Whenever I have friends visiting Los Angeles during the summer and they ask me for suggestions, I always recommend attending a concert at the Santa Monica Pier. After all, there isn’t a much better way to spend a summer day/eve, at the beach with a picnic listening to some quality music.
For the past 30 years, the Santa Monica Pier has been hosting an extremely well-curated summer concert series known as the “Twilight Concerts”. This year, their line-up is as impressive as I’ve ever seen it. This year I am planning on attending almost all of the schedule concerts.
Below are the bands that I’ll be checking out, and will be updated with blog posts of previews, Instagram videos and photo pictorials and reviews. If you don’t follow my blog, save this page in a tab to follow my summer at the pier!
- The Slightlys | Photos and Review
- De Lux | Preview | Photos and Review
- Omar Souleyman | Preview | Photos and Review
- Phebe Starr | Photos and Review
- Fascinator | Preview | Photos and Review
- Jagwar Ma | Preview | Photos and Review
- King James & The Special Men | Preview | Photos and Review
- Charles Bradley | Preview | Photos and Review
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.