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


Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters | Shrine Auditorium | June 26th, 2013


The first time I ever heard a Led Zeppelin song was freshman year of college. After procrastinating till the last minute, I was up late  pulling an all-nighter writing a paper for a class. At 5 or 6 in the morning, as the sunrise was creeping over the cold, frozen, Ithaca landscape,  I was listening to the radio when all of a sudden a peppy, spirited, guitar lick caught my attention. I kept writing, but had to take break to listen to the lyrics.  It seemed to be about a guy waiting for a his lover. It appears that he’s been stood up, but then you find out that he was waiting “on the wrong block” and thus is the “Fool In The Rain” (the title of the song). I thought that song was a light hearted, terrific, pick-me-up a bleary eyed writer, but more than the song, and being a singer in college, I was taken aback by the voice behind it.

After turning in my paper, I decided to walk to the used CD shop that was, at the time, in the heart of College Town- sadly, it’s no longer there- and I bought “Led Zeppelin II”, “Houses of the Holy” and “In Through The Out Door” with the money I had made pouring beers from a keg at frat parties. My interest and education in classic rock started with those three CDs, and Robert Plant immediately became my standard response to the question, “Who is the greatest rock vocalist of all time?”

I have a bucket list of acts that I want to see in concert. Led Zeppelin is on that list. Though there is/was speculation that the band would come back together for a reunion tour- with Jason Bonham taking the place of his lat father’s place on drums- it seems that the odds of that happening are dwindling.  When I received an email notice that Robert Plant was performing at the Shrine- that you, Internets!- I jumped at getting tickets.

I got to the Shrine but had to wait for my guest to arrive before going inside.  While I was waiting, I asked around to see if cameras were allowed into the venue.  Unfortunately, they were not. Nuts. I had just purchased a new “pocket-sized” camera and was looking forward to breaking it in with a legend.  I guess that that will have to wait for the next show.

IMG_1852When my guest arrived, we entered the architecturally, stunning venue- a Los Angeles landmark- during Grace Potter and the Nocturnals set. I wasn’t too familiar with their music, but for some reason I had the unfounded perception of them being mostly a blues band.  It turns out my preconceived notions were quite wrong. Grace Potter is rock and roll, and she and her band carried themselves as such. Grace Potter can sing.  I was impressed with her vocal ability, and even whispered to my guest that her voice and vocal stylings reminded me of Janis Joplin. I was duly impressed.  They closed out their set with a vigorous, group drum solo that got the crowds adrenaline pumping.

With the audience already riled up, the crowd was ready for the main act.

When the lights went low a little past a quarter after 9, a gentle guitar solo welcomed the crowd. “It’s good to have you back again,” Robert plant sang (“Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You”), and the crowd wild.

It was a solid set. I anticipated the order of the songs having looked up the set lists from his other recent concerts. As with a majority of the audience, I was looking forward to those Led Zeppelin tunes that I love so much. I wasn’t expecting much, if any, variations from the set list, but what impressed- and even surprised- me was the way he took those songs that I knew and “flipped” them. It’s one thing to do a faithful cover, which he did on “Going to California”, but its was quite inspiring to see him “remix” some of those classics by incorporating other musical elements.  A splash of blues here, world music there, and even techno (it should be noted that the keyboard player is/was the keyboard player for Massive Attack). And though you know that the band is well-oiled and rehearsed machine, it almost felt like the venue was their laboratory to create new sounds, and the audience was their muse.

IMG_1886The repertoire not only spanned Led Zeppelin hits, but also songs from his solo catalog (“In the Mood) and covers (Howl in’ Wolf’s “Spoonful”).

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
In The Mood
Tin Pan Valley
Black Dog
Another Tribe
Going To California
The Enchanter
Please Read The Letter
Funny In My Mind (I Believe I’m Fixin’ To Die)
Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
Whole Lotta Love


Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
Rock And Roll

Perhaps the poignant moment of the show came toward the end when Robert Plant seemed to look into himself and addressed the audience stating, more or less, the following, “It’s been a long road. One year turns into another. 40 years ago tonight I was in Long Beach with my other band.”

I wasn’t alive 40 years ago, but I can only imagine what it could have been like. He may not be able to move around on stage like he did 40 years ago, but his musicality, and his voice, still hold true. Bucket list material. ‘Nuff said.

Illumination Road | The Roxy | June 4, 2013


A couple years ago, while throwing back some scotch at one of my favorite pubs in Santa Monica, Ye Olde King’s Head, I was introduced to a couple of musicians who were in a LA based band called Ironheel. They were in the process of putting together a full length album, and they gave me some sites where I could check out their music. Sometime the next day, probably while brewing some coffee to help get my groggy afternoon started, I sat down at my computer and looked them up. I got excited. It was raw rock and roll with killer bass lines that reminded me of some of the greats back from the 60s and 70s.

I’d bump into the guys on occasion at the bar and always ask how their music was going. I can’t seem to remember all of the details- I’m blaming the scotch- but what I did take away from our conversations that was that the band was going through some changes. I figured if they wanted to get further into it, they’d let me know.

Fast forward closer to the present, and after more drinks, Chris Ayden and Chad Mitchell Schlosser tell me that they rebooted the band with a new name, Illumination Road, but still took the same approach to the music that I had liked so much when they were in Ironheel. Apparently, their sound impressed others as well as they were asked to play a set at the Stone Music Festival in Australia where they shared the stage with the likes of Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Buckcherry  and the supergroup Kings of Chaos. When they told me that they were having their first ever  U.S. gig as Illumination Road at the Roxy, I had to check it out. It was just what the doctor ordered.

Good old fashioned rock and roll. An edgier version of the Kinks influenced by Hendrix?  Blue Oyster Cult with Robert Plant influenced vocals? A modern day The Guess Who (more “American Woman” than “No Time”)?  It’s hard to say at this point because they’re such a new band. And honestly, comparisons don’t mean anything. All I know is that there’s a sound here with this band that can really fill a current void in the rock-and-roll marketplace, and it’s a sound that is uniquely their own. If they keep writing songs like the ones I’ve heard, and keep rocking their live performance like I saw them do, maybe they’ll lead the charge to get music back to its classic rock roots.  After all, there is that whole cultural, cyclical hypothesis thingy…

Regardless, I’ll be keeping my eye on them to see where their jams take them. Check out the iPhone video clips I took, and if they pique your interest… pssst … they’re on Facebook.