Thursday, September 19, 2013

Stars, September 19 at the El Rey

I've followed Stars since the beginning but I've missed some shows of theirs in town.  Carla & I had talked about seeing them the last time they were in town, at the Wiltern, but ended up not going (as we had a special night at my place, of all nights, but it was worth it).  We tried to make up for it by seeing them on this tour, for the North album (and got tickets on Stubhub for $39 each, nearly a steal). There was some dancier material but it still had their brand of melancholy and just enough playfulness to get through, just like any other day in real life. I can connect to that.  It's always great that they can feature such a survey of all their material, and the stuff from their worthy most-recent album, but by this time they have enough stuff behind them that they don't have to bother with their oldest stuff, that they might be sick of after all these years, though I still miss not hearing anything from Nightsongs (which would have fit at the El Rey).  I can't fault them for going by their whims, especially when it still makes for an enjoyable show.  It was another pleasant night out for us, dining before the show at the suitable Tex-Mex place across the street, then home afterward. Trails and Ways opened the show but we missed them.  The El Rey sometimes seems lonely, offering some of the only neon on Wilshire at night, but they know how to put on a good show, also much like Stars.

Stars' set-list:
"The Night Starts Here"
"A Song Is a Weapon"
"We Don't Want Your Body"
"The North"
"Window Bird"
"Your Ex-Lover Is Dead"
"Do You Want to Die Together?"
"Set Yourself on Fire"
"The Loose Ends Will Make Knots"
"The Light"
"Bitches in Tokyo"
"Take Me to the Riot"
"Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It"

"My Favourite Book"
"The Theory of Relativity"
"Elevator Love Letter"

Friday, September 13, 2013

Local Natives, September 13 at the Greek

Almost by force of will, Carla got me into Local Natives. They couldn't mean as much to me as they did to her but I certainly had no problem with them.  We missed them at their other festival slots, even though they seemed to have been on the road for years, the length of our relationship, up to that point.  They played the Greek as their very last date on their very long tour, a home-town show almost to thank L.A. and the rest of the world for being so kind to them.  They did well, and there's a feeling of pride for seeing one of our own favorite and local bands do so well (even if I didn't know them when they were playing clubs around town).  We decided to be a part of that celebration, though it was the day of, so we went right to SeatGeek to look up tickets.  We got a deal for $99.50 on decent seats and away we went.  Wild Nothing opened the show, an energetic, fun group that were probably like the local 'Natives themselves when they started out. They didn't seem to come up in the same amount of time so they might just wash away with other opening bands but they gave it a shot.  The Local Natives put on a good show that night, something gracious and thankful, showing their gratitude to a crowd that supported them, probably a lot from the very beginning, and they made sure to get it all out and not leave anything on the road.  Hopefully they got time off after that, after spending so long trying to make the popular music thing work and for what they put out to stick.  I don't remember a lot of it since I wasn't quite as familiar with them and they didn't do much more to win me over any more than I had been.  But Carla had a good time, and connected back to that time when their music has meant so much to her.  And you can't beat a show at the Greek on a pleasant autumn night.  Also, a helpful, easy thing to get tickets, especially at a good price, when we decide at almost literally the last minute to make it to a show.

Local Natives' set-list:
"World News"
"Wide Eyes"
"Warning Sign" (Talking Heads cover)
"You & I"
"Black Spot"
"Shape Shifter"
"Camera Talk"
"Mt. Washington"
"Wooly Mammoth"
"Black Balloons"
"Who Knows, Who Cares" (acoustic, different version)

"Heavy Feet"
"Sun Hands"