Thursday, September 17, 2009

the Airborne Toxic Event, September 17 at the Fox Theater

The Airborne Toxic Event started their fall '09 tour in Pomona. I don't know how long they've been touring or how many times they've played in L.A. or the local area since I got into them late but considering my well-publicized obsession without them, of course I had to go to the show, even though I had to leave work early and drive the 40 minutes from Santa Monica to Pomona. I'd never been to the Fox Theater before but apparently it had been re-opened recently after being renovated and they booked some good artists (many of whom have also played in L.A. on the same tour but this is outside that area so they could do another show nearby -- apparently a contractual thing). The Fox is nice, well worth the drive, with local, free parking. Also not as much of a scene, not being so close to Hollywood, and maybe attracting a younger, more excited crowd. The place doesn't have the same grimy charm that goes so well with a rock show as the Glass House across town but as a theater doing concerts, it's pretty great. Openers the Henry Clay People had a lot of energy but I wasn't there for them. Airborne were early in their tour, less fresh then they should have been but still solid, already tour veterans, less for years touring but for the impressive volume of shows they've already played. They're big enough to headline a tour on only one album -- and one that's less than 40 minutes long -- and there were even some tracks from their album that they didn't play. They might be better served for promotion by opening for a bigger band on a bigger tour but they seem to be doing fine on their own. They had to fill their set with covers, which was fine, but it showed more clearly than it needed to be that they don't have enough material for a whole headlining show. Fortunately they're not afraid to play new or unreleased stuff, which was plentiful and still sounded like their familiar stuff. I convinced some friends to go see them on another date in another city and it didn't go nearly as well for them as it did for me. But some people just have no taste.

“Does This Mean You're Moving On?”
“Something New”
“This Losing”
“This Magic Moment” (Ben E. King)
“Girls In Their Summer Dresses”
“Sugarcube” (Yo La Tengo)
“This Is Nowhere”
“Letter to Georgia”
“Wishing Well”
a song about singing me anything, and cool, love, long, boring, boxes, young
“Sometime Around Midnight”
“Googbye Horses” (Q Lazzarus)
new song
“Missy”/”Ask”/”Panic” (The Smiths)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nico Vega/the Silent Years, September 8 at the Roxy

Sometimes you just have to get out for local shows. Especially when Noa wants to hang out. I don't know why she wanted to see Nico Vega but she invited me and I'll go out to see a show when I have the night free and I have someone to go with. I don't know what the band was about -- some post-glam, tribal thing whose songs changed so much from each to the other that you couldn't tell if any of them were any good. The singer might have been named for the band but she was trying way too hard to be the next big Hollywood thing. I doubt they'll ever get beyond L.A. but they sure play around town a lot. You probably don't need to hear of them again. But the highlight of the show was opener (if it was actually a headlining show for Nico Vega) the Silent Years, an indie-pop group a la Fountains of Wayne that I'd never heard of but were worth seeing and I wish we had gotten there in time to see more of them. As it was, it was a night out with Noa and we drank.