The Buzzcocks Kill at Bang! Festival

buzz_7.jpg
The Buzzcocks photo by Scott Feinblatt
Bang! Festival
The Observatory
9/20/14

Over time, the typical arc in the life of rock musicians reveals that they are no less whores than any other type of celebrity. Laziness and age beget compromise, and, of course, money makes people do crazy things. However, Saturday night at the Bang! Music Festival (hosted by The Observatory and sponsored by the Weekly), headlining punk rockers The Buzzcocks proved that they are just as full of piss, vinegar and spit as they were nearly 40 years ago.

Sandwiched between headlining acts Los Lobos and X, the raw punk energy of The Buzzcocks stood out. Each of the headliners was allotted a one hour set, and as soon as The Buzzcocks took to the stage, not a second was wasted. There were literally one to five second intervals between each of their upbeat, high-energy songs -- each of which was played appropriately loud. In fact, from the moment guitarist Steve Diggle slung the first of his guitars and strummed it, he ordered the sound man to increase the volume. It's hard to tell whether he was the culprit or an unheeded voice of reason in the off-balance mix of the first few songs in their set. From the first song, the band established a vigorous momentum, and by about the fourth song, the mix was appropriately adjusted, allowing for the discernment of the delicate timbre of Pete Shelley's voice.


More »

Ian Anderson - Segerstrom Hall - September 18, 2014

anderson_live_2.jpg
Ian Anderson, Southampton UK, 2014. Photo by Martin Webb
Ian Anderson
Segerstrom Hall
9/18/2014

Segerstrom Hall is not a typical venue for a rock concert. It frequently hosts musicals, classical acts, and dance extravaganzas, and the audiences it usually hosts are quintessentially the "white-hairs" of Orange County. However, Ian Anderson's show is not your everyday rock; the legendary musician's show is quite theatrical, and Segerstrom was an ideal venue for him to perform his new album, Homo Erraticus, as well as a set of Jethro Tull's greatest hits.

The show was reminiscent of Neil Young's Greendale tour in that it consisted of a multi-media presentation of a concept-album followed by a satisfying throwback to old times -- a sure way to appeal to classicists. The Homo Erraticus album consists of folksy Irish motifs, powerhouse progressive rock jams, and challenging lyrical content. [see the Weekly's interview with Ian Anderson on the creation of the album] Prior to the Homo Erraticus set, a short introductory film showed Anderson and his bandmates as a patient and his doctors, respectively, at a remote sanitorium. The doctors pull the sheet over the dormant Anderson, declaring him dead, and file out of the room. Anderson then pulls the sheet back, mutters a bit [it was hard to tell what he said due to the crowd's woots], climbs out of bed, extracts his flute from a nearby cabinet, and leaves the sanitarium.

See also: Ian Anderson's Idea of Rock-n-Roll is More Complex Than You Know


More »

Katy Perry - Honda Center - September 16, 2014

kp_paint.jpg
Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Katy Perry
Honda Center
9/16/14

Did you ever have the feeling that you were the only 40-year-old heterosexual man at a rave-themed pep rally for seventh grade girls? On the occasion of Katy Perry's "The Prismatic World Tour," the Honda Center was filled with 14,000 of the like (by Perry's count). The only bad vibes came from a tattooed man wearing a Suicidal Tendencies t-shirt -- arguably the only other older straight guy (not counting the daddy chaperons) -- who was ejected prior to the concert for throwing punches at a couple of effeminate men. But whereas violence was not tolerated inside the stadium, the stadium itself was surrounded by a dozen or so religious protesters bearing fancy signs of intolerance towards homosexuality.

This was likely in response to the first single of Perry's [herself, the daughter of two Pentecostal pastors], "I Kissed a Girl," which was released in 2008 and reached number one on Billboard's Hot 100. Now, multiple hits, successful tours, acting roles, product endorsements, and millions of dollars later, Perry demonstrated that she knows how to put on a great show.


More »

Waka Flocka Flame - The Observatory - September 16, 2014

Categories: concert review

wacka_flocka2.jpg
Julian Gutierrez
Too turnt up

Waka Flocka Flame
The Observatory
9/16/14

Fueled by ratchet vibes and various substances, Waka Flocka Flame put on an energetic, enthusiastic set at the Observatory last night. The night was slow to start at first, with a mellow crowd and DJ KaliNDaMix bumping the current hits to bobbing heads and tapping toes. Eventually, Joey Fatts came on and warmed up the crowd, hopping around and performing songs mainly from his recent mixtape, Chipper Jones 3. Though he didn't come on until around 10 p.m., he elevated the night from a kickback to a rager, causing the crowd to jump in sync with the throbbing of the bass. The 22-year-old Long Beach native (and cousin to Vince Staples) isn't well-known enough for crowds to sing along constantly, but he injected some much needed energy into the room as a solid opening act.

More »

Yes - The Greek Theatre - August 24, 2014

yes_4.jpg
Yes performing at The Greek Theatre (photo by Scott Feinblatt)
Yes
The Greek Theatre
August 24, 2014

It seems to be a trend of late for legendary bands to dust off and perform their legendary albums. Last night, Yes performed two of theirs, Close to the Edge and Fragile. The band's extensive current tour began just a few days before the release of their latest album, Heaven & Earth, but it is not curious why their set only included two songs from the new album, which they played in between the vintage albums. The new album has not been receiving great praise, but perhaps this is because it has been 40 years since the progressive rockers began charting new cosmic territory.

Since that time, the band has seen numerous permutations in its line-up, and it is no surprise that it has never encapsulated so pure a manifestation of vision and virtuosity as it did on those two albums. Nevertheless, all history, drama, and art versus business speculations aside, there was something incredible happening on stage at the Greek Theatre. By taking a potent magical spell and casting it with aplomb, able magicians can easily entrance their legions and adherents.

More »

The Zombies Rise Again in Santa Monica

sm18.jpg
Colin Blunstone of The Zombies (photo by Scott Feinblatt)
It might seem ironic that the 50 year-old band The Zombies would perform at Santa Monica Pier as part of the Twilight Concert Series. However, to suggest that the band is nearing the end of its life would be inaccurate given the brilliance of its performance and the enthusiasm of its reception. Indeed, moans of disappointment rang out over the Internet as numerous people realized that The Zombies had been in town, and they had missed the opportunity to see the band. Such is the strength of their music, and the years have not diminished it.

Though the band is currently pared-down (no pun intended) to two of its original five members, those members happen to be Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone. Founder / lead songwriter / keyboardist Argent spoke with the Weekly last week about his inspirations and creative process. On stage, he is simply on fire. When he's not standing up from his keyboard station to set up various songs or encourage collective hand-clapping, he is making his Hammond organ and Kurzweil keyboard sing as if their electronic lives depended on it. As he revealed in his interview, this has always been his approach to performing and recording -- to put his all into every performance so that the music has a life of its own.

More »

Gershwin's Americana at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

ger1.JPG
Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Pacific Symphony
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
7/20/14

From alt rock acts to classical orchestras, the cozy and scenic Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, formerly (and more dignifiedly) known as Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, has hosted many types of concerts and musical festivals. And although music appreciation depends upon the taste of the individual, it is difficult to imagine that the strains of George Gershwin's most popular compositions would not command respect from anyone who heard them performed -- much less all in one program. On the evening of Sunday, July 20, Carl St. Clair opened his 25th season as the Musical Director and Conductor of the Pacific Symphony with performances of An American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue, selections from Porgy and Bess, and the "Overture" from Strike Up the Band.

Gershwin is popularly regarded as one of the prototypical American composers. He synthesized classical music with jazz and yielded wonderfully theatrical music, which has become hallmark Americana. Gershwin referred to Rhapsody in Blue (1924) as "a musical kaleidoscope of America." It has been influential on numerous musicians and has featured prominently in many movies -- most notably as Woody Allen's theme for New York in Manhattan and in Baz Luhrmann's recent film adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

More »

The Dwarves and The Queers - Alex's Bar - July 16, 2014

rsz_20140717_000450.jpg
Ryan Ritchie
The Dwarves
The Dwarves and The Queers
Alex's Bar
7/16/2014

As far as Dwarves shows go, last night's at Alex's Bar was fairly uneventful. And by that, I mean no one got naked, stabbed, punched or vomited on. Then again, the self-proclaimed best band ever (seriously, they have a song called "The Dwarves Are Still The Best Band Ever") ditched their infamous on-stage debauchery sometime in the mid to late 1990s, so if you went to Long Beach looking for sex and violence, you were probably let down.

That said, the current Dwarves -- singer Blag Dahlia, guitarist The Fresh Prince of Darkness, bassist Chip Fracture and drummer Gregory Pecker -- still fucking rule. Of course, the absence of long-time guitarist HeWhoCannotBeNamed was sorely missed, but anytime a naked man in a wrestling mask isn't somewhere, absences will be sorely missed.


More »

Ted Nugent Stalks His Prey at The Grove

Categories: concert review

tn4.JPG
Scott Feinblatt
Ted Nugent
City National Grove of Anaheim
July 14, 2014

There are certain people who simply create their own gravity. They exist in all walks of life and in all professions. The species are easy to identify, yet a cloud of mystery typically enshrouds them, hiding the answer to the question: "Is this guy for real, or is it all flash and dazzle?" The truth, likely, exists somewhere in between -- case in point, Ted Nugent.

Nugent brought his show to City National Grove of Anaheim this weekend, and it cannot be said that he did not tear the roof off the joint. The 65-year-old hard rocker, who has gone by the names Sweaty Teddy, The Nuge, The Motor City Madman, and Uncle Ted, is a textbook showman whose concerts are just as much about music as they are about production. The image that stands upon the stage is drenched in red, white, and blue, and braggadocio pours from his mouth. He espouses Right Wing ideology; he beams that he has been drug and alcohol free his entire life; he claims that in the kingdom of guitar heaven he is a god; and he never ceases plugging his image or his various projects. Despite all that noise, he still puts on a great show!


More »

Jane's Addiction - Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas - May 9-10, 2014

Categories: concert review

not_shocking2.jpg
Perry Farrell showing the love at the Brooklyn Bowl Jane's Addiction concert. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Jane's Addiction
Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas
5/9-10, 2014

Usually when you hear that there's going to be a concert at a bowling alley, the tendency is to either feel sorry for the band or understand that you are a member of a cult following. However, when that band is Jane's Addiction, and when that bowling alley is the new Las Vegas venue Brooklyn Bowl, it's different. In fact, if you had gone to The Linq, stood in line under the marquee, ascended the lobby escalator, and proceeded along the pathway to the 600-person capacity performance area, the fact that half of the building is a bowling alley would have escaped notice.

The earliest new and old fans grabbed up all of the choice sideline positions on each of the three nights of shows in honor of the 25th anniversary Nothing's Shocking, the band's landmark debut. The rest of the healthy crowd had to struggle with obstructed view sideline positions or join the massive group of bodies on the main floor; judging from the smiles in that crowd, no one seemed to be too concerned about the sardine-can-effect. This was probably because everyone knew that this was a special occasion--a legendary band's rare performance of a historic album in an intimate space. Add to that the general party attitude that people assume when they're in Las Vegas, and you have the atmosphere of the experience. Fortunately, we were in the crowd for the second two shows.

See also:
[PHOTOS]: Jane's Addiction at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas
Perry Farrell and Nothing's Shocking Are Still Converting the Masses

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Events

Links

Loading...