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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KISS and Def Leppard - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - July 5, 2014

Categories: live review

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Christopher Victorio
KISS and Deff Leppard
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
7/5/14

The day after 4th of July, nearly 20,000 screaming rock-n-roll fans filled the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre In Irvine, to witness two stellar performances by two defining rock bands: Def Leppard and KISS.

At 9:45, every section of the venue was packed, from the lawns to the lower pit. All around, older fans were passing joints as KISS took the stage, the members all greeted with roars of applause which, for the most part, lasted for the entire KISS concert.

See also:
[PHOTOS] KISS and Def Leppard at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

Paul Stanley Says Face the Music is the Most Honest KISS Autobiography Ever Written

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Juicy J - The Observatory - July 4, 2014

Categories: live review

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Alfonso Delgado
By: Alfonso Delgado
Juicy J
The Observatory
7/4/14

"We gon' stay trippy for life" was the mindset of the night, as DJ CaliNdaMix, alongside DJ Bizzy, mixed and scratched while Juicy J belted out classics from his days in Three 6 Mafia. Celebrating Independence Day in ratchet fashion, the Memphis rapper doled out hits from his most recent album, Stay Trippy, and even new tracks that may be seen in the future on his much-anticipated new album Pure THC: The Hustle Continues.

The Observatory was Juicy J's latest stop in the Never Sober tour, which has been ongoing since February 20th of this year. Building hype for Pure THC, he began the set by introducing the new song "Holy Ghost" (feat. Lil Bibby) saw him slurring lazily conceived catch phrase "faded, and famous." The bass pounded throughout, the crowd bobbing in sync with it. It was fitting that he was dressed in simple black and white, wearing only a couple unadorned gold chains around his neck, as he belted, "twelve shots got me sweatin' like a preacher."

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Future - The Observatory - June 26, 2014

Categories: Rap, live review

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Three light panels clutter the undersized stage as the rising star, Future, rocks the Observatory. Ironically, the venue's title fits the rapper well, as the bulk of his work up to this point consistently refers to the cosmos. Early in his set, he vows to take the crowd to the moon. The panels flash to the bass hits of the 2012 single "Same Damn Time," with a magnitude high enough magnitude to blind the whole building. Now, like the majority of his time on stage, Future hops from stage left to stage right, searching for his most hyped fans. Next, the Men in Black Neuralyzer type lights create a silhouette of Future pumping his arms to Pharrell-featured single "Move that Dope."

But before getting into the smash hit, Future stops to thank the crowd for making the track one of the biggest in the country, in a lower toned, raspy, Southern voice resemblant of an SEC linebacker's. The 30 year-old's remarks show how happy he is to be in his position and just how much he's enjoying the night in Cali, yet he wore a expressionless face throughout the night, mustering a smile only when he shakes a fan's hand in the front row. Even when pausing to take a hit of his DJ's blunt onstage, Future doesn't seem relieved by the exhalation, standing stiff to face the crowd.


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Neon Trees - The Wiltern - June 14, 2014

Categories: live review

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Tina Dhamija
Neon Trees
The Wiltern
6/14/14

The Neon Trees brought its ultraviolet, cool-kid romance flair to the Wiltern Theater Saturday night, with an hour and a half-long set chronicling the band's three-album long journey thus far.

Dubbed the Pop Psychology tour, after the band's third and most recent album (released in April of this year), the tour marks the band's transition from new wave rookies riding the coattails of The Killers, to seasoned headliners, paving the way for up and coming acts like opening band, Smallpools.


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