Hozier - Immanuel Presbyterian Church - October 16, 2014

Categories: live review

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Lilledeshan Bose
Hozier
Immanuel Presbyterian Church
10/16/14

Andrew Hozier-Byrne took me to church last night. (There, I got that out of the way.)

Cheesy as it may seem, it made perfect sense that the 24-year-old singer-songwriter from Ireland would perform a sold-out show in a house of worship. After all, his self-titled debut was driven to the No. 2 spot in the Billboard charts by the bluesy, gospel single "Take Me to Church." The song, which talks about the hypocrisies of the Catholic church, was showcased by a video that featured a hate crime against a gay couple. It became a viral hit with more than 13.5 million views on YouTube and propelled a significant buzz around Hozier that culminated in last week's guest spot on Saturday Night Live.

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Animal Collective DJ Set - The Observatory - October 10, 2014

Categories: live review

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Taylor Morgan
By: Taylor Morgan

Animal Collective DJ Set
The Constellation Room
10/10/14

It's somewhat chaotic tonight in The Observatory parking lot as the staff prepares for the 6,000 expected attendees of Saturday's La Tocada Fest, arranging porta-potties and testing strobe lights. A line of inpatient men and women wearing black t-shirts, tall socks and sporting some rough looking tattoos stood in line to claim will-call tickets. Local police cars surrounded the venue and security payed special attention to patting down attendees. After a quick stop into the restroom and a not so quick drink line, liquored up folks attempted to trickle into The Constellation room. Security gave a blank stare and without an utterance simply shook their heads pointing to the main stage. "Fool, La Coka Nostra isn't in there! That room is filled with hippies" a guy shouted to his friend.

Eyes glance up to the stage where two guys in jerseys stand behind a table giving a slight head bob as they warm up the turn tables. A couple stands with their backs to one another interlocking arms. The man (with the semblance of a tree) gently bends forward, shifting his girlfriends weight onto his back, adjusting her spine. Those in big brimmed hats and collars buttoned to the brim stand looking bored and somewhat dazed. A group to the left of the stage lay down on the floor caressing their Snuggie's and gently puffing on their vaporizers.

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Wildcat! Wildcat! - Constellation Room - October 6, 2014

Categories: live review

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Taylor Morgan
By: Taylor Morgan
Wildcat! Wildcat!
The Constellation Room
10/6/14

High school boys stand awkwardly with collared shirts and cardigans as a girl walks by swinging her plastic and see through backpack over her shoulder. Clothes from the vintage department of American Rag are the norm in this hipster infested crowd gathered here tonight to see LA based, indie electro-pop, band Wildcat! Wildcat!. A guy in Warby Parker looking glasses sells canvas bags and pins with the bands name as a mom lectures her son and his friends about the rules of attending their first concert.

As the house music fades out and the lights dim, vocalist and drummer Jesse Carmichael takes the stage first, sporting his hair in a messy bun. Vocalist and bassist Jesse Taylor follows, wearing tight skinny jeans and a newsboy cap and right behind him beaming with energy is vocalist and keyboardist Michael Wilson. They begin with "Tower//W.O.H.L" singing "Take a bow/Never stop/Feels just like we are standing on the edge of the world." The first track off their debut full length, No Moon at All, released earlier this year. Next up is "Garden Grays" and the track is packed with falsetto vocals, sexy beats and smooth repetition weaved throughout.

See also: Wildcat! Wildcat! Vow to Never Get Old


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Kings of Leon - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - October 5, 2014

Categories: live review

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John Gilhooley
By: Taylor Morgan
Kings of Leon
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
10/5/14

On a warm Sunday evening in Irvine, scores of OC fans gather in tank tops and shorts to hoot and holler for Kings of Leon at the Verizon Amphitheatre. After a rousing opening set from hometown heroes Young the Giant, the Tennessee-born quartet assumes their positions onstage and an incendiary guitar begins to echo. Caleb Followill, known for a voice that quakes with soul begins to sing the opening lines of "Taper Jean Girl"-- "A-ha shake, taper jean girl with a motel face." A visual backdrop across the stage displays a water molecule moving in slow motion and the massive screens, displayed to approximately 16,000 people quickly alternate between bandmates with signature tight denim and rocker aesthetic.

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LP - The Constellation Room - September 23, 2014

Categories: live review

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Jennifer Fedrizzi/OC Weekly
By: Taylor Morgan

LP
The Constellation Room
9/23/14

In a dimly lit room, a crowd of awkward couples and groups of girlfriends gather, giddy with anticipation of singer and songwriter LP. This inimitable artist with elastic vocal range is Laura Pergolizzi, but she has gone by the name 'LP' since the '90s when she was discovered by David Lowery of the band Cracker. She would go on to write music for The Backstreet Boys, Joe Walsh and even Rihanna before gaining notoriety as the natural bred musician we see before us at the Constellation Room. Last year, Vogue Magazine featured LP as one of their "People to Watch in 2013". A year later she has released a well crafted, 12 track album, labeled 'Forever For Now' and Vogue's prophecy has proven true before our eyes.

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Drake vs. Lil Wayne - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - Sep 19, 2014

Categories: live review

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Nick Nuk'em
Drake vs. Lil Wayne
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
9/19/2014

Invited in by the scent of some of California's sweetest cheeba, smokers, drinkers, twirlers, and athletes (including OKC Thunder's point guard Russell Westbrook) rolled into the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre to catch Capcom Presents: Drake vs. Lil' Wayne. In the classic story of the apprentice one day emerging as his mentor's adversary, Drizzy Drake stepped to Lil' Wayne ready in a fight for the crowd's affection. By the end of the night audience members were tasked to choose a winner between the two. So far on the tour, Lil Wayne held onto a one show lead, upping the Toronto protégé 15-14.

Graphics on the screen prompted the crowd to download the Capcom-powered app for the tour. From there, crowd members chose who would perform first and ultimately, who would be the victor of OC's exhibition. Lil Wayne started things off, ascending to the second story of the stage for three songs. For the majority of the night, the two would perform in triplicate, charming the crowd one bit at a time.

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OC Death Fest - The Music Hall - September 13, 2014

Categories: Metal, live review

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Alex Distefano
The Faceless
OC Death Fest
The Music Hall
9/13/14

The blazing hot sun and triple digit heat didn't keep hundreds of faithful metal heads away from a warehouse in an industrial corner of Anaheim on Saturday for the second annual OC Death Fest, organized by Arrogant Behavior Promotions, an LA-based underground metal booking company.

With over 20 local and touring bands performing, the festival began early. Doors opened promptly at 1 p.m. and the first bands were on shortly after. The set up of the seemingly makeshift venue, known simply as The Music Hall, was an outdoor stage and an indoor stage, both of which were hot as hell. But from the onset, fans were treated to a flood of local talent throughout the entire 11-hour event.

Whether it was death metal, black metal, thrash, deathcore, grind, progressive or some kind of hybrid, this festival covered it all. From the brutal, head banging death metal of LA's female thrash band Harlequin.

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Linkin Park - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - September 11, 2014

Categories: live review

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Sugarwolf
Linkin Park
Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars and AFI
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
9/11/14

Last night, 16,000 people found a brief distraction from the somber memory of 9/11 at Linkin Park's Carnivores Tour stop at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. The band arrived with 30 Seconds to Mars and AFI in tow to support The Hunting Party, a new album released in June. However, a good chunk of their set was dedicated to the band's earlier days. After opening with "Guilty All The Same" from their new release, three of the next four songs - "Given Up," "With You," "One Step Closer" and "Papercut" - all came from AFI's landmark first album, 2000's Hybrid Theory.

Linkin Park still sticks mostly to the radio-friendly rap-rock that made them famous - a Limp Bizkit buttered with more hooks and less misogyny. The formula serves them well, however, and more than a decade on, any rough edges from genre blending have been sanded off by years of touring and six studio albums. Resident rapper Mike Shinoda takes to the guitar and keyboards as much as the mic these days, and DJ Joseph Hahn - a brief beat breakdown in the middle of the set notwithstanding - provides backing atmospherics more than any outright scratching.


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Atreyu Reunite to Demolish Old Stomping Grounds

Categories: live review

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Taylor Morgan
By: Taylor Morgan
Atreyu
Chain Reaction
9/11/14

It's been at least a decade since Atreyu have set foot on stage at their old stomping grounds inside Chain Reaction. In that time, they've managed to reach the height of metalcore fame, release five albums, followed by a five year hiatus and now deliver one of the biggest reunion shows in OC at the tail end of summer. And what better place to do it then the venue that helped nurture them from the very beginning?

Inside the packed, steaming venue, chants of "A-trey-you-- A-trey-u--A-trey-u!" waft over the crowd. So does the smell of BO. The energy throughout the venue, which sold out in minutes, is undeniably contagious. It's been about three years since the band played their last show together and the anticipation for a new chapter for the band, as well as the release of their forthcoming new album, is well documented.

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YG - The Observatory - September 09, 2014

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James Brunt
YG
The Observatory
9/9/14

Before doors opened for the second YG show of the night at the Observatory on Tuesday, an extensive line snakes from the front doors ending just yards shy of Harbor Blvd. People of all sects stand in their version of fly summerwear from hipster looking girls in long white Coachella-type dresses to your casual t-shirt and baseball cap-wearing dudes among the predictable concertgoers; chicks in tanks and high-waisted shorts and bros in tanks and shorts that look odd if they're not clad with anchors. Simultaneously, the venue is experiencing a mass exodus. Moments before, the first of two YG shows had just concluded and the indomitable energy lingering after a great performance oozed from early crowd.

"Y'all betta turn the fuck up when y'all get in there" demands one young lady as she heads towards the parking lot. Her demeanor resembles a young emcee looking to get the crowd hype.

One year ago, a YG show would not have been as big of a ticket. But on this Tuesday night those who may have forgone his opening performance at UCI's fall concert last year, would not miss a second chance to ride the wave. As the affinity for using the word "ratchet" whenever possible has grown, so has the chance to vibe to the tunes that accompany the trending rap vernacular.

See also: YG's Listening Party Was a Bompton-Style Rager


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