One of my favorite female rock vocalists is Nina Diaz. Usually the front woman for the punk rock band Girl In A Coma, she’s decided to take a little hiatus from the band to record some music solo. The results are a set of music that is wrought with emotional expressions of melody that act as confessional. Continue reading
FEA (pronounced FAY-ah) is the feminine form of the Spanish word for “ugly”. It’s also the name of a Riot Grrrl, side project of some bad ass rockers from Texas.
Back in 2012, I discovered the music of a band from Texas named Girl In A Coma. It was love first listen. The trio consisting of Jenn Alva and sisters Nina and Phanie Diaz steamrolled my ear drums with their brand of San Antonio flavored indie rock.
As Nina Diaz recently recorded her own solo project (and who’ll be Southern California Thursday July 24th at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach and Friday July 25 at Levitt Pavillion in MacArthur Park supporting her latest album), Phanie and Jenn decided to put together a new band, FEA, with singer Theresa Moher and guitarist Aaron Lee Magana. Raw with no frills, FEA’s music puts the punk back into punk rock.
The venue they played at, AMPLYFi, seemed to be the perfect setting for their Riot Grrrl music. It was a small, unassuming venue that seemed to be on par with the “do it yourself” Riot Grrrl mentality of the 90s. Their set was relatively short but it was as aggressive and shredding. They even threw in a little rockabilly flavor covering Wanda Jackson’s “Fujiyama Mama”.
Only time will tell whether Phanie and Jenn keep this musical incarnation going; I’m just glad I got to see them do their thing.
I’ll have to admit, I had a difficult getting any real quality shots at this venue. I used my DSRL, but lacking true proficiency at adjusting settings to accommodate for the quickly change lighting and the low light, and not having the greatest aperture, I’m thinking I probably could have snapped better pics with my point and shoot. C’est la vie. Practice, practice, practice … I’m hoping, will lead to perfect.
Listed chronologically, the most recent show first.
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)
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)
Lobster Festival | Port of Los Angeles | September 14, 2013 (The Section Quartet, Nightmare & The Cat, Deap Vally, Dead Sara)
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!)
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)
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)
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)
Girl In A Coma. I love this band. Since I first saw them featured on an episode of Last Call with Carson Daly back in November of 2011 , I’ve seen this San Antonio, TX based Indie Rock band, or their lead singer, perform live four times . This year I saw the group perform at the Ink-N-Iron Festival and their lead singer, Nina Diaz, perform a solo set at the Hotel Café the day after. Their performance at the Echoplex on September 12, 2013 makes the cumulative number of times I’ve seen them perform live five.
I got to the venue early enough to catch the girls hanging out and spent a few minutes chatting with Phanie (the drummer). She told me about the band’s plans to start recording tracks for their next album after they wrap up their current tour and our mutual, and random (she’s the only friend of mine on Facebook who “likes” them), interest in the indie rock band, Screaming Females.
There was a lot going on in Los Angeles on September 12, 2013 (ie. Pixies playing the El Rey, Dave Stewart & Friends at the Troubadour, Jimmy Cliff’s free concert on the Santa Monica Pier, and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon playing in her new band Body/Head right upstairs in the Echo, etc.) but GIAC’s dedicated fans still showed up in numbers. I met up with another die-hard GIAC fan (who brought his daughter to the show) and he pointed out a fan who was in the military and was to ship out the next day to the middle east. GIAC’s fan loyalty has no bounds.
The girls rocked their set. Rather than go on in this entry about how awesome their performance was (which I’ve written about before here and here), just know that they deliver live, and if you are into their music, you will not be disappointed with their live show.
After they finished their set, I lingered a bit to get them to sign my 2013 Record Store Day, limited edition, blue vinyl copy of their first album “Both Before I’m Gone”. Apparently, I must have been the last person who left the venue since the valet mysteriously disappeared with my keys. While waiting for my keys, I waited outside while the girls were loading up their van. Being as cool as they are, and after I had retrieved my keys, they snapped a picture with me before I took off.
Girl in a Coma are performing throughout the west and midwest through November. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter to know when they are in your neck of the woods. In the meantime, you can check out the pictures and video highlights I took at the gig I went to. Unfortunately, from where I was standing I couldn’t get many decent shots of Jenn (bassist) or Phanie performing, but I doubt people are going to mind the excess number of pictures of Nina. Enjoy!
Setlist, as provided by the drummer, Phanie Diaz:
- One Eyed Fool
- Slaughter Ln
- Si Una Vez
- She Had A Plan
- Ven Cerca
- El Monte
- Little Red Riding Hood (cover of Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs version)
- Here is Now
- Encore: Their Cell (acoustic)
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Nina Diaz’s solo gig at Hotel Café. I’ve been a fan of the band that she fronts, Girl In A Coma , for several years now and having seen them perform live three times (including the day before at the Ink-N-Iron Festival , I guess I kind of assumed that she would be doing acoustic covers of their recordings from the past four albums. It wasn’t that. It was so much better.
Before delving into her set, let me first get this out of the way: I’m in love with Nina’s voice. She is a tour de force. She can sing with sultry inflection or belt out punk choruses, and she does it with what seems to be the greatest of ease. I’m a grown ass man, but I’ll have to admit, after listening to songs like “Adjust”, “Smart” and “So” off of Girl In Coma’s album “Exits and All the Rest” , I fell in love with Nina’s voice like I did back in middle school when I heard Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love” and “I Don’t Wanna Cry”. It’s comparing apple to oranges- their vocal styles are completely different- but I think that you get the picture.
Nina’s set consisted of material that I’d never heard before. With just her voice, her guitar and a set of loop-pedals, she delivered a powerfully emotional set that really was something truly breathtaking to behold. Through her new songs, it felt as if she was telling the sold-out audience of 140 patrons about what she had been going through in her life. Yes, the songs were heavy- delivered with either pent up, fierce fury, or gentle, thoughtful, longing- but Nina engaged the audience in between her songs with playful banter to relieve any tensions her lyrics may have imparted.
Before the third song, she dedicated it to the Spurs, and wanted us to imagine the Spurs wearing nothing but spurs. After another song, she explained that song and the lyrics “Do you really love me the way you say you do?” is actually about Karma… a very nice prostitute who’ll give you everything you deserve. She even made some lighthearted confessions about the music she had written, admitting when she used the same chord progressions on two separate songs.
But there is no getting around the heaviness of music. She wrote a song about those who go through bad stuff in life and keep it all in. She wrote an empowerment song about not knowing what kind of person you truly are until you go through a bad break up (“Fall In Love”). She wrote another song that I think she called a “wedding singer song” about her ex- who she made a subtle jab at by calling him a dick … okay, maybe not that subtle- that had the defiant lyrics, “One last kiss, one that you’ll never miss […] all he seems to care about is friends, fame, name [.]”
Perhaps the most heartbreaking song she sang was the song she dedicated to her father, “Mortician’s Musician” (in case you didn’t know, or couldn’t tell, her father is a mortician). I had shivers run down my spine, and goose bumps pop up on my arm, when she sang the lyrics, “I’m not a fool for writing songs, I’m a fool for trying to get you to sing along.” <sob> I desperately want to hear that song again.
She closed her set with a cover of the INXS song “Never Tear Us Apart”- very apropos- but the audience wouldn’t let her leave the stage that easily. She agreed to sing one more song, and advised the audience that she hadn’t planned on singing a Girl In A Coma song, but ended up performing “El Monte” to close out the evening.
Afterwards, I met up with a friend I had invited to the show. The first thing she said to me was that it was the first time, in a long time, that a singer has ever made her laugh and cry at a concert. It went without saying. We experienced something magical that night.
I grabbed the set list from the stage, and went to the merchandise booth to say, “Hi,” to Phanie (drums for Girl in a Coma) and Jenn (bass for Girl In A Coma). I waited for Nina and got her to autograph the set list and the poster that I had ganked from the wall (just so you don’t think I’m a clepto, I asked the bouncer if I could first!). I chatted with some of her friends while her fans greeted her. Sneaking in during a lull, I bid my adieu and head off.
On the 45-minute drive home, I tried to put into context what I had experienced. I’ve been to a lot of amazing shows this year, but this one was different. I got emotionally involved at this show. And as cheese-ball as it may sound, with Nina sharing bits and pieces of her life, I had become emotionally invested in Nina’s story. In the intimate, dimly-lit venue, for the first time, I felt her frustrations, pain, heartache, longing, revival, strength … the gamut of emotions cover the spectrum. The fact that she performed alone on stage also added a certain gravitas and intimacy with her outpouring of personal history. It almost felt like she was confiding in us.
I plugged my phone into the car stereo and began playing the video clips I had taken. When the clip of “For You” started playing I started thinking of Jeff Buckley’s “Live in Sin-e” recordings. When you get me thinking about one my all-time favorite recordings, you’ve left an impression. Nina left an impression. Whether these new songs are recorded with Girl In A Coma, or whether she puts it out as solo material, people need to hear this music. If Nina ever has a solo gig in your neighborhood, you’d be a fool not to go. Puro heart. Puro rock and roll.
Below, I’ve included several snippets from the show. My only regret is that I wish I had taken more footage.
UPDATE: 11/14/13: God bless the soul who recorded Nina’s entire set and posted it to Youtube. Now you can watch her amazing solo gig in its entirety.
I don’t have any tattoos and I don’t know much about cars. I’ve always tossed around the idea of getting a tattoo, and it’s still a possibility at some point, but I’ll just put in a pin in it for now. That being said, I attended the Day 2 of the Ink-N-Iron Festival, and joined the party to celebrate some seriously good music.
It was my first time attending the yearly event, and I have to give the organizers some serious props for making it a day that I’ll remember. Beautiful cars. Beautiful tattoos. Women in corsets and otherwise dressed up in pin-up outfits. It was clean. It was family friendly. It wasn’t too crowded. Very nicely done.
I drove to Long Beach from West Los Angeles, and I was slightly worried that I’d arrive a little late to catch the first band I wanted to see perform: Girl In A Coma . I’ve been following this band for a few years now, and I always go out of my way to catch them perform whenever they come to town. I remember when I first heard their music. It was sometime November 2011 when I was up late watching TV. I had “Last Call with Carson Daly” on, and they were the featured artists for the episode. Their music snippets piqued my interest and I Googled their music. Boom. Instant fan. You can check out the feature that I watched here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/302589 .
Thankfully, the Los Angeles traffic gods saw it in their good graces to get me to the Queen Mary on time.
It was an early afternoon 2:00pm set, and I joined their other fans up against the general admittance railing as they finished sound checking. Even with a few technical difficulties, it was a solid set. They played songs from all four of their full-length albums ( “Both Before I’m Gone” , “Trio BC” , “Adventures In Coverland” , and “Exits and All the Rest”.
Before closing their set, Nina announced that the band was planning on starting recording for their new album at the end of the year. It sounded like they closed their set with new songs, and when I got the set-list from Phanie (drums) the following night when I went to Nina’s solo gig at the Hotel Café (which was amazing, by the way, and which you can read about by clicking this link… do it!) it looks like their last two songs were new. The video clips I took with my phone don’t do the band justice- I need to buy a good camera that takes good video/audio clips… any suggestions? They are my favorite all-girl rock band.
The only criticism I had with the festival was that since it was so early in the day, the organizers should have let their fans into the VIP viewing area to watch the set. Other than that, no complaint.
- One Eyed fool
- Slaughter Ln
- Si Una Vez
- She had a plan
- Joanie in the city
I planned on visiting them at the artist merchandise booth to say, “Hi,” but having noticed that all of their other fans I was standing with announced that they were going to head over, I decided to hang back and walk around the festival grounds. I’m sure glad I did.
There was a band named Hopeless Jack & The Handsome Devil that also had a 2:00pm set time. I wasn’t planning on checking them out, and only stumbled upon their set when I decided to check out some cars at the Tiki-Drive-In Stage. As soon as I was within earshot of their music, I thought to myself, “Screw the cars, I need to see who the fuck is playing right now”.
It was raw, heavy, lo-fi, blues, garage rock. Two guys, one drummer and one guitarist. I hate comparing artists to other artists, but if I had to, I’d say they were The Black Keys, high on adrenaline, and drunk on whiskey. Simply based on what I was able to catch, which was only the last couple songs of their set, I was hooked. If you see the video below, there was some photo shoot going on, and for a minute, I didn’t want to get in the way. I stopped the video when I noticed another photographer up at the front of the stage. I walked through the photo shoot, and was able to snap a few cool shoots of the band with my phone.
When they finished their set, I had to catch them to buy whatever music they had. I purchased one of their CDs and their newly pressed 7’’ single of “Firefly” and “Pack My Bags”. The drummer, “Smilin’ Pete”, was the first to greet those who wanted to meet the band. I wanted to get the guys to sign the vinyl that I purchased, and I asked him whether “Hopeless Jack” would be coming out. Smilin’ Pete assured me that Hopeless Jack would be coming out in a minute. He explained that Jack’s music come from and is written from a deep, dark place and he always needs a minute to unwind after a set. Completely understandable.
When Jack came out, Pete introduced us and I told them that though I was only able to catch the end of their set, what I did hear (and saw) really impressed me and got my blood moving. They both autographed my vinyl and snapped a pic. Both guys were really humble and unassuming. I’ve been listening to their CD “Shallow Hears – Shallow Graves” and spinning their 7’’ Single non-stop since that weekend. I’m hoping they come back to the Los Angeles area for a gig so I can catch an entire set.
Afterwards, I head back to the main stage merchandise booth and the gals from Girl In A Coma were still taking pictures and signing autographs. I dropped by to say, “Hello,” and also to let them know I would be showing up the next day for Nina’s solo gig (which was amazing, by the way… wait, I said that already, didn’t I….), snapped a pic, then continued on with my day.
Due to Sharon Jones having to cancel her appearance due to a medical emergency, a few of the set times were switched around causing me to have to pick between acts for 5pm: Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears or Kaleigh Baker. I decided to walk around the venue and think about it.
I checked out some of the vendors and marveled at some of the tattoos getting done. I hopped into an Ink-N-Iron photobooth that was free (very cool!) and walked onto the boat to explore the Queen Mary. It was getting closer to 5:00pm, and since I was already inside the boat, I realized that my musical choice was made for me: Kaleigh Baker it was.
I got up to the front of the stage and as the band was sound-checking, I had a brief conversation with a gentleman, probably in his late 50s-early 60s who asked me about Kaleigh’s music. We talked deep soul and early punk, and he suggested that I check out The Fleshtones. I suggested he stick around for Kaleigh Baker. We took each other’s advice.
Kaleigh Baker can sing. Her voice and vocal ability is unreal. The way she emotes the lyrics, and controls her voice to express the lyrics of her music is truly, in my opinon, on par with some of the leading female singers of our time. Sure, my comparison may be a little premature- after all, I only have this one set and her newest EP, “The Weight of It All”, to base it on, but I’m willing to put it out there. She’s got the type of voice that makes you FEEL something. The way it lilts. The way it crescendos. The way it belts. I can’t wait for her to record more music so I can see which direction she takes it.
I was able to catch up with her and some of her band mates after the set. Like the gals in Girl In A Coma, the guys in Hopeless Jack & The Handsome Devil, everybody in Kaleigh’s band, including Kaleigh, was extremely humble and appreciative. I had a weird moment of deja-vu when I was introduced to the guitar and bass players, as for some reason I felt like I’d met or seen them before. No … I wasn’t drunk. It was a sober day for me. And no, pretty certain that we had never crossed paths before. I bought a copy of Kaleigh’s latest EP from the keyboardist/horn player of the band (who I didn’t get a picture with, but was really accommodating with me asking a bunch of questions) and had Kaleigh sign it. Black Joe Lewis who? … lol.
Again, my iPhone video doesn’t do Kaleigh justice. Try Googling her. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
At that point, my phone was pretty much dead. I stayed in the boat to charge my phone. JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound were taking the stage, and as much I wanted to check his band out, I was relegated to sitting next to an outlet to charge my phone up. It took his entire set for my phone to fully charge, but from what I was able to hear, it sounded pretty good. It was funky, indie soul. From what I could hear, it almost sounded like they had Niles Rogers sit in with them for a song. Perhaps the unexpected surprise was when the band did a soulful/funked-up version of Blackstreet’s “No Diggitiy”.
My friends who were coming to the festival texted me that they were almost at there. I texted them back and told them I was going to grab a bite to eat, and kick it for them. When they arrived, and at the suggestion of the gentleman who I spoke with before Kaleigh Baker’s set, I suggested that we check out The Fleshtones.
The Fleshtones were one of the original punks bands. Like the Ramones, the Fleshtones came out of Queens. Though I wasn’t too familiar with their repertoire, when it comes to being able to catch one of the “original” bands of a particular genre of music, you simply can’t pass it up. They certainly drew a decent crowd, and played some songs that I actually really enjoyed.
One of the highlights of the set was when the one of members made reference to The Dirtbombs- who were actually influenced by The Fleshtones-playing the main stage. One of the members of the Fleshtones addressed the audience, “Why aren’t we watching the Dirtbombs? […] You want quality! […] You got quality right here!” It was a fun set, and I’m glad I checked it out.
In between the Fleshtones and The Dead Kennedys, my friends and I decided to check out the featured auto exhibit. I haven’t been into cars, but I’ll have to admit, I was impressed.
I’ll admit that I don’t know much about the Dead Kennedys music. In fact, the most I knew about the band was while in law school reading about the obscenity case against the artwork for their third album “Frankenchrist” Some of the songs sounded familiar, but I really felt like the levels were a bit off. Not enough vocals, maybe?
My friends wanted to see the next main stage act, Rocket From The Crypt , another band that I was not all to familiar with. They were quite popular when I was in high school, but I was kind of going through a Boyz II Men/Jodeci phase back then. My phone was running out of juice again, so I opted to head back into the boat to charge up before Iggy and the Stooges.
Iggy and the Stooges were schedule to open for Morrissey’s concert back in November last year, and I was really hoping to see them back then. Unfortunately, Morrissey had some medical issues come up and that November show was rescheduled for the March, with Patti Smith replacing Iggy as the opening act. Patti Smith was good, but she isn’t Iggy.
Iggy and the Stooges were awesome. I tried looking for their set list online, but I couldn’t find one. It didn’t matter though. It was seriously a “best of” set, with a couple songs off their newest album. “Raw Power”, “Fun House”, “Penetration”, “I Wanna Be Your Dog”. They did them all.
From the opening note, where I was standing, pictures and video shots were virtually impossible to take as a mosh pit had formed. During “Fun House”, Iggy started pulling up people from the crowd to dance on stage. It was a mad house on stage, and I pitied the stage-hand who had to make sure that women on stage didn’t molest Iggy while he was performing. A potential shit-storm turned into a raucous party.
Watching Iggy hump the speaker, throw his water bottles into the audience, and dance about on stage, was rock-and-roll incarnate. After most of the set, I needed to escape the crowd to find my friends. I bumped into Kaleigh’s band-mates on the edges of the crowd. They were equally impressed with Iggy’s stage performance.
When the set ended, my friends left to catch a shuttle back to their parking structure. I opted to hang out for a minute to decompress. It was a full day for hard hitting, musical goodness. The one day pass was definitely worth the price of admittance, and depending on who’s on the bill next year, odds are I will be attending again.
In 2012, I was blessed to have been able to attend 24 concerts. This being the inaugural post of my blog, I thought it may be a good way to kick things off if I listed each of the concerts in the order that I enjoyed them (starting with the least favorite, and ending with my favorite), with a line or two of my thoughts.
24. Shuggie Otis– The Echoplex- Wed Dec 5
It’s hard to see an artist that you acknowledge as Los Angeles musical royalty without his gift. By all accounts, a sad musical revelation for me.
23. The 10th Annual Korea Times Music Festival– Hollywood Bowl- Sat April 28
While I can appreciate the musicality of some of the K-Pop act thats performed throughout the evening, I’m assuming I didn’t truly appreciate it like the others because I just didn’t understand enough. I’m a bad Korean-American.
22. Moby– The Annenberg Space for Photography- Sat Jul 14
Moby did two sets: Live Folk and DJ. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that impressed with either. While I can appreciate his musical venture, I kind of want to hear the older hits that I grew up with.
21. Boyce Avenue– Club Nokia at LA Live- Sat Dec 08
By buddy proposed to his girl, on stage at this show. He picked the perfect show. Chicks dig Boyce Avenue.
20. Starting 6– Vanguard- Fri Aug 10
Hot, sweaty, party hip-hop. These guys can rock a joint
19. Orange Tulip Conspiracy– Mr. T’s Bowl- Fri Sep 21
The musicality of this Jazz group is amazing. A must for any jazz aficionado. I hear they are recording a new album, and I can’t wait to her the new material.
18. The Airplane Boys– Roxy Theater- Wed Aug 15
Other level hip-hop. I also saw them at Coachella. They killed it at the Roxy like they killed it in the desert.
17. Bizarre Ride Fest– Bizarre Ride Live (Fatlip, Slimkid3, J. Swift, etc.)- The Roxy Theater- Sat Dec 29
The Pharcyde’s debut album “Bizzare Ride II The Pharcyde”, to quote my buddy David [@davidshein on twitter] is “just one of the best hip hop albums ever”. I won’t disagree. Even when it’s performed by only half of the original group, the music still holds up.
16. The Heavy– El Rey Theatre- Fri Sep 07
In support of the their most recent release, The Glorious Dead, I jammed out at this concert. Their front man, Kevin Swaby, was born to perform.
15. Jason Mraz and Christina Perri– Tour Is A Four Letter Word- Hollywood Bowl- Fri Oct 05
I enjoyed Jason Mraz at the Hollywood Bowl, but I’ve seen him at The Wiltern (full band) and The Walt Disney Concert Hall (acoustic), and his music is better suited for more intimate venues.
14. Animal Collective, Flying Lotus and Huun Huur Tu– Hollywood Bowl- Sun Sept 23
Animal Collective delivered. Huun Huur Tu entertained. Flying Lotus blew my mind.
13. Raphael Saadiq and Band of Skulls– The Annenberg Space for Photography- Sat Aug 04
Such and odd concert pairing, but they both were amazing. KCRW kicks ass.
12. Girl In A Coma, Pinata Protest and Sara Radle– The Echoplex- Fri Apr 27
Girl In A Coma is one of my favorite “new” bands. These girls kick ass. I wanted to see them again this year when they were opening for Grizzly Bear, but I couldn’t fit it into my schedule. The lead singer, Nina Diaz, has a voice to die for.
11. Playboy Jazz Festival– Hollywood Bowl- Sun Jun 17
Ramsey Lewis is a musical savant. I always pay money to watch genius perform. Robin Thicke were Preservation Hall Jazz Band were good. Was a slightly unimpressed with Spectrum Road.
10. Eric Hutchinson– Troubadour- Sat May 19
He was the first artist I truly “represented” back at my first job after passing the bar exam. I couldn’t be prouder of how far he’s come.
9. Allen Stone– The Fonda Theatre- Fri Oct 19
If this guys plays his card right, he could playing the Hollywood Bowl in a few years. The first thought I had after the show ended? “I’ll be able to tell my kids (when I have them), that I stood front row at an Allen Stone concert at The Fonda”.
8. Ben Harper– Vieux Farka Tour- Hollywood Bowl- Sun Jul 01
When Ben Harper sang a cappella, without a mic, at the front of the Hollywood Bowl stage, he earned by respect. He also played the one song I needed to hear, “Burn One Down”. Can’t ask for more.
7. Hot Chip, Passion Pit and Omar Souleyman– Hollywood Bowl- Sun Sep 9
I went to the show to see Passion Pit. They met and exceeded expectations. I was expecting more from Hot Chip. I didn’t get to see Omar Souleyman.
6. Meshell Ndegeocello and James “Blood” Ulmer– Royce Hall- Fri Dec 7
Meshell Ngedeocello performed her interpretations of Nina Simone classics. Mesmerizing.
5. Peter Gabriel– Back To Front- Hollywood Bowl- Sat Oct 6
I’m not going to lie. I had a moment. Flashing back to my younger years when he played “In Your Eyes”, mine started to water. The power of music.
4. Fiona Apple– The Greek Theatre- Fri Sep 14
She may have been a bit too gaunt for my personal liking, but she can still sing. A poetess with a voice. There isn’t that many like her out there in the world.
3. Mint Condition– Club Nokia at LA Live- Sat Jan 28
Mint Condition has always been underrated. In my humble opinion? They’re one of the best live, R&B bands out there, period. Stokley’s voice is perfect for R&B. I grew up with their music. They are one of my favorite bands.
2. No Doubt– Gibson Amphitheatre- Fri Nov 30
I’ve always kicked my self in the rear when it comes to No Doubt. They used to perform locally when I was growing out, but I never went to a show. I can now cross this off my concert bucket-list. Oh, by the way, I’m in love with Gwen…
1. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival– Empire Polo Club- Fri Apr 13 through Sun Apr 15
Dr. Dre & Snoop. Radiohead. The Black Keys. Bon Iver. Swedish House Mafia. At The Drive-In. Florence and the Machine. Girl Talk. The Shins. Mazzy Star. Andrew Bird. Need I go on?
I’ve written about most of the shows on my Facebook page, so if you want to know a little more about particulars, free to shoot me a tweet [@methodman13] and I’ll send over some other thoughts.
I hope your 2013 is filled with musical discovery, and that a song stirs your heart always.