Phil Shane Embodies Elvis at Azteca

Ryan Ritchie

Phil Shane
Azteca Mexican Restaurant
Jan. 4, 2015

Last night I finally heard the song "Blurred Lines." Thankfully, it was the Phil Shane version.

The Robin Thicke tune was requested towards the end of the singer's four-hour set at Azteca Mexican Restaurant in Garden Grove by a blonde woman. I know the song was requested by her because I heard her ask for this particular number. And I could hear her because my brother and I (the two youngest people in the capacity-filled room once two young children left halfway through the show) sat on a bench behind the stage because all of the dining tables were occupied by the time we got there at 6:45, which is a long-winded way of saying Phil Shane fans arrive on time, they come in droves and they don't leave early.

I assumed he wouldn't know the song because, hell, I don't know it and I'm 35 years old. But he did because he's Phil Shane and Phil Shane knows everything. And after almost losing him to Nashville back in 2013, we're glad to see him in OC just a few days after his birthday (which is of course, New Year's Day).

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ScHoolboy Q - The Observatory - December 16, 2014

By: Taylor Morgan
ScHoolboy Q
The Observatory

Class was definitely in session last night at the Observatory when West Coast gangster rap's crowned prince ScHoolboy Q took the stage for a packed crowd in Santa Ana. The LA rapper, whose album Oxymoron debuted at #1 on Billboard 200 album charts last March, strutted out from the back of a smoky stage just before 11 p.m. Appropriately, he started his set with the gun-clapping track "Gangsta," jumping up and down across the stage in his Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey with 'Kessel' monogramed across the back.

Blunts were consumed as the audience belted "crush a bit, little bit, roll it up, take a hit". Q held the mic in his right hand, leaning forward towards the audience and asked, "How many of you got Oxymoron in here?" Taken back by the response he noted, "I never thought I would be rapping. I never thought I would make an album and people would love it. I never thought my ugly, finger nail ass, would be up here." The crowd went wild and he shouted, "let's get to some Oxymoron!"

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Allah-Las - The Observatory - December 13, 2014

Thumbnail image for AllahLas.jpg
Taylor Morgan
The Observatory

A girl with a seahorse ear cuff and silk mushroom scarf around her neck held her tall boy cerveza in the air screaming as the Allah-Las assumed their positions onstage. "We locked eyes at an underground bar in Venice when I saw them play last! They're soo dreamy," a fan shared with her friend in the crowd of the band's Constellation Room show on Saturday. Longhaired surfer boys sporting their dad's hand-me-down t-shirts nodded in agreement. A fan who leaned up against the bar added, "the Allah-Las played at my wedding at the Natural History Museum!"

Spencer Dunham (bass), Matthew Correia (percussion), Pedrum Siadatian (lead guitar) and Miles Michaud (vocals + guitar) performed some of their best tunes over the weekend, including favorites like "No Werewolf", "Busman's Holiday", "Follow You Down", "Buffalo Nickel," "No Voodoo," and "Da Vita Voz." They sipped whiskey out of clear plastic cups between songs and the smell of cigarettes and marijuana covered the clothes of audience members. The band moved on to perform, "Calm Me Down" a Human Expression cover that had the crowd moshing for no apparent reason, "Tell Me (What's On Your Mind)" featuring tambourines and the melodica (as known as the pianica or blow-organ) and "Better Than Mine."

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Ms. Lauryn Hill - The Observatory - November 19th, 2014

Taylor Morgan
Ms. Lauryn Hill
The Observatory

A single file sea of people stood outside The Observatory waiting for Lauryn Hill last night. The line that wrapped from the front entrance, through the parking lot and down the side of Harbor Blvd. However, the fans didn't seem impatient as they shuffled toward the venue to see the 8-time Grammy winner, despite the fact some of them had waited hours and Hill wouldn't even take the stage until about 10 p.m.

The night started off with a major boost of island energy courtesy of opener Daniel Bambaata Marley, son of Ziggy Marley and grandson of Bob Marley.Talk about someone who genuinely is passionate about performing. Marley mixed reggae and rock with classical components throughout and his movement amongst the stage had hands swaying with the beat and new and old fans enthralled.

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Death From Above 1979- The Observatory- November 14th, 2014

Taylor Morgan
Death From Above 1979
The Observatory

Tonight a band that represents chaos in the best possible way takes the stage at The Observatory after a decade apart. They've toured with Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age with their hard hitting drums, noisy bass and epic screams creating dance-punk madness and tonight is no different. Singer/drummer Sebastian Grainger and bassist/synth player Jesse Keeler take the stage as some random dude in the audience screams "Bring them out! Bring them out!" A few fans throughout the crowd tighten up the bandanas on their heads and punk rock princesses with dark lipstick scream "I love you".

The Toronto-based duo begins and the sold out venue goes mental, drinks pour out of hands spewing in the air towards body guards and photographers near the stage. An empty Modelo can get's tossed towards the feet of Keller, in all black, who jolts his head-backwards ridding his face of his already sweaty bangs covering his eyes. They perform "Right On, Frankenstein!" off their two month old album The Physical World - the product of a rekindled friendship that had to undergo six years of separation for artistic differences. Next up is "Blood On Our Hands," "Cheap Talk" and an all-time cult-favorite "You're A Woman, I'm A Machine."

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Danny Elfman - The Honda Center - 11/2/14

Courtesy of the Honda Center
Danny Elfman

"There are few who'd deny, at what I do I am the best, and my talents are renowned far and wide," begins Jack Skellington in "Jack's Lament" from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Fans of Danny Elfman got the chance to enjoy the composer's renowned far and wide talents at the Honda Center in Anaheim Sunday. The Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and Choir brought to life 15 of Elfman's iconic scores for director Tim Burton's equally iconic films. A giant screen placed behind the orchestra played clips of the accompanying films.

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Kimbra - The Observatory - October 24, 2014

Photo by Charles Lam
It was so perfect, I'm not even sure it happened

The Observatory

Last Friday was a fĂȘte at The Observatory. Hundreds of people were in line for the sold out Wiz Khalifa show, but hundreds more were there for the other sold out show, Kimbra's first ever trip to Orange County.The indie-pop princess had already played five shows in L.A. this year, but still drew a crowd so large that the Observatory's main room was a good 10 degrees warmer than its entry way. But man, was that show worth it.

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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Honda Center - October 7, 2014

Categories: Last Night

John Gilhooley
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Honda Center

"How ya doing tonight!" Tom Petty exclaimed after a rousing version of "American Dream Plan B." "We're going to give you a full-length, extra strength rock and roll show!"

Needless to say, the veteran rockers didn't disappoint. Playing a chunk of his greatest hits both with the Heartbreakers and solo, Petty gave the crowd what they wanted to hear. The usual batch of sing-alongs like "Free Fallin'," "I Won't Back Down," and "Refugee" had the crowd screaming with the singer, who couldn't help but show his pleasure in the form of a devious smirk.

Touring behind the July release of Hypnotic Eye, the group's 13th studio album, and first extensive U.S. tour since 2010, Petty and the Heartbreakers demonstrated why they've become one of the most beloved bands in American rock history. Like other bands in the advanced stages of their careers, it would be understandable if they were putting out new, uneven music in order to stay on the road. Yet the album was the group's first to top the Billboard 200.

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

Ryan Ritchie
The Dwarves
The Dwarves and The Queers
Alex's Bar

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.

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The Foo Fighters Played a Secret Show Last Night

Categories: Last Night

Jena Ardell

While you were sipping on discounted margaritas in a drunken Cinco de Mayo stupor last night, the world's most industrious band--the Foo Fighters--were partying in the country's capital, performing an intimate secret show at the 9:30 Club to a crowd of 1,200. The set list (see page 3) will make you wish you lived on the east coast for a day.

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