• DEVO @ Club Nokia 3/19/11

    20. Apr. 2011, 18:13

    After 3 Devo shows, I FINALLY have an energy dome! It's blue and shiny and made in the USA, apparently.

    This show was actually supposed to happen way back in November, but guitarist Bob Mothersbaugh sliced his thumb open to the bone (while trying to grab a glass of orange juice that dropped and shattered) so it was pushed back all the way to March. Even with a recovering guitarist, the band absolutely killed it! The mix was absolutely spectacular this time around (as opposed to the bassy, slightly muffled sound at the Hollywood Park show one year ago), and the band's performance was incredibly tight the whole way through (aside from an accidental keyboards-only false start on Planet Earth).

    DEVO usually has one setlist for an entire tour, so this one was no different than last year's show. They open with a mix of new songs from their most recent album Something For Everybody and a few songs from their lesser-known synth-pop albums New Traditionalists and Oh, No! It's Devo. From there they go onto the hits from their 3rd album Freedom of Choice, (a quintessential new wave recording, featuring Whip It) and then the second half of the setlist comprises of their earliest, most angular music, with an encore featuring Booji Boy, DEVO's devolved man-child mascot of sorts. All the songs are backed with very entertaining video backdrops as well.

    They also change costumes at various points in the show, going from their silver titanium thread suits from their new album to the energy domes from their 3rd album to the classic yellow suits before finally stripping down to t-shirts, shorts, and kneepads for the final part of the show. My friend even managed to catch a large chunk of the bassist's yellow suit when he tore it off and threw it into the crowd! I also caught one of the bouncy balls that Booji Boy threw (which I ended up losing later that night).

    It's a little more than obvious that lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh is getting a little fed up with playing in a band though. He sang fine enough, but his enthusiasm was nowhere near the levels of last year, and he hardly moved around at all, especially in comparison to bassist Jerry Casale, who seemed like the only one who was really into the show (and was also the only band member to talk to the crowd in between songs).

    The opening band was The Octopus Project, an electronic indie band featuring 3 guys and a girl who played a theremin, which was very neat to see on stage! Musically, it's a mostly instrumental blend of guitars and layers of various keyboards, synthesizers, and drum machines. Cute and sort of mesmerizing, but not terribly interesting.

    The crowd was a little less rowdy than the last time, but still energetic. I recognized quite a few people that I've previously met before at DEVO-related events, and it was a pretty standard crowd of mostly older people. The venue itself is also extremely nice, a part of a giant mall surrounding the Staples Center. The staff was so unorganized, however, that my friend and I unwittingly got into the VIP room before the show! It was a very nice dimly lit lounge with an open bar and plenty of comfortable-looking chairs and couches to sit in (none of which we sat in). We decided to not stick around after the show to see if we could get in after (though apparently they let anyone in with those bracelets we had).

    Excellent, excellent show. I can finally complete my DEVO costume now!
  • Faith No More @ Hollywood Palladium 11/30/10

    17. Dez. 2010, 13:06


    Even 2 years ago I never ever thought Faith No More would reunite. It totally took me by surprise when they announced their reunion in February of 2009 (unfortunately, this was around the same time that shitty-ass Blink 182 announced a reunion so everyone was busy gushing about that). As the months went on, FNM kept announcing more and more dates. But much to my dismay, they were pretty much everywhere except the US. The possibility of US dates was further hampered by interviews in which Mike Patton seemed a bit leery of touring the US. They finally announced US dates in March, but the only date anywhere near close to me was Coachella, and as a result, I feared that I'd passed up my only chance to see FNM.

    Later this year, I was buying a ticket to see Guided by Voices, when right after I'd done that, I went on facebook and discovered that FNM's page had posted that they would be playing at the Hollywood Palladium on November 30 (at this point my jaw dropped all over the floor)! I was so pissed and afraid that I was about to lose another chance to see them live. I ditched class as soon as I could to get tickets. One of my best decisions ever, imo.

    The opening band was The Creepy Creeps, a B-52's-style zombified surfy new wave band with a campy horror punk aesthetic. The band members wore scary skull masks and halloween-y costumes and the keyboardist had his own custom keyboard built into a coffin! They even had chick dancers dressed in lingerie dancing along to every single song they played! Definitely a fun band, but all their songs kinda sounded the same. Also, they covered Devo! I was not expecting them to hear them do a relatively obscure song like Red Eye, but it was a real nice surprise!

    Faith No More were absolutely amazing! Mike Patton is still a fantastic live performer, and the band still rocks just as hard as they did on record, playing some of their most well-loved songs (Midlife Crisis, From Out of Nowhere, Just a Man, Everything's Ruined), some covers (Easy, I Started a Joke, This Guy's in Love With You), and even lesser-known and totally unexpected songs (Cuckoo for Caca, Helpless, Spirit). They didn't play anything from their debut album though (unless you count We Care a Lot). They had a great sense of humor too, opening the set with a cover of Peaches & Herb's Reunited (with Roddy singing quite a bit of lines!), Mike singing Poker Face to the intro of Chinese Arithmetic, and the band playing Chariots of Fire as the intro to Stripsearch. Mike's stage patter was entertaining as always, at one point inviting the crowd to spit in his mouth (flecks of this landed on me)!

    The crowd was incredibly dense and there was no room to move if you weren't in the pit, much like at the Megadeth show I attended earlier this year. Unlike the Megadeth show, the crowd would settle down during slower numbers like Evidence, Easy, and I Started a Joke, providing a very nice respite from all the pushing and shoving and intense body heat. Really one of the great shows that I will remember for the rest of my life!

    ..................................................until 2 days later, when I found out that for the December 1 show the next day (which I did not attend), none other than Sparks joined FNM on stage to perform This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us.

  • Electric Six @ Key Club 10/22/10

    23. Okt. 2010, 11:09

    Fri 22 Oct – Electric Six

    The Key Club is a fancy-looking, vibrant club, a venue most befitting for Detroit's greatest export Electric Six. There were tons of good-looking girls, gay guys, and in general the kind of people you'd expect to see at a nice LA club.

    Openers were the Deathrow Romeos and The Constellations. The former pretty much just sounded like U2. Washes and layers of echoey guitar, anthemic chord sequences, and a guy oversinging all over it. Not bad, but not my style. The latter started off playing some passable hippie-ish uptempo rock music, but after the singer asked the audience if they like the blues, they instead launched into a horrendous modern r&b number and proceeded to turn into a Jamiroquai-style hipster white-boy funk/r&b band for the rest of their set (which seemed to go on forever!), complete with a cover of David Bowie's "Let's Dance" and a terrible oversynthesized cover of Tom Waits' "Step Right Up" with altered lyrics. The singer was absolutely insufferable, too wrapped up in his smarmy obnoxious hipster attitude to bother singing anything close to a decent melody (he can't rap either). The fat afro-haired white bassist in the adidas tracksuit was pretty funny though.

    Electric Six themselves were expectedly fantastic. 5 songs from their newest album Zodiac, 4 songs each from Fire and Señor Smoke, 2 songs each from I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being The Master and Flashy, and 1 song each from Switzerland and KILL. Dick Valentine was in good form, though he seemed to avoid his falsetto parts often. He was also pretty funny, going on and on about his drummer during band introductions and rejecting a tray of filled shot glasses brought up on stage, saying that "this would be really cool if we weren't 47." They all played and sounded great, though the other band members' mics were so low, you could barely hear them singing at all. This nearly sabotaged the chorus of The Rubberband Man, as it it driven by everyone singing backup.

    The crowd was great, with mosh pits breaking out during some songs. What with being in my yellow Devo suit, it got really really really really really hot and sweaty.

    So yeah, Electric Six are a brilliant, creative, and energetic rock band. Fun and dancey, but also hooky, hard-rocking and intelligent. Singer Dick Valentine also write some of the most hilarious, self-consciously over-the-top lyrics which are always highly entertaining, especially since they are always delivered in a badly affected "ROCK GOD MAN" voice. Formed in 1996 as The Wildbunch and having released a steady stream of albums almost yearly since 2003, they are are one of the most prolific and consistent rock bands today, and one of the very few active rock bands from recent times that have grabbed my attention. Their aesthetic absolutely begs to be seen in a live context and it is just as awesome.
  • Guided By Voices @ The Wiltern 10/4/10

    5. Okt. 2010, 8:55

    Mon 4 Oct – Guided by Voices, Times New Viking

    Damn......that was a great show.

    A month ago, I was fairly certain I wasn't gonna go to this, but the show I originally wanted tickets to sold out, so I chose to go to this one. I ended up going alone, but boy am I glad I went.

    So after 6 years of being broken up, Robert Pollard decides to reform Guided by Voices with the treasured Bee Thousand-era lineup (which had dissipated SIXTEEN years ago). They brought a whole tray of beers and a bottle of tequila onstage with them, and drank and smoked while playing onstage!. They were great however. Even in his old age, Bob Pollard still has an amazing, tuneful voice (and he still does those cock rock mic swinging karate-kick moves he used to do back in the 90's!). The other band members would let loose too, with bassist Greg Demos getting really close to the crowd with his guitar-face on and guitarist Mitch Mitchell high-fiving the front row every so often (including myself!)

    The majority of the songs played (somewhere around 40) were off of Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes (their two most popular albums) with a few off of Propeller, Under the Bushes Under the Stars, and a couple of their many EPs. Seeing as how a lot of these songs had their studio versions recorded on a shitty tape recorder, they came alive in concert like pretty much no other songs.

    The openers Times New Viking were a lot of fun! It was a guitarist, a drummer, and a lady with some strange, overdriven keyboard that kinda reminded me of the keyboard parts on Sister Ray or the thing Jack White plays in Icky Thump. Simple, but energetic indie noise-pop, and that keyboard sounded really neat! However, their studio stuff is really lo-fi to the point where it weakens their sound considerably, so just see them live.

    The crowd was surprisingly fantastic! I was expecting a crowd like the ones at the New Pornographers and Sonic Youth concerts I went to (i.e. boring and lifeless), but around Hot Freaks and afterwards, a small pit started going (which got very intense at times!). Sometimes it would grow larger, but it was always a lot of fun and not overly rough and dangerous like at a metal or punk show, cause this pit was full of particularly friendly and non-threatening people. And it's always awesome to be moshing to music that is not metal or punk!

    The absolute best part of the whole night was when they played Motor Away for the 1st encore, if I recall correctly. These two girls got up on stage and started singing along with Robert, then another guy came up, and within seconds everyone was climbing up on stage to sing along and dance (again, including myself!). I literally stood right in front of Robert as people were hugging and touching and singing along with him. That is by far the best thing I've ever gotten to do at a concert. The security eventually shooed everyone off the stage, but goddamn, that was like something out of a movie!!

    Absolutely, unexpectedly fantastic show.

  • DEVO @ Lopez Tonight (Stage 29, Warner Bros. studios) 9/15/10

    19. Sep. 2010, 10:18

    Wed 15 Sep – Lopez Tonight

    So it's Monday and I'm on facebook, and all of a sudden I see that DEVO's facebook page has posted something saying that Devo would be on George Lopez's talk show on Wednesday and that they were giving out free tickets! Being a loyal devotee, I simply could not resist, even though I didn't really have a ride there at all, cause I had class and my dad needed the car later. But soon everything worked out and I went (though I went alone)!

    I actually met up with some spuds who I had first seen at Mark Mothersbaugh's art gallery at some fancy LA clothes store on September 10th. We all sat right next to each other and it was really cool! Some comedian dude who would entertain the audience before taping and during the breaks threw his juggling pins at me and I had to throw them back at him while he berated me for my shitty throws! And I danced with him!

    I ended up sitting in the very front row! Like, 2 feet away from the stage itself! So I got to see George Lopez doing his shitty jokes really close to me! The warm-up comedian guy was much funnier, though he was really sexist and racist. I'm surprised he didn't get sued for what he pulled off.

    DEVO only played two songs (What We Do and Whip It) but they totally rocked the studio like a magikist. And I was like right in front of them so it ruled even harder. While they were standing there waiting for the show to start taping again, I waved to Bob 1 and he smiled back kinda uneasily at me. I think I creeped him out!

    All in all, that was really really entertaining.

  • The New Pornographers @ Henry Fonda Theatre 7/19/10

    20. Jul. 2010, 12:57

    When The New Pornographers tour, they are usually missing Dan Bejar and Neko Case because they themselves have other commitments to be fulfilled, but both were present at this particular show, and we are extremely lucky for it!

    Openers were Imaad Wasif and The Dodos. The former was a ridiculously skinny Indian man with white clothing and his backing band, which included a violinist. They played midtempo indie rock music, sounding at time, breezy, hopeful, melancholy, and angry. A bit standard, but pretty good, and the violin was a nice touch. The latter featured a guitarist and TWO drummers (one of which is also the xylophonist!). Their songs were built around tribal, hypnotizing drumbeats and the guy's guitar playing, with the xylophone contributing incidental coloring to the vocal melodies. The xylophonist/drummer would switch off between instruments in the same song, sometimes joining the primary drummer and other times accompanying the singer on xylophone, and he got some really eerie noises out of it using a violin bow. Some of the rhythms the two drummers were created were very cool and mesmerizing. Not something I'd go out of my to listen to, but definitely an interesting and idiosyncratic approach to making music!

    The New Pornographers opened with Sing Me Spanish Techno and proceeded to perform a near-flawless setlist (unfortunately they played Myriad Harbour, easily my least favorite NP song). The band members were in fine form, with the singers' voices remaining as pretty and in-tune as they are on record. Dan Bejar looked completely out of it the whole way through, being mostly offstage except to sing his songs and play guitar. His hair was an absolute frizzy mess, he was drinking on stage, and he looked pissed off and like he did not want to be there at all. If he was on stage and was not singing, he'd have his back facing the audience the entire time. I'm amazed at all that he actually managed a great performance, save for a brief slip-up in Jackie. The occasional stage banter between A.C. Newman and Neko was also entertaining. All in all, an impressive showing, considering that they were able to pull of those amazing harmonies LIVE!

    Pretty nondescript crowd. Oh well.
  • DEVO @ Hollywood Park 7/1/10

    2. Jul. 2010, 9:35

    Thu 1 Jul – Devo

    Not sure why Devo would be playing at a horseracing track in one of the most ghetto cities in California, but there they were and it was FANTASTIC! The merch stand was sold out of energy domes though :(. Oh well........... someday I'll get my hands on one.

    After walking around a bit and seeing the horses, I decided to go to the stage and wait until it was time for the concert to start. Red and blue domes everywhere! The crowd was made up of young and old spuds (and ones in between), which leads me to believe that even before this new album and marketing campaign, DEVO have succeeded in appealing to everybody.

    The selist (found here: http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/devo/2010/hollywood-park-inglewood-ca-63d406bf.html) was identical to the one at Coachella, though they performed Freedom of Choice and Beautiful World for the encore this time. They played beautifully and energetically, though Bob 1's guitar was a bit low in the mix. Even Peek-A-Boo! sounded great, and that song sucks! And just like the Olympics performance, Booji Boy came out to sing Beautiful World. I'm not a fan of them doing this, as I'd rather hear Jerry sing the whole thing himself, but it was entertaining anyway. They dragged it on for a while, doing a couple false endings and even playing the original, non-mutated Satisfaction riff near the end!

    The crowd was great! A mix of old fans who kinda just stood there and bobbed their heads and young spuds who were totally drunk, high, or both! There was even a pit at times! Six or seven of them were fighting over a piece from one of the radiation suits!

    I definitely will see them again if I can, even if they play the exact same setlist (which is what they appear to be doing for every show). They look great in their shiny new suits and masks, and they are just so much fun! I even got real close to Mark during the monkey chattering part of Jocko Homo! I'm really grateful that we got an encore too, cause I assumed it'd be like Coachella and I started making my way out of the crowd after Gates of Steel. I didn't get too far before the intro to Freedom of Choice though (which included a brappy synth rendition of the Star Spangled Banner!)

    All of this for $7. BOO-YAH
  • Megadeth, Testament, & Exodus @ Hollywood Palladium 3/31/10

    1. Apr. 2010, 9:38

    Wed 31 Mar – Megadeth 'Rust In Peace' 20th Anniversary Tour

    My first metal show!

    And it was most definitely the the most intense show I've been to yet (not *favorite*, mind you, but still up there). I'd been at the front of crowds where everyone gets squeezed up against one another, but never before did I feel like I was actually getting my bones crushed into little tiny bones like at this show.

    All three bands were fantastic. Admittedly, I'm not too familiar with Exodus' stuff, but Testament played all of their debut album The Legacy. Megadeth opened with Skin O' My Teeth, In My Darkest Hour and She-Wolf, then began playing Rust In Peace in its entirety. What a great album. The encores were Trust, new songs The Right To Go Insane and Head Crusher, Symphony of Destruction, and Peace Sells. They then reprised the last part of Holy Wars to close the show for good.

    A few things to note:

    Dave Mustaine and co., in total metal fashion, wore nice dress shirts during their performance.

    People did the little devil hand sign in the air after literally every song.

    Everyone kept losing shoes.

    There were like three separate pits scattered amongst the entire crowd.

    The smell of marijuana permeated the entire concert floor. Why would anyone would want to be high at a metal show?

    $35 for a shirt?!?! Fuck you, Megadeth's merch guys.

    Some dude had little tiny bottles of vodka that he kept drinking and offered me a bit of one. Yay.

    Apparently this particular show was being FILMED for a concert DVD! I hope Exodus' performance makes it on there cause that's the only time I looked into the camera

    In conclusion, I am so SO very glad I remembered to bring earplugs. It's nice coming back from a show and not having everything sound like ass cause my ears are ringing. Through I probably looked like an idiot that was mouthing all the lyrics cause I was singing so quietly. All in all, great show, great music, and long-haired drunken people waving their hair in my face. I hope to see Megadeth next time when they tour for the 20th anniversary of Risk.

    (if anyone was there, I was the guy with the Faith No More shirt)
  • Bad Religion @ House of Blues Anaheim 3/18/10

    19. Mär. 2010, 8:00

    Thu 18 Mar – Bad Religion

    So this was my 3rd Bad Religion show. It was typically excellent and sweaty, as Bad Religion shows tend to be.

    Openers were Evacuate and D.I.
    The former band were okay, nothing special. I almost caught the drummer's drumstick!
    D.I. were great! The singer appeared to be drunk, engaging in much entertaining stage patter and even pointed out his "homosexual nephew" in the audience. They even played covers of Amoeba and Richard Hung Himself, from drummer Casey Royer's old band the Adolescents.

    Of the three times I've seen Bad Religion, this show by far had the best setlist. Not favoring any one era over the other, it instead featured a nice even mix of old and new stuff, touching on almost all their albums (Still no tracks from The New America, No Substance, or (heh) Into the Unknown though). Some unexpected and absolutely fantastic song choices (The Handshake! Them and Us! Pessimistic Lines! Man With a Mission!), a couple new songs (electric version of Won't Somebody and Black Sabbathy-intro-leading-into-typical Bad Religion song Resist-Stance) and the obvious crowd favorites (Infected, Sorrow, Los Angeles Is Burning, American Jesus)

    Some guy kept shouting at them to play No Substance. Now that would have been hilarious.
  • The Residents @ Henry Fonda Theatre 1/30/10

    31. Jan. 2010, 10:30

    Sat 30 Jan – The Residents

    One of my most anticipated shows ever. I'd feared that I'd never get a chance to see The Residents after missing the Bunny Boy tour, but I guess nothing can keep those Residents down for too long, seeing as how they've been releasing ungodly amounts of material since the start of their career and touring consistently since the 80's.

    No opening act! Understandable, since I guess they would need the time to set up the stage and stuff. While waiting, we were noticed by a fellow concertgoer and we began conversation. Turns out he's only the biggest Residents fan ever, having been a fan since 1977, seeing them live a bunch of times, meeting Homer Flynn, visiting their offices, and owning pretty much every single Residents release ever. I was quite impressed. Anything I named, he owned it. We talked for a good half hour and he seemed quite taken with the fact that these teenagers came all the way from Orange County to see the Residents, even though I was really the only person out of my friends that likes them.

    The entire show was done with the stage set up like a living room, the Residents' singer dressed as some crazy old man ("Randy"), and a guitarist and some guy playing what appeared to be everything else in the form of a keyboard sequencer thing, both wearing sparkly black costumes with a bunch of wires coming out of their heads.

    I'm not too clear on the overriding theme of the "Talking Light" tour, but it is explained here: http://residents.com/historical/page2/page353/page353.html. Make of that what you will. The performance consisted of footage of various characters telling harrowing stories set to music, involving such things as a baby encased in a fire that didn't hurt the baby but burned the mother's hand when she tried to pull him out, a man who keeps dreaming about a murderer who stuffed his victims' mouths with pudding roll-ups, and a woman who had a twin sister that no one could see but her. The singer would often counter with little refrains relating to the story in between each character's passages. These stories were interspersed with little monologues by Randy about things like mirror people and a ball full of bugs and the head of a train conductor. They also played radically reworked versions of classic Residents songs like Demons Dance Alone, Six More Miles (To The Graveyard), Semolina, My Window, and Bury Me Not in between the story pieces. A pleasant surprise, as I was honestly not expecting them to play any old songs at all.

    Musically, it went back and forth between the usual strange late-period Residents sound with lots of keyboards and sequencing and thundering, more guitar-heavy stuff. At times beautiful, other times disturbing and ugly, but always excellent.
    It seemed like most of the music was pre-programmed by the guy who wasn't the guitarist ("Chuck"), but the guitarist ("Bob", who suspiciously sounds a lot like Nolan Cook) had a fantastic guitar tone that was fit for either quiet moments in the music when the story was being told, or for when they played more loud, intense material. I dunno if they had a bassist somewhere out of sight, but damn was the bass loud during the more intense songs!

    Very calm crowd, appropriate for a band like this. Almost no movement at all, with the exception of this one guy who kept trying to awkwardly bob his head to every single song (even the slow ones!).

    Fantastic show, very well executed and performed. The "ghost" stories were very disturbing and creepy, and the reworkings of past songs mixed in provided a welcome contrast to the themed stuff. The Residents' singer is a very charismatic, entertaining performer, and it was a real treat to see him in action live. After all these years, he's developed quite the acting ability.

    Goddamn were my back and legs killing me after though. I must have been standing for 2 hours straight.

    Also, I finally found a setlist:

    Intro - I'd Like to Teach the World To Sing

    Demons Dance Alone
    Band Intro (Spoken)
    Talking Light (Story)
    Six More Miles (to the Graveyard)
    I Believe In Ghosts (Story)
    They Are the Meat
    The Mirror People - Part 1 (Story)
    Pudding In Disguise (Story)
    My Window
    Death In Barstow
    The Mirror People - Part 2 (Story)
    The Unseen Sister (Story)
    The Mirror People - Part 3 (Story)
    The Old Woman

    Bury Me Not

    Outro - I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing (Instrumental)