On Saturday evening, January 17, 2009, I walked the few blocks over to the Knitting Factory to see a set by another of my favorite L. A. bands, Seasons. This seems to be a weekend for favorite bands. Red Cortez, Xu Xu Fang and now, Seasons.
I'd never been in the second room at the Factory before and liked the space a lot. Not as dark as the main room, perhaps a little narrow in the audience area, but the acoustics were terrific.
I thought it was one of the best sets I've ever seen from Seasons. I really appreciate the time and care they put into their live sound. This band seems able to adjust to any venue where they play.
But this time Nic's vocals were out in front and miked better than I've ever heard and it made the whole set sparkle, like their lights. It was, maybe, the smallest incarnation of Seasons I've seen (only seven), but it made for a really clean sound. Of course, I really missed Matthew Teardrop's accordion, but Manhattan Murder Mystery was engaged elsewhere (at Pehrspace).
But Nik, John and the rest of the gang really impressed the date night/Hollywood/Knitting Factory crowd who stopped what they were doing and paid attention.
I was pleased to hear "Empty Spaceships" and "Passing Trains" as they don't play them that often and they're really excellent songs. A spectacular rendition of "Old House" was a highlight, as well as regular favorites, "India" and "Song That You Know".
They finished with "The Sea", featuring Erik's brilliant drum-driven jam ending with all the Seasons playing their heads off. That wowed the audience and won them a bunch of new fans.
I was going to duck out after that but ran into some of Torches In Trees and was so impressed I had to stay till the end of their set. They remind me a little of The Jade Shader with their slightly laid back 'San Diego' style I like so much.
Singing songs from their EP, New Blood, New Sight, I was won over by the fine compositions and first rate playing by the band. This Pasadena group has a terrific lead singer in Azad Cheirosman, with great support by Bridgette Moody, who's also an accomplished keyboardist.
I picked up their EP and I think they played all the selections, but I especially like "Pillar's Fall" and "New Life". Terrific songs. I will definitely see Torches In Trees again. And a special note to the wonderful EP artwork by band member, Eric Fabbro. Beautiful work.
Like I said before, it was a weekend of some astonishing music.