The people of Orange County, California showed up to see This Charming Man, Johnny Marr and his band play and the Anaheim House of Blues. The show did not start without a hitch, unfortunately the House Of Blues had audio issues and the show started about thirty minutes late. The crowd stayed cool and calm only chatting Johnny's name every now and then. Once things were cleared Marr and his band came out focused and determined to give the fans what they wanted. Johnny. Fuckin. Marr.
There is a method to the madness for the opening half of St. Vincent’s set. Like many shows on the Fear the Future tour, Annie Clark, known as St. Vincent, began her sold-out show stage right with her signature guitar in hand playing “Marry Me” from her first album of the same name. The curtain barely open, revealed roughly fifteen percent of the stage. The song ends, the lights go out, the curtain opens a bit wider revealing St. Vincent a tad further upstage, further to her left, and holding a differently colored signature guitar. This pattern repeated for six songs as she worked through the songs chronologically in the order they were written from the albums Marry Me, Actor, and Strange Mercy.
U2 came out to Los Angeles and rocked the Rose Bowl, playing their 1987 album Joshua Tree in full. From the moment you walked into the venue you knew you were going to be in for something spectacular, You were greeted by a huge 8K resolution, 200 ft x 45 ft cinematic screen made up of 1,040 led light panels. The thing was insanely massive and displayed some of the most clear images of Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn, the original photographer of the Joshua Tree album, with imagery of the Joshua Tree valley.
It was Halloween weekend and some of the freaks and ghouls came out to see the Pet Shop Boys at the Microsoft Theater, Saturday night. I ran into Jareth (aka David Bowie from Labyrinth), a man dressed in a green suit from head to toe, and when asked what he was he just said: “I am myself.” Unfortunately, Microsoft Theater would not let him in the venue as himself because his face was covered by a green suit, but he fixed it and he was let in, along with every other cosplayer.
With Desert Trip steaming its way to Indio for yet another weekend of bucket-list performances, it’s time we share with you the best and worst from Desert Trip 2016. If you’re headed to Desert Trip this weekend, check out our pro tips below, as well as our favorite performances in order from most favorite to least favorite. All in all, Desert Trip was an experience of a lifetime. I’d say it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it’s happening again this weekend!
The stage at the Observatory in Orange County was dark and the backdrop displayed a distorted bunny(man) as the iconic Echo and the Bunnymen made their entrance. As Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant walked on stage, the crowd roared with excitemet. Echo and the Bunnymen were just now kicking off their North American tour, and they made their appearance cooler than ever.
On Saturday night, Peter Hook, the former bassist of two iconic bands (Joy Division and New Order) came out to Los Angeles with his band The Light to perform tracks off both Joy Division’s and New Order’s versions of the album Substance in its entirety. The show was packed with thirty-one amazing songs that spanned about four decades worth of music.
It was a bit of a debacle. Performing the songs of Joy Division, Moving Units were supposed to perform two sets at The Echo this past Sunday night at Part Time Punks. But with such a high demand, the shows were merged into one performance at the Echoplex, a much bigger venue than the intimate Echo. Doors were supposed to open at 9 p.m. but did not open till past 9:30 p.m. Many people in line were confused about what was going on and kept asking if this show was going to be for both sets.
Juliette Lewis came out and rocked the Fonda Theatre last Thursday night. Clad in skin tight black leggings, white stiletto boots, and a funky white top with shoulder pads made of feathers — Lewis made her flavorful presence known. No longer touring with The Licks, Lewis was now rolling solo as “Juliette Lewis” (and a backing band).
Promoting peace and togetherness, The Art of Rap Festival streamed through the Hollywood Palladium for a night fresh beats, rhymes and unity.
The young and old punk rockers of Orange County came out to The Observatory this past weekend to celebrate end enjoy forty years of Buzzcocks music. The Buzzcocks rolled out an amazing performance playing some of their iconic punk anthems such as “What do I Get”, “Ever Fallen in Love”, and “Orgasm Addict” — along with some of their newer songs.
X rocked the Roxy on Thursday with their first of four X-mas shows at the Hollywood venue. Mike Watt and the Secondmen opened with a set list fit more for a co-headliner than an opening act. After over an hour of Watt’s driving bass and high energy songs, the crowd was warmed up and ready for X.
Upon walking into Deap Vally’s “Royal Jelly” video release party, it was immediately evident that Basic Flowers wasn’t a typical venue but more a quirky art gallery. Two rooms with walls covered in book pages and cloth were surrounded by ephemera, books, and obsolete electronics that lead to a larger room with the microphones and instruments expected at a rock show. After a bit of mingling in the antechambers, the majority of the crowd wisely followed their ears to the driving beat and ethereal voice and guitars of opening act, Liphemra.
The traffic this past Friday night did not help BACARDÍ’s Untameable Artist Series, where there was going to be a special performance by hip hop artist, Future. The 101 was closed off and the streets were jammed, it took me nearly an hour to get to the shuttle stop where I would be then taken to the famed Harry Houdini mansion. The moment I found out that I would be shooting this show I was wondering just what it would be like to go into the estate of Harry Houdini.
Punk’s not dead! That is a true statement because there were about 22,000 of them standing, walking, moshing, and surfing crowds in the sweltering, heat this past Saturday at San Manuel Amphitheater for It’s Not Dead Fest.
Last Saturday the curtain raised at The Roxy in West Hollywood and there stood Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus strumming his guitar to a slow rhythm, wearing a Titus Andronicus logo-ed shirt that consisted of an anarchy symbol. He spoke to the crowd and wanted everyone to have a good time and not ruin anyone else’s time by getting violent in a mosh pit, he said: “punk is about having an autonomous space for all to have a good time, keep it respectful and peaceful.”
Social Distortion came out Sunday night to do the first of three nights at the Observatory in Orange county. They were celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of their self-titled album. People of all ages showed up from eight-year-olds to sixty-something-year olds. Mike Ness hit the stage wearing a Jerome’s boxing t-shirt, bearded and obviously fully tatted.
This past Friday there was an amazing rock show happening at The Forum: Deftones, Death from Above 1979, and Incubus. Right off the bat, I did not understand Incubus’ placement with both Deftones and DFA 1979. It was an odd pairing. I thought that there was no way that Incubus could compare to the hard hitting Deftones or the badass duo of DFA 1979. But much to my surprise it worked.
The End Times were happening at Irvine Meadows last Thursday night. I would have never really expected that Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson would tour together. With their past historyand the fact that their shows are very different, it was most definitely an odd pairing.
The first headliner was Manson. It was still light out. The sun, unfortunately, had not set for Manson. He came out as expected, with his face painted goth pale and morbid-looking. The stage was decorated with faux Christian iconography but instead of the image of Jesus Christ painted into the fake stained glass it was Manson, the Anti-Christ Superstar. The music was loud, hard and fast, and Marilyn was mesmerizing. Of course along side of him was long-time bassist Twiggy Ramirez who was absolutely stunning as well. Manson played music spanning his career from his first album Portrait of an American Family to his most recent, The Pale Emperor. I stood below him in awe of his performance as I snapped photos continuously and he at one point reached down and grabbed my lens, I thought he was going to take it out of my hands but instead he moved his hand and put his face directly into my lens and looked dead into my lens as I shot. That was pretty exciting. We only had one song to shoot which was unfortunate because his theatrics proved to be 100 percent photo worthy for the entirety of the show. For example, when he did his cover of The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)“ he came out in stilts and crutches which gave him somewhat of a demonic-haunted-psycho-ward kinda feel. I was in the stands when I saw this and I was wishing I could have been shooting, but that’s just how it goes.
At the end of Manson’s set he did an encore. A podium was set as if he looked like the Fuhrer Adolf Hitler. He rose high on the podium and lit the Holy Bible on fire and then went into the song “Anti-Christ Superstar.” He then ended his set introducing “Beautiful People” by singing Beatles lyrics “how does it feel to be one of the beautiful people.” Manson put on a spectacular show and my only complaint would be that it would have been nice to see him do his act with the sun completely set.
Smashing Pumpkins was up next. They started the set with “Cherub Rock” and after that it was pretty much one hit after another. Unfortunately there was a douche bag behind me complaining that there was nothing but hits being played. He was loud and obnoxious yelling out “just play hits all night long Billy!” He did not just say this one time, he may have said it about five or six times. Man shut the fuck up bro, and enjoy the show and maybe let the people around you enjoy the show instead of listening to your ignorant ass. Who in the hell complains about that?
The Pumpkins’ set, as expected, was a much different set form opening headliner, Marily Manson. Corgan did not interact much with the crowd. He even said “the more I talk, the worse it gets, so we are just going to play music all the way through”. That was cool and all, but I think people would like to hear the artist, especially one as iconic as Corgan. I hate to say it, since I am huge fan of the Pumpkins, but I do feel a little like Corgan was out there just doing a job and making that money. He and the band played fantastically, but at the same time there was a sense of ambivalence from Corgan. I could be wrong but that’s what I felt.
When the Pumpkins left the stage, I watched Corgan as he as he walked off and he made a facial gesture as though he was a bit disappointed, which I think he was. When they came back out for their encore he made note that he noticed all the people who left after “1979,” which I definitely noticed too. Too bad for those people because the Pumpkins ended the show with “Geek U.S.A,” which was unexpected.
I am not sure what was going on with Corgan, I think he may be jaded on the state of music these days, he has been vocal about it lately and I agree with him.
Regardless, Smashing Pumpkins played fantastically, and Jimmy Chamberlain is a mad man on the drum kit. This is definitely a show to see. If you can see the show in another area, you should definitely do it.