I kept it pretty low key last week, but here’s the live music I did see…
Saturday night we took the LA Zoo shuttle over to the Hollywood Bowl for the Sgt. Pepper’s…Revisited. You take the good, you take the bad, you take ‘em both and there you have the Hollywood Bowl. When you roll in kind of late (but still before the show starts), sometimes you get assholes who won’t budge from your seats. You start to get a pit in your stomach as you approach your row of bench seats and it looks completely full. Like “how the fuck are we going to fit in there.” We crammed into the row, politely asked people to move down (one side kindly obliged) and then sat cramped like a Tokyo subway to attempt to enjoy the show. I could barely nudge my elbows to get to the bag at my feet holding my sandwich and bottle of wine. To top it off, about every 15 minutes the brat behind me kicked the back of my seat for 15 or 20 seconds before his/her (couldn’t tell) parent stopped him/her.
But we eventually relaxed.
The orchestra came out. Then Cheap Trick came out. Then a series of singers joined them. There was Ian Ball from Gomez, Simone (daughter of Nina Simone), Rob Laufer (playing the part of George Harrison) and Billy Corgan. I can’t remember exactly what songs they did, but it was fun. Then the intermission and they did Sgt. Pepper’s in its entirety.
Just a couple of observations. As my girlfriend pointed out, Ian Ball did a nice job of harmonizing and holding some of the vocals together for Robin Zander (who’s getting up there). Simone took some of the songs a little too far in the soul direction (at least for the arrangements) and lost a lot of people when she pimped her website. [This should have been a fun night, not a career opportunity for Simone. Give people a little credit, if they want to track you down, they know how to use Google.] Billy Corgan did a pretty good job on his two songs. I mean, it sounded like Billy Corgan doing the Beatles, but that’s not all bad. The musical highlight of the night was when Laufer did “Within You Without You” backed by a group of Indian musicians. The guy that did the sitar solo was particularly good. All in all it was another fun night at the Bowl, despite the initial crowd irritants.
On Sunday I ventured over to Little Radio’s Summer Camp to see Radar Bros. Tim James from the Movies was at the console and the room sounded good. The guys sounded great, the Colt 45 was flowing and the vibe was laid back with some little kids kicking it in the loft, dangling their feet over the stage.
As soon as they finished I rushed over to the All Star Lanes for the debut of the Damselles & the TC 4. The band is a tribute to all those great girl groups from the early 1960s. Maria from Le Switch and Jillinda and Britney from I Make This Sound were upfront wearing matching pink dresses. Backing them was The TC 4 (the TC stands for Todd Clifford) or Seb and Ryan from Division Day, Joe from Le Switch and Sean from the Voyeurs. I’m not sure if it was a one-off for the special occasion of if the band plans on doing more performances, but it was a lot of fun (see some Youtube footage). Unfortunately I couldn’t stick around for all the other bands. I did manage to catch some of Marvelous Toy, who I enjoyed.
I was really looking forward to seeing Fleet Foxes again and I would not be denied. By the time we got there, the line around the corner was ridiculous. I haven’t seen that since the Elliott Smith days (or possibly Arctic Monkeys). After a long day in the hot sun downtown, then a trip to Eagle Rock and a margarita at dinner, I couldn’t really focus on the opener, The Dutchess and the Duke. On the other hand, Fleet Foxes were completely compelling. The harmonies sounded great, the crowd was respectful and the band was completely likable. Much like when I saw them at SXSW this year. Great stuff guys.