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


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


I spend a lot of money to go to a lot of concerts each year, so it takes a lot for me to want to see the same band or recording artist perform more than once a year. This year, I went to see two acts three times. One of them was Hanni El Khatib.  I saw Hanni El Khatib open for The Black Angels in May and on the Santa Monica Pier in August. His set opening for The Black Angels was a revelation. It was the first time I had ever heard his music, but it was so gritty and intense, I was hooked.

Wrapping up the domestic leg of his tour, and coming back “home” to Los Angeles, you could tell that he was pumped for his headlining set at a classic Los Angeles venue.

I had a conversation with a buddy of mine about Hanni El Khatib’s music, and he pretty much summed it perfectly by telling me, “His music is so fucking raw.” Bingo. My buddy also claimed that Hanni El Khatib is probably the best rock act to come out of Los Angeles in recent memory. I really couldn’t disagree. In fact, I couldn’t think of another blues, rock artist based out of Los Angeles whose music gets me as pumped as his.

Tijuana Panthers and Bass Drum of Death got the crowd ready for HEK’s set, and as soon as the lights dimmed, and Hanni took the stage, the crowd roared with anticipation for what was to be a raucous evening of killer rock and roll.

I’ve already written about his live act twice before, so click on the links above to check them out. While you’re at it, you should probably also check out his recordings. They may convince you to check out his live act as well.

Unfortunately, the Flickr slideshow below is not currently available on mobile devices. If you are on a mobile device, please click THIS LINK to get redirected to the set of photos.

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


For the past 29 years, the Santa Monica Pier has been hosting amazing free concerts during the summer season. The line up for this year’s Twilight Concert Series  is particularly outstanding. From Meshell Ngegeocello and the Record Company to Jimmy Cliff to Trombone Shorty, it would simply be a shame if you lived in the area and didn’t make it out to at least one of the free shows. The first show I was able to attend this summer was Hanni El Khatib.

The first time I heard Hanni El Khatib perform live, he opened for the Black Angels at the Mayan. His set was so impressive, that I decided then and there that his live shows were not be to missed. This time, on the pier, he was the featured artist. Opening for him was a Niger-based musician named Bombino.


Bombino’s music is proof that music, regardless of genre, is universal. Bombino’s music is steeped with the native rhythms of his homeland. Over the years, Bombino has worked with and been influenced by a number of tremendous musicians like Keith Richards and Charlie Watts. Most recently, he travelled to Nashville to record an album under the production eye of The Black Key’s Dan Auerbach, “Nomad”. With his native rhythms meshing seamlessly with deep south, blues rock, Bombino has become, relatively quickly, the talk of the “blues rock” town. Call it what you want- rock and roll, worldbeat, afro-pop, desert blues, blues rock- it’s still good music. Though I wish I could have understood all of the lyrics sung, the music, in and of itself, was trance like and intoxicating. Bombino was certainly the perfect appetizer for the edgier blues rock that would follow.

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The crowd had swelled to what seemed to be maximum capacity by the time Hanni El Khatib took the stage. He had just come back from touring internationally, so I was expecting a polished set and sound, and I was not disappointed. It was a raucous, rock and roll set that had the audience moving to the music, singing along  with all of the popular songs. I didn’t know the name of every dong of the entire set, but I remember that Hanni performed “Nobody Move”, “Low”, “You Rascal You”, “Loved One”, “Penny”, “Fuck It You Win” and a new song I think is titled “Dangerous” or “Dangerous To Love” (which is the last snippet on the video clip below). He even covered a Cramps song, the name of which I can’t recall at the moment. A terrific set and worth the commute and $2 I paid for parking.

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Hanni El Khatib is starting up a national tour supporting his latest album, “Head In The Dirt”, also produced by Dan Auerbach. I joked with friends afterwards while hanging out at Chez Jays (a dive bar which I just found out is a designated Santa Monica historic landmark and a perfect place to grab a beer after a blues concert) that the concert could have been dubbed “Dan Auerbach presents Blues at the Beach”. I’m planning on attending his upcoming gig in October at the El Rey, and if The Black Keys and blues rock is your thing, I highly recommend getting a ticket to check Hanni shred the stage.

Follow Hanni El Khatib on Facebook or follow him on Twitter for updates so you can catch him in action when he’s in your neck of the woods.

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


When it comes to music, it always pays to have an open mind.

A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she had an extra ticket to see The Black Angels at the Mayan Theater. It was a weekday (which is typically a no-go for me due to my typical work load) but I’d always been interested in the Black Angels because of their reputation of being a good psychedelic rock band. Tthe ticket was free, and I had pulled an all-nighter earlier in the week… so I replied to the post, and the ticket was mine.

My friend wanted to make sure we got to the venue in time to catch one of the opening acts, Hanni El Khatib . As we drove to the Mayan, she was telling me about Hanni, and mentioned that Dan Auerbach produced Hanni’s latest album. Whoa…. You mean the The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach? Yup.  I was intrigued.

We got to the venue, and we decided to make our way as close to the stage for Hanni’s set.  As soon as he took the stage, the crowd started a raucous cheer more fitting for a headliner than an opener.  He started his set, and I could immediately feel the raw, garage rock essence of his music that probably drew Dan Auerbach to it. A few songs into the set, and the crowd started to bounce to the blues rhythms of the music. Sure, the music sounded very similar to the Black Keys, but you couldn’t deny his music ability and the way he was able to engage the crowd. The music was good enough, that I didn’t have to know any of the songs to enjoy the set, and that says something.

During his set, I noticed that the merchandise table (which was oddly located close to the stage, stage left, on a separate, elevated space) was uninhabited, save but the merchants sitting at the tables.  I made my way to the tables and found myself away from the crowd, in a space that was really all my own. If there was a VIP section, that would area have been it. LOL.

IMG_1275After Hanni’s set had ended, I decided to purchase a couple LPs.  Since I was a little short on cash, I opted to pick up his debut album “Will The Guns Come Out” and a limited edition 7’’ single, with a hand-screented cover, of “Skinny Little Girl/Pay No Mind”. My friend, and her friends, joined me at the merchandise table and after making our purchases, and lollygagging a bit, Hanni dropped by the table to say hello to his fans.  Yup. Me being the music dork, I got a picture and had him sign the 7’’ single … with a ball point pen (damn those bouncers for throwing away my permanent marker! Next time it goes in the shoe!) I asked him when he was planning on performing again in Los Angeles, and he told me that he was touring in Europe, and was looking to have gigs at the El Rey and on the Santa Monica Pier for the summer concert series. I am definitely going to check him out again.


After such an exhilarating set from Hanni El Khatib, my expectations for The Black Angels was slightly mixed.  Blues/garage rock followed by psychedelic rock? Seems like an odd mix, no? I followed my friend upstairs to the balcony seats when the Black Angels started their set.  We waited in line at the upstairs bar for what seemed like forever to get a bottle of water (yup, I was the designated driver), and the band had already started when we found a spot to sit.

The balcony at the Mayan is interesting in that it has a little “patio” area that seemed to serve as a mini dance floor. As soon as the Black Angels started their set, people immediately began to dance, swaying back and forth … dancing like those people I used to watch in those Woodstock documentaries.

The music was good, but it honestly felt like a little bit of a let-down after Hanni El Khatib’s powerful set.  I’m a huge fan of Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, etc., but this music didn’t leave as big of an impression on me as I thought it would. Maybe I needed a few drinks or “something” to help me enjoy the music more.  Again, it sounded good … it just didn’t hit the spot for me.

I spent most of The Black Angels set people watching with my friends. We noticed a lot of tattoos. Hot chicks with tattoos. A lot of dancing bodies. A lot of dudes sitting around us with their eyes closed “twitching” around and bobbing their heads. People young and old. A diverse and amusing crowd.

We left the venue as soon as the Black Angels started their encore, and though I hardly ever leave shows early, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.  The Black Angels were good, but if I wasn’t shrooming or on something, it was really just background music to me. The highlight of the evening for me was the music I wasn’t even expecting. If it wasn’t for my curiousity about The Black Angels, I would never have discovered the music of Hanni El Khatib.