the night was Fuck the Kids which was fun to sing along to since the only lyrics to the song is “Fuck the Kids!” repeatedly, but as to not confuse non-fans, the band adds the hilarious line of “not literally, but mentally”. NOFX came out for an encore of a few songs and the more notable ones was when they played Bottles to the Ground and then finished the show with Kill All the White Man. Fat Mike spoke to the crowd telling them thanks for coming out and (jokingly?) said they’ll be back in 3 or 4 years and also thanked them for keeping punk rock elite. NOFX is a super fun band to see live even if you’re not familiar with their music or not that much of a punk fan. If you like fast music and crazy crowds, they’re a must to see.

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Biffy Clyro 02/14/14: El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

While I recognized the name Biffy Clyro, I only started to pay attention to the band after they became the latest temper tantrum target for the once great artist known as Trent Reznor. In a tweet sent right before the massive Reading Festival across the pond in the United Kingdom, the Academy Award winner was upset that some “whoever the fuck they are” band was not only following Nine Inch Nails, they also “fucked him” on production. Not knowing a damn thing about Biffy Clyro, I decided it was time to give them a listen (I have a thing for bands from the UK that have zero following here in the States). As it turns out, the three piece band from Scotland is making far more interesting music than Trent these days and as you can see from this video, they blew Nine Inch Nails off the fucking stage.


So that brings us to Valentine’s Day 2014 and one of the final nights of a brief west coast run for Biffy Clyro. I found myself back at the El Rey Theatre for a second night in a row, which makes me laugh since I had been to the venue only twice in the past 12 years before that. The night started off rather painfully with a boring set from openers Morning Parade. Dull riffs, dreadful vocals and totally uninspiring, watching Morning Parade are about as exhilarating as watching paint dry. Diet One Republic at best, no need to waste any more space discussing the 40 minutes of my life I can never get back.

With the venue near capacity the band kicked off their largest Los Angeles headline show to date with the slow building Different People found on their most recent studio album Opposites. I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t know what to expect from the crowd as Los Angeles has earned its reputation for shitty crowds for a reason. Yet once the crowd instantly drowned out vocalist/guitarist Simon Neil, I knew we were in for something special. The energy continued right into That Golden Rule as fans bounced off each other and even sang along to instrumental sections of the song.

An unplanned highlight of the night came during the third song, Who’s Got A Match? In fine rock star fashion, Simon Neil ate it hard on the drum riser and fell flat on his face. Despite what looked like a painful trip, Neil kept at it and finished the song with his teal blue Converse facing the crowd elevated high in the air. Check out a great photo from Twitter of the accident down below.

The show continued on with Neil planted firmly on two feet as the band mixed songs from their past two albums effortlessly. Sounds Like Balloons got the boys up front moshing for the first time that night while God and Satan became one massive fucking sing-a-long. Another highlight was the appropriate Spanish Radio, seeing as how Biffy Clyro has a better shot of getting played on one of those in Los Angeles versus our pathetic rock radio signals KROQ and whatever they are calling 98.7 this week. Stripped down a great deal from the album, it once again gave the crowd a chance to breath after a rowdy take on Bubbles.

It didn’t matter what era of Biffy the songs came from, the crowd knew every last line. Armed with only an acoustic guitar, Neil serenaded the crowd with Folding Stars, much to the delight of a few jock types who stopped banging around to allow one of the smaller guys to sway upon the shoulders of a pal. I don’t think the band’s debut album Blackened Sky was released in the United States; however thanks to modern technology everyone lost their minds when it came time for 57 to make an appearance. Perhaps file sharing isn’t always a bad thing?

Clocking in at nearly two hours, the set finally closed with a ferocious run through of The Captain. With sweat dripping from each member of the band, it didn’t matter that the El Rey was 1/80th the size of Reading or Leads, Biffy poured every ounce of energy into the song.

Upon returning for a three song encore that included the songs Opposite, Stingin’ Belle and the band’s biggest UK hit Mountains, the band took a moment to thank the crowd. While some stage banter was unintelligible under those thick Scottish accents, everyone got the message loud and clear that this was hands down the best Biffy Clyro show Los Angeles has ever witnessed. With no main stream help whatsoever, Biffy Clyro is slowly winning over the United States one fan at a time. With at least 850 rabid residents of Southern California now eating out of the palm of their hands, it is just a matter of time before Mon The Biff is as popular of a phrase in Los Angeles as Fuck The 405.


Failure 02/13/14: El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

It has been exactly 47 hours since I stood five feet away from Failure as they played live music and the truth of the matter is that I still don’t believe it happened. The group has been number one on my list of bands I want to see reunite since I rescued Fantastic Planet from a discount bin at well-known Bay Area record store. That lone purchase I made on that afternoon in October 1998 would end up becoming my favorite album of all time.


Failure 02/13/14 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles

You can imagine my shock last fall when the Facebook page for the band started to show signs of life. That shock then became squeals of delight when the first show since 1997 was set to take place in my adopted home town of Los Angeles. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but perhaps as some sort of karma kicking back my way for turning so many people onto the band I ended up with one ticket admitting me into the El Rey Theatre for an evening with Failure.

With no opening act, the celebration kicked off with a twenty minute video montage featuring various films and television shows. By the time such beloved classics as James Bond and Ren & Stimpy had given way to the film Fantastic Planet, I knew we were close. Sure enough before the movie screen had a chance to drop the opening notes of Another Space Song began to fill the sold out theatre. A song rich in distance, the slowly moving melodies truly allowed the proper mood for 900 people simultaneously experiencing goose bumps. A fantastic opener indeed.

Failure 02/13/14 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles

For the next 90 minutes the band dazzled the crowd with a heavy dose of Fantastic Planet while sprinkling the set with enough material from their first two studio records. With illuminated platforms and microphone stands, time and modern technology have allowed the trio of Ken Andrews, Greg Edwards, and Kelli Scott to finally sound as mighty on stage as they did on LP’s back in the 1990’s. An early example of this was the bass Andrews laid down during Frogs. With low-end so rich and deep I was convinced the chandeliers above the crowd would come crashing down. Thankfully that was not the case.

Much like the Fantastic Planet album, the show slowly evolved into something greater and greater. Any slight cobwebs were all but knocked up by the time songs like Sergeant Politeness and Undone had come and gone. In fact the band sounded as if they had been on tour for 16 years and not on moth balls as the three sounded tight and nailed every musical transition with ease. It didn’t matter if they were rocking at full force on Pillowhead or taking things down into dark ravines with the likes of Segue 3 and Blank, Failure was in dialed in and confident as could be.

Since listening to a Live 105 Christmas concert on the radio back in 1996 doesn’t count as seeing the band live, I didn’t raise my hand when Andrews asked between songs if I had seen the band back in the day. I did however enjoy every last moment as all of my favorite Fantastic Planet tracks came to life right before my eyes. I giggled as Stuck On You got the biggest ovation; personally I was more excited for The Nurse Who Loved Me, Heliotropic and the natural pick for set closer, Daylight.  As if it could be anything else, the swirling guitar solos that come from a slow build throughout the song washed over the El Rey proving that Failure are not simply back, they are a dominate force to be reckoned with.

I think the reason I don’t believe that I saw Failure is the fact that the band exceeded my unreachable expectations of what a live performance from them could or should be. The band delivered a flawless ninety minutes of music and looked visually stunning doing it. This wasn’t just any old concert, this was a dream come true that I still fear waking up from. I can now add to my tombstone that I saw Failure live, even if I still refuse to believe it.


The Rolling Stones: 5/3/13 – Staples Center – Los Angeles, California

There’s no doubt about it, The Rolling Stones is one of the greatest rock bands to have ever existed. As someone from my generation, it was honor to see them as I thought I’d never get to see them. It would’ve been nice to see them in their prime in the 70’s and 80’s but since I was nowhere near born or even old enough to know who they were, I had to see them as they are now in their late 60’s. Here’s my review for the opening night of their 50 & Counting tour at the legendary Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Rolling Stones 1



The  Whole night the crowed was on their feet. They were cheering on The Rolling Stones. There was no supporting act so they got right to it. The first big surprise of the night was that the UCLA Bruins marching band came out and did a cover of The Rolling Stones’ (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction which I thought was really neat. Once that was over, The Rolling Stones came on and opened with “Get Off of My Cloud”. The whole night they played greatest hits such as “Paint It Black”, “Gimme Shelter”, “Brown Sugar”, “Sympathy for the Devil”, and their most popular hit, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. Seeing as how they’re of age, they weren’t moving around much except for frontman Mick Jagger that was walking around and dancing showing off his “moves like Jagger”. Other surprises for the night included Gwen Stefani coming out singing along to “Wild Horses, country singer Keith Urban playing/singing along to “Respectable”, and former guitarist Mick Taylor playing along to “Midnight Rambler”. Shows like this are meant to have fun and not get all wild and crazy. I liked their stage set-up. It was their band logo of a huge pair of red lips and a huge tongue sticking out that made a tongue pit for the floor. I think anyone that would’ve wanted to go or did go will tell you one thing that really killed the mood were the ticket prices. Prices were outrages. The last time I paid that much for a ticket was when I saw Roger Waters of Pink Floyd play all of “The Wall”. When I first considered going, all that was left were the super expensive tickets and I had lost hope of getting a chance to see them.  Then they announced that they had changed the date to the day after due to the NBA playoffs and I think a good number of people asked for a refund because a lot of tickets suddenly became available. I was happy with the cheapest tickets they offered but still cringed at the price. The only reason i gave in to the price was because I figured this could be the one and only time I get to see them so I gave in. Anyone that enjoys classic should definitely check out The Rolling Stones. They may be old, but they’re still rockin’ the stage. It’s Only Rock and Roll, but I Like It!

The Rolling Stones live – UCLA marching band 5-3-13

The Rolling Stones live – Get Off of My Cloud 5-3-13

The Rolling Stones live – Paint It Black 5-3-13

The Rolling Stones live – Paint it Black 5-3-13


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Rolling Stones 3



Marilyn Manson: Club Nokia – Los Angeles, CA 2/21/13

Marilyn Manson put on an awesome performance. He played to a sold out crowd at the Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California. This tour was supporting his new album, Born Villain. This was my first time seeing him as well as the first time being at that venue. He did a nice job playing greatest hits as well as some new material from his new album, Born Villain, including the song, “No Reflection” which was nominated at the Grammys for best Hard Rock/Metal Performance. He played fan favorites such as: “Disposable Teens”, “The Dope Show”, a cover of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”, a cover of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”, “Antichrist Superstar”, and of course his most famous song, “The Beautiful People.”


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Marilyn Manson is known to use a lot of theatrics and that’s just what he did. Almost every song he played contained some kind of stage prop which included: Confetti cannons, lots of lights, balloons, lasers, and a giant judge stand. The crowd was on their feet the whole time as Manson played song after song. Even though Manson just recently collapsed on stage due to having the flu, he sounded spot on and it didn’t stop him from having a good time. My only complaint is how fast he played his set. He played 15 songs in exactly 1 hour. Whether he just wanted to get the show over with or the venue made him quickly play his set, I have no idea. Also, once he finished the show, he and all the band members just left the stage and never came back. I thought they just quickly went backstage to put their stuff away and then come back to bow to us and thanks us for coming out, but nothing. Regardless, it was a great experience seeing him for the first time and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing him again.



Muse: 1/23/13 – Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA

The award-winning band Muse has finally come back to tour the USA for their first tour since 2011. They are on tour for the release of their newest album, “The 2nd Law”.

Muse 1-23-13

Since I last saw Muse in 2011 at LA Rising (you can read our review of that show here), I had been eagerly waiting for them to return. I got my wish in the fall of 2012 when they announced a North American tour for early 2013. They scheduled a show at the world-famous, Staples Center in Los Angeles, California (where we also saw Muse back in 2010) and tickets sold out the first day. Due to high demand, they ended up with not 1, not 2, but 3 packed/sold out shows at the home of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions.


The show was everything I had anticipated. The band did an amazing job with putting together an incredible night of entertainment. Almost every song had some kind of special lighting or effect. Front-man Matt Bellamy’s singing was amazing and on the spot as if you were listening to a Muse album. Bassist Christopher Wolstenholme proved to be one of the best bassists around with his different bass playing techniques giving every song a different sound rather than the usual bass playing just about every other bass player does. Drummer Dominic Howard put on a display of his catchy drum fills that I’ve grown to love and learn using my own hands and feet whenever I’m listening to Muse.


During their performance, Muse did a good job of playing songs off of their new album as well as playing fan favorites from previous albums including my personal favorite Muse song, “Knights of Cydonia”. Muse is one of those bands where when you see them live, singing along is a must and a lot of times I found myself singing along without even noticing. Trying NOT to sing along was the challenge. A lot of their live songs have catchy lines where Matt allowed the fans to sing and sounded beautiful as we all sang together in harmony.


During their performance of “Madness”(my favorite song from their new album), they did a beautiful display of laser lights that would leave everyone in awe. It was one of the most beautiful moments I’ve experienced at a concert and it even got me a bit teary-eyed. One of their stage props was a folding upside down pyramid which was made up of television screens that was suspended above the stage most of the time and towards the end of the show, folded right side up and encased the band in time for them to start their encore set.


If you’re a fan of alternative rock, Muse is a must-see live band. It’s fun for anyone and everyone.

The Darkness Announce Two Fall 2012 North American Shows

The Darkness Announce Two Fall 2012 North American Shows

After two successful tours of the United States earlier this year, The Darkness are set to return for two nights this fall. With the band en route to South America, the hard rockers will play in the major media markets known as New York and Los Angeles. As you can see in the above poster, tickets go on sale later this week.

To check out our extensive coast to coast coverage of The Darkness from earlier this year, click here.

Win Tickets To See Aimee Mann Live in Los Angeles

Win Tickets To See Aimee Mann Live in Los Angeles

I am just going to come out and say that we are jealous of the eventual winner of this one. Look up legend on Wikipedia and it redirects you to the Aimee Mann page. Perhaps that’s not exactly true but it should be.  The talented singer, songwriter and actress is coming to Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles on October 13th and we get to give away a pair of tickets to one lucky winner.

Mann will be in town supporting her upcoming record Charmer which is scheduled to hit shelves on September 18th. Tickets for the show are on sale now and you can purchase them by clicking here. However if you would like to try your luck and win tickets from your friends at Live Nation LA and Concert Confessions you have come to the right place. All you have to do is answer the following question by leaving a comment below.

One of Aimee’s great acting cameos was from the first season of Portlandia where she played a cleaning woman since the music industry is no longer profitable. If Aimee was to come over and clean your home, where would you have her start?

We will pick one winner at random on October 7th,th 2012. Winners will be notified by e-mail and tickets will be available at the venues will call on the night of the show. Good luck and thanks for checking out Concert Confessions.






Ghostwolf (Featuring SA from 311) Announces US Shows

Ghostwolf (Featuring SA from 311) Announces US Shows

Ghostwolf is the side project of SA from 311. We are not sure if you can call three shows a tour, but that won’t stop us from sharing with you where and when you can see the group this fall. The gigs will take place in Los Angeles, Omaha and New York City, but you could probably already tell that from the above banner. The band will be joined for these shows by Exes of Evil, which of course you can also tell from the banner above.

Ghostwolf September 2012 US Tour Dates:

09/20/12 – Molly Malone’s/Los Angeles, CA

09/22/12 – Slowdown/Omaha, NE

09/29/12 – Grammercy Theatre/New York, NY

To keep up with all things Ghostwolf, check out their official Facebook page by clicking here.



Jack White 05/31/12: Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA

Jack White 05/31/12

Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

There I was last night standing in the beer section of the Whole Foods where they shot that viral hit about it getting real in the parking lot when my phone honked with a new text message. The message simply said “Wanna go see Jack White in like an hour?” Should Whole Foods rename their store Whole Paycheck –  Fuck yeah I want to see Jack White in an hour. I quickly finished my shopping and after a brief yet triumphant stop at home I was speeding down interstate 10 en route to The Wiltern for a Jack White miracle thanks to Mr. Johnny Firecloud of Antiquiet fame.

We made it to the venue a few moments before Mr. White was set to take the stage. It was hard to miss the signage that made it clear cameras were not welcome and anyone violating this policy would be kicked out. With one of the signs sharing that photos would be available on Mr. White’s official website I decided on this particular evening I would respect his wishes and leave my camera in the car.

The night kicked off with the White Stripes favorite Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground. As you probably know by now, Mr. White is playing multiple nights in numerous markets with two bands. One is made up of men; the other is made up of women. For the second sold out show at the Art Deco theatre it was ladies nights in Koreatown.

For 90 minutes, Mr. White lead his six piece backing band through a set that weaved classic material from the White Stripes, the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather with new songs from his recently released solo record Blunderbuss. For someone who has appreciated Mr. White from a distance for years but never seen him live in any capacity, I got a bit of everything and it was a great way to cross him off the bucket list.

For me the highlight was not so much what Mr. White played as much as the energy of what was going on in front of my eyes. Walk a mile in my shoes these days and you can’t help but be overwhelmed by the strength and beauty of women. Watching Mr. White lead his ladies through songs the likes of Freedom at 21, Hotel Yorba and Blue Blood Blues was not just another rock show as much as it was inspiration for the next chapter in this crazy journey called life.

After a rocking main set that also included beloved favorites like Love Interruption and Ball and Biscuit, the night closed with a massive encore that included seven songs. Amongst the songs included in the encore were Mr. White’s biggest hits – Seven Nation Army and Steady As She Goes. For the latter, Mr. White had no problem getting the often jaded Los Angeles crowd to sing and clap along. Yet it was the final number of the night that served as the much needed exclamation point to what was a truly amazing night. With my own daughter’s birth less than six weeks away (unless she is a typical Los Angeleno and fashionably late) this was the final show for bassist Byrn Davies before she delivers her own child. Mr. White and band mates said goodbye with an emotionally charged cover of the Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter classic Goodnight, Irene.


On a night where I got in on a miracle; if this is the last confession before I experience the biggest miracle of all then let’s just say I can’t think of a better performance to close this chapter of my life.

Watch The White Stripes Live From The Greek Theatre 09/23/03

With it being Jack White week and all, we figured we would share this tasty gem we just discovered on YouTube. For those not living in Los Angeles, VoodooHipster (aka Brian) is one of the kindest most down to earth people you will meet in this city. He just posted the entire White Stripes performance from 09/23/03 at the Greek Theatre here in Los Angeles. You can watch Jack and Meg kick some serious ass in Griffith Park down below.

Once again big thanks to Voodoo Hipster for the killer footage. Make sure you subscribe to his YouTube home by clicking here.




HARD Summer Returns To A Dirt Lot Near Downtown Los Angeles

HARD Summer Returns To A Dirt Lot Near Downtown Los Angeles

Editors Note: In case you could not tell our pal Reverend Justito likes to say heck no to techno. If this offends you then we did our job right.

Good news for E-tards in Southern California and beyond. The HARD Summer Festival is returning to that craptastic dirt lot adjacent to downtown Los Angeles. LA Weekly has broken the lineup and really you would have to be on HARD drugs to enjoy most of the acts. Highlights (if you can call them that) include Skrillex, Bloc Party and that dude who used to be in LCD Soundsystem. You have access to Google, so I am sure you can figure out when tickets go on sale, and hopefully no 15 year old kids die because it would be sad to see a news story here in Los Angeles not about the Lakers or Lindsay Lohan. Line-up is below the nifty viral video the HARD Summer folks made to request your presence at LA State Historic Park on August 3rd and 4th.


HARD Summer 2012 Line Up (A/O 04/24/12):

NERO (Live)

Garbage 04/06/12: Bootleg Theater – Los Angeles, CA

Garbage 04/06/12

Bootleg Theater – Los Angeles, CA

Words & Photos by God Frank/Videos by Hipster73


You can just call me Oscar the Grouch, because I love garbage! Put me in a pair of Speedos, toss me in a dumpster and just let me roll around in it. But enough about last weekend, I love Garbage the band too! Their self-titled debut album is one of my all-time favorites. It’s been 7 years since their last effort Bleed Like Me and also 7 years since anyone has seen them perform live. So I was really happy to hear that they are finally coming out with a new CD next month. That happiness was enhanced by news that they were going to start touring again. More happiness came finding out that the tour would start here in LA next week. That happiness tsunami nearly pushed me over the edge to wetting myself when I found out that they were going to play a warm up concert at the Bootleg Theater on Good Friday!

Although the show’s limited number of tickets sold out quickly after the show was announced I was lucky enough to snag one. So I headed down to the Bootleg, to see just what is in store for the rest of LA and the world when the tour begins in ernest next week.
I didn’t know if they were going to be playing just the new music from the yet to be released Not Your Kind of People or if they would be mixing in the old stuff too. As it turns out the show was more of a greatest hits type event. Maybe they didn’t want to go crazy with new music that the audience hasn’t had the opportunity to hear yet or maybe they just felt like they needed to practice the older tracks that they haven’t played for over 7 year. Either way the show was a fans dream with hit after hit after hit.
In the beginning it didn’t seem like they needed any practice at all, knocking out “Supervixon,” “Temptation Waits,” and “Shut Your Mouth” flawlessly. It was like they had never taken a break and the crowd was going crazy jumping up and down and shaking the springy floors of the Bootleg Theater like there was an 8.0 earthquake.


After a couple more flawless tunes including “Metal Heart” and “Queer,” the band actually kicked it up to a higher gear and totally blew the roof off the place with absolutely stellar performances of “Stupid Girl” and “Why Do You Love Me” both of which would have been show stoppers for most bands, but Shirley and the gang were just getting started.



Unfortunately, this is where we started seeing a few cracks in the armor and the reason they were doing a warm up show. During “#1 Crush” lead singer and front woman Shirley Manson actually messed up the lyrics. She covered it extremely well, essentially singing one verse twice while skipping over another. A non Garbage fan probably wouldn’t have noticed, but I for one love that song and definitely noticed as did everyone else around me. After a rough start for “The Trick is to Keep Breathing” they totally botched the beginning of “Vow.” They actually had to stop the song and Shirley had to adlib for a couple of minutes while one of the guitarists had to work out an issue.


With a lot of bands this would have been seriously awkward the show could have really spiraled out of control. But this was just a warm show and it exists to work out those issues. Rather than be embarrassed Shirley had fun with it saying “Perfection is boring, right?” and at one point offered refunds to anyone who wanted one. There were no takers.
In fact this actually added to the awesomeness of the show. The entire night had a relaxed, rehearsal vibe to it, something Shirley kept referring to. At one point she even mentioned that if this had been a rehearsal, this is where they would take a break to get dinner or maybe a Starbucks.

There were no breaks to be had yet though and after “Vow” they finally kicked into some new music. First up was “Blood for Poppies”, which is also the first single from the new disc. Its solid jam that when I first heard I was a little indifferent towards, but it is really starting to grow on me. Next was Man on a Wire. This song absolutely rocks! I kinda wish this was their first single. I absolutely loved it.


It was back to the hits like “Milk” and “I Think I’m Paranoid.”. Then I had my head completely blown off. In what was for me the highlight of the night, they brought the house down with an amazing rendition of “Only Happy When It Rains.” They mixed the song up a little bit and the song started with Shirley singing the first verse acoustically as a ballad, before the full band kicked in for the more traditional rock version at the chorus. Then in the middle of song they worked in a break where Shirley again sang a verse acoustically before the band went back to rocking it out. It was brilliant and amazing. Hands down the best performance I have ever seen of that song. It was a total showstopper. I actually though that would be the last song of the set, but they kept the energy up and gave us one more song with “Push It.”


At that point they left the stage, but of course when the band leaves but the lights don’t come up, you know an encore is coming. After a couple of minutes they returned and Shirley asked if we had time for a few more songs. I kinda wish we all could have let out a big “DUH!” in unison, but instead we just cheered and were rewarded with a special performance of “Special” followed by “The World is Not Enough.” Would you believe me if I told you that a girl in the audience actually yelled out a request for that song during the main set? I couldn’t believe it either. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay, and a great James Bond song, but I can think of a few other songs I would have preferred hearing in the encore (“Cherry Lips” anyone?!).

Okay, that’s nitpicking.

They finished up with only the third song from the new CD. I don’t know how you close a show with a new song that nobody in the crowd has heard before? But Battle In Me kicks ass! It’s a pulse pounding, hard rocking jam that is totally worthy of being a show closer and by the end of it the entire place was jumping out of their skins rocking out to it. That is all you need to know about the new CD, it is going to be off the hook. At one point in the show Shirley told the crowd that when they were making this disc they all knew they were making something amazing. I have no doubt that she is right. Despite the few problems that a warm up show is designed to work out, this was one phenomenal show and I am thrilled to have been one of the few who got to experience it. Garbage is back!

Green Day’s American Idiot Live in Los Angeles

American Idiot – The Musical

03/15/12 – Ahmanson Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

Words by Reverend Justito/Photos by Doug Hamilton

There I was talking crap on Twitter when I got a message from the fine folks at Center Theatre Group Los Angeles. They not only told me they loved my tweets, they wanted me to come see Green Day’s smash musical American Idiot. I assumed there was a catch and of course there was. Myself and a guest could come down to the show for free, but we had to tweet during it. At first I was shocked that “the catch” was basically breaking house rules by having a cell phone in my hand the entire night. Once the shock wore off, I said hell yes and marked down American Idiot on my ever busy social calendar.

Truth be told, I don’t attend many musicals. Despite the fact that BeeZnutZ, Brad and I have joked about starting www.playconfessions.com, I have seen a grand total of three musicals in my life. As I enjoyed my $12 Jack and Coke while waiting for our social media guru Jim my excitement for my fourth musical grew tremendously. After getting our tickets and press kit, we went into the theatre where we quickly met other tweeters. It was nice to finally meet the beautiful Sarah B after all these years and a huge shout out to my “theatre guide” for the night – Ellen from Musicals in LA.

The show kicked off around 8:10 pm with a rocking version of American Idiot’s self titled opening track. At first everything felt a bit out of place. Here was this hard hitting song that made me want to get the circle pit going, yet instead I was stuck in a seat watching the cast faux-mosh upon the stage. Yet by song two (my personal favorite American Idiot track Jesus of Suburbia) the awkward feelings had passed and I was deeply entrenched into the show.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I will share just a few more thoughts on the night. The first is how funny it was to see many older (and by older I mean well over the age of 65) members of the crowd get up and leave. I must assume they are season ticket holders and the sex, drugs, crude language and rock and roll was not their cup of tea. While tweeting was a unique experience, I noticed that I missed a lot when looking down at my phone to type. For example, I missed the character Heather get pregnant.

One thing that I really liked about American Idiot was that it is designed for the ADHD nation. With three characters having major story lines, there is a lot to take in. You could go twice and still not catch every lil nuance within the performance. All of the talent on stage was incredible. The show is extremely physical and I could only imagine the bruises and muscle aches this cast must have.

American Idiot was truly a blast and I am very grateful I was able to see it. The cast is amazing, the music was fabulous and I have a much better understanding of an album I have now enjoyed for nearly a decade. Once again much love to all the tweeters I met last night and major kudos to the theatre and production for trying a unique social media experiment. American Idiot will be at the Ahmanson in downtown Los Angeles through April 22nd, 2012. Click here to get your tickets today.



Trey Anastasio 03/10/12: Walt Disney Concert Hall – Los Angeles, CA

Trey Anastasio w/ the Los  Angeles Philharmonic 03/10/12

Walt Disney Concert Hall – Los Angeles, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

Back in 2010 I wrote an open letter to Phish and the Los Angeles Philharmonic begging them to team up for a performance at the Hollywood Bowl. While we finally got to see Phish at the Bowl last summer, it was your typical two set balls to the wall affair with no sign of the Phil in sight. Thankfully my wish somewhat came true in March of 2012 as Trey Anastasio of Phish took on the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a fantastic night at the immaculate Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

I really didn’t know what to expect as we headed from our car up into the massive structure that serves as the LA Phil’s winter home. The Phish scene was interesting on this particular evening to say the least. I would say at least two thirds of the crowd dressed up for the occasion. In fact just about every wook I saw out dressed my modest button down and jeans attire. Everyone was on their best behavior for a fancy affair in the heart of Los Angeles.

After enjoying dinner in the dining area within the venue we found our way to our seats just as members of the LA Phil began to warm up. I enjoyed one of the French Horn players practicing certain sections of Stash and I swear one of the bass players was teasing Down With Disease to warm himself up for the evening. While advertised as a prompt 8pm start time, the show finally got started around 10 after as Anastasio and conductor Scott Dunn took the stage. Opening with First Tube it was hard to sit still as the excitement and the energy of the song all hit at once. Anastasio used just a slight hint of distortion with his Ocelot electric guitar and toned the song down just enough for the Philharmonic to keep up and let everyone know that we are here and this is happening.

After a solid performance of Water In The Sky which sounded a lot like the Festival 8 version on steroids, the night’s first highlight unfolded. With Anastasio on acoustic guitar the entire time Divided Sky was a new indescribable form of beautiful. The way the string section lifted this number I came to the conclusion that this needs to be playing when I take my walk down the long tunnel towards the white light. While Brian and Robert (Phishbeards favorite Phish song for those keeping score at home) would have probably been a mood killer if this was Phish on a Saturday night, it was very enjoyable with the additional musicians.

Guyute shocked me in the sense that it was done as an instrumental. This was a perfect way for the Philharmonic to show off some more of its quirky instruments and unusual sounds they can make. I saw instruments being used that I couldn’t even name, it was great. I was equally impressed by Stash. I won’t sugar coat it, I just don’t like this particular song. Yet with the Philharmonic it took on a whole new vibe and I found it incredible. From Anastasio’s slowed down lyrical delivery to various members of the Philharmonic smiling from the synchronized hand claps of the audience this song finally felt special after hearing it for the last 16 years. Having apologized for years of promising to be back in 15 minutes and taking much longer, Anastasio stressed that there would only be a 10 minute break on this evening. His promise was correct as after a short break we were back for a second set of music.

I knew the second set was scheduled to open with Time Turns Elastic. I also know I am not alone in saying that this song can be torturous. With the understanding that the orchestral version is much longer than the Phish version I had an open mind for the music. However it was still very difficult to sit through at times and judging by the restless nature of many in the crowd I was not alone for this. I am sure you could find folks that disagree somewhere, but judging by the heckles from numerous members of my section this was the lowest point in a night of exhilarating highs.

Since I have never seen Phish perform If I Could, I was excited for the chance to hear one of my favorite tracks from Hoist. This take gave me chills it was so good. The extended string heavy outro sounded great inside the space that Anastasio admitted is the best sounding room he’s ever performed in.

If you were to ask me what the quintessential Phish song is, I would say You Enjoy Myself. It is my favorite song and I have had the fortune of seeing numerous versions over the years. With a very well behaved crowd at the edge of their seats the entire night this song was the moment the dam busted open as our minds were officially blown. You Enjoy Myself is classical music done as rock and roll. To hear it as classical music was too much for the audience. As the song builds and builds folks could no longer withhold the cheers and some even left their seats to stand. As we finally broke and crashed down into the Boy Man God Shit section many laughed as the words were replaced by horns that sounded like a wet version of the last word. For as foul as that sounds it worked perfectly and took the song to a new and exciting place. However the highlight of the song was the ending vocal jam. With the Philharmonic laying down a melody below him Anastasio walked about 10 feet away from his microphone. With the room built for sound, the sold out crowd was able to hear Anastasio sing a vocal jam along with the musicians behind him. It was an incredible way to end over two hours of music.

Anastasio of course came back out for an encore. You know I have to point out that once again the west coast got screwed as out of the four shows Anastasio did with Orchestras this summer we were the only ones who didn’t get to hear Golden Slumbers>Carry That Weight>The End. We did however get a sweet take on The Inlaw Josie Wales before we headed back to our cars in an attempt to navigate the snarled streets of downtown Los Angeles. Even with the shortest set of the tour, it was an amazing opportunity to hear the music of my favorite band in a brand new reimagined light. Now let’s have another round when the Hollywood Bowl books Phish for three nights for their annual July 4th celebration in 2013.

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.


Tori Amos 12/18/11: Orpheum Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

Tori Amos (w/  Thomas Dybdahl ) 12/18/11

Orpheum Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito


There is the famous line in Pulp Fiction when Jules shares with Vincent that his gal is a vegetarian so that pretty much makes him a vegetarian. If you replace the word vegetarian with Tori Amos fan, you now know why you are reading this review. This weekend was my 11th and 12th all expense paid trip to Toriland. I have nothing but respect for Tori Amos, but if my wife and I ever broke up, I would no doubt hate her as I can’t even describe how many hours of my life have been spent being forced to listen to her music. With the last Tori experience leaving a less than stellar taste in my mouth (Greek Theatre Los Angeles – July 2009) I had hoped by agreeing to commit to two nights long before Goldenvoice announced some killer punk shows out in Santa Monica that I had not made the wrong choice.

The opener for both nights was a gentleman named Thomas Dybdahl. Mr. Dybdahl was not terrible, but I found myself each night preferring his stage banter over his songs. While he did have help from someone on what appeared to be a Weissenborn, when it’s just you and a guitar you need to be really something special. Having seen many of these types open for Amos over the years, Dybdahl was far from memorable. Nothing against him and his music, I just would have preferred someone a bit more dynamic.

As we reported in our recap of night one, Amos knew it was Saturday night in Los Angeles and rocked the historic vaudeville theatre hard. I assumed Sunday night would be much mellow and where I was correct not even I could imagine what she had up her sleeve.

The evening started the exact same way as night one. Apollon Musagète kicked the set off with their stringed madness before Tori joined in on the fun with “Shattering Sea.” After rocking “God/Running Up That Hill” and “Suede” for the second consecutive night, things began to get very interesting. It took my wife almost two minutes to place the rare Little Earthquakes B-side “Ode To The Banana King” and I am pretty sure I had never heard this song before. With the mood now set that anything could happen, it was clear we were in for a once in a lifetime show.

Where Saturday had the “hits” Sunday was all about making a message with the music. “Fearlessness and “Maybe California” sounded great with the strings. As far as the new material from her album Night of Huters goes, the best song I saw over these two nights was Star Whisperer. On a structural level, it reminded me a lot of my favorite band Phish. The tempo changes and song within a song feel had me craving some parking lot grilled cheese and a good old fashion wook bust.

As great as the strings are, the highlights of the night was when Amos was alone with her piano. If “Ode To The Banana King” wasn’t a big enough treat we were fortunate enough to hear solo takes on the rare gems “Sister Janet” and performed for only the fifth time “Apollo’s Frock.” That however was just the tip of the ice berg.


With a fat drunk cow screaming at the top of her lungs a few rows in front of us (as I mentioned in the Saturday recap, these shows had some of the rudest Tori fans I have ever encountered) Tori warned us to brace ourselves. It was then that for the first time ever that she busted out the Y Kant Tori Read track “On The Boundary.” No joke, when folks tweeting the setlist for the incredible fan run website Undented, many thought it was a practical joke. But as you can see below, it was no joke as Amos reworked the number into a beautiful haunting song that hit me deep in my soul.

Even when not busting out rare gems, Amos was kicking all kinds of backside. “Leather” sounded great and it’s always fun when Tori grabs her ass up on stage. I was most impressed with the re-working of “Hey Jupiter.” Typically if Amos is the change a songs tempo, it’s for the slower. With the quartet behind her, “Hey Jupiter” had a much jazzier upbeat feel. Dare I say I enjoy the re-worked version better than the original?

The show closed with a lengthy encore that went a few minutes past the venues 11pm curfew. Some of the better points of the encore were the holiday flavored “Holly, Ivy and Rose” and one of my favorite Amos rockers “Big Wheel.”


In closing, while I was bummed I had agreed to do the right thing and be a good husband I am glad I did. Both shows were some of the best I have ever seen Tori perform. From a rocking night one to a once in a lifetime performance on night two, seeing Amos recreate her classics with a string quartet was truly special. If she brings this tour back to the states in 2012, there will be no doubt that I will be back for yet another round.


RECAP: Tori Amos 12/17/11: Orpheum Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

Tori Amos (w/  Thomas Dybdahl ) 12/17/11

Orpheum Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

Editor’s Note: I am out the door in 90 minutes for night two of Tori Amos in Los Angeles. Here is a quick recap of the action from night one. Look for a complete review of the weekend late Monday.

Tori Amos brought her Night of Hunters tour to Los Angeles for two sold out nights at the Orphuem Theatre. The worldwide trek features Amos performing with a string quartet. While many of the shows on this tour have had a more mellow feel, Amos knew it was Saturday night in Los Angeles and brought out the big girls for a rocking good time. Mr. Zebra, God and Crucify all played well to an audience who were rowdy compared to the typical Amos crowds.

Other highlights of the two hour set included Pretty Good Year, Nautical Twilight and a very funny song about the joys of menopause. It was great to hear classic Amos songs reimagined with the help of the string quartet. As always Amos was in fine form and as someone who has been dragged seen Tori Amos eleven times now I am actually really excited for round two tonight. As I mentioned up top, look for a much more detailed review right here on Monday.




Elvis Costello’s ‘Spectacular Spinning Songbook’ Rolls On Into 2012

Elvis Costello’s ‘Spectacular Spinning Songbook’ Rolls On Into 2012

Some things are just too fun to stop-which seems to be the case with Elvis Costello & the Imposters with The “Spectacular Spinning Songbook” themed tour. Trouncing through several cities over the course of 2011, Spring 2012 brings the wheel of hits back out to (at least) 7 more lucky venues.

If you didn’t catch the review of the New York City show the band played at United Palace Theater October 1st 2011, it consists of the following: Elvis Costello on stage acting as almost a ringmaster at a circus, has a gigantic wheel to his left with slots containing names of songs that will be played if landed on when spun. The spinning of said wheel is done by a select few lucky fans who are brought up on stage (one of which in NYC being star of Showtime’s hit show “Weeds”, Mary Louise Parker). To the right of Mr. Costello is a “Go-Go Cage” which the spinners get to dance in. The brightly lit stage is filled out by The Imposters, which are Pete Thomas on drums, Davey Faragher on bass and Steve Nieve playing keyboards-a more than serviceable group of musicians to be in a band with Elvis Costello.

Below are the new dates that are announced, the Elvis Costello official site has links where you can buy tickets, except for the first two Vancouver and LA, which aren’t on sale until Friday.

4/10 – Vancouver, BC – Orpheum

4/12 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre *NEW DATE

4/13 – Portland, OR – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall *NEW DATE

4/15 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theatre **NEW DATE

4/16 – San Diego, CA – Humphreys *NEW DATE

4/17 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern

4/21 – Windsor, ON – Colosseum at Caesars Windsor ***NEW DATE

4/23 – Melbourne, FL – King Center

4/24 – Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall

4/25 – Hollywood, FL – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

4/27 – Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre

4/29 – Durham, NC – Durham Performing Arts Center

Beady Eye 12/03/11: Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA

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.


Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds 11/18/11: Royce Hall – Los Angeles, CA

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds 11/18/11

Royce Hall – Los Angeles, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

As an individual who attends an extremely high number of concerts, it’s rare for me to be excited days before a show. Yet for the last two weeks, I have been bouncing off the walls ecstatic for the evening of Friday November 18th 2011 as that would be the night I would descend upon the UCLA campus for a performance from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. I admit I was one of those foolish Yanks who gave up on Gallagher’s previous band Oasis around the turn of the century. Yet thanks to my pal Sim showing me the errors of my ways, I have become obsessed not just with Oasis, but with the guitar playing and songwriting skills of Mr. Noel Gallagher. With Gallagher’s High Flying Birds releasing their debut album a few days ago, it has been on heavy rotation to the point I broke the “never listen to an artist driving to their show” rule as I braved rush hour traffic into Bruins country.

Having missed the opening set by The Hours in order to drink a few beers with various friends, I found myself in my seat moments before Gallagher and his High Flying Birds hit the Royce Hall stage. Despite my high number of concerts attended over the past 15 years this was my first visit to Royce Hall and I must say it is an extremely classy joint. The high ceilings and fancy décor of Royce Hall only added to the already existing feelings that Gallagher’s second sold out night in Los Angeles was truly something special. When Gallagher and his Birds hit the stage at 9pm opening with the Oasis favorite “(It’s Good) To Be Free” those feelings went into overdrive.

While I expected Oasis songs in the set, the 1-2 opening punch of “(It’s Good) To Be Free” and “Mucky Fingers” shocked me as I assumed High Flying Birds materials would begin the night. However what this accomplished was exposing those who were hardcore fans versus those who simply got a ticket for being VIP and were looking for a soundtrack for a Friday night glued to a smart phone. With roles determined and the mood now set, the opening double shot of Oasis songs eased nicely into the first of many High Flying jam of the night entitled “Everybody’s On The Run.”


When not performing recent radio hits including “If I Had A Gun…” and “The Death of You and Me,” Gallagher was having a blast busting balls with various individuals screaming out song requests. Having already shared that he was not going to play anything that wasn’t on the setlist (which he spent a good five minutes writing) Gallagher taunted one individual who repeatedly screamed for “Acquiesce.” At another point a fan screamed for the Japanese B-side “You’ve Got The Heart of a Star” which led Gallagher to sharing that song had never been played live in any form and that he should have no problem whatsoever just playing it off the cuff.

With a handful of shows under their belt, the band is at that point where they all know their exact rolls and can focus on where the music can go instead of simply getting through the set. That freedom was most noticeable during “Freaky Teeth” a song that is heavily rumored to be the next Bond theme. The opening licks most certainly indicate that it will accompany Daniel Craig and a bunch of big budget Hollywood magic, the song proved the group can really crank out maximum rock and roll when they so choose.

Midway through the show, Gallagher strapped on an acoustic guitar and gave those on their phones a reason to finally tune into the show. A mini acoustic set of Oasis mega-hits kicked off with “Wonderwall.” Performed more like the Ryan Adams version than the version found on What’s The Story (Morning Glory), the capacity crowd joined Gallagher singing along to the man’s biggest stateside hit. A fantastic version of “Supersonic” followed with similar results.

While various B-sides and Oasis songs found their way into the set at random moments, I realized by the time the group was performing “AKA…What A Life!” that we were getting the songs from the High Flying Birds album in the order they appear. By the end of the evening, all songs with the exception of “Stop The Clocks” had been performed. One song that didn’t really stand out on the album but was outstanding live was “AKA…Broken Arrow.” Most noticeable was how strong Gallagher’s vocals sounded. No disrespect to his younger brother Liam, but the performance made you wonder why Oasis ever needed him in the first place.

The main set concluded with “(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach” with fans chanting for more Noel. Gallagher and his band returned for a three song encore of Oasis songs that kicked off with Heathen Chemistry track “Little By Little.” The fan sing-along continued into “The Importance of Being Idle” but it was clear the highlight was the evening’s final song “Don’t Look Back In Anger.” For the first time all night fans jumped up and down in front of their seats excited for the other American Oasis smash hit. While the leaps of fans looked nothing like a crowd at Wembley Stadium the fact members of a Los Angeles crowd jumped up and down at all was rather remarkable.

While only 90 minutes in length, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds second sold out Southern California performance was truly magical. Without a doubt a top five show for the year 2011 in my book, I pray the group returns when the rumored second more experimental album drops next year. Now the question in my mind is; how will Beady Eye even come close to such an amazing experience when we cross paths at the Wiltern in a few weeks?



Primus 10/22/11: Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA

Primus 10/22/11

Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

Walking into the Wiltern, it had been nearly five years since my last live Primus experience. It pained me to skip their 2010 appearances in Los Angeles but as anyone who has read my words here know it takes an act of congress to get me through the doors of the cell phone venues downtown. That’s why I made sure to jump on tickets the second it was announced the band would pay Korea Town a visit on their 2011 North American tour. Having witnessed the band perform Sailing The Seas of Cheese inside the historic Art Deco venue in 2003, I knew another two set throw down at the best theatre in Los Angeles county was not to be missed.

I settled into my spot on the floor moments before the band hit the stage. I was aware that the band was performing their just released album Green Naugahyde from front to back and had assumed it would be the first set. You can imagine my shock as the wah infused guitar introduction of “Those Damn Blue Collar Tweekers” came roaring through the PA. With an impressive light show, twisted animations upon the large video screen and two extremely large astronauts looming in the background, I was quickly reminded that Primus concerts are designed to overload multiples senses.


The first set did an outstanding job of bringing a well balanced mix of Primus material spanning their 20+ year career. “Pudding Time” “Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread” and “The Pressman” all did a great job getting the crowd into the evening early on. So much so in fact, bassist/vocalist Les Claypool took a few minutes in the middle of “Over The Falls” to acknowledge the crowd who not only sold out the theatre weeks in advance, but bucked the typical Los Angeles trend of staring lifeless as the band gave their all.

My personal highlights of the first set were a pair of songs from the groups’ 1995 effort Tales From The Punchbowl. Knowing I would flunk my Algebra final weeks after the album’s release, instead of trying I simply wrote the lyrics to “Mrs. Blaileen” down on the sheet designed to “show my work.” The song received many plays on my yellow Sony Sport Walkman as I rode the bus to summer school later that summer. The other highlight was “Over the Electric Grapevine” which featured the best of the best in first set jamming. At least on this particular night, when Primus sets sail into the unknown, the bands mindset is focused on creating a unified wall of sound instead of self-indulgent soloing.

I paid zero attention to the Popeye cartoon that played at intermission.

Green Naugahyde was an impulse buy from Target a few weeks ago. Not that I needed an excuse to buy the record as I own everything the band has released, but there it was and there I was and it just happened to fall into the basket. Having given the album a few spins, I enjoyed it, but failed to make a deep connection to many of the songs. I knew “Last Salmon Man” and “Tragedy’s a’ Comin” would be great live (and they were) but some of the songs that failed to connect with ended up being the best part of the set. “Jilly’s On Smack” was one of these, but then again it’s hard not to get excited when Les brings out his upright electric bass. “Moron TV” felt a bit like filler on the record, but having now seen it’s live incarnation I must go back and re-examine my beliefs.

Another highlight of the set was “Lee Van Cleef” a song the band is debating playing on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday. An ode to the late actor, the crowd found plenty of energy to bounce off each other as Claypool’s thumb bounced off his bass strings. “HOINFODAMAN” was another exciting moment, especially the gnarly distortion coming out of LaLonde’s amplifier. In fact my only disappointment in the second was that the band left the stage to a pre-recorded “Salmon Men” instead of finding a way to perform the song that clocks in under a minute.

Having already played for well over two hours, the boys came back for a lengthy two song encore. They kicked things off with “Southbound Pachyderm” which seemed to end (thus me stopping my camera) only to start back up and rage with an 8-10 minute psychedelic jam. The evening’s final song was the fan favorite “Tommy The Cat.” The group for one last time voyaged into a unique and indescribable sound that has now rocked three generations of fans. While the band still has a show scheduled next weekend in the Bay Area, the Wiltern is the “final” night of the North American tour. Los Angeles was treated to a technically proficient band who sounded as tight as they possibly could. Here’s hoping it’s not another five years before I get to catch my next Primus show.


Portishead Gives You A Reason To Love Them

Portishead 10/18/11

Shrine Exposition Hall – Los Angeles, CA

Words/Photos by God Frank


When I die I want Portishead’s Dummy CD playing on an endless loop at my funeral. No babble from people who really didn’t care about me and ignored me my whole life, trying to make themselves feel better before they completely forget about me in 2 weeks. Just an endless stream of Beth Gibbons soulful and angst ridden vocals washing over the sparse crowd. The three people in this world who actually bothered to get to know the real me will get it.

So naturally I almost wet myself when I found out that Portishead was going to tour the states for the first time since 1998! Yeah, they played Coachella back in 2008 but that was a single show that required you to buy an expensive 3 day festival pass in order to attend. Knowing this was probably the only chance I would ever have to see them live, ever, I was at my computer with the Ticketgouger Ticketmaster website open the moment tickets went on sale and I got my ticket to Tuesday’s show the second they became available. Considering they sold out less than an hour later it was a good thing I did. Then after a couple of months of longingly looking at my ticket waiting for the show it finally came!

I hopped in the car after work on Tuesday and headed down to the dreaded Shrine Expo Center. Seriously, could Goldenvoice have picked a worse venue for this show? The Expo Center is barely passable for rave show or dance band. For a band like Portishead it was completely unacceptable. Clearly they didn’t know anything about the band before booking the venue. But even though I was guaranteed poor sight lines in a crappy venue, and even though I had to go alone, I was excited to finally get to see a band whose music has meant so much to me all these years.

The show started with a set from the opening act Thought Forms. Or at least I think it was Thought Forms. Nobody actually bothered to introduce them, and they didn’t bother to greet the crowd or introduce themselves either. They were okay, nothing particularly special but not bad either. Actually a pretty good match musically for a Portishead show. Very atmospheric and moody, but a little more uptempo  and dare I say “rockin’” than the Bistol band I was there to see. I probably would have enjoyed them a little more had I been on something, but they didn’t suck. When they finished their 35-40 minute set they left stage just as they arrived on stage, without a word being said. I was somewhat perplexed by this. Isn’t the point of being an opening act to get exposure and gain fans? That’s kind of hard to do when you make absolutely no effort to make a connection with the crowd or even let the crowd know who the hell you are. They definitely missed that opportunity and I would be very surprised to hear from them ever again.

Portishead's famous logo

After the stage hands did some work setting up the stage and instruments the lights went down and the moment I’ve craved since 1994 was finally there. White lines moved across the video screen behind the stage before finally creating the famous Portishead “P” logo. The crowd went crazy and the band took the stage! While normally a trio of Beth Gibbons, Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley, they brought a few more people with them and are touring as a sextet with an extra drum set-up and an additional guitar among other enhancements.

The show began with “Silence and Nylon Smile”, two tracks from Portishead’s underrated and poorly titled Third CD. Both songs were solid and a nice warm up to get the crowd going. After “Nylon Smile” ended someone next to me who must have known the play list from previous shows back East said, “This place is going to erupt now.” He was completely right as soon as the soft beginning of “Mysterons” started, every single person in the Expo Center screamed. Haunting and soulful, it’s clearly a fan favorite and they totally did it justice with Beth’s voice sounding every bit as strong as it did when Dummy came out in 1994.

They went back to the Third CD for The Rip. Not a favorite of mine, it was still good and honestly if they went straight from “Mysterons” to “Sour Times” I may have had an accident in my pants from excitement so it was probably a good thing that they broke them up. So yeah, “Sour Times” followed “The Rip.” It was exactly as it was on the CD, but you don’t fix what’s not broken, right?!?! With everyone singing along they nailed the closest thing to a hit they have had to perfection.

Portishead never toured after the release of Third, so with this essentially being a long delayed Third tour, they went back to that CD for “Magic Doors.” Like most of the tracks on the Third CD, it had more energy than what we previously had heard from Portishead on their first 2 discs. They followed that up with what turned out to be one of the highlights of the night.

In case I haven’t mentioned it yet, Dummy is an amazing CD. There literally isn’t a bad track on it. If I were to rank the 11 songs on the disc, “Wandering Star” would be toward the bottom of that list. While still a good song, at a normal show that would have been my bathroom break. Fortunately for me and the crowd (but unfortunately for my bladder) they stripped down the song to an almost acoustic version that was nothing short of haunting and magical. The additional band members left stage for the moment, the lights went down and Beth and Adrian Utley sat on stools at the front of the stage under a spotlight and performed what was one of the knock your socks off highlights of the night. Beautiful and unexpected, it was pure brilliance, taking a song that normally gets lost on a disc with much better songs and turning it into a show stopping performance that not one person in the building will ever forget.

By they were just getting started! Next was “Machine Gun” with its pulse pounding beats that had the entire place dancing. Then back to their slower angst filled roots with two of my personal favorites “Over” and “Glory Box.” Next came “Chase the Tear”, their funding raising song for Amnesty International. Already an hour into the show, they kept going with “Cowboys” before finishing their main set with another song from Third, “Threads.” They then thanked the crowd and left the stage.

In this era when encores are less of a thank you to fans begging for another song, and more of a planned part of the show, you knew they were coming back. Oh yeah, and the lights didn’t go up and they hadn’t played “Roads” yet so they didn’t fool anyone into thinking they were done. I don’t think anyone in the building would have let them leave without playing “Roads”, so after a few minutes of taking in some electrolytes (or vodka?), they returned to stage for a 2 song encore.

And yes, the encore started with “Roads” (Dummy) before finishing with “We Carry” On from Third.

In the end, I left the Expo Center alone, just as I arrived, but with my tummy full of trip-hoppy goodness. Having seen not only one of my bucket list concerts, but having them completely live up to all my expectations. I really hope it’s not another 13 years before they tour the states again, but whenever the next tour is, I will be there.

Duran Duran w/ Neon Trees 09/27/11: Club Nokia – Los Angeles, CA

Duran Duran w/ Neon Trees 09/27/11

Club Nokia – Los Angeles, CA

Words/Photos by Eringoboro

I’m really excited to post this review! I thought I’d be exhausted and grumpy rolling in to the office Wednesday morning, but there really is nothing like a post-concert high when you’ve been to a great show.
Last night, my soon-to-be-husband (6 more weeks ’til I’m “Mrs. Stover”!) took me to see Duran Duran at NOKIA Theatre at L.A. Live. I was stoked, because it’s a fun band, and because I had yet to see a show at NOKIA. Usually I hate arena shows because the sound is lousy, but NOKIA is a way smaller venue, and built for concerts, not sporting events. The sound for both opening act and main event were spectacular.
But enough about venues, on to the real meat and potatoes!

Neon Trees

Neon Trees, a band with roots in California and Utah, were the opening act. I had really wanted to check them out before getting to the show, but I just didn’t have the time with my hectic schedule. I was pleasantly surprised! Their look totally fit in with the 80′s theme of the evening with the Flock Of Seagulls hairstyles, motorcycle jackets, and lead guitarist Chris Allen’s GREAT homage to Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen in a purple jacket with black and white checkered pants. Their drummer, Elaine Bradley, looked adorable in an edgy-yet-feminine black glitter shirt with a cute teal flower. The entire set I listened with open ears to their pop-rock sound, and was impressed by the musicianship of the band as a whole, as well as frontman Tyler Glenn’s vocals obviously inspired by Bono, Brandon Flowers and Duran Duran’s own Simon Le Bon. They seemed to have a bit of a following throughout the theatre, and Adam and I were enjoying their stuff, but unfortunately didn’t know anything they were playing…


until their closing song, Animal, which we’ve both heard tons of times (and I’m pretty sure everyone has heard it on commercials, Glee, the radio). I was extremely impressed once I heard their big hit because it sounded exactly like the album – meaning they’re not overproduced like much of what’s out today (even Glenn acknowleges how rock and roll has lost its edge and “everything’s all Lady GaGa”). A solid set with a great closing song definitely warmed up the crowd for the main event.

Around 9:15pm Duran Duran takes the stage playing “Before the Rain” then hitting the ground running with their very first hit, “Planet Earth,” rocking from past to present with the title track off their new album “All You Need Is Now.” A one-two punch to get everyone dancing, and dance we all did – into the fire! – as they segued into their James Bond Theme “A View to A Kill.” The house was rocking and never stopped the whole show, even through the slower hit of “Come Undone.” The first camera zoom to guitarist John Taylor drew screams from all the girls, and Simon Le Bon’s vocals were impeccable the entire evening – impressive since he just got over serious laryngitis that had to cancel several shows earlier this year. Le Bon & Co. went through a broad spectrum of their catalogue and played nearly every hit, including “The Reflex.” Performing another single off of their most recent album, Le Bon dons an acoustic guitar for the sweet ballad, “Leave a Light On,” which was lovely both melodiously and lyrically.


Following my personal favorite, “Notorious” (which I went nuts upon hearing the first “NO”) , the show was about to close after the hits “Hungry Like the Wolf,” and “Sunrise,” leaving the crowd screaming for an encore. We definitely got what we wanted with “Ordinary World,” “Wild Boys” (with a little bit of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” thrown in for good measure), and ending what I can only call the evening as a “huge dance party” with the infamous “Rio,” that anyone walking down Chick Hearn Court was singing on their way home.

I really hadn’t had this much fun at a concert in a long, long time, and everyone around me was having a blast. I would definitely go to another Duran Duran show, and will absolutely be seeking out more shows to see at NOKIA.

Here’s one last clip of “Ordinary World.”


TV On The Radio/Arctic Monkeys/Warpaint 09/25/11: Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, CA

TV on the Radio/Arctic Monkeys/Panda Bear/Warpaint/Smith Westerns 09/25/11

Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

A few months ago my wife called and informed me she had purchased tickets for some hipster-fest at the Hollywood Bowl. As she read the initial lineup, I was forced to swallow down my own vomit. Really, you want me to sit through TV on the Radio, Smith Westerns and someone with Panda in the name who doesn’t play for the San Francisco Giants? To make things worse, I would be surrounded by a bunch of stupid drunk white people with unfortunate upper lip hair and jeggings instead of enjoying week three of NFL action. Then I went on Phish tour and my attitude towards this mini-festival changed faster than you could say Coming At You Like A Ghetto Blaster. In fact dare I say walking into the venue I was as excited for a show as I have been in years.

Smith Westerns

I wish I could say these Chicago indie rockers brought the roof down, but we all know that would not only be dishonest; it would be in poor taste. Taking the stage at 6pm, the best part of this up and coming bands set was the fact they only played for 15 minutes. Their blend of indie rock meets 1960’s California surf pop was unoriginal and downright dreadful. When you add the fact that they were lost in the empty cavernous venue and drowned out by the sounds of wine corks popping and heated debates over Middle East politics it was the logical time to say hello to friends in other sections and empty the bladder.


You could imagine my shock when I was walking out of the bathroom at 6:20pm and Warpaint was already onstage opening with the song that shares the name of their band. I went running back to my seat as this was the only band that didn’t make me want to vomit when I heard the initial lineup. Where Smith Westerns got lost in the venue, a full year of touring helped the ladies of Warpaint rise to the occasion as their sound filled the hillside venue. Add the fact the hometown crowd was going crazy for songs like “Bees” and “Undertow” and one had to ponder why they were playing before Panda Bear. The four piece closed their oh to brief four song set with a massive run on “Elephants.” The band stretched the number past the ten minute mark and featured a nice jam that would have made Phish proud with its peaks and valleys both in sound and volume. With a huge buzz and touring behind last years The Fool now complete, it seems rather clear that the groups third studio release will blast Warpaint right into the mainstream.

Panda Bear

Noah Benjamin Lennox (aka Panda Bear) once told Má Fama radio “I get impatient writing songs, I can’t spend more than a couple of hours before I get frustrated. So I got to kind of spit it out real fast. My favorite songs are the ones where I worked really really fast on, when it comes all out in like two hours or something.” Having sat through 40 minutes of Panda Bear (ok, fine I did make one quick trip to the bathroom) I can tell you this is very true. It would be very easy for me to bash the “experimental” artist (who was joined by Sonic Boom’s Peter Kember) onslaught of noise. Instead I will just say this. Some of the noises created by Panda Bear were pretty damn cool, some of the noises not so much. Check out the clip below (pay close attention as I managed to choke on a chunk of sandwich at one point) and judge for yourself.

Arctic Monkeys

I swear to God, I really want to like the Arctic Monkeys. I enjoy the songs “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor” and “Fake Tales of San Francisco” from their debut album. I actually purchased their third album Humbug based off the fact that Josh Homme produced it. Yet no matter how hard I try, I become bored after about 30 minutes of Monkey onslaught. Having enjoyed what I was able to hear at Outside Lands earlier this year, I was heading in with an open mind in hopes that this would be the moment where the band would finally win me over. However that was not the case.

Don’t get me wrong, the band sounded tight playing a mix of songs from their four disc catalogue. New numbers like “Brick By Brick” and “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” sounded great as did classics like “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor” and “Crying Lightning.” Some may tell you that Arctic Monkeys stole the show, and judging by the reaction of many in the crowd they may very well be correct. Personally I was bored by the 45 minute mark of the 70 minute set. I give the indie garage band credit for taking a basic sound and adding layers of quirky de-tuned melodies over it. It’s great for a bit, but the simplicity is just not enough to keep me entertained. I still want to like them though, maybe one day that will be the case.

TV On The Radio

We all know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. TV on the Radio has taught me that you should not judge an indie band from Brooklyn based on the massive amounts of fellatio from critics and hipsters. Fact is I ignored this band for years because they couldn’t be as great as everyone claimed. Then on the evening of August 6th 2011 I stood 15 feet away from my favorite band Phish whose cover of “Golden Age” was one of the highlights of two nights at The Gorge. I quickly realized that the despite the massive chemistry experiment going on within my body that this was a bad ass mamba jamb of a jam and that perhaps the earlier mentioned fellatio for TV on the Radio was well deserved. I came home, began checking out various TV on the Radio tracks and over the course of six weeks became the bands biggest fan.

The group hit the stage at 9pm and opened their brief co-headline set with “Young Liars.” The energy from the band was at 11, which was a shame as the crowds energy was about a 3. That didn’t stop the six men on stage from giving it their all while blessing us with a set heavy on material from their recently released record Nine Types Of Light. “Second Song”, “Will Do” and “New Cannonball Blues” all sounded amazing under the historic band shell. Speaking of the band shell, having watched Phish light guru Chris Kuroda have a blast with the white walls earlier this summer, it was interesting that TV on the Radio lighting director first used the band shell backdrop to its fullest during “Golden Age.”

It wasn’t just new material that rocked the final non-lease event of 2011 at the Hollywood Bowl. Had it not been for box mates who were rude and angry the entire night, my ass would have been up and dancing for songs like “Dancing Choose” and the eventual set closing “Wolf Like Me.” Punk, dance, world music and funk are just a few of the sounds that encompass the unique sounds of TV On The Radio. While the music truly moved me in more ways than one, it was the message front man Babatunde Omoroga “Tunde” Adebimpe shared during the song “Repetition” As if he was preaching from the pulpit; he stressed the importance of blocking out the darkness that can consume us with light. An important message that sometimes we all need a reminder of, Lord knows I sure did.

Leaving the Bowl on the bus back to Santa Monica, the proper words to describe TV on the Radio live simply were not there. I need to see this band again in a smaller venue with a crowd who truly appreciate what they are capable of bringing to the stage. A truly amazing way to close out what ended up being a rather solid night from some of the brightest rock and roll bands of the last five years.

Mastodon Announce 2011 North American Tour Dates

Mastodon Announce 2011 North American Tour Dates

With their new album The Hunter due to hit shelves at the end of this month, Mastodon have announced dates for a North American Headline tour. In addition to an appearance at the Voodoo Music Experneice in New Orleans on Saturday October 29th the band will be performing in most major markets during the five week run. Coming along for the tour will be Red Fang and Dillinger Escape Plan. You can check out the first single from Mastodon’s new album here. Dates for the trek can be found below.

Mastodon 2011 Tour Dates:
10/25 – Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
10/27 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgeralds
11/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern Theatre
11/02 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
11/03 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
11/05 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre
11/06 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
11/07 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
11/08 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
11/09 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
11/11 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
11/12 – Milwaukee, WI @ Rave Ballroom
11/13 – Sauget, IL @ Pop’s
11/14 – Kansas City, MO @ The Beaumont
11/16 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit
11/17 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
11/19 – New York City, NY @ Terminal 5
11/20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
11/21 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
11/23 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
11/25 – Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
11/26 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
11/27 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
11/28 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
11/29 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
12/01 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues

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