A Year of Concerts: 2013


Listed chronologically, the most recent show first.

Stevie Wonder | Songs In The Key Of Life | Nokia Theatre L.A. Live | 12/21/13

Shy Girls | The Spare Room and Bootleg Bar | 12/12/13 and 12/13/13

Snoopzilla and Dam Funk “7 Days Of Funk” Record Release Party | Los Angeles Exchange | 12/10/13

Thundercat | The Echoplex | 12/05/13

Moses Sumney | The Echoplex | 12/05/13

Pearl Jam | Los Angeles Sports Arena | Nov. 23-24, 2013

Ben Harper | Walt Disney Concert Hall | 11/18/13

The Record Company | The Satellite | 11/15/13

The Janks | The Satellite | 11/15/13

Nine Inch Nails | Staples Center | 11/08/13

Iron & Wine | The Orpheum Theatre | 10/31/13

Laura Mvula | The Orpheum Theatre | 10/31/13

Hiatus Kaiyote | Skirball Cultural Center | 10/30/13

Moses Sumney | Skirball Cultural Center | 10/30/13

Hanni El Khatib| El Rey Theatre| 10/25/13

Bass Drum of Death | El Rey Theatre | 10/25/13

Tijuana Panthers | El Rey Theatre| 10/25/13

The Secret State | Loaded Hollywood | 10/13/13

Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide 2013 | Echo Park | 11/10/13 – 11/11/13  (Wooster, Tiny Ruins, Maya Vik, Iza, Medicine, Jacco Gardner, Gemini Club and Great White Buffalo)

Fiona Apple and Blake Mills | Walt Disney Concert Hall | 10/7/13

Depeche Mode | Staples Center | 9/29/13

M83, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Phantogram | Hollywood Bowl | 9/22/13

The Beach Ball Festival: Soul Revue | Santa Monica Pier | September 21, 2013 (Myron & E, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Maceo Parker, Allen Stone and Aloe Blacc)

Laura Mvula | El Rey Theatre | 9/17/13


Lobster Festival | Port of Los Angeles | September 14, 2013 (The Section Quartet, Nightmare & The Cat, Deap Vally, Dead Sara)

Girl in a Coma | The Echoplex | September 12, 2013

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue | Twilight Concert Series | August 29, 2013

The Dustbowl Revival | Twilight Concert Series | August 29, 2013

FYF FEST | L.A. State Historic Park | August 24 and 25, 2013 (Mikal Cronin, Charles Bradley, The Breeders, Devendra Banhart, The Locust, Deerhunter, TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Orwells, Pional, How To Dress Well, No Age, !!! (ChkChkChk), Shlohmo, MGMT, Solange, and Holy Ghost!)

Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band |Burton W. Chace Park | August 17, 2013

The National | Jimmy Kimmel Live | August 12, 2013

Hanni El Khatib | Twilight Concert Series | August 8, 2013

Hiatus Kaiyote | The Bootleg Theater | July 31, 2013

Geographer | Getty Center | July 27, 2013

Tijuana Tears | The Virgil | July 24, 2013

Savages | El Rey Theatre | July 23, 2013

Alabama Shakes | Hollywood Palladium | July 17th, 2013

Rodrigo y Gabriela | Hollywood Bowl | July 14, 2013

Young, Gifted & Nina: A Tribute to Nina Simone | California Plaza | July 5, 2013

BET Experience | R. Kelly, New Edition & The Jacksons | Staples Center | 6/30/13

BET Experience | Snoop, Kendrick Lamar & J.Cole | Staples Center | 6/29/13

BET Experience | Beyonce | Staples Center | 6/28/13

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters | Shrine Auditorium | June 26th, 2013

Nina Diaz | Hotel Café | June 9th, 2013

Ink-N-Iron Festival | Queen Mary | June 8, 2013 (Girl in a Coma, Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil, Kaleigh Baker, The Fleshtones, Dead Kennedys and Iggy and the Stooges)

Illumination Road | The Roxy | June 4, 2013

Make Music Pasadena 2013 | June 1, 2013 (The Record Company, The Peach Kings, YACHT, Robert DeLong, Youngblood Hawke, Haunted Summer and The Likes of Us)

A Night For Jolie; A Night To Remember | Henson Recording Studios | May 31, 2013

Hanni El Khatib and The Black Angels | Mayan Theater | 5/21/13

What Made Milwaukee Famous | Central SAPC | 5/19/13

Dead Sara | El Rey Theater | May 9, 2013

New Build and No Ceremony/// | First Unitarian Church | April 27, 2013

Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Friday (Of Monsters and Men, Passion Pit, Palma Violets, Modest Mouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jurassic 5, Stone Roses and How To Destroy Angels)

Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Saturday (Ben Howard, Pucifer, Violent Femmes, Grizzly Bear, Postal Service, Franz Ferdinand and Phoenix)

Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Sunday (Alex Clare, Rodriguez, Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave, Wu-Tang Clan and Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Toddchella | Part I | Tijuana Tears

Toddchella | Part II | The Record Company

Toddchella | Part III | We Were Indians

The Weeks | Three Clubs | 3/29/13

Nik Kai | 12 Year Old Guitar Prodigy | The Future of Shredding

The Night Hiatus Kaiyote Blew My Mind At The Del Monte Speakeasy 3/23/13

Jose James | The Del Monte Speakeasy | 3/13/13

Morrissey | Staples Center | 3/1/13

Orange Tulip Conspiracy |El Cid | 2/22/13

Soundgarden | The Wiltern | 2/16/13

The Robert Glasper Experiment | The Roxy | 2/8/13

Social Distortion | The House of Blues (Sunset) | 01/26/13


Fiona Apple and Blake Mills | Walt Disney Concert Hall | 10/7/13

Fiona Apple and Blake Mills tour poster.
Fiona Apple and Blake Mills 2013  tour poster.

I first saw Fiona Apple perform live when I was on location at the Trump Taj Mahal in 2006 working on the short-lived, live-to-tape, VH1 Classics concert series Decades Rock Live! She was a guest artist on the episode featuring Elvis Costello, and she she sang a cover of Elvis Costello’s “I Want You” that absolutely blew my mind and gave me shivers. That one performance was, bar none, my favorite performance from  the 8 episodes we were able to tape.

It wasn’t until 6 year later in 2012 that I was able to see her perform again, this time at the Greek Theater supporting her album “The Idler Wheel […]”. I enjoyed the show, but truth be told, I could have done without the groups of drunk girls, sitting around me, chit-chatting throughout the entire show. Apparently, at that show, concert decorum left the building early. To have to tell people to shut up during the quiet, emotional songs is something that I don’t think any concert goer should have to deal with.

When I heard that Fiona Apple was performing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, I knew that that was a ticket I needed to get. Not only is the Walt Disney Concert Hall a more intimate venue (it seats 2,265 as opposed to the Greek’s 5,870), but it also has superior acoustics and strict rules as to concert etiquette (i.e, strict food, beverage, noise and photography rules). I knew that this time around, I would be experiencing a difference type of Fiona Apple concert.

When I got to the venue, I made a b-line straight to the merchandise booth. For the concert at the Greek, I remember being literally one person late in getting an autographed lithographed poster for that show, taking a picture of the last poster that the woman right in front of me purchased, and I was trying to avoid the same thing from happening again. Nothing special was available, however, and I simply picked up the poster that you can see up at the top of the page.

The stage set up was sparse and simple. Instruments (drum-kit, upright bass, guitar rack, baby grand piano and a stand alone kick drum) were positioned on the stage with carpets under the center microphone and baby grand, and an empty blackboard at the rear of the stage. The players (Sebastian Steinberg on upright bass, Barbara Gruska barefoot on drums and Blake Mills on vocals and guitar(s)) took the stage, and before the music started Fiona announced, among other things, “I don’t do soundcheck,” and, “Now that we’re here, I’m taking the most risks.”

She walked to the chalkboard and began to write a series of words on the board (I wish I could have taken a picture of it, but per venue rules, no pics):

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 11.57.31 PM

The music of the evening was pure perfection. Fiona and Blake complimented each other’s sound and personalities, and it was a joy to see each of the players be so in tune with each other. The musical brilliance aside, I was particularly excited to see Fiona so comfortable to be performing for us. She was chatty and enthusiastic throughout the entire set, something that wouldn’t have necessarily been expected based on all of the recent gossip.

During “The First Taste”, she sprawled herself on the floor playing percussion on some items she “borrowed” from the hotel she was staying at. After, “The First Taste” she noted her haircut and giggled while stating, “When I get excited, I cut my hair,” and added, “I just wanna feel everything.” During Blake’s first solo song, she draped herself of the stand alone kick-drum and pounded away at it throughout the tune. After “Anything We Want”, she emphasized that the name of tour was the same, and at that point it truly felt like she meant it.

Her emotions poured out on “Regret”. The dynamics on the Blake Mills duet of “Seven” were chilling, especially when Fiona sat on the floor while Blake gently, and at a super pianissamo level, gently plucked away at his guitar strings … all eyes in the room were fixated, and you could feel the tension in the room from everybody worrying about moving around making the slightest bit of noise. When an audience member yelled out “Paper Bag” as a request, Fiona admitted that she totally forgot about that song. Before “Left Alone” she called Rex Reed a cunt for giving her father a poor review, and stoically stated, “That was for you dad.”

After the show concluded, I made my way back out to the front of the theater to meet up with a couple friends when I noticed some concert goers walking around the foyer with a poster  that looked different that the one I had purchased before show. I stopped one of the patrons with the different poster and she told me it was a limited lithograph of Fiona’s original artwork, signed by both Fiona and Blake. I went back to the merchandise table where the line was considerably longer than before. As fate would have it, this time I  was the customer who purchased the LAST one that was available. I guess Karma found it’s way back to me.

A lithograph of Fiona's original artwork signed by both Fiona Apple and Blake Mills.
A one of fifty lithographs available at the concert of Fiona’s original artwork signed by both Fiona Apple and Blake Mills.

I could totally care less about all of the tabloid fodder that’s out there about Fiona. Her music should speak for itself. And her music is simply, unequivocally, brilliant. In the intimate and acoustically superior Walt Disney Concert Hall, that musical brilliance was transcendent. I must have had the hair on my arms stand up at least 5 times throughout the concert, and I hardly have any hair on my arms.

Although I wish I could have taken some photographs, coming away with 1 of 50, signed lithographs for the show is definitely a worthy consolation prize.

Setlist compiled from taken from Laweekly.com’s website and setlist.fm:

  1. Tipple (new song co-written by Blake Mills)
  2. The First Taste
  3. Every Single Night
  4. Unworthy (Blake Mills)
  5. Anything We Want
  6. Curable Disease
  7. Regret
  8. It’ll All Work Out
  9. I Want You To Love Me (new song)
  10. It’s Only Make Believe (Conway Twitty cover)
  11. Seven (duet with Blake Mills)
  12. Dull Tool
  13. Don’t Tell Out Friends About Us (Blake Mills)
  14. Left Alone
  15. I Know
  16. Waltz (Better Than Fine)

I recorded some audio clips from the show, but rather than edit them to post here, I simply found some video that another concert goer had put up. The video is terrible, but at least you can hear some of the amazing I got to experience at the Walt Disney Concert Hall that wonderful Monday evening. Cheers.