Babymetal - The Fonda Theater - July 27, 2014

Categories: live review

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Courtesy of Baby Metal
Babymetal
The Fonda Theater
7/27/14

What the hell is Babymetal? It's a question that's been rattling around in our minds even before we officially asked it on this blog months ago. And as the all-girl Japanese trio of SuMetal, MoaMetal, and YuiMetal kept gaining momentum on YouTube, the footage of packed arenas with millions of clicks got us wondering what the hell an L.A. Babymetal fan would look like when they came to the Fonda last Sunday. Watching a melange of metalheads, tutu-wearing J-Pop vixens, Internet nerds and creepy middle-aged dudes showing up alone gave us our answer. But the crowd wasn't the only aspect of the Babymetal show that had a surprising number of layers.

See also: What the Hell is Babymetal?

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Donavon Frankenreiter - The Observatory - July 25, 2014

Categories: live review

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Taylor Morgan
By: Taylor Morgan

Donavon Frankenreiter
The Observatory
7/25/14

A poppy, surf-rock show is what we expect at a Donavon Frankenreiter, the perfect tune to sip a piña colada to while kicking back with a lover at the beach. Yet when he began his set with the track "Move By Yourself," the audience quickly switched gears from their dazed demeanor to a concentrated observance of his every move. The chatter came to a halt and eyes followed the movement of his fingers across guitar strings as he exhibited a legendary guitar solo. On this particular night Frankenreiter was much more than a protégé of Jack Johnson, a famous surfer who rides single fins and retro boards, he commanded the room with ease and transposed energy on the vast age group of attendees.

He moved along to "Bend In The Road" and "Call Me Papa" arriving at his most famous track yet, "Free." He performed a slowed down rendition of the song that began with the drummer lightly shaking maracas. Polka dot lights flew throughout the room as he traveled through "Heading Home," "Swing On Down," "Life, Love & Laughter," "On My Mind," and "That's Too Bad" which had an incendiary like draw from the crowd during another legendary guitar solo.


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Naked Aggression - Di Piazza's - July 24, 2014

Categories: live review

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Alex Distefano
Naked Aggression
Naked Aggression
Di Piazza's
7/24/14

Di Piazzas was serving up pints of beer, slices of pizza and slabs of punk rock on Thursday night, thanks to Poor Kids Radio, as Long Beach welcomed underground punk bands Naked Aggression and Opposition Rising.

A crowd of around a hundred people showed up to catch Naked Aggression, who played after midnight to an all ages crowd with many younger, enthusiastic fans screaming up front with the old school punks who saw the band back in the '90s. Formed in 1990 in Wisconsin, the band's current line up is made up of founding member/vocalist Kirsten Patches, and guitarist Craig Cano, bassist Meghan Mattox and drummer Aaron Austin.

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Mötley Crüe - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - July 22, 2014

Categories: live review

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John Gilhooley
Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe
Mötley Crüe
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
7/22/14

In the crowd for Mötley Crüe's last tour ever, it appeared that a huge slice of Orange County showed up for one last taste of the Sunset Strip circa 1985. Near the front of the stage, we waded through a sea of infatuated couples, pyro smoke and gray-haired fans sporting a '80s metalhead denim jackets. The Crüe's slogan for the Final Tour has been "All Things Bad Must Come to an End," and though we're sad to see 'em go, the 2-hour set they delivered was anything but terrible.

As memorable as encores are, the opening overture played a recording of the song "So Long, Farewell," most commonly heard in "The Sound of Music" musical that set the tone of the drawn out finale and inevitable retiring of the band. Founders Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neil opened with 2008's "Saints of Los Angeles," from their ninth and most current studio album.


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EPMD - The Wayfarer - July 17th, 2014

Categories: live review

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EPMD
The Wayfarer
7/17/14

For one night at Costa Mesa's newly opened venue the Wayfarer, hip-hop was restored to its pristine state; uninhibited by the faux acts and ghostwritten lyrics that saturate the genre today. Bucket hats were referred to their proper names as Fisherman hats and the '80s lived on in the crowd. Most patrons could probably give detailed first-hand accounts of the decade. Often times it was their attire that gave their age away, but they weren't alone in their quests for the ol' skool. Younger heads in the building all had something in common with their elder counterparts and that was the love of what was exclaimed "real Hip-Hop" and specifically EPMD.

25 years ago, the New York natives released their sophomore album Unfinished Business that would go on to solidify their legend in hip-hop. Yesterday, hip-hop was already in celebration of another of their pioneers. It was the 53nd birthday of the deceased Guru of the group Gang Starr. As EPMD's Erick Sermon blessed the stage with his light brown eyes and a youthful smile, the crowd couldn't help but guffaw up at the stage where E Dubble and the bulked Parrish Smith would rock for the next 45 minutes.


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Bad Religion - Pacific Amphitheatre - July 17, 2014

Categories: live review

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Alex Distefano
Bad Religion
Bad Religion
Pacific Amphitheatre
7/17/14

This summer, Bad Religion, The Offspring and Pennywise are teaming up for the Summer Nationals Tour. With the closest stop being in Chula Vista on Aug. 30, Bad Religion decided to perform a show for OC fans, by playing a concert last night, at the OC Fairgrounds' Pacific Amphitheater, with LA punk veterans X opening the evening.

"This is our first show from a long tour of Europe and it's good to be able to communicate in our own language," said Bad Religion vocalist Greg Graffin to the crowd at the Pacific Amphitheater half way through the band's set, which lasted just over an hour. "It's good to be back home in California. We love it here at the OC Fair. MMM... Smell the fried Oreos and funnel cakes?!"


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Pennywise - The Observatory - July 16, 2014

Categories: live review

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Alex Distefano
Jim Lindberg of Pennywise
Pennywise
The Observatory
7/16/14

Hermosa Beach punk rock took over Santa Ana last night, as Pennywise played a sold out show at the Observatory, with special guests the Originalites, Special C and General Fucking Principle (G.F.P.)

OC ska band The Originalites opened the show playing a very up-beat, classic 'skunk' sound that he crowd began to dig immediately. Michael Belk tool lead on vocals and Saxophone, and also jumped and skanked around the stage more than once, running around flailing his arms. This on stage moshing, got a young kid in a Descendents shirt and a 40ish-looking man in a Misfits shirt to ignite a circle pit, which went well with the faster, NOFX-meets-Madness style of ska punk songs The Originalites performed. The band also features bassist Tim Frankeny, drummer Peter Fontes and guitarist/vocalist Daniel Tello.

See also: Pennywise Dig Into Their Vault For 'Yesterdays'


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Flume - The Observatory - July 13, 2014

Categories: live review

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Harley Oliver Brown
By: Alfonso Delgado
Flume
The Observatory
7/13/14

I shouldn't have expected a mellow show.

Flume (aka Harley Edward Streten, but really, who's going to remember that mouthful of a name?) is an up-and-coming DJ out of Australia labeled by some as "chillstep," but don't let that deceive you. He knows how to energize and excite a crowd, and mixes well enough to keep up with most (if not all) DJs today.

Flume kicked it off immediately with what has recently become an instantly recognizable tune, "Sleepless" (featuring Jezzabell Doran). The bass throbbed melodically and the crowd settled into an excited rhythm, heads bobbing. He transitioned into "The Greatest View," a track he rarely performs, smoothly and the crowd responded with a trance-like step.


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New Order - Greek Theatre - July 13, 2014

Categories: live review

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Daniel Kohn
New Order
Greek Theatre
7/13/14

For the past few years, the Mancunian outfit New Order has been gradually becoming a staple of the summer touring scene. After spending the better part of this century in hiding, releasing a slew of meh tunes or squabbling internally that included the ousting of bassist Peter Hook, the band seemed to be fading into music history with a whimper.

Yet, on a balmy summer evening, the group, still sans Hooky who is still throwing barbs his former bandmates way, reminded people why they were drawn to Bernard Sumner and company in the first place. Playing their standard set of originals and Joy Division covers, the nearly two-hour show was exactly what fans would have expected.


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The Offspring and the Adolescents - Pacific Amphitheatre - July 11, 2014

Categories: live review

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Christopher Victorio
The Offspring and the Adolescents
Pacific Amphitheatre
7/11/14

What better band to headline the beginning of Pacific Amphitheater's summer concert series than hometown heroes The Offspring? The band, which was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the hugely successful album Smash played a special performance which included that entire album, plus a set of other hits and other classic Offspring songs.

Though it's been a while since the band was a mainstay on MTV, they've managed to stay fastened to mainstream radio like KROQ and continue to sell out venues around the world. Musically, Dexter Holland's vocals still are top notch and stood up on their own on Friday night, acting as an instrument within the guitar work of Noodles, bassist Greg K and drummer Pete Parada.

See also: Seven Things You Didn't Know About Smash


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