Monday, August 27, 2012

Sigur Rós @ Hollywood Forever Cemetary

Some drama took place before we even got to the venue. 

BLD Picnic Box

4 reasons why I think BLD hates me:
  1. They were late with my order - half an hour late to be precise, which leads me to believe that they forgot to make my order.  Maybe they forgot because I ordered it 2 days in advance instead of the requisite 6 hours (I was out all day the day before pickup and didn't have time to place the order), but HOW could they forget when I called 4 hours earlier the day of pickup to push the time from 4:30 to 5:00pm.  If I had known they were going to be half an hour late, I would have left it at 4:30.  
  2. They had me come in for no reason - I was waiting in the car at a loading zone because I thought Wing could just run in and retrieve the box since they had my card on file.  Apparently, my card didn't work.  Maybe there was some sort of miscommunication, but instead of simply asking her for another card, she came out to get me.  What did they do when I came in?  Ask me for another card.  He repeatedly apologized to me, but that only annoyed me more because he could have easily alleviated the situation for under $5.  He could have given my friend a free coffee for her long wait or thrown in an extra dessert for the trouble.  Just this past weekend, HC was given the wrong entrée at a restaurant.  The server was so apologetic, she offered him a free beer.  When the meal was over, she offered him a free dessert.  He didn't accept either, but they were thoughtful proposals. 
  3. Each item was boxed up individually except for 1 - even the cookie and brownie were in their own boxes.  Wing's Grilled Steak Sandwich was in pristine condition when she peered into her box.  And her individually boxed salad came with dressing.  My House Made Tuna Salad Sandwich, on the other hand, looked like someone punched the salad out of the sandwich.  Maybe my sandwich shifted on the walk over to the entrance, but why was my sandwich rooming with my salad while the dressing was away?  Fortunately, my sandwich was still delectable and I got to rebuild it with extra salad.  
  4. Cracked cup - BLD was kind enough to give us 2 cups for our wine.  I poured a cup of wine for Wing.  As wine dribbled onto my foot, I realized my own thin cup had 2 cracks in it, which allowed me to have a specific amount of wine drunken at a specific angle.  The cracks may have appeared during transport, but one or two extra cups would have been nice, thanks. 
I know there were quite a few complaints, but there would have been more had the food been terrible.  Luckily, everything tasted good.  There were a ton of House Made Pickles in a cup for Wing's $2.  She loved her Steak Sandwich and coffee-tinged Bittersweet Fudge Brownie.  Besides the tossed sandwich / salad combo, I found my meal + Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie pleasing, as well.  I've never really had a problem with BLD's food.  I've heard good things about their fried chicken and their drunken shakes are fun.  So this whole picnic box incident really came as a surprise to me. 

Domaine LA

Jill greeted us and knew exactly what to give us when I asked for a white wine for a picnic.  Her friendly and speedy service was refreshing after the whole picnic pickup ordeal.  The Picpoul, she recommended was light and crisp.  Wing was surprised we were drinking such a good French wine for under $15! 

Sigur Rós

I've only listened one of their albums a long time ago (I consider them to be the male version of Björk), but I do love Jónsi and I thought Sigur Rós would be the perfect soundtrack to a picnic at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  Wing is a much bigger fan, so read on for her review.

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Opening act: Julia Holt
After four years, Sigur Rós is finally back on tour with the release of their new album  ValtariHaving missed their previous live performances in LA, I was excited when I found out they would be playing at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where audiences could bring their own blankets, food, and wine for a nice picnic, while enjoying a movie or other great musical events (kind of like a mini-Hollywood Bowl except that it's a cemetery).  I was lucky enough to get my hands on a couple of pre-sale tickets simply by signing up for the band's mailing list, which automatically placed us in the VIP/fan club line.  Awesome!

With picnic boxes from BLD and some wine, we were fully prepared for the Sigur Rós experience.  First up was LA-based Julia Holter, who provided a pleasant set to start the evening.  Then at 8:30, Sigur Rós came on stage and the cemetery was immediately turned into a seemingly magical place for the next two hours.  There was no stage banter, just song after song with beautiful instrumentation paired with Jónsi's otherworldly vocals.  It gave me chills every time Jónsi dragged his bow across his guitar, resulting in that majestic, distorted sound that is so hard to describe and even harder to capture with a recording.  I was happy to find out that the set was not just focused on their new material; instead they played various songs from their entire catalog.  The highlights for me were Ný batterí, Sæglópur, and my favorite, Untitled #8 - Popplagið, which is and always will be the perfect closer.  I would pay money just to see that song performed over and over again.

If you would like to get a sense of
Sigur Rós' spectacular live sounds, head on over to NPR for a full live stream of their recent performance at Brooklyn's Prospect Park Bandshell.

BTW, we're in one of LA Weekly's photos towards the left. :)
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff

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