For years I have been trying to see The Dandy Warhols live. I have a few albums, some I like, and some make me wonder what the fuck I am listening to. Yet I just knew I had to catch the band live. That finally happened on the last Friday in April during the year of our Lord 2014. Nic Adler and The Roxy decided it was time the Sunset Strip was no longer a shadow of its former self and are finally bringing bands worth a lick to West Hollywood. With two sold out nights, I finally got to catch the four piece that made Portland cool long before Fred and Carrie.
The night began with a set from the long running Los Angeles based band The Warlocks. While nothing groundbreaking, the band has an undeniable, almost hypnotic presence. Featuring an extremely tight rhythm section backing a three guitar attack, The Warlocks ooze distortion and create massive waves of sound. I couldn’t name a single song during the 40 minute set, but I was impressed enough to buy some vinyl on the way out.
It was shortly after 10pm when The Dandy Warhols took the stage. With a new live album to support, the band spent 90 minutes serenading the crowd with selections spanning their career. Once front man Courtney Taylor-Taylor fixed an issue with his microphone shocking him, the band ripped through crowd pleasers like We Used To Be Friends, Sad Vacation and Get Off.
With three of the four members rocking vintage rock and roll t-shirts (Taylor-Taylor made sure to mention to the crowd how awesome his Guns ‘n’ Roses t-shirt was) the crowd shouted for requests. While a certain AC/DC cover was ignored, many up front were delighted for Minnesoter towards the end of the set.
With the first night at the Roxy being night three of this current run across the continent, The Dandy Warhols sounded tight and looked confident upon a stage in a venue that was far too small for them. A great gig indeed, hopefully it won’t take me another 20 years to catch them again.
Initial Artists Announced For The 2012 Sunset Strip Music Festival
The Sunset Strip Music Festival is set to return to the streets of West Hollywood on August 16-18th 2012.
The 2012 Honoree will be Sunset Blvd legends The Doors. The festival will also feature its annual outdoor concert smack dab in the middle of the Sunset Strip. Below is the entire lineup as of June 28th 2012.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 16
SSMF Celebrates The Doors at House of Blues Sunset Strip
The Roxy Theatre
The Black Marquee
Diamonds Under Fire
Whisky A Go-Go
Jack Russell’s Great White
Pretty Boy Floyd
The Hard Way
Everyday Feels Like Sunday
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17
House of Blues
Hank III + special guests
RZA with full band
Viper Room (early show)
Viper Room (late show)
Little Miss Nasty
Whisky A Go-Go
Teddy Campbell Band
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18
Outdoor street festival stages
Black Label Society
Far East Movement
De La Soul
The Roxy Theatre
Street Drum Corps
Burning Of Rome
Caught A Ghost
Love And A .38
The Stone Foxes
The Knife Outline
Dim Mak after party with surprise performances
Whisky A Go-Go
Cold Blue Rebels
Brandon and Leah
98-7fm’s “Close to Home” Roxy Lot Stage
Family Of The Year
The Vim Dicta
Jared James Nichols
Saturday, August 18 AFTER STREET FEST (separate tickets required for entrance):
Viper Room (doors at 10 p.m.)
House of Blues
Subhuman Tour (featuring Diesel Boy / Bare – dubstep DJ event)
Additional artists rocking both outside and inside the various clubs that make up the Sunset Strip will be announced at a later date. Tickets for the festival are on sale now and you can click here to purchase.
As of press time we can only start the rumor that Jim Morrison’s Hologram will make an appearance at some point during the weekend.
With thoughts of Tyler in a Paper Dress dancing in my mind, I knew it was going to be a good night when I entered the Roxy as Club Foot by Kasabian played over the sound system. I hit the bar and filled my cargo short pockets with cans of Does Equis before grabbing myself a spot right up against the stage. As soon as I cracked open the first can the curtain went up and we were underway as Los Angeles locals Blank Faces kicked into an explosive 30 minute set.
From the fiery number The Adolescent to the softer set closing Don’t Need You Around I was intrigued by the conflicting styles of guitarist/vocalist Kemble Walters and bassist Adam D’Zurilla. Walters looks like Urge Overkill, sounds like Catherine Wheel and from what I gather is steering this hard rocking vessel. D’Zurilla (who admitted that he drank one too many Red Bulls on numerous occasions) oozes post hardcore pre screamo machismo. It should be noted that while Walters place it cool D’Zurilla is a one man circle pit. While one could read those descriptions and could imagine a train wreck. Yet much like Chicken and Waffles these two opposites come together and the end result is straight up delicious.
A prime example of these mixtures of flavor was the song Cannibal. D’Zurilla’s thunderous bass paired with the drumming of Dicki Fliszar does not just support the fuzz drunk riffs of Walters as much as it serves as a massive injection of steroids. The band also showed that they like to have fun. When not covering Tom Petty’s Out In The Cold, D’Zurilla was updating the crowd on the Dodgers score (which then lead to a lil Giants/Dodgers trash talk between the two of us). Blank Faces made thirty minutes pass far too quickly and were the perfect band to start off the night.
I’ll admit I was bummed when I realized that the Toadies/Helmet co-headline tour was not coming to Los Angeles. That sorrow quickly went away when I realized USELESS KEYS would be opening for the Texas natives. Having first seen the band at the Roxy nearly three years ago we don’t hide our love for these Los Angeles locals. On this particular Saturday night I saw a new level of confidence in the band I had not seen before. Perhaps it was the return of bassist Guylaine Vivarat but the four piece really sounded as if they had been on the road as long as the headliner.
Opening with the hypnotic Sea Bells, the group had no problem winning over crowd that grew slowly but never to capacity. With only thirty minutes to work with the set consisted of mostly newer material. Taking a page out of the Phish playbook, Sea Bells segued perfectly into Verde Mann. I was shocked when the group placed White Noise in the middle set. The usual closer for the band this was one of the many examples of confidence shown over the course of the set. Further confidence was found in the fantastic new song End of Sleep Cycle. Guitarist/Vocalist Michael Bauer lays down some intense fret work over a thunderous wall of distortion. I really need to hear this one again (and again and again and again). Brighter Places confirmed that the USELESS KEYS had no doubt won over the Toadies fan base as fans jumped up and down to the final song of the set. I never get tired of watching this band win fans over and this particular set was without a doubt one of the best I have seen this band play.
The night took a peculiar and unpleasant turn as road crews prepped the stage for the Toadies. Shortly before the main event was underway a hideous creature stinking of menthol cigarettes and prominently displaying particles of dinner in her teeth decided to crash into the front row. Making things worse she decided that I was going to be her drunken hookup. After a dreadful conversation I assumed I was saved by the Toadies taking the stage with a rocking 1-2 punch of Heel and I Come From The Water but that sadly was the not the case. I had to stomp on her toes and shove her off of me as I tried to enjoy the show. The third song Keep That Hand Away felt rather appropriate as I had to fight off this disgusting land beast and her un-wanted wandering hands.
It was not just me having issues with this behemoth and her surprisingly attractive and equally inebriated friend. The duo were so gone they had no idea that they were moving the monitors around and nearly spilling drinks into guitarists Clark Vogerler’s pedal board. Thankfully the security team at the Roxy came to our rescue and removed the vermin from the front of the stage.
Able to finally focus on the music, the Toadies played an exciting set that covered their lengthy career while giving fans a sneak peak of what the future holds. It’s no surprise that fans react best to songs from their 1994 breakout album Rubberneck. Songs like Happy Face and Away got the crowd dancing early on. While it never found its way onto Rubberneck, one of my favorites from that era is Paper Dress and I beyond excited that the band is still playing it in 2012.
With a new album titled PLAY.ROCK.MUSIC set for release on July 31st the band found time to sneak four new songs into the set. Early on the crowd was treated to the bass heavy first single Summer of the Strange. Later in the night guitarist/vocalist Todd Lewis wanted our opinion on what he described as the “slower” Beside You. In my humble opinion it was the best of the four new songs played upon the Sunset Strip on a Saturday night.
It was around the time that Lewis joked that the band had been on tour forever that I was taking note and just how tight the Toadies sounded. The harder they brought it, the more the now sweat soaked crowd returned the energy right back to the band. Backslider, Song I Hate, and a cover of the Reverend Horton Heat rocker 400 Bucks all kept the crowd moving (and not to mention drinking). The set finally closed with the group’s biggest commercial hit Possum Kingdom. While many no doubt love this one for obvious reasons, for me it’s all about watching Vogerler create that fat wall of feedback only to twist and manipulate it with his guitars Floyd Rose bridge. Standing just a few feet as he makes those amps hum is pretty flipping awesome.
After what was quite possibly the shortest encore break in history, the band blessed us with another four songs. After kicking thing off with Hell In High Water the band played what I feel is their biggest hit. Sure you may not hear it on the FM dial during 90’s weekend, but ask any Toadies fan what the band’s best song is and chances are they will tell you Tyler. To stand front row and watch as Lewis belt out the song’s creepy bridge of breaking and entering and beer pouring is something I have waited nearly sixteen years to experience again. The show eventually wrapped with a percussion heavy take on I Burn and the final new song of the evening Rattler’s Revival.
I knew I would get a great rock show but this particular evening on Sunset Blvd far exceeded my expectations. With playoff games at Staples and flying pigs at the Coliseum it was no doubt the right place to be in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
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.
Smashing Pumpkins to Headline 2010 Sunset Strip Music Festival
According to our pals over at The Roxy Theatre – Smashing Pumpkins (aka Billy Corgan and a bunch of fools you have never heard of) are scheduled to headline the 2010 Sunset Strip Music Festival.
ALL tickets (Street Fest GA – $49.50, Street Fest VIP – $100, and 3-Day VIP – $250) will go on sale this Thursday, June 17 at 10 am through Ticketmaster and SSMF.com. A portion of every ticket sold to benefit Los Angeles Youth Network.
The Black Dahlia Murder (w/ HateSphere, Augury & Obscura) 03/06/10
The Roxy Theatre – West Hollywood, CA
Words/Videos/Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com
After two weeks of non-stop action up the coast in Vancouver, the close of the 2010 Winter Olympics has sent me into a downward spiral of depression. No longer can I turn on the television and watch global goliaths face off in events like Curling and Ice Dancing. Gone were underage girls drinking and smoking cigars, a Ginger on a snowboard and that ice-skater guy on LSD. For those like myself, hopelessly addicted to friendly yet fierce international competition, this week has not been kind. Thankfully, the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, CA understood the post Olympics withdrawals and helped ease the pain with a four-nation demolition derby of death metal. With heavy wind and rain splashing down upon the Sunset Strip, hundreds of fans waited in line for hours to get into the sold-out event. Featuring a triumphant return to the historic venue by headliners The Black Dahlia Murder, the melodic metal band handpicked three international acts to show their skills off to an eager stateside audience. With all three support acts unknown to me, I found myself with an opportunity to experience new music from exotic lands before one more round with Waterford Michigan’s best metal band.
As fans wrung out their wet clothes in the venue’s restroom, HateSphere took to the stage. Right out of the gate, the five-piece Danish act commanded the attention of the 60-70 fans in front of the stage. As many more rushed in, the band belted out a quick and energetic set, filled with groove-heavy trash/death metal. The riffs, while heavy, were rich with melody, instantly setting them apart in my mind from countless other opening bands I have seen over the years. Front man Morten “Kruge” Madsen (a recent addition to the group after the departure of Jonathan “Joller” Albrechtsen) did an outstanding job of getting the crowd worked up into a frenzy as guitarists Jakob Nyholm & Peter “Pepe” Lyse Hansen chugged along in unison behind him. Towards the end of the brief opening set, a circle pit formed as cold and wet fans bashed and banged into each other, signaling their approval. As my drink flew out of my hand from a wet mosher crashing into me, I didn’t even have time to mind. With it being the final few moments of their first show in the great state of California (The band is touring North America for the first time), I was going to enjoy every second instead of crying over spilt Red Bull and Vodka.
Hailing from Montreal, Augury was a perfect mix of random geeky band traits that I adore.
Hilarious Stage Banter – Check
Appreciation of Conspiracy Theories – Check
Crazy & Random Momentum Changes That Catch You Off Guard and Take You Places You Never Planned on Going – Check
Augury simply blew me away. Much like HateSphere, the four-piece band was playing with new members. I am unsure of who was playing bass before, but it’s hard to imagine it getting much better than fill-in, Christian Pacaud. This man is a monster who effortlessly lays gargantuan riffsdown upon his 6 string bass. In between heavy, technically progressive riffs and growling vocals, Patrick Loisel cracked jokes with the now over-capacity crowd. With a set that drew heavily from their recent release, Fragmentary Evidence, the band had the crowd right where they wanted them the entire time. Of the three opening acts, there is no doubt that Augury easily won the gold.
All the way from Munich Germany, Obscura took to the stage just after 10pm. Hitting the crowd hard with their relentless jackhammering riffs, while not terrible, I know I failed to connect with the band and it seemed as if other members of the audience felt the same. While decent, the songs lacked emotion and failed to make a lasting impression on me. Perhaps that is what some search for, but not I. At one point towards the end of their set, guitarist and lead vocalist, Steffen Kummerer, did his best to get the audience involved questioning if the American metal scene was still alive. It fell upon deaf ears as a majority of the crowd was ready for the main event. This was further proved by the loud chants for the headliner after Obscura had left the stage.
The Black Dahlia Murder (USA)
At 11:00pm sharp, the curtain rose for the final time to reveal the evening’s main attraction — The Black Dahlia Murder. Having rocked the same room for free two months earlier, the five-piece band returned to a hero’s welcome as they opened their headlining set with the song “Funeral Thirst.” Passing out high fives to rowdy fans, vocalist Trevor Strnad paced back and forth across the front of the stage, screaming bloody hell into his microphone. Over the next hour, the band played a brutal set of metal that spanned their four Metal Blade releases. One of the best things about the live Black Dahlia Murder experience is that the crowd goes off no matter what. It does not matter if the five-piece is destroying the stage with a classic like “Statutory Ape” or a new song like “Black Valor” (from the band’s most recent release Deflorate); the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd is exactly the same.
After dedicating the number to all the drinkers, the band launched into an intense version of “I’m Charming” that saw the pit swell so large it became impossible for security to keep the mob from overflowing into the fire aisles. While “What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse” gave the bloodsuckers in the crowd their chance to go off, I was more enthralled by new guitarist Ryan Knight. In the two short months since I last saw the band, he seems so much more comfortable on the stage and within the music. Hell he outright owned songs like “A Vulgar Picture” and “Miasma.”Really, the entire band owned the entire night, which is the reason I keep coming back for more. While intense, The Black Dahlia Murder shows have a wild and crazy edge that makes them feel more like a large house party than a concert. The bands fun loving energy is contagious and it is fucking impossible to not have a great time with them.
Hours after the band had made themselves accessible to fans, standing in the crowd during the sets by HateSphere and Augury, the show came to an end. While closing with a new song can often kill the momentum of an otherwise great set, this is not the case when you are the Black Dahlia Murder. Skipping an encore, the band gave the beyond capacity crowd one last chance to go nuts with “I Will Return.” An appropriate title, as it completely sums up how I feel after every single show I see these guys play. As long as they keep performing, I will keep coming back to see the most exciting band in melodic death metal. Here is to hoping that The Black Dahlia Murder won’t keep Southern California waiting too long for a rowdy round three within the legendary walls of The Roxy.
A few years before I was the concert confessing cubical warrior who hangs at Hollywood hotspots with Tom Morello and that dude who gets paid to beat the snot out of people, I drove various video tapes around in a highly decorated Scion XB. While there were many terrible things about making $9.00 to deliver digital betacam’s with Judge Judy episodes or Lexus commercials, there were some experiences that I truly miss. While many aspects of the Scions we got were stripped down, my boss made sure to get the good CD player/speakers. I often was expected to drive like a maniac (some execs often confuse video tapes with hearts in coolers going to transplant patients) and I can’t tell you how many rush hours Miasma by The Black Dahlia Murder helped me survive. Having seen the Waterford, Michigan melodic metallers a few times in the past, I had high hopes to catch them in support of their most recent record – Deflorate. I am sure you can imagine my excitement when my former road rage machine maker Scion brought the band to The Roxy in West Hollywood, CA for free.
Oddly enough, I actually had more fun waiting for the show than inside the show. I hit the sidewalk with fellow concert confessions user God Frank around 6:45pm, and found the line to already be rather long. In the 105 minutes that we waited in line, we watched some kids (who were cool enough to go buy us beer without us even asking) pay a 53 year old homeless man $15 to have a dance off with them. For those interested in the results, the cash heavy early had better overall moves, but dragon breath at 30+ years older busted some serious split. I was personally invited to participate in group sex act with 15 year olds boys, and when I looked to the father who was the chaperone for the night, he just smiled and seemed real proud of his flock of braces, acne and hated of the Raiders nation. Perhaps most important we discovered the first known North American MexiMetalMullet wook #17 as he walked up and down Sunset Blvd no less than 38 times. Sometimes the soul just needs laughter and on the first Thursday night in December, we were blessed with some very awesome temporary friends.
With a very slow entrance process into the venue being the worst part of the night, we ended up being some of the very last people allowed into the venue. Having already missed the opening band Revocation, we didn’t even have time to use the restroom and grab a drink before The Black Dahlia Murder hit the stage. As the curtain went up with a wall of feedback, the club erupted into pure chaos. With no guard rail, the very young crowd charged from the circle pit onto the stage, looking to jump back into a sea of their peers.
The band used its 42 minute headline set to pack fan favorites in with a few choice new songs. When fronmtman Trevor Strnad was not encouraging the crowd to get naked with him, he controlled the all ages crowd with a steady mix of screams and over-exaggerated hand motions. While the uneducated ear may pass it off simply as screaming, Strnad’s vocal range is rather remarkable. He made sure to show it off during songs like “Black Valor” and “A Vulgar Picture” hitting high shrieks and thunderously low growls. With more than one stage diver offering the Wayne/Garth “We’re not worthy” bow down to drummer Shannon Lucas, it was guitarist Brian Eschbach who protected them by getting into multiple fight with the one security guard who tried to stop the onslaught of fans upon the stage.
Really, at 42 minutes, the show was over before I felt the band had even really got started. To be fair, it was free, and the band needed to get to LAX to catch a flight to South America. It’s just that knowing what these guys can do upon the stage it wasn’t enough. Being one of the last ones in, I was on the opposite side of their new lead axe slinger Ryan Knight, which prevented me from watching him only improve an already technically solid musical machine. All the more reason I will do my best to check them out the next time they come through LA I suppose. So as the curtain came down before the band hardly had time to break a sweat, we hit the strip once again, this time meeting up with some real friends. As I clutched my free pair of Scion socks, I realized that with a few small changes, Scion has a pretty cool thing going here, let’s hope we will be fortunate enough to get plenty of free metal from the auto maker in 2010.