Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sunstock Solar Festival @ the Autry

Best things from this year's inaugural Sunstock Solar Festival:
  1. The chill vibe and crowd. 
  2. The amazing job Zero Waste Company did with keeping the Autry's grounds trash free
  3. Not Your Father's Root Beer's genius idea to get people to buy their alcoholic root beer:  buy a can at the fest and bring it to their stall to get free swag.
  4. Pacific Sky Solar's cute mascot, Loic.
  5. The Big Pink's great live performance, although sometimes a bit heavy on the fog machine.
  6. Discovering Allah-Las' psychedelic rock.  I felt like I was being transported to a summer day in the '60s with all their catchy tunes. 
  7. Kaki King's amazing set that was part light show, part live acoustic show.
  8. I never associated Wavves with Thee Oh Sees and Cloud Nothings, but they proved me wrong; they were punk rawk AF.  My friend described it best when she said "I love how they're playing like they're at The Smell!"   
  9. The fun nighttime installations.  
  10. The impressive solar panels that powered the stage.  Even though performances started running late, the lights never wavered.  
  11.  
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sunstock Solar Festival @ the Autry - Saturday, June 18

The weather will finally be warming up this weekend in LA, perfect for enjoying an outdoor music festival.  Sunstock Solar Festival at the Autry in Griffith Park will feature some great bands like Cults, Wavves, Kaki King, The Big Pink, and more.  

The festival is completely solar-powered and all profits will help fund the installation of a solar roof for Kids Cancer Connection.  Not only will you be enjoying some amazing music, but you'll also be helping the environment and a local charity.

For you music-loving parents out there, there will be activities for kids.  For those of you who come thirsty and/or hungry, there will be a full bar and food trucks.  

Tickets are $20 through Eventbrite and $25 at the door.  The festival will be located in a secluded corner of Griffith Park at the Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way. A bike valet and free parking will be available in the Los Angeles Zoo parking lot.

Doors open at 4pm and music starts at 5pm.  


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Little Mermaid @ Hollywood Bowl

I was so jealous of everyone who got to see The Little Mermaid at Hollywood Bowl on Monday because the original voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson, headlined that night.  At least we got a small taste of her still-amazing-after-30-years voice at the show we attended on Saturday, where she was the surprise guest.  She's an infinitely better singer than Sara Bareilles, who at least looked the part of the Little Mermaid, with her long, wavy tresses colored red halfway down and wearing a sea foam green dress.  I even overheard a little girl yelling "Look, it's Ariel!"



What we didn't miss on Monday was Alan Menken's pre-show (in Monday's show he was replaced by Brad Kane - original voice of Aladdin - and Susan Egan - voice of Meg from Hercules).  On piano, Menken performed a career retrospective with songs from Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Little Shop of Horrors, Newsies, and Enchanted, just to name a few.  I almost teared up a little, listening to the man who penned so many soundtracks from Disney Animation's golden age, when not only were the films great, but so were all the songs.  During that era, animated films saw success at the box office and on the radio.

The celebrity guests also impressed, from Rebel Wilson's sassy turn as Ursula (in an amazing black shimmery dress that I could definitely picture Ursula wearing) to Titus Burgess' exuberant performance (I didn't know he had originated the role of Sebastian in the Broadway show.  No wonder he was so good!).



Sadly, John Stamos' badly placed microphone prevented us from getting the full experience of his song, Les Poissons, but, amazingly, the audience stayed respectfully quiet so that everyone could hear him.  His hilarious stage antics made up for the misplacement of his microphone.

I hope the success of this show convinces Disney to have more of their animated films in concert.  I'm hoping for Aladdin next summer.  However, they really ought to do Beauty and the Beast to promote their new live action film.


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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Nightmare Before Christmas Live with Danny Elfman @ Hollywood Bowl

The dreams of every Nightmare Before Christmas fan came true last weekend at the Hollywood Bowl when, for the first time ever, the movie was shown with the original singers performing live and accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.  When we bought the tickets, I wasn't sure what to expect.  I was just excited to hear the Danny Elfman (hello every amazing Tim Burton movie soundtrack!) sing the NBC songs live.  So, it was a treat to see and hear special guests like Paul Ruebens, Catherine O'Hara, and Ken Page (who sounds even better live, belting out Oogie Boogie's Song).  Everyone sounded great, especially Danny Elfman, and it was fun to see how expressive they were on stage while performing during the movie.  It was like getting a behind-the-scenes look at how the soundtrack was created.  

Elfman must have been on a high from all the singing and audience cheering because he ended the night with the Oingo Boingo song, Dead Man's Party, which sounded unplanned, but was a wonderful surprise.



Another surprise was Sandy Cameron, who played violin during the intermission and was an absolute badass.



The Hollywood Bowl also made that Halloween Day extra fun with candy stations for kids, and adults, to trick-or-treat their way up to their seats and a costume contest before show.  I loved seeing all the Tim Burton and Nightmare Before Christmas themed costumes.  


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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Glass Animals @ The Wiltern

Favorite moments from Glass Animals show at The Wiltern, first night:
  1. Loved the palm trees and vertical lights on stage.  It was like a luau at a rave. 
  2. Seeing Wing's reaction when she heard singer Dave Bayley's speaking voice for the first time.  I guess it's hard to imagine such chocolatey vocals coming out of him. 
  3. The only white people I've ever seen dance like Bayley are ravers and DJs.  It took some getting used to, but he was good and his moves were mesmerizing.  
  4. Their cover of Kanye's Love Lockdown is infinitely better than the original.  Although, it did get me interested in Kanye's 808's & Heartbreak album.  People complain about his voice on the album and all the auto-tuning, but it takes balls to sing on an album when you know your voice isn't great.  I really like the concept, and you can't deny the songs are damn catchy. 
  5. I don't usually like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but Glass Animals' cover / mashup, Gold Lime, actually made them sound appealing. 
Besides the odd dim sum din in the crowd during Cocoa Hooves (which was pretty rude if you ask me.  Everyone was talking so loudly, I'm pretty sure the band noticed.  But props to them for getting through the song without faltering), the rest of their set was solid.  They turned The Wiltern into their own sexy Hawaiian dance club. 


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