by dklee13 Categories: Concerts, ReviewsTags: "She Bangs The Drums", A$AP Ferg, Afrika Bambaataa, alabama shakes, Alice Smith, Allah-Las, allen stone, Aloe Blacc, Alphabetics, Alune George, Audio Push, Babies On Acid, BABY BABY, Bad Religion, Banks, Banoffee, Beat Connection, beck, Ben Folds, Biffy Clyro, Black Uhuru, Blood Orange, boston, Broken Bells, Bush, Cat Stevens, chance the rapper, charles bradley, Chet Faker, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Chvrches, City and Colour, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Cloud Control, Cloud Nothings, Cocorosie, Cody Chesnutt, Cold War Kids, concert photos, concert review, concert video, Crosses †††, Cults, De Lux, Dead Dawn, dead sara, denitia and sene, Doe Eye, Doja Cat, Dr. Madd Vibe, Dreamland, Drowners, Dum Dum Girls, Ed Sheeran, Elle Varner, Elvis Costello, Empire of the Sun, eric hutchinson, Escape The Fate, Faith Evans, Fall Out Boy, Falling In Reverse, Fartbarf, Fascinator, FEA, Fear, Feathers, Fire In the Hamptons, Fishbone, Forest Swords, Fractures, Future Islands, Gaslamp Killer, Gateway Drugs, Gavin Turek, geographer, girl talk, Glass Battles, Glen Hansard, Goapele, GOAT, GoldLink, Gossling, gramps morgan, Green Gerry, Grouplove, HAIM, Heartless Bastards, Holy Child, Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil, Hopeless Jack and The Handsome Devil (1st Performance), Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil (2nd Performance), Houndmouth, how to dress well, illumination road, Incubus, iron & wine, Jackson Browne, Jagwar Ma, James Supercave, Jamestown Revival, Jhene AIko, Jill Scott, Joe Fletcher, Joe Pug, Jonathan McReynolds, Josiah Bell, Julian Casablancas, Kevin Lyttle, Kid Cudi, king, King James & The Special Men, Ky-Mani Marley, Lake Street Dive, Lana Del Rey, Laura Mvula, Lecrae, Lenny Goldsmith, Leslie Stevens, Level & Tyson, Linda Perhacs, Linkin Park, Little Dragon, Little Hurricane, Little Wings, LiV Warfield, Lo-Fang, Local Natives, Lorde, Lucinda Williams, Machine, Matt Kivel, Matthewdavid, Maxwell, MØ, Merle Haggard, Metronomy, Midi Matilda, Miniature Tigers, Mod Sun, Morning Parade, Moses Sumney, motorhead, Mr. Little Jeans, Myron & E, Mystery Skulls, Mystic Braves, Nathaniel Rateliff, New Politics, Nick Waterhouse, Nikki Lane, nina diaz, Nina Persson, Ok Go, omar souleyman, Outkast, owenstone, Pastilla, Peanut Butter Wolf, Pet Shop Boys, Pete Molinari, Phantogram, Pharrell Williams, Phebe Starr, Phosphorescent, PINS, pixies, Quantic, Queens of the Stone Age, Rachel Goodrich, Rachel Goodrich & The Grrrls, Ray Campi, Reignwolf, Riff Raff, Rise Against, Rival Sons, robert glasper, Roman GianArthur, Rose Quartz, Rudimental, Run The Jewels, Scars on 45, setlist, Sex Stains, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Shelby Lynne, shy girls, Silver Hands, Slum Village, snarky puppy, snoop dogg, Solander, SPEAK, Speedy Ortiz, Stacy Barthe, Strangers You Know, Sturgill Simpson, System of a Down, Takeoffs & Landings, Talib Kweli, Tank, Tashaki Miyaki, Terrace Martin, the 1975, The Afghan Whigs, The Barr Brothers, The Briefs, The Damned, The Dandy Warhols, The Electric Sons, The Far West, The Filthy Souls, The Futures League, The Grizzled Mighty, The Head and the Heart, The Internet, The Killing Lights, The Kills, The Kokoro, The Lone Bellow, The Men, The Mercy Beat, The Naked and Famous, the national, The Pharcyde, The Preatures, The Record Company, The Replacements, The Scandals, The Slightlys, The Stepkids, The Strypes, The Tontons, The War On Drugs, The Warlocks, the weeks, The Wild Reeds, The Zombies, Thruster!, THURZ, Tiara Thomas, Tkay Maidza, together PANGEA, Tokyo Police Club, Tom Odell, Torches, Valerie June, Walk The Moon, Wanda Jackson, We Met Tomorrow, White Lies, Woodkid, Woods, Wynonna Judd, YG, Young the Giant, Yuna, Yusuf Islam
My first taste of Motörhead came in my fraternity days at college. I remember hearing “Ace of Spades” blasting out a brother’s room, and when I asked about the song, my buddy simply said, “You don’t know Motörhead? Lemmy rules!” That’s stuck with me ever since. I’ve had a couple of opportunities to see Motörhead perform live in the past, but for one reason or another (Lemmy’s health or scheduling conflicts), I was never able to make it out to see Motörhead perform live … until Coachella.
Their set was everything I expected. It was a barrage of shredding riffs, thunderous and frenetic drums, accompanied by Lemmy’s gravelly and ominous voice. I was particularly impressed with Mikkey Dee and Phil Campbell’s playing. So vicious. So on point. So raw.
After getting booted from the photo pit, and not wanting to take a risk by joining the swelling masses in the tent for fear of damaging my camera, I meandered over to the next tent to take pictures of another artist. After getting the boot from that photo pit as well, I went back to Motorhead to catch the second half of their set. So thankful that I did. I think I got there for the tail end of “Just ‘Cos You’ve Got the Power”, and after a few songs their set had ended. At least I thought it had ended…
The next thing I knew, the band introduced “a friend” and Slash walked on stage. Holy Shit. Mind blown. Without hesitation, Slash comes in with the opening riff of “Ace of Spades”. Mind doubly blown. My frat brothers would have been going nuts.
This year, I was lucky enough to get approved for a media/photo pass for the first weekend of Coachella. The photo pass allows me to take pictures from the photo pit of each stage, and being armed with an incredible lens, I’ve taken some pretty amazing pictures so far, and I can’t wait to sift through them all and post what I’ve been able to capture.
There were a few acts that I wish could have snapped pictures for (Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Beck and Arcade Fire), but being a “newby” in the world of concert photography, I wasn’t selected to by artist management to have the privilege of taking pictures. Hopefully, the pics I post of the bands I saw here will help change their opinion of me for the future.
Each entry will contain a little bulb of my overall thoughts of what I was able to see, with a Instagram video post that I posted (my Instagram account is @Methodman13 … you may as well go there now while you’re waiting for the post to go up) and a photo slideshow. I hope you enjoy the moments I captured as much as I enjoyed shooting it. Click on the name of the artist you want to check out to see the blog entry I put up.
Friday | April 11th, 2014
- Tom Odell
- The Preatures
- Dum Dum Girls
- Jagwar Ma
- A$AP Ferg
- The Afghan Whigs (Unfortunately, the pictures I took during this set are unusable)
- Broken Bells
- The Replacements
- Girl Talk
- Outkast (Unfortunately, the pictures I took during this set are unusable)
Saturday | April 12, 2014
- Laura Mvula
- White Lies
- City and Colour
- Julian Casablancas
- Kid Cudi
- Future Islands
- Empire of the Sun
- Pharrell Williams
- Pet Shop Boys
Sunday | April 13, 2014
- Chance The Rapper
- The 1975
- Blood Orange
- The Naked and Famous
- Little Dragon
- Lana Del Rey
- Jhené Aiko
UPDATE: 5/9/14: It was a long, glorious, music-filled weekend of music. I think I may have ruined all of the future music festivals I attend because there really is nothing like being in the photo pit, even for only the first 3 songs, trying to capture “moments” of musicians practicing their craft and giving the audience all that they have. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity. Thank you, Goldenvoice. Thank you, Snoop. You made this music dweeb very, very happy.
I can’t remember the last time I was in a mosh pit. In fact… if I’m remembering correctly … the last true mosh pit I was in was for a Let’s Go Bowling show back, back, back in the day. Like… back in my ska days when I used to wear khakis with suspenders, a wife beater and my Doc Martins. On May 9, 2013, I went to see Dead Sara, and for the first time in forever, I found myself reliving my youthful abandon, smack dab in what was perhaps one of the most intense concert experiences I’ve had in a while.
Sometime last year, driving in my car, I heard a hard, rocking song with some bad-ass female vocals on the radio called “Weatherman”. After the song ended, the disc jockey said that the name of the band was Dead Sara. I hardly listen to terrestrial radio these days, but god bless the ways of old, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have heard about the band.
Later that week, before a blind date, I went to Amoeba Records to pick up a copy of their self-titled, debut, full-length album. The chick I was with was a musician who was into hard, classic rock, so I decided to play the album for her on our way to dinner to she what she thought.
The album was very, very good. It was so much more intense than other female fronted rock bands that have been releasing albums recently. It’s a no holds barred album. Intense power rock but at the same time extremely vulnerable. The lead singer’s (Emily Armstrong) voice is filled with such strength and passion (plus it sounds pretty!) which contrasts the steady lead guitar riffs of Siouxsie Medley, and made me recall another female rock duo … Heart, anyone? But Dead Sara’s rock is much more blistering than Heart’s. It’s the kind of music that boils the adrenaline in the veins … even with the vulnerable sensitive songs.
About half way through the album, my date suggested that she wasn’t feeling the music as much as I was, and that kind of put a damper on the date, because …. Well … I’m a music snob, and I didn’t understand why she didn’t like the album as much as I did. I told her that I’d call her sometime … I didn’t.
When I got home from the date, I went online to see when they’d be performing. I assumed, since they are Los Angeles based, they would be playing some gigs locally. But when I logged on to their website, there were a bunch of dates having them open up for Muse at large venues (in Los Angeles, The Staples Center). Muse? Seriously?
I’m not a Muse fan. They were hyped as a headliner for Coachella one year, but when I saw them perform then, it was soooo not my thing, that I left to catch another act. Muse’s single, at the time, was “Madness” and that song reminded me of Savage Garden. Nope. As much as I wanted to see Dead Sara perform, I wasn’t going to buy a ticket for Muse to see them do a short opening set from the rafters of the Staples Center. “C’est la vie,” I thought. Maybe some other time. I followed their Facebook page, and life went on.
Months later, I get a Facebook “notification” that Dead Sara was playing the El Rey theater. Now, THAT was more my speed. Immediately, I got online and purchased tickets. Glad I did it that day, as tickets for the show sold out. From then, I waited.
It was my buddy’s Steve’s birthday, so I invited him to join me for the show. He was coming from rehearsing for a gig (opening for Motorhead at Nokia Live!!), so I told him that I would either be outside hanging out or waiting in line for merchandise. While I was outside in the patio area, I noticed someone who looked vaguely familiar. Holy shit. It was Siouxsie and … what’s his name … uhh … the drummer … lol. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the drummers name (it’s Sean Friday), but they didn’t seemed bothered by it. I told them how long I had waited to see them perform, and they were cool enough to let me snap a group shot to post on Instagram.
I left them alone to handle their business, and I went over to the merch line to pick up a limited edition 7’’ release of their newest single “Lemon Scent”. I’m glad I got in line early for merchandise, as the line for merch was LONG. So long, that I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get the vinyl treasure I wanted. My buddy met me in line, and after purchasing the merch and as soon as the prior act had finished their set, we decided to try to get as close up front as we could. We got about 5-7 rows from the front, and we waited. Every minute we waited, we could feel the crowd slowly pushing up against our backs. That was sign. A sign that it was about to get pretty nuts.
When the band took the stage, they started the set with a mellow song called “Sorry For It All”. After that, fireworks. Dead Sara lit the fuse with “Test My Patience” and that fire burned scalding through “I Said You Were Lucky”. I know how that fire burned. I was in the middle of the mosh pit as soon as it erupted. For 15-20 minutes straight, I was lost in aggressive moshing. My “technique” for fending off people that were going really crazy came back to me, and I was able to float around an area with a radius of about 3 feet.
Thank god, Dead Sara broke up the intensity with “Face to Face”. After that three song stint of mosh songs, my shirt was drenched with sweat and I’m sure I got a few bruises along the way. I assessed what other really hard songs would lead to moshing, and I could only think of “Weatherman” so I stayed where I was, figuring that I would make my way towards the edges later in their set. By the way, I had no idea where my buddy was. I guess he couldn’t hang. Lol.
Dead Sara’s album is good. Watching them perform is better. I spent my time in awe of Emily’s live vocals and the connection the whole band had with the audience. The performance reached a high point when Emily absolutely DESTROYED her guitar on stage. It totally felt right. From there, the band went on to perform Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of”. If Zac and Emily squared off, I’d put my money on Emily.
After the set, my buddy and kicked it a while afterwards. He actually knew some people there and was shooting the shit. Me, I was waiting to see if a bid I placed on a one-of-kind autographed, painted, concert poster won out. It didn’t.
When we were kicked out of the El Rey, we hung out in front just to decompress. Sean and Chris Null (the bassist) were moving equipment, and- being always prepared- I asked them to sign the LP and the poster I had picked up. Since I had two signatures, I had to wait for Emily and Siouxsie, right? Patience pays off, as they soon followed, and I was able to snag signatures from the entire band. If you want to check out some other music treasure of mine, click through on this link.
If anything, watching Dead Sara at the El Rey proved three things in my eyes: (i) I fall in infatuation to easily with chicks who can shred an axe, (ii) Dead Sara is a female-fronted rock band that can melt your face off, and kick you in the ass, and is here to stay, and (iii) yes, you need to see them live … just make sure you invite me to come with.
Set list is below. My video clips from the show are below as well.
- Sorry for It All
- Test on My Patience
- Monumental Holiday
- I Said You Were Lucky
- Face to Face
- Dear Love
- Feeling Empty
- Whispers & Ashes
- Lemon Scent
- Killing in the Name (Rage Against the Machine cover) (Freedom Outro)
- Blue Was the Feeling For You