Coachella…ella…ella…the 2010 festival review – Day Three

29 04 2010

Sunday morning…here it is, the last and final day of the Coachella music festival. The one band I had been looking forward to more than any other was playing that day, and that was Florence & the Machine.  But before that, was Mute Math, who (if you’ve never seen them) puts on one hell of a show.  3:15 shouldn’t be hard to make it to right?  Especially since I was up before 10 am…something about good music just gives me energy.

So we make breakfast, pile into two cars, and make our way down to the site.  Remembering lesson #6 (do not park in the lot closest to the site), we park on the street just under a mile away.  After a few drinks in the car, we are picked up by a very nice local who drives us up to the site entrance and we give the guy like $10…totally worth it.  The first lines were quick, but the second round of lines (where they check our bags again?) took a little longer than expected.  At this point, we can still catch over half of Mute Math though, so I’m ok.

We run (literally) over to the Mojave tent and manage to squeeze our way somewhere about halfway back.  The lovely people who decide to sit in the tents while everyone else is standing around them are kind of a pain in the ass, so we just walk over them.  Today by far was the most crowded and the hottest, but hearing the first sounds of the electronic alt rock band made us forget about all of that.  The energy was just as I remembered it from House of Blues.  The drums were going strong, everyone was dancing, and just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Paul Meany (vox) makes his way on some kind of platform off the stage (hard to see from where we, were, kinda looked like he was floating), then takes a dive into the audience who holds him up for awhile before propelling him back on stage.

There he goes!

His voice was crystal clear and all the instrumentals were on point and the crowd was singing and clapping along as they mad their way through most of Armistice and even a songs from their older album.  We couldn’t have asked for a better way to start day 3.

Ok…time for the band of the weekend!  Or so we thought.  We grabbed what we thought would be a quick beer (did everyone turn 21 today?) in the beer garden then made our way over to the Gobi tent.  We got there before it started but still weren’t even in the tent.  Lesson #7…if there is a band you really want to see (especially one that just got raves at SXSW), get there right after the last band ends…or watch the band before.  As Florence took the stage and her angelic voice broke out, the crowd went crazy, but we could barely hear it, and seeing anything was impossible.  Why don’t they just raise the stage a few feet taller?  I’ll always wonder.

We slowly are able to maneuver our way up and actually into the tent, thankfully, where we could hear the music much better.  They started off a little shaky (from where we were standing at least), but by song 3, they were killing it!  Florence belted out all the good ones from “Cosmic Love” to “The Drumming Song”.  When we finally got a few glimpses of the band, she was using her whole body to sing every song and the result was nothing short of magnificent.  If only I was a foot taller and could have seen this the whole time.

Florence and the Machine...from our camera's POV

So was she everything I’d hope she’d be?  I’d like to believe yes, I just couldn’t see it.  The band really brought the songs to life though and I’m pretty sure I have a new girl crush.

The next couple hours before Thom Yorke were kind of up in the air.  Sure, we wanted to see Spoon & Phoenix, but I’ve seen them.  Julian Casablancas might be good, but I heard he does most of his songs drunk off of his mind, and not usually in a good way. Miike Snow?  That might be fun.  I know A song.  So we end up in the beer garden again after two back to back great performances, and then opt to go check out Miike Snow.

So how did he sound?  Well, good from what I could hear.  We got about halfway up through the tent (again, lots of awesome people laying on the ground) and still couldn’t hear his voice that well.  Soundcheck anyone?  Either way, it was pretty catch so we just danced anyways.  Nothing that blew  my mind, but not a bad way to spend part of my afternoon.  Soon after we headed over to the beer tent by Phoenix on the Outdoor Theatre stage.  We realized, that you can’t really hear that stage very well from here (we could however, hear the bass from Pavement pulsing on the other side of the field).  It was good enough though.  We danced a little, drank a little, and enjoyed the lightheartedness of the music.

Next up was bathroom time before some camping out for Thom Yorke.  Totally necessary…and of course, the friends we were trying to meet all day just happened to be by the bathroom, go figure.  We follow them to somewhere center stage, waaaaay in the back to check out a living legend.  To preface, I am not a huge Radiohead fan, nor do I think I have listened to much of Thom Yorke besides what I’ve heard on the radio, but I’ve always respected his musical genius.

Nothing could have prepared me for what we were about to experience.  Now granted, I was definitely feeling pretty good by this point, but I like to think the music had more to do with it than anything else.  Thom made his way through Eraser with exact precision and was soon joined on stage by someone…who?  Well, we couldn’t tell from where we were, but we soon found out it was Flea (from RHCP) and he continued to rocked out with him the rest of the set.  Although I remember a few Radiohead songs in there, he didn’t go too heavy in that direction.  He just did what he does best…make amazingly creative music that is as artistic as it is beautiful.  You know those groups of people who are all dancing like crazy spiritual hippies because they are so into the music?  Yup, that was us. So yes, I’m transformed. I’m now a believer.  Thank you Thom Yorke for one of the best musical memories I have so far.

After that, Gorillaz seemed pale in comparison and we somehow found the other half of our car so it was go-time.  It was a little sad, looking back…but honestly, I was on such a high from the last performance that I felt like I was dancing on air (I think I was at some point?).

After a few more drinks at the house, we got to bed at the earliest we had so far, 1:30.  Awaking the next day, I felt like I was still living in my desert dream, only this time there was no music. There was, however, a very hot sun and pool nearby.  We were planning to leave that night.  But for now, we needed to lay down, soak up the rays, and give our feet a break.  We were soon joined by some random group of people who decided to sunbathe topless and performed stunts that were reminiscent of Jackass…but that’s a whole different story.

Heading home that night, I just wanted to enjoy the last of the musical afterglow I was experiencing before reality would come back and slap me in the face.  I even wrote a few songs, which I haven’t done in years.  What can I say? Coachella inspired me…in more ways than one.  After all the rough spots, what really stuck with me was the energy of the music and the feeling that the 9-5 grind we face everyday can somehow be justified as long as you have experiences like Coachella every now and then.  Until the next festival….keep rockin…

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Coachella…ella…ella…the 2010 festival review – Day Two

26 04 2010

Coachella…day two.  Ouch.  Despite the aches running from my feet into my calves from standing and walking entirely too far, I am up bright and early.  Something about good live music gives me unexplainable energy.  Portugal. The Man was on at 2:15, but I would be delusional to think we would be able to rally the group to get there on time to see it.  Coachella lesson #4: Bring bikes.  That is the best way to travel, hands down, as long as you can physically ride the bike at the end of the night (which is sometimes questionable).

The girls decided we wanted to get there earlier anyways, so we aimed for The Temper Trap at 4.  I was NOT going to miss this.  We headed out early, and luckily for us, they had fixed the line situation and we were there in plenty of time to see the Temper Trap (and even grab a beer beforehand).

The girls at the Temper Trap

So the Temper Trap comes on…and they sound pretty much exactly like their album.  It was a pretty perfect way to start the Saturday (much better than Friday).  It wasn’t anything mind-blowing, but they sounded good, the sun was shining, and I was on my way to a great night of music.

The girls made their way over to White Rabbits, but I opted to stay (alone) since I had seen them.  I felt ok about this.  After making their way through all my faves, including Fader (this song just makes my heart dance), I couldn’t be happier, so I headed over to check out the White Rabbits just in time to see them do about 3 songs, including “Percussion Gun” which they just kill on the live stage.  I must say though…I did enjoy them a lot more from the dark small room at the Casbah in SD, where their energy pretty much overtook everything.  The daylight had a bit of a dimming effect I think.

White Rabbits on the Coachella Stage

So far, Saturday is winning.  We have time to grab a few more beers before heading over to the tents to check out Gossip.  I wish I could have seen Edward Sharpe or Band of Skulls, but when everything is going on at the same time, you’re forced to pick and choose…you just have to know you can’t see everything (bummer).

If there is one band I wish I would have stayed longer for…it’s Gossip. That girl can sing!  And the energy was just fantastic!  We rocked out for a few songs and then learned lesson #5…at some point, you must sit down, or your feet will fall off.

Sitting seemed to fit right in with the XX so we walked over to the grass and sat nicely by the fence with some random famous people that I didn’t recognize but someone else did.  Have I mentioned that the weather was perfect?  And the band was perfect for relaxing in the grass…definitely a pretty chill sound, but the downtime was needed.  I wandered around the area for a bit looking for friends until I gave up and decided that sitting on the grass for an hour was all I was going to do and the XX was the perfect music for that.  We were happy, and we loved Coachella.  And we were feeling pretty good, so we started to reeeeeaaaly love Coachella.

Our friends ended up running into us just in time to chill for a minute before Hot Chip came on and got our dance party started!  Not usually my kind of music, I must say, I was pleasantly blown away.  The sun had started to set and we started off the night dance-party style, rocking our way from “Over and Over” to “Ready for the Floor”.  I’m not sure we stopped once.  Maybe once.  But maybe not.  I am a new Hot Chip fan.  Who knew?

Next up on the Coachella stage was Muse.  But for now, it was Faith No More…so we opted to grab a few beers before heading out to center stage to catch what we were sure was to be a good show.  And yes, it definitely was!  Muse will never disappoint. They play every song like it’s their finale…seriously.  I thought it was the last song like 5 times, then realized they just played FOREVER.  Ok, not forever, but for a long time…and we were all pretty stoked about it.  The intensity in Matthew Bellamy’s voice is nothing less of an emotionally moving experience.   Muse’s albums are great. Their lives shows are ridiculously fantastic, I think we were close to music OD for the day.

Muse on the Coachella Stage

But we perservered on…or tried to.  We walked over to the Z-trip tent…but were somehow distracted and confused by a big light structure which we sat and looked at for awhile, and complained about not hearing any actual Z-trip.  Oh wait…so you have to go IN the tent to hear it?  Ah, I see…ooops.  After being split up, our friends found us again.  I probably should have opted for Dead Weather, but was kinda feeling some DJ music by this point.

As we tried to make it to the last of the shows, the boys we were staying with decided that we needed to hurry or we were going to be left behind. Not wanting a repeat of the previous night, we booked it out of there.  Definitely wishing we had bikes at this point as when we got back to the car (bitter from being torn away from  music) we discovered our boys had invited some very unattractive girls to hang out in the car and there was not room for us (we are missing 2 many DJ’s & Tiesto for this???).

F them.  We found our girl friend and drank in the car for over an hour until we made our way out of the parking lot.  It sucked, but at least we got the liquor, and more importantly–the chips–from the boys before we left them.  Lesson #6…do not park in the parking lot if you drive.  Park half a mile away in the would literally have saved us 2 hours of waiting.

Finally back at the house…maybe around 3 am?  We were pretty annoyed at the boys, but nothing that a few beers couldn’t fix.  And then it was to bed…in preparation of Day 3…the final day of the festival…ahhh…Coachella…

Coachella…ella…ella…the 2010 festival review – Day One

21 04 2010

So my first year of Coachella has come and gone, leaving me in a state of musical-withdrawal.  There were definitely some organizational issues, and some moments of serious frustration, but in the end, the negative energy falls away and I take with me the memories of amazing music, amazing friends, and an experience that I will never forget. Here’s a rundown of Day 1…

View from the poolThe first thing I learned was…getting there a day early is perfect.  The calm before the storm is absolutely necessary.  Just make sure you don’t party too hard before the festival. Luckily, the thought of music is an instant hangover cure for me and I rallied to the cause nice and early.  The weather outside was perfect..not too hot, and the view is absolutely amazing for a music festival…or just a nice weekend getaway in general.  The mountains…the palm trees…the sunsets…now we just need the music…

So then we all pile into the car and find a back way into the festival.  Parking was easy, we’ve got 30 minutes before the first band we want to see, so we should be set right?  Wrong.  The second (and most important thing I learned)…Get there early the first day… or you might be stuck in line for 2 hours and miss the first 3 bands you planned to see, including Hockey…only to walk in and hear your friends say “Wow, we just randomly walked by this band Hockey and had to stop because they were SOOOOO AWESOME!  We’ve never heard of them, but what a great show”.  Thanks…please add some salt to my wounds. At this point I was thinking “I am never coming back here.  I want to cry…”  But I don’t give up.

So after a throwing a few back (as my previous shots of Jameson were rendered useless after the line incident),  my musical experience started with Passion Pit, who I’m not an insanely huge fan of, but at that point, hearing any music was pretty awesome.  They did put on a good show and I have to give the singer props for reaching such high notes.  I’m thinking they may have been better in a tent instead of on the Outdoor Theatre stage, but I was already starting to feel the music curing my bitterness.

After Passion Pit, it was back to the beer garden. This time we went to the one between the two big outdoor stages (Coachella & Outdoor) and wandered over–margaritas in hand– to see Them Crooked Vultures from inside the garden.  This supergroup is definitely deserving of the title as they pretty much killed it.  Yes! Finally rocking out!  Although at this point the group was split up and no one’s phone was working but mine (yay Sprint) so meeting up with anyone was nearly impossible.

Next it was back for more margaritas and then back to Coachella stage to watch LCD Soundsystem…of which I know maybe 1 song?  By this time, it didn’t matter.  The lights were crazy, the crowd was dancing, and their energy was so amazing, I was oblivious to anything else.  I could feel magic of the festival setting in and the more I danced, the less I cared about anything other than the music.  We had some fun people dancing around us and I remembered why I love live music so much.

Yes…more margaritas, and now heading over to Vampire Weekend at the Outdoor stage, where we made some friends and chilled out for a moment.  I noticed immediately that the sound from the beer garden was terrible for this stage.  VW was pretty good, but Jay-Z was almost on and by this time, we were ready for some Jigga…

After 2 steps we lost our new friends, but somehow found our other ones in the Sailor Jerry Beer Garden, plus even more new ones (Coachella is a great place to meet people, then lose them 30 minutes after).  The crowd was ridiculous by this time and if you weren’t literally holding on to your friends, they disappeared.  By this time I was tired of the beer gardens and wanted to be in the crowd so I made my way out with a new friend into the massive crowd and didn’t think twice about leaving my ride home…ooops.  What can I say?  I heard Jay-Z come out and memories of the last 10 years of my life pulled me out to the sea of people.

Now Jay-Z is pretty badass…he’s definitely been around for awhile, but he’s a hip-hop artist and, well, I honestly didn’t expect that much, as I don’t think most people did.  He didn’t have to get through 2 songs for me to realize that this was going to be one of the best performances of the weekend.  He didn’t need a huge posse on the stage to show us that he really is a musical legend of our generation.  He did what he does best, which is to simply be badass, and everyone loved him for it.  Everyone was dancing, everyone was singing, and no one wanted it to end…which is probably why he just kept on going.  And I really don’t think anyone minded.

Beyonce Singing "Forever Young" with Jay-Z

Just when we thought he was done, a very familiar voice walked on stage in jeans and a hat singing “Forever Young”.  Who is that anyways?  Oh, shit, it’s Beyonce!  Love her or hate her, it was a pretty awesome surprise and just the icing on the cake to an already amazing performance.  What better way to end the night than to a crowd singing “Forever Young” with Beyonce and Jay-Z?  After being thoroughly danced out, I decided it was probably a good idea to walk back over and try to find my friends.  Amazingly, they appeared in front of me as we walked away…sweet!

So now that we had all long forgotten about the hassle of getting in and ended up having a pretty awesome first day at Coachella, it was time to head back to the house.  It’s too bad that our friend who had the keys already took off home in a cab.  25 calls to her phone didn’t wake her up.  FML.  We honestly had no idea where we were going. Plan of action…walk towards the house until we can find a cab.

Important lesson #3-cabs only pick up from selected areas of the festival, and none that were en route to our house.  FML…again.

3 miles later, after walking back around the entire festival and then towards our house, the bitterness had returned.  Thank God some random local picked us up and drove us the last 2 miles.  At this point, my calves were going to fall off and I had grown extra skin to shield me from the chilly wind.  Beer in hand as soon as we walked into the house…check.  Finally making it to bed at 4:30 AM…guess we are going to have to learn to live without sleep for the next 2 days…

RockAngel goes to Coachella 2010…here are the bands you can’t miss

1 04 2010

That’s right!  This year I am going to Coachella and when I’m not dancing my butt off, or getting myself backstage (fingers crossed!), I’m hoping I can share some of the musical magic with you via super-advanced genius technology (otherwise known as my new HTC Droid smartphone) and my Social Networking sites…Twitter & Facebook.  If you haven’t connected with me yet, what are you waiting for?  It will be like you are right there with me…minus the thousands of screaming fans, extreme desert weather, and numerous adult beverages.

Until then…here’s a little preview of some of the lesser-known (maybe?) bands I’m really looking forward to seeing this year…

At the top of my list, there’s Florence & the Machine…my vote for the top album of 2009 and one of my favorite new artists.  New girlcrush?  Maybe…I’m a sucker for a girl in a sparkly dress who can sing her ass off (as I discovered watching Metric last weekend).

“You’ve Got the Love”…

Next up is the XX…I missed them when they came to The Casbah in San Diego and I was soooooo bummed!  At least I get to make up for it at Coachella.  I’m not usually big on minimalist simplicity but I find the seducing vocals impossible to resist.

Check out “Crystalised” below:

I’ve get a little 70’s chill in my bones when I hear Gossip and “Heavy Cross”.  The energy of this song and the band in general is undeniable.  I have a feeling I’m gonna be seriously rocking out to this one…

“Heavy Cross” – Gossip

Yes, I have already seen MuteMath, but that just makes me more excited to see them again.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a band put so much physical energy into a show (even AFI)…pretty sure their shows require months of physical training.  Another one of my favorite albums of 2009, they really lured me in with “Spotlight” (below), but the rest of the album is just as good (in case you were wondering).

If you haven’t jumped on the As Tall As Lions bandwagon, you better get with it!  I’ve heard nothing but good things about this band and I can’t wait to see them for myself.  I have a feeling that their song “In Case of Rapture” is going to be one of those songs that uses it’s live energy to unite the crowd…or that’s what I’m hoping at least.

Another band that’s gonna keep the crowds dancing is gonna be Hockey.  Their whole album is high energy and I’m hoping their live show will be too.  I can feel myself dancing already…

Here’s “Too Fake” from Hockey:

Recently I’ve just gotten into Portugal. the Man and their new album is caressing my eardrums in just the right way.  I have no idea what to expect from the show, but I am loooving their song “The Dead Dog” from American Ghetto.

If you’re going to Coachella this year, I hope the preview just added to the excitement.  For those of you that won’t be here, I’ll keep you posted via Twitter and Facebook, so add me 🙂

Oh, and it should go without saying that I’m super stoked to see the rest of the lineup like The Temper Trap, Jay-Z, Them Crooked Vultures, Muse, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Little Boots, White Rabbits, Iglu & Hartley, Camera Obscura & Matt & Kim…just to name a few.  I’m so excited I might pee (let’s hope not though, gross).

Until then…keep rockin’…

White Rabbits kill it at the live show at Casbah in San Diego

18 06 2009

Originally seduced by the lead track Percussion Gun from their new album It’s Frightening, I explored the rest of White Rabbits newest release and realized this band is really on to something. With a smooth Spoon sort of feel (hmmm, may have something to do with the creative hand of Brit Daniel on this album) and a rugged Cold War Kids intensity, White Rabbits manage to create something that is nothing short of music heaven. They put more creativity into one song than most put into a whole album.

So after knowing all of this, I head to a live show at the Casbah in San Diego that I am hopeful will be something to write about, and I got more than I ever could have asked for. I got there in time for the openers, and unfortunately for me, the first band of the night had a singer that was trying to be Luke Pritchard from The Kooks, only he wasn’t British, and I wasn’t buying it. So I had another drink, and prayed to the musical gods…

Next up was a band I had never heard of-The Subjects. I was a bit skeptical of this 4 piece flannel-clad band who claim to reign from Brooklyn, but look more like they come from a laid back hippie town. Don’t let their look fool you though. Initially I was getting a jam band kind of vibe, but then they pulled in all the creative tricks of Indie’s best and even threw in…reggae? Is that what I heard? Yes. My musical companion for the night heard it also. As he put it, “it sounds like these guys sit around a room, possibly filled with some kind of mind altering substance, saying, ‘yeah, that sounds cool, let’s try it”. Their influence was diverse and their execution was flawless. A lot of “ooohs” and “ahhhs”, some great harmonies, a touch of a synth, and a solid rock band sound fused with Chamber Pop creativity all came together and made me remember why I liked to catch the openers. To top it off, I talked to the singer for a minute afterwards and he couldn’t be nicer. I wish the best for these guys, because they definitely deserve it. Check out their myspace…but realize that the quality of these songs just doesn’t do them justice. Preorder their album from the page, or wait until it’s picked up by iTunes or Lala, so you can really get a sense of what these guys are capable of.

White Rabbits live at the Casbah

White Rabbits live at the Casbah

Now for the main event…White Rabbits hit the stage, and they don’t waste any time warming up the crowd. The drumbeat is prevalent …wait, the drum beats are KILLING it! Yes, they had two drummers…and so the percussion orgasm begins. The band plays with an energy that is unsurpassed by anyone I’ve seen and the singer eases in with a smooth intensity that pierces even the toughest exterior to reach deep down into your musical soul. And apparently, no one told the backup vocals that they had to be inferior to the main ones because they brought depth to the many instrumental layers that were already there and they went down as smooth as a good scotch (or good red wine for those of us that don’t drink scotch).

One of the key elements to this band is the pairing of the intense drumbeats with the simplistic beauty of a piano (keys). These guys are no strangers to a good progressive buildup and they use these elements, in addition to the electric guitar, acoustic guitar, textured vocals, and even tambourine (who knew it would be so important?) to drive you to a musical climax that is sure to propel them to the stardom they deserve.

His voice is so richly textured and intense...amazing!

His voice is so richly textured and intense...amazing!

By the time they got to their single “Percussion Gun”, I didn’t think it could get any better, but of course, I was wrong. The live performance of this song should go down in history. Even if you weren’t a fan before, you couldn’t walk away from that song without being completely blown away. Check out the video posted on their myspace page to get an idea. Words cannot describe their performance of this song; it was nothing sort of a radioactive spiritual experience that left the crowd glowing in the aftermath.

White Rabbits - Percussion Gun -Casbah San DIego

They always say in the law of attraction to “act the part”, even if you’re not there yet, and these guys go out every night and play like they have made it big…no matter how small the venue. Check ‘em out now, while you still can see them at a small venue, because these guys are headed straight to the top.

White Rabbits “Percussion Gun” Music Video from White Rabbits on Vimeo.

White Rabbits on lala:

It’s Frightening
Fort Nightly (2007 release)

White Rabbits Myspace

The Subjects Myspace

…keep rockin’…

O.A.R. at House of Blues…a little taste of East Coast style in San Diego

10 02 2009

If you know me, you know I get pretty excited to see any kind of live music.  But last night I was more excited than Ryan Seacrest at a Pride parade..that’s because I finally got to see one of the defining bands of my college years- O.A.R. People who live on the East Coast just won’t understand, because they roll through those towns a few times a year, but it is rare that O.A.R. makes in into southern California, and more specifically, San Diego, EVER.  Believe me, I watch the live music lineups that come through, and it’s been quite awhile.  Needless to say, seeing their name on the House of Blues lineup made me so excited I couldn’t contain myself.  I’ve been listening to their Live from Madison Square Garden album in a pretty consistent rotation in the last few months…and I don’t listen to live albums really, but this is an exception.  You can’t help but to smile and feel a sense of nostalgia listening to the live energy…or maybe it’s just my east coast roots, either way, it beats the hell out of any of their studio albums.

So on to the show…

He was jammin!

He was jammin'!

Getting downtown on a Wednesday by 7 was not the easiest task, but I knew Eric Hutchinson was opening, and we all know how much I adore his music.  Somehow, by the grace of the music gods, we got there just in time, and as he sang his first words, I felt immediately justified in my urgency to be there on time.  He sang with as much soul live as I’ve heard on his album and the band was sharp.  You could tell he just loved what he was doing since he was so into it, and that feeling translated into the audience.  Most people weren’t familiar with his music, but once he started going, he had the whole crowd clapping and singing along.  When he broke into “You Don’t have to Belive Me”, I was the happiest girl in the world.  Everyone started dancing, a few of us were singing along, and everyone was having a great time.  I could have left after and been satisfied, but much to my delight…

Eric told the crowd he’d be back by the merch table if anyone wanted to come meet him.  Of course we went back there, and were about 15 people back from the front.  Luckily for us, he decided to make us the front of the line, so we ended up being the first to meet him. He was very polite, super laid back, and extremely grateful for every compliment we paid him…which of course included me telling him he’s really got something special and he’s gonna blow up…and that I’ve been rocking his CD for months and it was one of my favorite of the year.  Maybe I sounded like a 13-year old girl at a New Kids concert, but I thought he should know that there are some fans out there who came to see him as well as OAR.  I think I maintained myself ok though, and then we got our pictures, got a ticket signed, and let him meet the rest of the girls who also adore musicians (even ones they don’t know).

Eric Hutchinson...they dont grow guys like this in SD

Eric Hutchinson...they don't grow guys like this in SD

Now for the main event…

O.A.R. takes the stage, and the crowd gets superamped.  Can’t quite remember the first song, but I know that “This Town” was one of the first ones, and you could just feel the positive energy in the air.  It’s one of those songs that just makes you feel at home.  For a crowd full of East-Coasters (like myself), it was some of the most laid back people I’ve seen.  I’ve always said that being at a live show is one of the only times when I feel like I’m truly living in the moment.  Every note, every beat, and every word that came out of Marc’s mouth floated through the evening and filled the room with a sense of nostalgia, and in a way, a sense of life…how it’s supposed to be lived.

Marc and the band...doin what they do best

Marc and the band...doin' what they do best

As the night went on, O.A.R. mixed it up with some of the oldies but goodies like “Hey Girl” to which the crowd sang along to every word, but also some of their new stuff like “Livin’ in the End”, which seemed to be surprisingly popular given that it’s a newer song (guess everyone else probably loved the live CD too).  O.A.R. will always be best remembered for their old jam-style music, but when you see them perform their new stuff, you can’t even hold “Shattered” against them.  Sure, it’s sell-out-radio-friendly music, but it still has a way of creeping in to that place where you stop hearing music, and start feeling it.  I don’t think there was a single song that you didn’t see at least 75% of the crowd singing along to. Unfortunately, during Shattered, their voice comes through a little more than the band’s, but here’s a vid if you’re interested:

O.A.R. continued to make their way through the night, slowing it down a bit, and then rockin’ again.  They of course do the “we’re done for the night” fakeout…which no one bought, because we were all very aware that they haven’t played possibly the most popular song from colllege campuses about 5 years ago…”Crazy Game of Poker”.  So of course they came back out, and performed about a 15 minute rendition of it and totally jammed like the O.A.R. we all know and love.  If this doesn’t remind you of every house party you went to in college…then you never went to one on the east coast, that’s for sure.

Here are the rest of the pics from the show…

…keep rockin’…

My Friday night with Scott Russo…and the rest of Unwritten Law

8 01 2009

If you know me at all, you know the one band I’ve seen more than any other is Unwritten Law…and unless I am out of town, I will go anywhere, anytime they play.  Sure, the music is great, but I’m not gonna lie, there’s not much in life that beats watching Scott Russo perform on stage. I hadn’t been in awhile, so I was all about the all-local San Diego bands show at House of Blues on December 19th.

We got there in time to see the opener who I can’t remember because they were pretty much another generic punk band.  They were ok I guess, but it wasn’t really my thing, and one of the guys was sporting very unusual facial hair (one of those superlong skinny beard things that only old Asian masters can get away with) and I just couldn’t get past it.

The next band – Buckfast Superbee – is fronted by a friend of ours who also works at firehouse, so there was a great crowd there to support them.  I had never heard them live before, but after this show, I was really glad I was able to experience their music live.  They have a similar style to Unwritten Law, so of course I was all about the music, but on top of that, the energy and execution were amazing.  They really rocked the stage with a lot of passion, and it was the perfect appetizer for the upcoming delicious entree, aka-  Unwritten Law.  You can check out their newest CD here, or their myspace here.

We skipped out for Sprung Monkey for the sole fact that I’ve seen them before, and drinks at House of Blues were expensive, so we wanted to grab a couple at The Local before Unwritten Law took the stage.  We got back in just in time, and didn’t miss a beat.

Scott Russo, rockin the Fedora

Scott Russo, rockin' the Fedora

So here comes Unwritten Law and my biggest musical crush-Scott Russo. To my surprise, he’s rocking a much more laid back style.  I would normally object to my favorite rockstar giving up eyeliner, but if there’s one thing I love just as much as eyeliner on rockstars, it’s a well-worn Fedora hat.  And believe me, Scott wore it well.  But besides his style, the band really killed it (again) on stage.  They kept up the energy and the crowd sang along to pretty much everything.  I can always count on UL to rock from beginning to end, and tonight was no exception.  The highlights of the show included Scott ditching the guitar to work the mic and work me into a musical orgasm….and the adorable cameo by Scott’s son, who is the epitomy of a San Diego kid with his surfer-ish bleach blonde hair.  Is he a rockstar in the making?  Well, it’s probably a little too

Scott Russo and the soon to be rockstar

Father/Son Duet

early to tell, but seeing the father/son duo on stage was possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen at a rock concert.  Yeah Scott, you really know how to work the ladies.  And Unwritten Law…you’ll never get enough credit in the mainstream, but San Diego has nothin’ but love (and crazy fantasies) for you.

See all the pics HERE

Here’s a little taste of the Russoliciousness….