Mexico68 | Twilight Concert Series | Santa Monica Pier | 8/28/14 [PHOTOS]

CLICK HERE to check out other acts performing a Twilight Concert at the Santa Monica Pier!

With 13 members in its collective, Mexico68 is an afrobeat band that does it right. Their tight-knit sound, and superb energy, really lifted the audience’s spirit, and had many in the crowd dancing to their sounds. Personally, I’m a huge fan a large, and loud, horn sections. They had 7 horns playing that evening, and I absolutely loved it.

Their brand of afrobeat, heavily influenced with Chicano funk, really got my music juices flowing. I would definitely go out of my way to see them perform if I’m craving that kind of music. You should too.

I couldn’t find a setlist online, but you can CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram Videos of them performing.

 

 

CLICK HERE to check out other acts performing a Twilight Concert at the Santa Monica Pier!

Mystic Braves | Twilight Concert Series | Santa Monica Pier | 8/21/14 [PHOTOS]

CLICK HERE to check out other acts performing a Twilight Concert at the Santa Monica Pier!

With the distinct honor of opening for the legendary The Zombies, Mystic Braves took the stage and served up a worthy appetizer of psychedelic rock to the masses. Now based in Echo Park, and signed to local label Lolipop Records, this band’s live performance, with their organ tinged sound, made me imagine what it would have been like if I had been alive to attend a Doors concert.

Band members Julian Decatenzeiler, Tony Malacara, Cameron Gartung, Shane Stotsenberg and Ignacio Gonzalez seamlessly played their brand of surf/garage rock with gusto and left the audience ready for the main course.

I couldn’t find a setlist online, but you can CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of some of the songs Mystic Braves performed at this concert.

 

CLICK HERE to check out other acts performing a Twilight Concert at the Santa Monica Pier!

Mystic Braves| Twilight Concert Series | Santa Monica Pier | 8/21/14 [INSTAGRAM VIDS]

CLICK HERE to check out other acts I caught at the Twilight Concert on the Santa Monica Pier!

Below are Instagram clips of some of the songs from Mystic Brave’s set at the Santa Monica Pier as part of the Twilight Concert Series. Instagram’s embed settings are, unfortunately, too large for WordPress, but hopefully, you’ll still be able to click through to watch the video clips. Enjoy.

 

CLICK HERE to check out other acts I caught at the Twilight Concert on the Santa Monica Pier!

Twilight Concert Series | Santa Monica Pier | Summer 2014

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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!

JULY 10th

July 17th

July 31st

August 7th

August 14th

August 21st

August 28th

September 4th

September 11th

To see the full list of acts performing at the Santa Monica Pier as part of the 20th Annual Twilight Concert series, CLICK HERE.

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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Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue | Twilight Concert Series | August 29, 2013

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The first time I heard of Trombone Shorty, he was a recurring character on the HBO Series “Treme”. At first I thought he was fictional character, but as I did more research on the music played in the show, I discovered that he was, in fact, a highly acclaimed trumpet and trombone player who grew up a child prodigy from a musical family. I can truly say that a television show helped me delve into New Orleans R&B, Funk, Soul and Jazz.  I watched many videos of him perform (like the one immediately below) and I knew that talent like that needed to be seen live. When I heard he was to have a free concert on the Santa Monica Pier, I “penciled” it into my calendar.

I love horn sections. Earth Wind and Fire, Blood Sweat and Tears, Chicago. They each had amazing horn sections that gave their hit songs an extra something. Every so often, I’ll hear a popular, modern album that utilizes a great horn section, and I think that there’ll be a resurgence or renaissance of that type and style of music, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Dustbowl Revival did a great job warming the crowd up, and when Trombone Shorty took the stage the audience was adequately lubricated for some funky, jazzy goodness and with the first note, the dancing began.

Trombone Shorty and his backing band, Orleans Avenue, wowed the audience with their musical prowess. While his singing was good, it was his work on the trumpet and trombone that truly mesmerized the audience. The highlights of his set, for me at least, was when he showcased his impressive circulatory breathing, holding notes for what seemed to be forever. A partial video clip is in the highlights I posted below, and they are partial because I had to stop filming as I had to watch him hold that note with my own eyes instead of the through the lens of the camera.  It was amazing.

He played to the audience’s local leanings by covering snippets of popular Los Angeles hip hop standards by Snoop and Dre and added his own flare to classic jazz standards (snippets of each are included in the video montage below).

Watching Trombone Shorty perform made me long for another trip back to New Orleans. When that trip happens, I’ll make sure it coincides with a Trombone Shorty performance at a New Orleans club.

Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.
Trombone Shorty.

The Dustbowl Revival | Twilight Concert Series | August 29, 2013

Dustbowl Revival
Dustbowl Revival

Opening for Trombone Shorty on the Santa Monica Pier as part of the 2013 Twilight Concert Series was a Veince, CA based folk/bluegrass/swing band named The Dustbowl Revival. Upon retrospect, they were more of a mini-orchestra than a band with 10 members playing a wide range of instruments from trumpets, trombones and bajos to washboards and kazoos.

I arrived before they started their set, and scanned the audience to find a good spot to take some pictures when I noticed an open area front and center against the railing. Behind this open area, there were some  concert goers who set up their lawn chairs and such, and though I felt a bit awkward stepping into a spot right in front of them, I figured that if they didn’t want someone standing in front of them, they should have moved up. Of course, when I got there they gave me “a look” and in a grumpy way asked that I not stand in front of them the whole time. I told them that I’d be standing for a few songs during Dustbowl Revival, but also added that they should expect people dancing when Trombone Shorty took the stage.

Why sit in chairs for the Dustbowl Revival, when you can do this?
Why sit in chairs for the Dustbowl Revival, when you can do this?

When The Dustbowl Revival started their set, the music was a refreshing throwback to traditional Americana fusing the styles of blues, swing, bluegrass, roots and folk. With the strong musicality of the entire band, and the congenial nature of their front man, The Dustbowl Revival gained the audience’s respect and attention. They expressed their sincere appreciation for being able to perform in front of such a large audience in their home town and would acknowledge those members of the band who grew up, or went to school, in Santa Monica. As the music kept coming, those in the VIP area started dancing, showing those sitting behind me how a concert and music like this should be enjoyed. If you check out the video from 2:30 on, you can watch the couple dancing, and it’s a joy to watch.

Get to know Dustbowl Revival by checking out their Facebook Page and dance your way to one of their gigs.

Members of the Dustbowl Revival
Members of the Dustbowl Revival
Members of the Dustbowl Revival
Members of the Dustbowl Revival
Members of the Dustbowl Revival
Members of Dustbowl Revival captured on film.
Members of the Dustbowl Revival
Members of the Dustbowl Revival
Members of the Dustbowl Revival
Members of the Dustbowl Revival
Members of the Dustbowl Revival
Members of the Dustbowl Revival

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

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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.

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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.

OK Go| Twilight Concert Series | Santa Monica Pier | 9/4/14 [INSTAGRAM VIDS]

CLICK HERE to check out other acts I caught at the Twilight Concert on the Santa Monica Pier!

Below are Instagram clips of some of the songs from OK Go’s set at the Santa Monica Pier as part of the Twilight Concert Series. Instagram’s embed settings are, unfortunately, too large for WordPress, but hopefully, you’ll still be able to click through to watch the video clips. Enjoy.

CLICK HERE to check out other acts I caught at the Twilight Concert on the Santa Monica Pier!

Allah- Las| Twilight Concert Series | Santa Monica Pier | 9/4/14 [INSTAGRAM VIDS]

CLICK HERE to check out other acts I caught at the Twilight Concert on the Santa Monica Pier!

Below are Instagram clips of some of the songs from Allah-Las‘ set at the Santa Monica Pier as part of the Twilight Concert Series. Instagram’s embed settings are, unfortunately, too large for WordPress, but hopefully, you’ll still be able to click through to watch the video clips. Enjoy.

CLICK HERE to check out other acts I caught at the Twilight Concert on the Santa Monica Pier!