I was really looking forward to dancing it up tonight...especially after all that free champagne and dessert we consumed at Capitol City (Monday night sports bars, guys just wanna buy you drinks after their team wins).
I had a lovely "plot of real estate" to the left of the stage and was rarin' to go. Alas, Elly Jackson, with her signature red peacock hair and enlarged cameo necklace, announced after the cheers and hollers that she "flew all the way to Los Angeles and can barely sing" ....but put on a great show regardless.
La Roux is a duo band (tonight there were 4 on stage) with singer Elly Jackson and synth player Ben Langmaid. The band's name originates from Elly's red hair and French heritage (roux is the French male form of "redhead"). Their music is a total 80's flashback, folks...a real guilty pleasure. Who doesn't like to wear sparkles and dance to synthpop?
She opened with "Quicksand"...then went to "I'm Not Your Toy"..."Saviour"...."Colourless Color" and ended with her two hits "In For The Kill" (in which she experienced her first "dance randoms" on stage) and "Bulletproof" in which a little girl dressed in a green and blue bubble unitard sang along - and knew all the words!
Initially, we were planning to attend both days of TIMF, but a scheduling conflict prevented us from making Day 1 (we heard MSTRKRFT stole the show). Here are highlights from Day 2:
Thao Nguyen & the Get Down Stay Down impressed us. They are great musicians...and Thao can really get down!
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes once again blew us away (see earlier post from their 9.22.09 show at the El Rey). This is what live music is about.
Grizzly Bear sounded ah-mazing.
Beirut sounded different. Great, but different. You can tell that Zach Condon is collaborating more with band members and changing things up (Beirut started as a solo project).
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Now on the GA floor awaiting the band's set, we begin to look around and realize that the crowd's comprised mostly of bros in flannel – hence the loud chanting and foot stomping.
"They're definitely classic rock inspired...but with beautiful harmony like the Beatles," we overhear one fan describing the band to a newcomer.
As the curtains pulled back, a jungle appeared! The band was immersed in a garden of tall grasses and foliage, some members wearing goggles and peeping from behind picket fences. It was a fairy nursery that meets a Vietnam movie set.
They opened with a song we weren't familiar with, which got us thinking maybe we've been too wrapped up in their 2008 album, Fate…(but how could you not)? The bros love them some Dr. Dog! Throughout the show, they made hand gestures and even started a “Bro Train” when the band played “The Breeze,” putting their arms around each other and swaying to the music.
Dr. Dog brings out a bro's sensitive side.
Lead singer Alex Ebert, in his classic white jeans, jumped and danced around the stage, his voice unfaltered. Jade Castrinos was absolutely adorable and had a childlike excitement for every song. The band as a whole moved around the stage with ease and excitement while being orchestrated by Ebert.
After the encore and the band clearly wanted to call it a night, Ebert did not want to leave the stage. Nico (the guitarist) came back out on stage for “Brother.”
The posse were closing their first tour and happy to be back home in Los Angeles. There was even an onstage proposal (not within the band)! It was a superb homecoming!
First time at The Mayan; the venue looks like the set of Nickolodeon's "Legends of the Hidden Temple." We parked upstairs behind the sound booth for the best view, then headed to the floor for the 3-song encore where Jack White proposed, "Is music in L.A. alive and well? Or are you just EMI employees and shit?" A little bit of both...
Our first time seeing The Dead Weather was a couple months ago at The Roxy. This show amped up the lighting and heavy guitar, even some dramatic acting on behalf of Jack and Allison who violently shoved one another and were egged on by the crowd to kiss, right before their sultry duet of "Will There Be Enough Water."
The humble ending to this hot-ass rock & roll show was when the band joins hands and thanks the audience. We appreciate musicians who are also humble.
One day I will take the band down as my screen saver, but not any time soon.
Jack White & Allison Mosshart. The Dead Weather @ the Roxy. June 17, 2009.
His voice sounded exactly the same. I suppose it is possible for musicians to keep their youthful voice/talents..that is, if they drop the drugs and alcohol and convert to Islam like Stevens, ahem, Yusuf. On the 3rd song of the night, Don't Be Shy, he already had commanded a standing ovation. The show was great and transported us to another time for the hour and a half. Our only disappointment of the night was the exclusion of Moonshadow from the set list.
Set List: Welcome Home Lilywhite Don't Be Shy Where the Children Play Thinkin' About You The Rain (newish) World of Darkness Be What You Must The Wind Wild World Road Singer All Kinds of Roses Boots & Sand Ruins Father & Son (encore) Peace Train (encore)
If you haven't yet purchased the compilation Dark Was The Night, buy it now. Not only do the proceeds benefit the Red Hot Organization, an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS, but it has 33 kick-ass songs from both new and old artists: like Talking Heads' David Byrne, Bon Iver, Beirut, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Feist, Cat Power, Grizzly Bear...the list goes on. The compilation and benefit concert, held at Radio City Music Hall, was put produced by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National.
OBVIOUSLY worth flying to New York for, the show featured performances in this order: The Dirty Projectors, David Byrne, My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden (the best voice I've heard in years), The National, Feist (just her and a guitar), Bon Iver (who brought Shara out to harmonize on "Flume") and finally Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings.
The finale featured the whole lot, who came out to sing a version of "This Land Is Your Land." The group huddled around one mic like it was a campfire. Some held pieces of paper with the lyrics and began a lifeless rendition of "this land is your land" until Sharon interrupted: "Hold on a minute! I like that version, but I got a new one...hit it!" It sure felt like a cheesy benefit concert at that point. It was that and the "sex advice" videos that played in between songs, showing female artists like Courtney Love and Luscious Jackson speak candidly about sex and encouraging safety even within the world of rock & roll. "If he tells you not to use a condom, you might as well use one cuz it won't be good anyway" tells Gabby Glaser of Luscious Jackson.
I definitely geeked out seeing some of my favorite musicians together, but it wasn't as great as expected. It doesn't feel right to be seated during a show like that. I felt disconnected to the performances, but glad to know music still brings people together and can raise money for a good cause.