A Year of Concerts: 2013

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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

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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

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Morrissey | Staples Center | 3/1/13

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“England is Mine and It Owes Me a Living”. Poster that I bought at the concert.

I remember when I was first introduced to the music of The Smiths.  It was the summer after 8th grade, and I was shipped off to a summer, boarding program called C.T.Y. [Insert nerd jokes here]. I always enjoyed spending the summers away from home (I went to my first summer boarding school after 6th grade). Studying asides, I saw boarding school as an opportunity to meet new people and to learn to be somewhat autonomous.

At the time, I was listening to a lot of KDAY, so my music inclinations leaned more towards hip-hop. I had some alternative rock in my music collection, mostly Depeche Mode … in fact, at the time, my alternative music collection was all Depeche Mode… so every time I was introduced to new music I, tended to soak it all in.

There was a guy in my dormitory who was all about alternative music.  He listened to Jane’s Addiction, Pixies… and the Smiths.  We did a music swap, and made mix-tapes on cassette tapes (remember those?) for each other.  I wish I still had that cassette tape, but I remember some of the tracks were “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side“, “Girlfriend in a Coma” and “How Soon Is Now

I remember being taken aback by The Smiths music. It was a “new” type of rock music for me.  It had hints of pop and rockabilly, but what really got me, was Morrissey’s vocal style.  Morrissey’s croon captured my attention, and his lyrics, though very forlorn, was just so soothing to listen too.

After that summer, I kept up with Morrissey’s solo career, and over the years, I’ve amassed a nice little collection of The Smiths and Morrissey. Perhaps my favorite purchase is my most recent one, a live album titled “Panic!” of The Smith, which was recorded in Germany in 1986, that I bought November 24th, 2013. I even posted a picture of the album when I first played it on Instagram.

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Ironically enough, the day I purchased the album, was the day Morrissey was originally supposed to perform at the Staples Center. That show was cancelled due to his mother being hospitalized. I didn’t know it then, it wasn’t until a few weeks later when I visited another record store about the cancelled show. I saw the poster, and convinced the owner of Touch Vinyl to let me have it (after I bought a couple other albums). I figured it was a sign that I needed to get tickets to the rescheduled show, so I stopped by the box office when I was at the Staples Center for a Clippers game.  Morrissey had been cancelling some concerts in recent days due to health concerns (bleeding ulcer) … thankfully he didn’t cancel the March 1, 2013 show.

While Morrissey’s health may not be 100%, his voice sounded amazing.  It was a solid 19 song set, that mixed in old hits, new music and several The Smiths songs.  I was sitting in the nose-bleed section, and there was no video monitor projecting the performance on stage, but a ticket is a ticket, and it’s Morrissey.

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I could care less about Morrissey’s politics. I could care less about the news about meat being sold at the Staples Center. If you cared about that shit, you should have given your ticket to someone else who cared more about the music.

Morrissey and the band took their bows before they started playing. It’s the first time I have ever noticed a band or artist do so.  The crowd went nuts, and Morrissey kicked off his concert with The Smiths song “Shoplifters of the World Unite”, one of the songs that was on heavy rotation on KROQ back in the day, and it seemed like all of Los Angeles who grew up during that time, were at the show.

Morrissey’s performance was all that you could have expected.  His style hasn’t changed since I first heard him, and the themes that he’s known for … loneliness, heartaches, letdown, isolation … all came out through the music, though it did seem slightly ironic considering he sells out arenas.  And the crowd loved it. Morrissey’s set list is below, with some video clips I took.

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Immediately below is a clip of Patti Smith performing her classic “Because The Night”. She dedicated it to her deceased husband Fred “Sonic” Smith, and it was the highlight of her set. Maybe she was the perfect opening for Morrissey because the night really did belong to lovers … of Morrissey.

Morrissey Set List

  1. Shoplifters Of The World Unite 
(The Smiths song)
  2. Irish Blood, English Heart
  3. Alma Matters
  4. You Have Killed Me
  5. You’re The One For Me, Fatty
  6. Action Is My Middle Name
  7. That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore 
(The Smiths song)
  8. I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
  9. Speedway
  10. Meat Is Murder 
(The Smiths song)
  11. Ouija Board, Ouija Board
  12. November Spawned A Monster
  13. To Give (The Reason I Live) 
(Frankie Valli cover)
  14. How Soon Is Now? 
(The Smiths song)
  15. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want 
(The Smiths song) 
  16. Everyday Is Like Sunday 
  17. Let Me Kiss You
  18. First Of The Gang To Die 

Encore

  1. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side 
(The Smiths song) 

Soundgarden | The Wiltern | 2/16/13

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I was a freshman in high school when “grunge” was trending. I’ll be honest with you … I was more of a Pearl Jam fan, and often pledged allegiance to Pearl Jam over Soundgarden, but over the years I’ve realized that that was just plain stupid. Stupid, unfounded childhood preferences. To think of all the amazing music I would have missed out on if I still thought so close minded today.

Plain and simply, Soundgarden’s music kicks ass. This concert is supporting their current album  “King Animal”. I wrote my review on the album here. They’ve been on an 18 year hiatus. Who knows whether their reunion was more for the money than for the music, but I could give two shits about that. Their music still kicks ass; their older songs holding fast against the sands of time- I think Morrissey would agree…..

I saw this concert tour as a musical blessing that couldn’t be passed up. I remember waking up early to get online  for the ticket pre-sale (and those who know me, know that I HATE paying the ticketing service fees).  I remember clicking the refresh button at least 50 times to finally get through to purchasing my tickets. That ticket confirmation email was like digital nirvana (no grunge pun intended). I mean there were some that thought that Soundgarden would never perform together again. After all, the band disbanded after their release of “Down on the Upside” on very acrimonious terms, most stemming from creative differences.

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The concert was everything Soundgarden fan could hope for. They played a solid set-list, powering through over 2 hours of material, covering their entire catalogue. Now, if you were a “new” Soundgarden fan, you were probably expecting a bit more “excitement” from the set.  The Wiltern had a “No Moshing, Stage Diving” policy, so that may have put a little damper on things.   And while Chris Cornell has an amazing rock-and-roll voice, his stage presence is a little, to put it bluntly, boring. It also could have helped if it wasn’t so sweltering in the venue. But while the stage performance may have been a little lacking, their music makes up for it.

IMG_0105The acoustics in the Wiltern were adequate. My friends found some space stage right about 2/3 the way in from the rear. I spent parts of the show roaming the venue, and thought that the acoustics were better in towards the rear of the venue. I also thought that the bass was a little too overpowering at times, but that could have very well been a result of my cheap ear-plugs. I thought that on the louder songs of the set, Chris voice got drowned out at times.  The drumming, in my humble opinion, was excellent. Matt Cameron smashed it, and was perhaps the most lively up on stage.  Not the most perfect concert levels, but bearable.

A friend of mine noted that towards the end of the show, before the encore, Ben Shepherd- the bassist- appeared to be pissed about something, throwing his bass off-stage, stage left. I can’t speculate as to why it was done, but it was something to note… new inter-band turmoil arising?… or just band levels?…

A little personal side story to the show:  I am a self-professed music dweeb.  I’m big into music memorabilia.  I bring a poster tube with me to shows.  If that isn’t too dweeby for you … LOL.  I was waiting in line for merchandise, when the guy right in front of me got an autographed copy of the poster.  I asked the sales people what was up with the signed poster, and they said that Soundgarden signed a handful of the posters and they were randomly inserted into the pile.  I offered some extra cash on the side if they could sift through the stack for another signed poster, and after flipping through the top 10 copies, they said they couldn’t go through the whole pile (apparently there were 150 posters printed for the event.  I still bought a poster, but I told them that I would keep swinging by to check in.

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The concert poster… unsigned.

I hit up the merchandise booth several other times throughout the evening, and the last time I showed up they said that there were no more signed copies of the poster.  I was bummed, but figured that that was life.  As I was about to head back inside to the show, the guy I had been bugging throughout the night just happened to add, “Well, there is 1 signed vinyl left…”

WHAT!?!?!  Of course I’d buy that!  In fact, it was the perfect night cap to the evening.  After all, my deluxe vinyl is still in its shrink wrap.  I tipped the guy $10 for hook up on the souvenir.

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The Jackpot!

If you want to check out some other music treasure that I’ve collected through the years, click through this link.

I ended up hitting up a bar where a buddy of mind hosts and DJs karaoke after the show. I showed him my treasure from the evening, and recounted some of the highlights- and not, I didn’t sing “Outshined” even though I had bothered my friends with a rendition of it all day. I called my cabbie (in LA, it’s a must to have the number of a cab that can pick you up without waiting) and we spoke about the show.  I told him it was “great”, but what I really wanted to say was that it was “good”.  I don’t want to diminish the concert in any way, after all the simple fact that they are performing again is, in its own right, amazing, but I still wanted more.

Below is the setlist.  I’ve inserted a couple video snippets of “Outshined” and “The Day I Tried To Live” (a couple of my favorite songs).  The Saturday setlist was the short setlist of the three day stint at The Wiltern.

1. Nothing to Say

2. Flower

3. Outshined 

4. Gun

5. Jesus Christ Pose

6. By Crooked Steps

7. Room a Thousand Years Wide

8. Attrition

9. The Day I Tried to Live 

10. Been Away Too Long

11. Worse Dreams

12. Get on the Snake

13. Ugly Truth

14. Non-State Actor

15. Ty Cobb

16. Drawing Flies

17. Blow Up the Outside World

18. Fell on Black Days

19. Eyelid’s Mouth

20. Loud Love

21. Rowing

Encore:

22. Searching With My Good Eye Closed

23. Rusty Cage

24. Beyond the Wheel

Note: Blind Dogs and New Damage were on the Encore set but cut for time