Friday, October 24, 2014

Life is Beautiful - Night #1

Life is Beautiful Night #1

Who: Neon Trees and Panic at the Disco
When: Friday, October 24, 2014
Where: Downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street
Accompanied by: Juls & Gabs

Genre: Alternative

The drive to sin city was filled with silliness and fun. Lots of singing along to bad 80s music and a few pit stops along the way, but we made it there without any major traffic issues or hold ups. The Four Queens was perfectly located in the middle of Fremont Street, within minutes walking distance of where we would be spending the next three days and nights.

Certainly, there was a lot going on even on this first day/night. We decided that we would relax a bit, eventually go out and grab a bit, a few cocktails and then make our way to the main stage to catch 2 of the acts that were on our list to see.

We were not all that familiar with Neon Trees, but since they were the act before Panic!, we decided to get situated and check them out. And by the end of their set, we were glad we did!  Absolutely fabulous with the perfect amount of glam energy needed to start our weekend off right.

(c) TaiDyed2014
Neon Trees @ Life is Beautiful Festival, Las Vegas Night #1
Neon Trees Setlist: Lessons in Love (All Day, All Night), Your Surrender, Animal, Love in the 21st Century, Text Me in the Morning, Mad Love, I Love You (But I Hate Your Friends), Sleeping with a Friend, First Things First, Everybody Talks

Then came time for Panic! Who just freakin' killed it. Brendon Urie exudes deliciousness that cannot be denied. And when they broke out into Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, it proved that he has the pipes that even Freddie Mercury would approve of.  This is one of those bands that I will definitely see again if and when the opportunity arises.

(c) TaiDyed2014
Panic! at the Disco @ Life is Beautiful Fesitval, Las Vegas Night #1

Panic! at the Disco Setlist: Vegas Lights, Time to Dance, The Ballad of Mona Lisa, The Only Difference Between Martyrdon and Suicide is Press Coverage, Let's Kill Tonight, Girls/Girls/Boys, Ready to Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind), Nicotine, New Perspective, Casual Affair, Miss Jackson, Nine in the Afternoon, Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover), Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off, Collar Full, Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met...), This is Gospel, Positive Hardcore (Good Clean Fun cover), I Write Sins Not Tragedies

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Weezer @ Fingerprints Records

When: Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Where: Fingerprints Music, Long Beach
Accompanied by: Tiffany, Jazz, Mark
Genre: Alt Rock

Set List: The British Are Coming, Da Vinci, Go Away, Foolish Father (?), Eulogy of a Rock Band

The following videos are the property of Live Rock Gig


The British Are Coming

Eulogy of a Rock Band

Weezer Wednesday in LB... yup, pretty much love my city.  Fingerprints Music continuously provides our community with the most amazing opportunities to see live performances in a tiny ass venue. What's not to love, right?  Thanks to FP, I've had the opportunity to see Foo Fighters on RSD 2011 and NO! (who now go by Black English).  I even got to meet John Densmore for a book signing in 2013 thanks to the Fingerprints crew.  And just last week, my friend Tiffany saw Chrissie Hynde.  Big ups to the small independent music establishment. They help keep the rock n roll dream alive in every way

Here is what Fingerprints had to say about what last night was all about:

 Wednesday, October 8th  8:00pm  Holiest of wows, Weezer is coming to Fingerprints. I’m kind of losing my mind right now, this is going to be legendary. Rather than blather on about how amazing Weezer is, and the legions of bands they’ve influenced, I’m just going to say Weezer’s new record, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, comes out on October 7th, and to celebrate, Weezer will be coming in to play a very special acoustic set.Produced by Ric Ocasek, who produced both The Blue Album and The Green Album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End is not a collection of songs or singles, it’s a classic album, designed to breathe some life into the idea of playing a record all the way through.
Rivers describes the process as being much more collaborative and open, and speaks about the value of letting the recording process happen over time, saying “”I have an instinct to move slowly and a belief that a record only gets better the longer you let it grow, it becomes more complex and layered”. After four years of letting the flavors marry, as they say on the cooking channel, Everything Will Be Alright in the End is ready for it’s first public tasting.

Just another middle of the week... hanging with friends, enjoying some grub and a hard cider at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing before making out way over the sold out show.

Once we had full bellies, we waddled back up a few blocks and claimed our spot among the masses inside the store. Shortly after 8pm, we were entertained with an acoustic set of three songs. The band asked fans to come up on stage to help sing. It was pretty exciting for everyone. After the short set, we were given a cool poster and the opportunity to have it signed. That little extra personal touch that makes events such as these an absolute treasure.

Yeah, I love my city. I love everything about living in Southern California. If my love of music didn't run so deep, I think I'd be okay living somewhere else, but since music is what feeds my soul, this is exactly where I need to be. Life is good. And I am happy.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sam Smith

When: Monday, September 29, 2014

Where: The Greek, Los Angeles
Accompanied by: Me, Myself and I
Genre: R&B, Pop

Setlist: Nirvana, Together, Leave Your Lover, I'm Not the Only One, I've Told You Now, Like I Can, Restart, How Will I know (Whitney Houston cover), Good Thing, Berlin (RY X Cover), La La La (Naughty Boy Cover), Lay Me Down, Money On My Mind/Finally (CeCe Peniston)

Encore: Latch (Disclosure cover), Make It To Me, Stay With Me

Back on March 29, 2014 I was watching Saturday Night Live. The musical artist that night was Sam Smith. I had no clue who he was. By the end of the show, I was hooked. I wanted to know more. I needed to know more. I had to have more. And so began the obsession. Much like the rest of the world.

I went online and watched every video I could find of him. I plugged his name into my Spotify and since his "In the Lonely Hour" wasn't coming out until August, listened to these 7 songs over and over and over again.

Over the next few months, Sam Smith was heavy in my rotation of what I needed to hear each and every day. His voice, the music, the lyrics...they just washed over me like emotional silk. 

And then IT happened. His US tour was announced and he would be in Los Angeles. I couldn't be any happier. Except that the tickets went on sale in May and the show wouldn't be until the end of September. I don't like to wish time away, but waiting for this event felt impossible.  What was almost even more impossible was purchasing tickets the day they went on sale. But I pulled it off and my life would soon be complete.  

One front row ticket for night #1... as hard as I tried for a pit ticket, this was the best I could do. And I was okay with that.

By August, I had downloaded In the Lonely Hour" to my music player and purchased the CD for the car... had to make sure I could listen to Sam whenever possible.

And the days rolled on...September arrived and my date with Sam underneath the stars of The Greek Theater was finally going to happen. And I knew it would be everything I wanted. This was a night just for me. My emotional catharsis. To share it with anyone would not have been right. As much as it would have been nice to have a shoulder to lean on, there was a sort of cleansing that went along with being there on my own. Even with thousands of other people around me, there was only me and Sam. 

You lift my heart up when the rest of me is down
You, you enchant me even when you're not around
If there are boundaries, I will try to knock them down
I’m latching on, babe, now I know what I have found

I feel we're close enough
Could I lock in your love?
I feel we’re close enough
Could I lock in your love?

Now I’ve got you in my space
I won’t let go of you
Got you shackled in my embrace
I’m latching on to you

I’m so en-captured, got me wrapped up in your touch
Feel so enamored, hold me tight within your clutch
How do you do it? You got me losing every breath
What did you give me to make my heart bleed out my chest?

I feel we're close enough
Could I lock in your love?
I feel we’re close enough
Could I lock in your love?

Now I’ve got you in my space
I won’t let go of you
Got you shackled in my embrace
I’m latching on to you

Now I’ve got you in my space
I won’t let go of you
Got you shackled in my embrace
I’m latching on to you

Guess it's true, I'm not good at a one-night stand
But I still need love 'cause I'm just a man
These nights never seem to go to plan
I don't want you to leave, will you hold my hand?

Oh, won't you stay with me?
'Cause you're all I need
This ain't love it's clear to see
But darling, stay with me

Why am I so emotional?
No it's not a good look, gain some self control
And deep down I know this never works
But you can lay with me so it doesn't hurt

Oh, won't you stay with me?
'Cause you're all I need
This ain't love it's clear to see
But darling, stay with me

Oh, won't you stay with me?
'Cause you're all I need
This ain't love it's clear to see
But darling, stay with me

Oh, won't you stay with me?
'Cause you're all I need
This ain't love it's clear to see

But darling, stay with me

My date with Sam Smith @ The Greek 9/29/14

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tears for Fears

When: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Where: The Wiltern, Los Angeles
Accompanied by: Gabrielle
Genre: Alternative Rock

Set List: Secret World, Sowing the Seeds of Love, Pale Shelter, Call Me Mellow, Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, Change, Mad World, Memories Fade, Closest Thing to Heaven, Ready to Start, Floating Down the River, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Advice for the Young at Heart, Woman in Chains, Badman's Song, Break It Down, Head Over Heels

Encore: The Working Hour, Shout
They are still selling out shows!!

I had the opportunity to see Tears for Fears a few years back at the OC Fair w/ my friend, Kerrie. They were amazing then...and they certainly did not disappoint this night either. In fact, there is just something to be said about seeing any band at a venue as amazing as The Wiltern. 

Tai & Gabs
I luffs her so much!

Gabrielle spoiled me with picking up tickets for this show as a birthday gift....yup, leave it to me to milk my August birthday all the way into September!!  I won't lie though, I really wanted to go to this concert but with all that has been going on in life, this was one that I figured I'd have to miss. Thank you, Gabs, for making sure that didn't happen.

For whatever reason, my emotional state has been a bit off the charts lately. Chalk it up to getting older, reevaluating life, trying to determine what is in store for the 2nd half of my, music as always speaks to me on various levels.  I knew tonight would most likely bring about a few tears... possibly even tears for fears?  *sorry*

And I knew without a doubt that once they performed this one, that there would be no holding back (although the Gary Jules version destroys me much worse).  It's just one of those songs that will always take me back and propel me forward like a slingshot - reminding me that I am and always will be a little bit broken.

Oh, and let's not forget this one...

And of course, any song from Songs From the Big Chair were going to be embraced wholeheartedly... that is the album that certainly instilled my love for this band. As it did for many, I'm sure.

Between the company of my amazing partner in crime, memorable music, stunning venue and one too many cocktails, I place this evening up there at a high 9.5.  The only way it could have been a full 10 is if there weren't taller people in front of us. And if the person behind us didn't accidentally knock the margarita out of Gab's hand. Although, I will give them props for offering to compensate the loss with a few dollars. That was decent.

Tear For Fears
The Wiltern - Los Angeles
September 23, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Meshell Ndegeocello w/ King

When: Sunday, September 21, 2014
Where: El Rey Theater, Los Angeles
Accompanied by: KJ
Genre: Funk, Soul, R&B, Hip Hop, Rock, Jazz

Set List: Unknown

Can't say a whole lot about this show. Unfortunately, I was not well and we had to leave about an hour into things. It was one of those nights where I was determined to ignore my illness until it got to the point that I could no longer enjoy myself.

Fortunately, he who endures my madness was completely understanding. After a quick stop at Rite Aid, I took a shot of sleepy cold medicine and was long knocked out before arriving home. 

Guess I'm not much of a rock star after all.


Meshell Ndegeocello 

@ El Rey Theatre

 Sunday, Sep 21 2014
Meshell Ndegeocello has so many ways of getting through to you. She's an utterly sublime bassist who can seamlessly cover the waterfront of jazz, funk and soul before floating off into pure psychedelia. She's an enchanting vocalist who can soothe with her tone while startling you with her frank yet poetic lyrics. She's bold enough to stand her ground against her former champion, Madonna, and flexible enough to have collaborated with John Mellencamp, Basement Jaxx, The Rolling Stones and The Blind Boys of Alabama. From the soul-deep entreaties of her 1993 debut album, Plantation Lullabies, to the spaced-out jazz-reggae idylls on her latest release, Comet, Come to Me, Ndegeocello always manages to be confrontational and fearless, even as her music shape-shifts through various layers of dreamy hypnosis. 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Foo Fighters RVA

When: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Where: The National Theater, Richmond VA
Accompanied by: MJ, Heather, Donna, Bob, Aimee Mae, LeAnn, Doug, Katylalala, Cheryl, Tarquin
Genre: Ef off, Gene Simmons...Rock is NOT dead!!!

Set List:  All My Life, I'll Stick Around, Rope, Up In Arms, Big Me, White Limo, Arlandria, My Hero, Cold Day, Generator, Walk, These Days, Prentender, Learn to Fly, Breakout, Skin & Bones, Weenie Beenie, Monkey Wrench, Hey JP, Everlong

Encore: Aurora, This is a Call, Best of You

So what happens when a group of die hard fans decide they want their favorite band to come to their hometown? The go online and ask people for money. Or something like that...thanks to the people of Richmond, VA for deciding to give crowdfunding a shot to bring Foo in for a gig. And kudos to Foo for hearing their plea and while it's really not that surprising that they agreed, it's still pretty freakin' fantastic that it all panned out and as far as I'm concerned, it's an event that will go down in music history as the first of its kind.  

Oh, and did I mention that I was there?  I hadn't planned on it. It was a pipe dream. But when the text came through on 9/2/14 from a friend (you know who you are!) saying "I've got a ticket, if you can get to Richmond", I had to at least consider the options, right? Two days later, I had my flights booked and it was just a matter of counting down the days.

Yup. Just a mere 2200+ miles from the LBC to Richmond....really not that far in the grand scheme of things, right?! Call me an superfan. Call me crazy. Call me maybe. But, the truth is that going to see my favorite band is just a's the group of people that were the real draw. And the memories being made was all the reason I needed to make this trip happen.

Tuesday, 9/16/14 12:30 AM Red Eye Flight to Charlotte, NC en route to Richmond, VA
Hello Charlotte. Hello Richmond.

Crazy how empty LAX is at 11pm on a weeknight. I made it through security in a record 15 minutes which left me TWO hours of hanging out and people watching until my flight to NC was ready to leave.  The upside is that once I got on the plane, I'm pretty sure I knocked out because the next thing I knew I was watching the sunrise as we were getting ready to land in Charlotte.  Which, by the way, has the nicest airport ever!!
Tarquin, Donna & Tai

A few hours later from Charlotte, I boarded a super tiny plane (causing slight anxiety), and was making my way to Richmond Virginia. Home to Bob & Donna Martin!!

Upon arriving in VA, to the worlds smallest airport next to Long Beach, CA, I was greeted by Miss Donna and Unpractical Tony/Tarquin!   I'm pretty sure I squealed and shed a few tears!  And the fact that Tarquin picked me up off the ground - picked ME up  - left me astounded!!  This is totally off topic, but the idea of anyone picking me up and twirling me around is something that I never thought I'd see happen. 
Scoping out Donna's Space

From the airport, we made our way to the Martin abode where fresh baked cookies were waiting. Because Donna is the hostess with the mostess!!  I had to take a pix next to Donna's computer where all the magic happens!!  It's a FFPB thing -it's okay if you don't understand.

I was able to spend a few hours decompressing and trying to nurse my tired eyes.  Granted, sleep never really came, there was too much excitement brewing and I didn't want to miss a thing.  A few hours later, we had ourselves Cheryl from Iowa and Heather from Pennsylvania!! We caravanned ourselves out Capital Ale House in Glenn Allen to meet up with MJ from DC and a few of her crew.

After dinner, Heather and I headed to the hotel, which was conveniently located a block and a half from the venue. Of course, we did the proper thing and scoped out the area before making our way to the hotel bar for a nightcap.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Show Day

Happy to say that Heather and I got up early enough to start our day at the gym! Yup, we got it like that. From there, coffee and a quick bite and by 11:00 am, made our way up the block to check out the vibe.  There was no doubt that something big was going on in Richmond. The fun was about to begin!!


Sure they said no lining up before 5:00 pm...but seriously? By 2pm or so, the line had begun and it was a matter of hurry up and wait. Some people don't understand why getting there early to get a spot in line is so important. If you've never done rail, then it just can't be explained. It's something that needs to be experienced. And sure, it's hours waiting. Sitting. Standing. Stretching. Chatting. Making new friends. Catching up with old friends. 

And piece by piece the FFPB came to life: Heather, Mae Mae, KatyLaLa, MJ, Tarquin, Donna, Dave, Jody, Cheryl, Emily, LeAnn...we were everywhere!!
Truth be told, the show was just a bonus ...this trip was really about the people. Yes, I love Foo. Yes, I will travel for Foo. But it wouldn't and couldn't be the same without my fellow FFPB's.  And just like that the time goes by and it's time to go in and claiming victory at the rail.
The rest of the night is a blur (much like Dave in all my photos because he never stands still)...Normally, I would have had my trusty Canon camera to capture all these moments, but it has long since crapped out on me and the money I had set aside to purchase a new camera was rightfully spent on my ticket to Richmond. Go figure. time!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Heather and I got up early enough to grab coffee and a bite. We hugged and said our goodbyes.  I had half an hour to kill, so I do what I do and ran out to see as much of Richmond, VA as I possibly could.  It's amazing what ground you can cover in 30 minutes. Okay, so it wasn't that much, but I did the best I could.  

By 10am, I was in a cab and on my way to the rinky dink RIC... passed through Philadelphia and enjoyed a cuppa chowda and watermelon martini before the long 5+ flight home to Southern California.  Plenty of time to look out the window and reflect upon the previous 36 hours of my life. And smile.

Grand Canyon & LA
Yeah, it was a quick trip. Sure, I would have like to have had more time. But I set out and achieved exactly what I wanted to achieve. For the 2nd time in my life (taking into account LaraPalooza 2012), I was able to embrace WWLD? with all the heart and soul of the woman herself (I love you, Lara)!!  Long Live DonnaPalooza 2014!!!

DonnaPalooza 2014

I went all the way to Richmond, VA to see Foo Fighters and all I got was this lousy drumstick and set list.

Personal Side note for 9/18/14: Happy Birthday PJL - thank you for inspiring me to always follow the love of music. From the days of sitting in your garage watching you and the other members of Osiris do what you do, I knew that I was meant to always be a #1 Fan!!  From the depths of my blood curdling scream - which I still get looks to this day - to spending countless hours before and after a show with hopes of just a glimpse of my favorite rock gods, a show like this makes me feels 16 again. Full of hope, love, and an endless amount of amazing energy.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Joey Cape/Chris Cresswell/Brian Wahlstrom

When: Thursday, September 4, 2014
Where: Constellation Room, The Observatory, Santa Ana
Accompanied by: Kathryn
Genre: Punk goes Acoustic

Wind In Your Sail

It's negative
I wish you the worst dear
To feel the greatest pain
A positive
You say it's all in vain
I know I felt and I won't feel again
I know you

Hours of madness
Years of dysfunction
The deepest embitterment
No will to strive or achieve
Finale in breakdown
Perpetual fall on your knees
As you crawl back to me

It ends like this
I can hope for bliss
If you fail again
'Cause I'm right here
To witness every step
And when you trip
I will cherish it

Hours of madness
Years of dysfunction
The deepest embitterment
No will to strive or achieve
Finale in breakdown
Perpetual fall on your knees
As you come back to me

I live to watch you fail [x3]
I am the wind in your sail

I wish you the worst dear
To feel the greatest pain
'Cause I'm right here
To retrieve all you stole
Every tear and everything you own
I wish you

Hours of madness
Years of dysfunction
The deepest embitterment
No will to trust
This is how I lived
This is how you left me blue
As I crawl back to...