Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Elixir of Love @ Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

It was my first opera and my first time in Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. I had been invited by HC to attend the night before the opera. Sitting in row 19 orchestra gave me a pretty good first experience. HC said that was the first time he didn't have to climb stairs for an opera performance. I read up a bit on The Elixir of Love just in case it was in another language, which it was (Italian). I was relieved to find out that there were supertitles above the stage, so that I'd be able to understand the story. I hate to admit that I did get a bit sleepy during the first half of the opera, but that could have been due to the fact that I work extra early on Fridays or that the head of the woman sitting in front of me blocked part of the stage. I really wish theaters had stadium seating because my seat was even worse when I went to see Phantom of the Opera. Anyways, the opera was more humorous than I thought it would be and the singing was amazing. I was shocked that the human voice could reach such a variety of ranges. It was mesmerizing. The second half of the opera was much more exciting and I loved the ending. I guess I got lucky that my first opera was more simplistic, I'm told. So, it was more entertaining than I thought it would be. I think I would definitely like to attend another opera.

Another review by LA Times.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Get Up Kids @ Avalon

Sadly, no one I knew seemed to know who The Get Up Kids were (I also used to be a huge fan of one of their side projects, Reggie and the Full Effect), so I ended up attending solo for the first time. It was interesting. It's true what my friend says about how certain people in the audience can really ruin a show for you. I purposely stood farther back, at the edge of the steps, to get a good view and because people would be less likely to mosh. Unfortunately, no one told the rowdy, drunken bunch next to me, who, by the end of the show, had forced me a foot from where I was originally standing. I've never seen people get that drunk at a show. Full drinks kept showing up in front of them until the show was over. They were constantly screaming like they were at a Mexican soccer game with their hands constantly jabbing the air much too far into my visual range. Don't get me wrong, I understand they were just expressing their love for the music, but it seemed really unnecessary for them to get their sweaty arms near me and constantly bump into me. And really? Screaming inappropriately during an acoustic performance? That kind of took me out of the emo moment. Other than that, I enjoyed the nostalgia of the music I used to listen and relate to. I loved everything off of Something to Write Home About. I barely started listening to some of the newer stuff the week of the show and I have to say to the haters of the more recent albums that it wasn't half bad. There was a lot of catchy music on On a Wire.

High Note: Hearing Beer for Breakfast live
Low Note: Obnoxious wannabe futbol fans

Wei Never Sleeps

More reviews
Campus Circle

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Dead Weather, Tyvek @ Wiltern

I enjoyed the humorous explanations behind each punk-by-hipsters song more than the music itself. My friend thought the guitar was interesting, but the voice wasn't all that great (at some points it was high and scratchy).

The Dead Weather
I've always been an admirer of Jack White, so I was intrigued by his latest side project with The Dead Weather. Honestly, I spent about a week or two listening to the debut album Horehound. It sounded really experimental (my fav song was So Far from Your Weapon, which reminded me of White's duet with Alicia Keys, Another Way to Die, but better. Although Another Way to Die probably would have been better with Alison Mosshart). Alison Mosshart has a good voice, but I found it to be so similar to Jack White's that sometimes they became indistinguishable from one another. I did enjoy the hard rocking, bluesy tunes, but was starting to get worried about how it would sound live because I wasn't enjoying the album as much as I thought I would. Up until the show, Band of Skulls was what I wished The Dead Weather sounded like. Once I heard The Dead Weather live, I was blown away. They sound SO much better live than on CD. I loved the grittiness of the sound. Everything sounded more blues rock than the clean studio sound of their album. Mosshart's voice sounded fantastic live with her seductive growling and definitely distinct from White's, who actually sounded much more gravelly live, but I still enjoyed his singing. Just seeing White play guitar during Will There Be Enough Water was worth the admission alone.

I was blown away by his deft playing. I went to the concert a Jack White fan and left an Alison Mosshart fan.

High Note: The Dead Weather sounded great live
Low Note: I'm not sure if it was because we were sitting in the balcony, but the stage lights were blinding and seizure inducing. It made it extremely difficult to watch the show because I was getting blinded every few minutes. Sometimes I even had to look away because I was starting to get a headache. I was SO glad that there wasn't flashing lights during Jack White's guitar playing.

Other Dead Weather reviews:
Rock is a Girl's Best Friend
LA Weekly

Dead Weather flickr pics