Monday, April 11, 2011

More Shows

I meant to write a follow up to my last column involving the second week of March, but here we are halfway through April, and the time got away from me. Just to recap...DeVotchKa (below) at The Fonda was the show of the month for me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011, was another edition of Radio Free Silver Lake's Free Tuesdays at LaBrie's featuring George Glass, that attracted a good crowd early to see openers, Wire In the Walls deliver a really enjoyable set. I was impressed with their songwriting and professional performance. Ladycop, from New York, arrived in their vegetable oil-fueled bus and impressed us with their music as well as their alternative transportation methods. George Glass and College Kids polished off the night nicely with their raucous energy (the former) and their thoughtful folk/rock songs (the latter).

Wednesday was the big show at The Echo hosted by The 704 and starring four amazing bands. First up was Pageants, who are led by singer Rebecca Coleman (formerly of Avi Buffalo) who sings with a singular style and loads of self-assurance, songs which are quirky and unpredictable but really pretty. Songwriting duties are handled by all in the band, as Arin and Devin told me, and they seem to tap into each other's sensibilities because the writing appears seamless, as if by one author. They performed as a band of three (drummer Lia Braswell was unable to attend) but had no trouble in completely winning over the crowd who seemed a bit astonished at what they were hearing. Next up the AV Club wowed the crowd with a solidly played set fronted by the superb vocals of their lead singer. I got their EP a couple of weeks ago and it's really quite good and they sound that good live, too. By then I'd hooked up with the Seasons bunch and the partying was in full swing, making the show as much a private party as a concert. So many familiar faces and so many people to chat with. And Seasons delivered a superb set which included their new violin player, I believe her name is Cecelia, and it's clear they have suddenly matured into the perfect blend of instruments and voices. I've known this band for a while now, through its many generations, and I don't think they've ever sounded better. That powerhouse of energy, Moses Campbell, polished off the night in high style, and with Pauline Lay's ferocious violin playing. Lots of violins this week!

I wanted to see Yann Theisen at The Fonda on Friday, March 11, partly because the opening band was Breathe Owl Breathe, who impressed me so much last year at their Bootleg show. Their fine music is composed for guitar, piano and cello with the frequent addition of just about anything that would make noise, complimented by a highly stylized theatrical presentation that made for an enchanting set.

I don't ever seem to be able to be prepared for a concert by DeVotchKa no matter the circumstances. I first encountered them at the Swerve Festival on Sept. 30, 2007 up in Barnsdall Park at the shell and I was pretty impressed. But when I scored a ticket to see them at The Viper Room on February 2, 2009, I don't think I realized how luck I was. They were up close and personal that night and it was a concert forever burned into my memory. I didn't expect to ever see that duplicated in my lifetime. Well they did just that at The Fonda on March 12.

In one of the top shows of the year, DevotchKa played selections from their full catalog, including a lot of new material from 100 Lovers, their terrific new album. The audience was transfixed for the entire set and it flew by in what seemed like minutes, remarkable considering they played over two hours. No matter how good this band is in recordings, they are twice as good in person and Nick Urata has a voice that is way more flexible and strong than is revealed on disk. A magical evening.

The rest of the month was highlighted by the George Glass residency for Radio Free Silver Lake over at LaBrie's featuring great supporting sets by bands like Francisco the Man, Radars To The Sky and Smokers in Love. Tuesdays are becoming quite special.

Other memorable sets came from Space Waves, POLLS and Wilding on March 16 at Silver Lake Lounge, The wildly entertaining, Schoenberg Knife Fight Ensemble at Lot 1 Cafe and Torches In Trees, solid as ever, at The Echo, both on March 18. And, of course, another monthly highlight was the triumphant return of The Parson Red Heads who tore the roof off The Echo on March 25, surrounded by friends and fans. They're gone again already...but they will be back. whrabbit

No comments: