Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bombay Bicycle Club, October 17 at the Fonda

Bombay Bicycle Club are another of Carla's bands, though it's odd that I didn't come around to them sooner.  Somehow they just fell through the cracks.  Probably because they're newer than the Britpop bands I gravitate toward and somehow I just missed the train.  They were one of the earliest bands on Pandora we kept in the heavy rotation at home so I started getting into them but I still didn't really click with them as much.  We missed their show at the El Rey then they moved up to a bigger place later in the tour.  Getting tickets for this show was an easy feat and Carla was into it.  It was her intention to make the show part of our anniversary celebration though I got home late that night and we got to the show late (as the times that were wrong or changed and we thought we had more time to get there.  Usually the times he posts are correct but it's not his fault).  But it was a good show.  A younger crowd than I'm used to but it's good to see that able, younger bands are still capable of gaining a new audience and building a crowd over time through long tours and solid songs.  We missed Vacationer, who opened.

Bombay Bicycle Club's set-list:
"Your Eyes"
"Dust on the Ground"
"How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep"
"Leave It"
"Bad Timing"
"Rinse Me Down"
"Ivy & Gold" (with drum solo & "Shuffle" snippet)
"Lights Out, Words Gone"
"What You Want"
"Cancel on Me"
"Always Like This"

"Carry Me"
"What If"

Sunday, October 7, 2012

New Order, October 7 at the Greek

I actually hesitated in getting tickets to see New Order.  One of my favorite bands for half my life but I was burned by that horrible performance at Coachella in 2005.  I knew I couldn't even hope for many cuts deeper than their singles and I'd already seen those, and the versions I heard on CD were better.  I still love the band, maybe even more since I've gotten more into Joy Division over the last years, but I still didn't feel an obligation to see New Order, even if they were playing a relatively small place like the Greek.  It was Zara who got me even thinking about it, since we were communicating about the pre-sale and such, and I made a minor attempt to get tickets.  The seats that came up weren't great (relatively) but I had the opportunity in front of me and I went for it.  The worst that could happen is that we'd have a night out.  Carla wasn't a particular fan but she knew their popular stuff well enough.  We met up with Zara & Bryan before the show and had a picnic of pizza and got toasted on wine and headed in (missing openers Run Run Run).  I had checked the past set-lists and it didn't deviate much from that.  Their big thing at the moment was the release of "Elegia" as an extended single and I thought we'd get the whole 15 minutes of it.  But it was probably shorter than the version on Low-Life and just there to set the mood.  Ending that would have been perfect to drop into "Regret" (one of the few highlights from the Coachella set) but they skipped it, the only blemish on a night that otherwise was splendid, much beyond my expectations.  They leaned more on the '80s stuff, which is understandable, and they even played some deeper cuts, since at least they had the time, not squeezing in a festival set.  "5 8 6" was a surprise (or would have been if I hadn't looked at the set-lists).  Hook's absence was noticeable but not regrettable; they do fine without him, and if he's holding up their doing more stuff, then he can stay away.  They had recently released Lost Sirens but played nothing off of it (though I wasn't as familiar with it at all) but they also avoided everything off Waiting for the Siren's Call.  Anything off Get Ready would have been welcome but I'd seen that at the Moby show anyway.  (They played "Here to Stay" from that era the night before.)  In all, it was the kind of show they should be expected to play.  They're getting on in years but they make the effort.  That they usually tour so infrequently, it seems a cruel trick that we only get to see them in a relative glimpse at a festival.  But to see them play a full show, and maybe even go over their contracted time by 10 minutes, seems a treat.  Maybe they've really just been messing with our expectations all these years and now they're finally bringing it again.  Maybe Hook was holding them up.  Maybe the stars just aligned, there under the sky in the open air of the Greek.  As it turns out, we got a night out as well as getting a pretty great show.  I probably wouldn't have known it from seeing the set-list but, if I'd known how it turned out, that's a show I would have missed with regret. 

New Order's set-list:
"Age of Consent"
"Isolation" (Joy Division)
"Love Vigilantes"
"Close Range"
"Your Silent Face"
"Bizarre Love Triangle"
"5 8 6"
"True Faith"
"The Perfect Kiss"
"Blue Monday"

"Atmosphere" (Joy Division)
"Love Will Tear Us Apart" (Joy Division)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Garbage, October 2 at the Palladium

For a while it was easy to forget that I'm a huge Garbage fan.  They went away and even the fans they had left doubted they'd even get back together, or if it would even be a big deal if they did anyway.  But they did, maybe a bit too far ahead of a '90s revival, though probably instead to prove that they're not just a nostalgia act.  They came back with a new album, Not Your Kind of People, that proved that they could be as vital as ever, even if the trends have moved on and tried to leave them behind.  They played the El Rey earlier in the year ahead of this tour, which would have been a great venue to see them in, but it was one of the few times I've passed on getting tickets due to watching my money (though I still made an attempt, just didn't get in).  I thought I might get a chance later.  So they played the Palladium, where I've seen them before, but this was a different place in time (as well as the Palladium being essentially a new place).  It was a good size for them, though I doubt it sold out.  They may be past their days of filling the Wiltern (where the show was set for originally) but their stuff just sounds better in a medium-size venue -- not too big that nuance is lost, not so small that the sounds bursts the edges.  And they sounded great, as well as they did years ago.  At this point they're worn from being on the road or just due to age so they're not as jumpy as they might have been (well, Shirley at least, since the rest of the guys were already fairly old (for a rock band) when they started), but they wear being elder statesmen well, and they've earned the years on them.  Shirley still acts the part of the she-demon (maybe one of the last times she'll have credibility doing so (unless she just gives in to being immortal)) and at one point skipped all around the stage, showing the comfort she's finally come into but maybe betraying the coy, sultry vixen she was in their earliest years.  They leaned toward the new album, maybe too much since that material hadn't really connected, but the crowd was fanatic enough to go along with it until they got to a classic track.  They avoided anything but one track from Beautiful and only a token few from Bleed Like Me (much to my dismay) so they tried to make the new stuff stick, especially in the encore, but also kept in mind where their bread is buttered with the old stuff.  At one point in the encore they seemed lost for a particular direction and seemed to have space for an extra song so Shirley put out a call for a fan request.  Immediately I was screaming "Subhuman" (their first single, even before "Vow", a super-obscurity that would probably stump anyone there, maybe even including the band, something they've played only once since 1996 and that I've never heard live but would surely sound awesome), but some young chick in front called out "Man on Wire", a new B-side, which seemed like a plant as well as a missed opportunity.  Maybe I should have went with their cover of "Thirteen", as that would probably have been Carla's pick.  Carla only knew the band casually back in the day so that left me to be the crazed fanatic, jumping around and screaming like I did in my early-20s at one of their early shows when we'd be pushed up in the pit.  I let it take me over, and it took me back to another place and those moments I've spent when that music has meant so much to me.  They didn't stay out on the road as long as they usually do but that show was more than sufficient.  They could have just played "Vow" and that would have been enough for me.  As usual they kept pushing and overcoming expectations.  They still have that magic to remind me what a fan I am.

Screaming Females opened but we missed them.

Garbage's set-list:
"Time Will Destroy Everything" (intro)
"Automatic Systematic Habit"
"I Think I'm Paranoid"
"Shut Your Mouth"
"Why Do You Love Me"
"Stupid Girl"
"Hammering in My Head"
"#1 Crush" ("Erotica" intro)
"Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)"
"Blood for Poppies"
"Special" (Shirley sings a few lines from the Pretenders' "Kid" at end)
"The Trick Is to Keep Breathing"
"Battle in Me"
"Push It"
"Only Happy When It Rains"

"I Hate Love"
"The One"
"Man on a Wire"
"You Look So Fine"