LIVE IN LOS ANGELES:
OCTOBER 28 & 29, 2017
SAN PEDRO, CALIFORNIA
ALL PHOTOS BY DERRICK K. LEE, ESQ.
WORDS BY DAN SINCLAIR
SAN PEDRO, CA-- I don't know what you were doing on the last weekend in October, but BeerMoviesMusic went on down to the LA Waterfront to basque in the amazement that was the inaugural GROWLERS SIX fest! Please, do yourself a favor and check it out...
YEAH YEAH YEAHS
First off, I love Karen O. This is not news. Everyone knows this, going all the way back to my RUKUS days. My girlfriend knows it. She knows it so well, she was quick to point out that Karen has no butt when I showed her a short video I shot at the show. But I was too busy digesting how much Ms. O kicks ass on stage to notice the size of her own.
Yes yes yes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were the highlight of the festival for this writer, and from the looks from the giant crowd and the high percentage of them knowing every lyric to every song sung, I'm sure I wasn't the only one. But even if I wasn't the only one, I felt like the only one. It was like Karen O was singing to just me. Okay, not really, but I would've straight-up gone to this show just to see this performance alone.
Of course, it's the 15th anniversary of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's debut album Fever to Tell. Don't you feel old? Seriously, because it doesn't even feel like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are one of the older bands you love, right? But they've been around long enough now for a kid you didn't have when you first heard their music to now have his or her learner's permit to drive. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah...
This was a performance to check off the bucket list. Though I have been attending shows since the mid 90s, I've yet to see Modest Mouse live... well, that was up until the Growlers Six, of course. Yes, finally, it has happened. And they even played "Shit in Your Cut." Jealous? I know you are. It's cool. But that's why my new friend Derrick took all these dope pictures for you!
My other friend Brad told me that I was going to be disappointed, because the only time he ever got to see Modest Mouse play live, they sucked (his words). But guess what? This year at Growlers 6, Modest Mouse didn't suck at all. They sounded phenomenal. So, you can suck it, Brad. And you can also shit in your cut.
By the way, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs weren't the only ones celebrating a big anniversary at Growlers Six this year. Austin, Texas' own Butthole Surfers released their third full-length album Locust Abortion Technician 30 years ago. They are seriously the kings of naming shit. My mother can't stop telling me her favorite album of all time is the Locust Abortion Technician by the Butthole Surfers. She calls it poetry in motion.
And my mom wouldn't have been disappointed with the set, considering they kicked things off with the last song from the album, "22 Going on 23." And don't worry, all those people who only know one Butthole Surfers song, they did also manage to squeeze "Pepper" into the set as well.
I think I mentioned bucket lists earlier. I did. I just checked again. It was in the Modest Mouse section. But anyway, for all of you out there who are not me, you really should add seeing Danny Brown perform live to your bucket list. See, I don't have to do it. I saw him at Growlers Six and I loved every second of it.
But also, I just remembered, this is actually the second time Danny Brown performed for BeerMoviesMusic. He also appeared live on stage at the Shrine with Run the Jewels back in February to perform "Hey Kids." Remember that show? I do. I was very confused to see that his shirt said NO BACKSTAGE PASSES, because I could clearly see people backstage dancing to every one of Danny's songs.
GUIDED BY VOICES
Would you believe that I'm a member of a Facebook group that celebrates '90s indie music? Yes, Dan, we would believe that because you're really old and think you're special. Okay, good. Well, in that group, there is a large dedicated group of Guided by Voices lovers who consistently vote for every single album Robert Pollard and/or Tobin Sprout ever put out as the best of the best of the best. Personally, I could take them or leave them, but never saw them live. Now that I have, I can kind of see where all that love comes from.
Seriously, 60-year-old Pollard and his bandmates powered through 18 songs, giving it all they had, and looked at least half their ages. There was a lot of respect for these '90s rockers, as I noticed several other bands (including the Growlers) came over to listen to a few songs.
Okay, GBV fanboys, you can have this day. I allow it.
If you were ask the mother of my child, the beautiful EL, which artist she was most disappointed to not be seeing at the Growlers Six, the answer would've been Beth Ditto (though I do have a feeling that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Modest Mouse would've come close). And when the former Gossip singer took stage, one could easily see why EL would say something like that. Girl's got some pipes!
And her song, "Fire," well, it is pure fire and I don't know what else to say. Seriously, go listen to it and try not to dance. Fiiiiiiire. Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiire! Go see Beth if she comes to your town. You'll thank me later.
Okay, ha, now if you were to ask my brother Ryan, ha, who he would've wanted to see at Growlers Six more than anyone else, ha, it would have to be the one and only Juvenile, ha. And goddamn it, I am so glad that I caught that set, ha! That was that nerve, ha.
"Ha," "Slow Motion," "Back That Azz Up"-- are you kidding me?? Juvenile came out smoking some weed and the party never stopped for the entire set. The crowd was small because it was early in the day, but everyone had fun. None more than this writer, though, who kept sending videos of the performance to his brother freezing his azz off back in Pennsylvania.
The former Crystal Castles singer Alice Glass is now out on the road performing as a solo artist, happy to leave her past behind among sexual assault allegations against a former bandmate. It looks like she's just doing just fine on her own. She arrived a little late, so had to play a short set, but it sounded great all the same. Go get 'em, Alice!
Athens, Georgia's new wave legends B-52s took stage and gave all the Rock Lobsters in the Love Shack exactly what they needed on a fine Sunday afternoon. I won't tell you how long ago their debut album came out, because anyone who remembers when it did will feel way older than I did when I realized that part in the beginning of this coverage about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' anniversary. You're welcome.
Half of the Black Keys was in attendance in San Pedro on this fine day in guitarist/singer Dan Auerbach got all funky for the crowd. Sure, an Auerbach show isn't quite the Black Keys, but the decent-sized crowd seemed to love it, and seriously, who am I to argue? After all, it's a beautiful day to appreciate all types of music.
And of course, let's not forget the band that put this whole shindig on, Los Angeles' own, The Growlers! I mean, after all, they did play two nights in a row... AND they wore costumes! I will say this, the Growlers have some of the most dedicated fans around (most of which also wore costumes both days).
Let me say thank you, Growlers, for putting on this festival by the sea. It was a pretty sweet lineup and I really dug the whole carnival atmosphere. If I had one criticism, it would have to be the asphalt. Man, by the end of the first night, my legs were dead as fuck from standing on that shit all day. Other than that, though, it was a pretty great fest and I look forward to next year! Woot!
For more from Derrick K. Lee, Esq., please go here.