Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Airborne Toxic Event, April 27 at the El Rey

The Airborne Toxic Event did a week full of shows at clubs around L.A. around the release of All At Once, their second album.  Of course I had to go, at least once (and might have been more if it hadn’t been right after Coachella).  Carla wasn’t very familiar with them so it was time for her to be initiated.  The smallest place they played was the Troubadour, and that would be have been ideal except that I’ve seen them there before, and maybe the Satellite, which would have reflected their shows there from a few years ago (since I missed seeing them there back then, when it was Spaceland), but we hadn’t seen a show at the El Rey in a while and that seemed as good as any.  They’re still a big enough band to headline their own tour and play late but not to regularly play big places or with an elaborate stage set-up so it was the standard affair for them.  And good that they had new songs to play, though through all the times I’ve seen them they always seem to pull out a few tunes that aren’t on the albums but seem familiar to the crowd and they’re played like they’ve been around forever, so I’m lost enough that it always seems like a fresh show.  Carla became fan: Their music and performance would probably have been enough but that they played the Q Lazarus song from Silence of the Lambs, which I’ve heard them play before but never realized it was from Carla’s favorite-ever movie, was enough to send her well over the edge.  She's not on the level of near-obsessed fandom that I am but enough that we’ll surely see them again, though that isn’t a difficult feat wen they play as much as they do in their home-town, which is also where I live, lucky me.

"Wishing Well"
"This Losing"
"The Book of Love" (Magnetic Fields cover)
"All For a Woman"
"All I Ever Wanted"
"Welcome to Your Wedding Day"

"Does This Mean You're Moving On?"
"All At Once"
(I know they played “Goodbye Horses”, the Q Lazarus cover, somewhere in there, near the end, but it’s not the on the set-list I found.)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Prince, April 21 at the Forum

Prince did a string of 21 nights at the Forum, over April and May.  It was extraordinary on so many levels: One of the biggest names in music for the last 25 years doing a residency; the shows being in a huge venue so that the maximum amount of fans as possible could see the show; what could be a greatest-hits or best-of show, without new material to flog; a stage set in the middle of the place, so all the fans could have the best chance to see it; a (relatively, for Prince) stripped-down set with just the singer and the band and few flourishes; special-guests galore (with Sheila E., who also opened the show, for us, but I read that Gwen Stefani, Alecia Keyes, Missy Elliot, Nikka Costa, and numerous others showed up on other nights); from what I could tell from the set-lists I saw, a nearly-completely different set-list each night); and the tickets were -- even after all service charges -- $25.  (Floor seats might have been a bit more but probably not much).  This was part of something called “Welcome2America” which would seem like it’s a tour but I don’t know where it went after that and I don't know why Prince would need to introduce or be introduced to his home country.  It started or was most significant in L.A., another perk to living in the city.  The whole thing seemed like a whim on the artist’s part but he can pretty much do whatever he wants in the world anyway.  There was no reason not to go the shows.  The man is a living legend and he puts his acolytes to shame, still standing on his own and doing his own thing, as he's done for two and a half decades.  Of course for a big fan these shows would be essential and probably a real thrill, as Prince changes so often that it would certainly be a different experience each time.  If a person was even less than a casual fan, just someone who has heard pop music since 1979, this would be a great show.  And even for someone who's been living in a tomb their whole life, this would be a wonderful night of music and performance, even without the proper context.  Carla got us tickets, along with Cid & Jon and her aunt and uncle.  All of them drank and partied harder than I did but this was the first time I really got down with all of them so it was a good indication that I needed to really bring it next time.  I don't know why we went so early in the run, maybe just because we were excited to do it and wanted to get in at some point in the series and there was no point in putting it off.  I’ve never seen a more diverse amount of fans there: young and old, rich and less-rich, fancy and casual; the crowd was just all over the place but they were clearly all fans, across so many classes and backgrounds and tastes.  Prince's appeal extends far and wide.  He knows how to bring people together.  The first half of the show was, predictably, newer stuff and some jams that seemed to go on forever, but he always had a showman’s flair and it never got intolerable , especially since we knew the hits were just around the corner.  And considering he was going to play for what was surely going to be hours, we could put up with a little indulgence on his part.  It never even seemed to bother anyone that he would skip the chorus of a risque song or now-objectionable phrase, which seemed to be an acceptable compromise between some popular-but-way-too-sexy classics and where his spiritual beliefs lead him these days.  Prince has always courted controversy but he's also just let the music hold him up.  He spoke just enough to the crowd, knowing he really didn't need to anyway, but he can speak with his singing voice or guitar, as the notion strikes him to what he wants to do.  The set was two hours then he and the band left the stage.  That would have been enough for a full, satisfying show; the house-lights came on, meaning there wouldn’t be an encore if this was any other show.  But this was a Prince show.  We’d read to wait until security were actually physically moving us out.  It was good advice.  Prince left the stage and house-lights came up and people thought it was time to leave, many of them moving out.  Then he came back to play an encore.  And again.  He did this three times that night.  The second time was the medley of hits, just to make sure everyone got at least a taste of whatever song they really wanted to hear.  We had to leave just after that, even though we knew the show was going to go on; it was already after midnight and as it was Thursday, folks had to work the next day.  He played for over three hours total.  Even half of that would have been an amazing show, and more than we're used to deserving.  Prince can do whatever he wants for himself, and there is even often a reason to go along with it, but sometimes part of that is giving back to the people who love him and his music, of which there are many.  Who knows what he'll do next?

"When Eye Lay My Hands On U"
"Crimson & Clover" (with "Wild Thing" interpolation)
"Take Me With U"
"Anotherloverholenyohead" (with "Rock Lobster" coda)
"Everyday People" (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
"The Glamorous Life" (with Sheila E.)
"Nothing Compares 2 U"
"Raspberry Beret"
"Cool" (The Time cover) (with "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" interpolation)
"Let's Work"
"U Got The Look"
"Let's Go Crazy"
"Little Red Corvette"

"Purple Rain"

"When Doves Cry"/"Hot Thing"/"Nasty Girl"/"Black Sweat"/"Sign 'O The Times"/"The Most Beautiful Girl In The World"/"Darling Nikki"/"Forever In My Life"/"I Would Die 4 U"


Friday, April 15, 2011

Coachella, April 15-17 in Indio

Another year, another Coachella.  Not that it’s lost its magic because of so many consecutive years going, but there’s a groove we’ve gotten that makes it easier to not have to think too much about all the things we've done already and instead enjoy the irregular things that stand out, especially the performances by the bands.  This year they scaled back the amount of people they let in, which made for a nicer time for us but it had to have sucked for the people who didn’t get tickets before they sold out, in less than a week this year. This didn’t bother us in the least since we all knew we were going so we were smart enough to get our tickets as soon as they went on sale.  We were set.  Most notable this year was the first year that I had a female companion with me.  Carla had been to most of the first Coachellas but she hadn’t been to the most recent few.  Of course she fit in just right with our group.  I thought it might be a drag having someone attached to me but she’s as into the music out there as I am and she actually got me to see some bands I might have missed.  And she’s as maneuverable as I am so we were able to get around and through the crowds and see as much as we wanted.  The only downside being that the later mornings (or early afternoons) were hard to get out to early so we got into the festival a little later than usual, though you won’t hear me complain about that.  Everyone else did just fine.  This year’s “everyone else” being Andrew & Heather (the other couple, who we split a hotel room with), Vanessa, Rachel, Jonathon, Jenn, and Jenn’s friend, but the less said about her the better (and she wasn’t even with any of us at the fest anyway so she shouldn’t have to come into play here).  Getting out there was like any other year, arriving on Thursday and having the vaunted, traditional dinner at Sizzler, then relaxing in our rooms, though the others in the other room went to some pre-party late Thursday night but I don’t know much about what happened.  I was there for the festival and I was planning on conserving my energy.

Friday we got in early enough -- again no problems but we heard that they fixed whatever trouble there was last year for the people who came in later -- and we made our way to see some of the early bands.  Andrew suggested Hurts, who were modern British music in every sense of the phrase: a slick singer with the melodrama of Morrissey, a cracking band, and even a guy dressed as an opera singer behind the rest of them.  Actually pretty good.  A bit of a surprise, though I didn’t hear anything more about them after that weekend; not much going on after that so we wandered over to the Rural Alberta Advantage but they didn’t do a thing for us; to kill a bit of time, and just to make an appearance at the Sahara tent, we went to check out Skrillex, just as Andrew texted to say that he was there and it sounded like noise.   I couldn’t disagree.  But that guy got a lot of press after Coachella so maybe there was something I was missing; a highlight for the day was going to be seeing Cee-Lo. Of course he’d do “Fuck You” but was he going to do “Crazy” (which I just barely got when Gnarls Barkley played Coachella years ago)?  We went over and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  It was only 20 minutes, which would have been forgivable at a regular show, but not at a festival, and not one like this one.  There were other bands we could be seeing.  Heck, we could be doing anything other than looking at an empty stage.  You start to feel like you’re being played for a sucker.  There are time-tables and schedules that need to be kept -- any professional musician should know this.  Cee-Lo can pull some diva shit and think that he deserves it but that’s only going to piss people off and lose fans.  We took off to see something -- anything else.  I read that he eventually got on stage and only played only a few songs (including “Fuck You”) so at least they didn’t give him more time to make up for being late and throw off the rest of the schedule, which he clearly had no regard for.  Hopefully he got what he deserved, though he might have lost at least two fans.  Fuck you, Cee-Lo.  No, not quoting the song.  Really: Fuck you, Cee-Lo; I had recently really gotten into the Pains of Being Pure at Heart.  Just enough fuzz, just enough confidence, just enough indie tunefulness to keep me coming back.  That’s all I want from my music.  They’re a young band, and they certainly seemed like they were having a good time and happy to be there (unlike a lot of the bands, who see Coachella as just another tour stop).  I expect to see a lot more of them in the future; I wandered over to see the second half of Tame Impala and they were even better than I thought they would be. Clearly a band that’s better live, though their album is just fine.   Then again, it might be because they played “Alter Ego,” my pick by them, and it still sounded great; Sleigh Bells were another band I was really looking forward to.  Carla got me into them and she said they had been amazing when she saw them at the Hollywood Bowl.  I had high hopes for them and they met them.  Bowel-shaking volume and a screeching female singer who just seemed perfect for the time.  Some great stuff.  I’m glad I didn’t miss them (though it would have been for Interpol, which wouldn’t have been a bad alternative); Carla had also gotten me into the Black Keys.  I knew about them, had heard and heard about them here and there, even saw them at Lollapalooza but they went right through me then, my assuming that I didn’t really need to get into them and, out of all the bands I’m into, I could pass on these guys.  Then I heard “Howlin’ for You” randomly on KROQ and something clicked with me (hearing something I liked for the first time on KROQ -- when’s the last time that happened?).  I finally got around to them and they really turned me around.  And so much better live that you’d wonder why anyone would try to capture them on disc in the first place (though that’s still great, too).  And certainly at this show, two guys in front of so many people, they totally pulled it off.  Based purely on performance, and even having missed the first half, one of the best acts of the entire weekend; I always joked about the Aquabats playing Coachella.  You could argue that the Coachella organizers aren’t snobby and have a sense of irony and there’s still no way the ‘Bats’ music would be anywhere near the same orbit.  But they’re one of the most fun live bands still going, and considering even good live bands have lost any sense of fun, it’s to say that they’re also one of great, current live bands.  And they really did make it to Coachella, for a late-evening slot, no less (though that’s not always a great thing).  It was a crowded tent and I know I’ve seen most of the set before (remembered more from the videos playing behind them) and surely the hipsters skipped it but the band were as much fun as they’ve ever been.  Still maybe not a good fit for that festival but still a band that knows how to entertain in concert, and that should be enough; there were more bands to see but we decided it wise to duck the crowd getting out so we left a bit before the final end for the night.

A late start for Saturday but got in on time to see Gogol Bordello.  I’ve seen them and they’re still an astounding live band (it's kinda their thing) but I probably would have gone to see another band if Carla had not -- inexplicably -- ever seen them.  She had to, to help correct her lack of experience with them.  We all had to go.  And we got a good position, for a performance being so early in the day.  And they never disappoint (even for playing Coachella for the third time). And Carla was suitably impressed; I was surprised that the New Pornographers would get Neko Case to go on tour with them and I was more surprised that it lasted as long as it did.  Better that it goes for as long as it could since it might not happen again.  They’ve played Coachella before but it was without Neko and it just wasn’t the same.  Still great, and would probably still be as acclaimed even without Neko, but she really does put them over that edge.  Even better that Dan wasn’t with them at this tour stop so they could probably focus better, and I doubt they suffered without the songs that Dan would sing on.  Such a great band and good live but probably lost among all the other great performances in the height of the day and throughout the whole festival; we only saw the second half of Elbow’s set.  I figured they played all their older stuff -- the stuff I knew -- early in the set but Andrew said later that they’re not playing any old stuff on this tour.  Not a great idea.  That old stuff is great, but that’s me saying it because I hadn’t warmed up to their most recent album at the time, and they were certainly trying to build on its acclaim.  They became huge in England with the newer stuff so it made sense that they would try to carry that on through the rest of the world.  I couldn’t get much out of the set since I kept waiting for “Red,” and maybe it would have been bad timing to play that so late in their set even if it was a possibility, so, sadly, this set was a bit lost to me.  But it’s one of the performances I heard a lot about in the time after the festival so apparently they made some kind of imprint on the U.S. market from it.  They deserve the acclaim but hopefully they can rediscover the stuff from their past that got at least one fan into them (or maybe that fan will try to keep up a little better); after that was a little bit of wandering, over to the Kills. They run really hot and cold with me: I love No Wow but Midnight Boom didn’t do much for me.  I didn’t have their newest one at the time.  But this could have been the first and best time to experience their newest stuff before I knew it but only catching a few songs didn’t move me.  And there was quite a crowd for them, so seeing them from a great distance on a small stage (relative to the main stage) didn’t quite have a great effect.  I’m sure they were great, I just should have been there for the whole thing and have a better place for it to take me over; then some wandering over to Wire.  I know they’re legends but they just seemed like a bunch of old guys playing really loudly.  Not that there’s anything at all wrong with it, it just didn’t do much for me, having no past experience with them (other than with everything that Elastica did that they stole from them); I keep wanting to give Animal Collective a chance.  Coachella 2006 was the first time I ever saw them and they didn’t do anything for me then, and I've seen them at least a few times since and they still do nothing for me.  I keep thinking I’m missing something, something I just don’t understand when I see them and don’t enjoy them as much as everyone else seems to.  So I keep trying to give them a chance but every time it’s just noise and weird videos to me.  Apparently my patience with them hasn’t worn completely out because I tried them again but it was the exact-same thing: noise and weird videos.  Carla was on the same page as me, though she was at least holding out for “My Girls,” maybe their biggest hit and most accessible song, but we took off to something -- anything -- else, and they didn’t play it anyway.  They got second billing for the day overall, right under the arena-packing headliners.  Everyone else can have them, then; the musical highlight of the festival (I predicted before even going) and what made me shriek when I first saw the line-up was Suede.  Now, I’ve never been the biggest Suede fan in the world but they were part of my world of beloved mid-’90s Britpop and I’ve certainly followed them through the years, since they first were exposed Stateside and actually got played on KROQ, back in the day.  And yet, I never saw them in concert (though that shouldn’t be a shock since they didn’t get much to the States when they were biggest in the rest of the world, then they stopped touring the U.S. altogether).  This was the only show they were doing in the U.S. for the year.  I don’t know why the tent wasn’t more packed than it was (though I couldn’t tell to what extent since I got there early enough to be right up front, though without Carla because I didn’t think she could get into them and wouldn't have cared for the packed crowd that close and would be much better served seeing another band elsewhere.  Looking back, maybe a mistake on my part but I didn’t want her to be disappointed by something I was so excited about).  I had thought that with the reunion being a big deal that it would be the original members but it was the line-up without Bernard Butler.  Still a good line-up, and still some great music, and I can’t say that I’m a purist, but it was a little disappointing knowing that it wasn’t the most classic members in the band.  Predictably, then (though I couldn’t tell at the time that Butler wasn’t with them), they stuck to songs off their biggest album -- the self-titled one -- and the next-biggest one (in the U.K., at least) -- Coming Up.  It’s the set I would have picked (though it might have been nice to have some of Dog Man Star in there, that wasn’t really the venue for it, and it seemed like that was more of Butler’s album anyway).  They played every song like it was a hit (even if it wasn’t in the country they were playing in), one-two-three, and on to the next one.  Anderson might not have said a thing but there were certainly some screaming girls up front that seemed to think he was talking to them with his hips.  It was as good as it could have been, the crowd as rabid as you could hope, though smaller than if they were in their native parts, but that’s good enough for here.  Maybe next year we can get the Elastica reunion?; as blasphemous as it sounds, I actually could have missed Arcade Fire, or at least have seen another band opposite them but there wasn’t much that interested me.  Not that I’m not a huge fan and haven’t gotten even more obsessed with The Suburbs since last time, just that that Shrine show fulfilled me utterly for this tour and I could be okay with letting that live at its height in my memory.  But Carla was over there and I had to find her so we could get back together (quite an effort, as if I have to tell you.  Took about three songs or so to navigate through the crowd).  And it was a monumental performance (their third at that festival), but that should come as no surprise.  It’s a band that came up small but worked hard and they came up hard and now they’ve earned a place headlining festivals, even above the hype and the wishy-washy hipsters.  They prove that a good band that makes a real effort to perform and connect maybe can really make it big.  Then all those balloon-balls near the end and I don’t know what those were about but they certainly made the performance unique.  How in the world could Kanye top that?

Another late start on Sunday but there (hopefully) wasn’t much early for us anyway.   As it was, we wandered over to Ellie Goulding to see what all the hype about her was about.  I took my usual early-Sunday nap, sitting amidst the crowd but letting the music wash over me anyway.  I can’t say I had a solid opinion and I can’t say that she was just another Brit pop-tart, though it seemed odd that she was there amidst all the much hipper music.  It was a big effort for her to break in the States and maybe it worked, to whatever extent. The most impact she made on me was playing Elton John’s “Your Song,” an interesting but unadventurous choice.  She probably would have done just as well playing another one of her own songs since it seemed like she had already won over most of the packed tent; we saw some of the end of Nas & Damien Marley waiting for the main stage.  I note that mostly because I should be familiar enough with those artists for them to have some impact on me but really, we were just waiting through them; then Death from Above 1979.  These guys slipped by me when they were around originally, ten years ago, but luckily my Coachella-e-mail-circle compatriots warned me in advance and I got into them leading up to the festival.  Not as many bands there that weekend that could aptly be called “blistering.”  They would have exploded a smaller stage so maybe a spot on the main stage was well-earned, though from what I read it was so they could avoid a riot like they had previously at a show in Austin.  Whatever.  Even just two guys and they filled the space as well and as massively as any band bigger than them (both metaphorically and literally, in member count).  Their live show made me get into them even more, and I have to wonder how I missed them in the first place.  I tried not to miss them again, since there was no telling how much longer they were going to stay together; Carla & I have a thing with the National.  It has to do with the night before we met in person, that we were both at a show of theirs but didn’t meet there, so the National performance at the festival had a bit of special meaning for us.  It was another good performance by them, road-dogs that they are, but mostly I remember lots of gorgeous, green lights flowing over and around us in the desert night, and Carla being there with me in my arms.  Everything there just then, it was just a perfect.  One of the best concert moments of my life; as far as we were concerned, PJ Harvey was the headliner of the whole weekend.  We were flabbergasted how she didn’t get higher billing, then how she was playing the smaller stage.   Maybe it made sense that she play the smaller stage since she would have gone on in the middle of the afternoon on the main stage, and while that’s not the worst indignity, and maybe something she would have done back in the earlier, more ferocious days, it just wouldn’t have seemed right this time.  After seeing the National on that stage, we took a break then came back, moving up to the front, only one or two people behind the barrier from the stage.  Carla hesitated to be so close only because crowds at shows like this can get crazy but the whole time the crowd was peaceful and completely calm.  I’m not sure if anyone else even came in physical contact with me, even though I was only feet from the stage.  The crowd were awed into a respectful sedation.  It was a beautiful and graceful thing, maybe fragile underneath it all, as Polly has always seemed, but the exterior was free and lilting when it wasn’t snarling, only because the older material, especially “Down By The Water” led it there, though by now the edges have been sanded down to a more attractive sheen.  Polly and her band have been doing this for a while so she knows how to put a crowd under her spell and the audience was respectful for her and her art, as they allowed her to take them away.  The performance was also a rare thing, as this show was one of a scant handful she did for this album in the U.S. (though that’s more than she did the time before that).  We knew we were seeing something special, though it would have been just as magnificent in any other city or any other stage or time of day.  She just has that power.  She always has.  After she got done at the un-festival hour of 10:35, we were done.  There was no other place we could go after that performance, as well as after the other ones of the day.  We had no choice but to leave.  But declared it another great Coachella, just like the others.

Missed: Cold Cave (Andrew was all about them but we were wandering around doing whatever else); the Drums (again, we were wandering around but I don’t remember why we didn’t go by for a second); Warpaint (we went with Cee-Lo since we’d already seen Warpaint recently but obviously we bet wrong on that one.  Really wrong.  Fuck you, Cee-Lo); Lauryn Hill (Ms. or not), Cold War Kids, Kele (I honestly don’t remember what we were doing instead of seeing bands.  Drinking probably would explain it easily.  Maybe too easily); Interpol (conflict with Sleigh Bells, but I read there was a really awesome visual presentation they had, so that might have been the better show but how would we have known?); Cut Copy (conflict with the Black Keys.  And no, there was no plan to see Brandon Flowers in the first place); Crystal Castles (conflict with the Aquabats, and I wasn’t all that impressed with Crystal Castles last time (or in general) but I read they really did it this year); Robyn, the Chemical Brothers, Flogging Molly (left early); the Joy Formidable, Cults (didn’t get there early enough); Glasser (Jenn was all crazy over her but we didn’t know about the act at the time); Broken Social Scene (part conflict with the New Pornographers (and perplexing why they would put these two bands against each other) but I didn’t really know about them anyway); Bright Eyes (conflict with the New Porn and Elbow.  And when I went to write this, I realized, for as long as I’ve liked (but not loved) Bright Eyes, and for as many festivals as I’ve been that he/they have performed at, I’ve never actually seen him.  Maybe next time (probably not)); Mumford & Sons (much happier to see the Kills and Wire instead.  In one show I've probably seen them as much as I ever need to); Big Audio Dynamite (assumed that they wouldn’t play “Rush” as we passed by but then they played it right after we went by); Empire of the Sun (conflict with Suede, but Carla saw them); Scissor Sisters (conflict with Arcade Fire, and we left early anyway); Off! (I didn’t realize how legendary the members in the band were until later, and we didn’t get there early enough anyway); Men (not quite enough Le Tigre for me); CSS (also too early for us); Jimmy Eat World (we gambled on Ellie Goulding instead, and maybe that was the wrong choice, but I would have wanted to see their whole show if I was going to see any of it); Best Coast (conflict with DFA but I was pretty good after the Weezer show in November anyway); Duran Duran (conflict with the National.  Could have been a hard choice if Carla hadn’t been with me.  But I made the right decision); the Strokes (the only conflict was with getting in good position for PJ Harvey.  Minute for minute maybe not the best idea but we also knew we were going to see them at Jazz Fest, and it’s not like they really change up their show, and it’s especially not like we haven’t seen them before, so we were comfortable with skipping them this time); Kanye West (probably the biggest spectacle of the weekend but at that point, nothing could top PJ Harvey and we were just done with the weekend. He didn’t do a show like this again, and I read that it was a pretty spectacular (though not life-changing performance) so I might regret it later but at this point I’m cool with it); She Wants Revenge (would have been a conflict with Kanye but we planned to leave early anyway).

"Month of May"
"Rebellion (Lies)"
"No Cars Go"
"City With No Children"
"The Suburbs"
"The Suburbs (Continued)"
"Crown of Love"
"Neighborhood #2 (Laika)"
"We Used to Wait"
"Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)"
"Keep the Car Running"
"Wake Up"

"Ready to Start"
"Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)"
"Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"

"Girl Is On My Mind"
"Your Touch"
"Everlasting Light"
"Next Girl"
"Chop and Change"
"Howlin' For You"
"Tighten Up"
"She's Long Gone"
"Ten Cent Pistol"
"I'll Be Your Man"
"I Got Mine"

"Turn It Out"
"Dead Womb"
"Going Steady"
"Cold War"
"Black History Month"
"Go Home, Get Down"
"You're Lovely (But You've Got Lots of Problems)"
"Little Girl"
"Blood on Our Hands"
"You're a Woman, I'm a Machine"
"Pull Out"
"We Don't Sleep At Night"
"Romantic Rights"
"Do It!"

"Let England Shake"
"The Words That Maketh Murder"
"C'mon Billy"
"The Glorious Land"
"The Last Living Rose"
"Down by the Water"
"Written on the Forehead"
"The Sky Lit Up"
"Bitter Branches"
"On Battleship Hill"
"Big Exit"
"Meet Ze Monsta"

"Bloodbuzz Ohio"
"Anyone's Ghost"
"Slow Show"
"Squalor Victoria"
"Afraid Of Everyone"
"Conversation 16"
"Fake Empire"
"Mr. November"
"Terrible Love" (with Justin Vernon)

"Animal Nitrate"
"Killing Of A Flashboy"
"Pantomime Horse"
"The Drowners"
"New Generation"
"Can't Get Enough"
"The Asphalt World"
"So Young"
"Metal Mickey"
"Beautiful Ones"

"Shocking You" (Shocking Blue cover)
"Sing Me Spanish Techno"
"Crash Years"
"All the Old Showstoppers"
"The Laws Have Changed"
"Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk"
"Your Hands (Together)"
"Mass Romantic"
"Use It"
"The Bleeding Heart Show"

"This Love Is Fucking Right!"
"A Teenager In Love"
"The Body"
"Heaven's Gonna Happen Now"
"Heart In Your Heartbreak"
"My Terrible Friend"
"Come Saturday"
"Young Adult Friction"
"Everything With You"

"The Shark Fighter!"
"The Legend is True!"
"Pizza Day!"
"Fashion Zombies!"
"Radio Down!"
"Look at Me, I'm a Winner!"
"Cat With 2 Heads!"
"Luck Dragon Lady!"
"Super Rad!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Queens of the Stone Age, April 12 at the Wiltern

I’ve been a fan of Queens of the Stone Age because they’re one of the best straight-ahead rock bands around but their sound seemed to just get weird instead of heavy post-Songs for the Deaf, after Nick left/got kicked out, and I started to drift away. I still get the albums and still hold out hope that they can return to something like that old sound but I think I really liked them for Nick. I hadn’t gotten ahold of their first album but Andrew always told me it was amazing. Carla and Cid are huge fans so we got tickets for this show. As it turns out, they were playing that entire first album, which is probably their heaviest but without Nick, who was clearly the one that brought the heavy elements to the music. Still a good show, and that version of the band is probably the tightest that Josh has had, but I was a little lost, especially with Carla right next to me shouting along to every word. She said that it’s an album for stoners so she’s not sure how much I would like it. It’s always a special thing to see a band perform one of their seminal albums, especially an obscure one (and one which didn't get a wide release until years and years after the band got big), though odd that I saw the performance before ever hearing the album they were playing (or anything from it, aside for a few cuts they played live). After that they encored with a smattering of their more recent, non-Nick stuff, and it came across, amazingly, heavier than it was weird. Hearing those songs live, I could even really warm up to the newer stuff. Maybe I’ll become a post-Nick QOTSA fan after all. I might even have to go back to the beginning, during the early-Nick years. Weird and heavy can be hard to balance, and we may have to pick one or the other anymore, but at least sometimes we can get a glimpse back.

Queens of the Stone Age's set-list:
"Regular John"
"If Only"
"Walkin' on the Sidewalks"
"You Would Know"
"How to Handle a Rope"
"Hispanic Impressions"
"The Bronze"
"Give the Mule What He Wants
"I Was a Teenage Hand Model"
"You Can't Quit Me Baby"

"Someone's in the Wolf"
"Little Sister"
"Make It Wit Chu"
"Hangin' Tree"
"Tangled Up in Plaid"

"Sick, Sick, Sick"
"Go With the Flow"

e Flow"