WARNING: Please do not confuse these Musical Short Stories with my Feature Concert Coverage. When Beer.Movies.Music does actual feature coverage, it brings along a highly skilled, professional photographer such as the talented Mr. Nicolas Bates. What you are reading now are simply true stories from the editor's life that just so happen to do with attending live concerts, but feature only shitty photographs taken from his cell phone with Instagram filters galore to try and cover their shittiness. Please try to enjoy all the same. Hugs and kisses (and booty pinches)!
at The Novo
May 12, 2016
The story begins with your humble author and his beautiful companion, Ms. Hernandez, getting quite possibly the world's greatest parking spot in Downtown Los Angeles-- free, not in a lot and only blocks from LA:Live. From there, it continues to The Original Pantry Cafe where the author got breakfast for dinner and Ms. Hernandez got a tuna salad (even though this author recommended she get anything else). Shortly thereafter we found ourselves inside The Novo FKA as The Nokia Theater. Nothing much changed, except they now have a wall between the upper and lower general admission standing room, which is pretty sweet for leaning old men, like your dear writer, who get tired of standing at shows. Also, this was advertised as $10 show, but I bought tickets for myself and the lovely Ms. Hernandez that came to almost $40. Thank you, bullshit service fees!
Homeboy Sandman opened for Aesop and blew your humble writer's mind. Yes, it was the first time I had heard HS, and it inspired me to review his latest album (which you can read all about here). That set alone would've been worth the $10 plus outrageous service fees, but wouldn't you know it, Aesop Rock decided to show up.
He was joined on stage by Rob Sonic and proceeded to perform his latest album The Impossible Kid in order-- including some of my personal favorites- "Mystery Fish," "Rings," "Dorks," the tribute to his brothers"Blood Sandwich," and the tribute to his cat "Kirby"-- while sprinkling in a few Rob Sonic/Hail Mary Mallon selections in there as well. But he did be sure to finish the set with a few of the crowd's favorite old school tracks like "Daylight" and "None Shall Pass."
Oh, and for the encore, Aesop brought Homeboy Sandman back out so they could perform a few songs off their collaboration EP Lice.
And you'd think Story One would end there, but you'd be wrong. Outside of LA:Live, Ms. Hernandez and I ran into the one and only Boy George donning a ridiculous hat trying to get a very intoxicated lady friend into his limo to no avail. As we passed him, I said, "Hey, Boy George!" He smiled and said, "Yes, that would be me."
AT THE DRIVE-IN
at The Hollywood Palladium
June 2, 2016
This story starts with delicious beer at great bar. The beverage was Art District's Traction IPA and the place was the fabulous Blue Palms Brewhouse. Then it was a wheat IPA from Noble Ale Works and then finally Pliny the Elder because, well, they had Pliny on tap and when a place has Pliny on tap, you drink it or regret it the rest of your night. The whole bill was around $20. From there, your humble journeyed a few blocks south to the Hollywood Palladium where he then was charged $30 for two beers of much lesser quality. Sigh.
But I could tell things were on the up and up because I was able to locate my buddy Ethan and the one and only Nicolas Bates (who appeared at said show as fan, not photographer). Caught a few songs by the very unique Le Butcherettes, and before long, it was time for nostalgia to take over your humble writer's entire body and transport him back to the late '90s. Yes, it was time for one of his favorite bands of all motherfucking time to take the stage-- At the Drive-In. It was many moons ago that my little brother Mikey and I first saw ATDI when they opened for Jimmy Eat World at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia (and then saw them a second time when they opened for Samiam in Lancaster).
But then they broke up and vowed to never come back together. Then came De Facto and Mars Volta and Sparta and Bosnian Rainbows and Zavalaz and The Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group and Antemasque...
...and now here I am at the Hollywood Palladium and it's time to hear some goddamn At the Drive-In again! Of course, Jim Ward did quit right before the tour started, but his own Sparta guitarist Keeley Davis picked up the slack.
And to be honest, I think they sounded better all these years later. It was the same balls-to-the-wall, crazy energy from Omar and Cedric, but this time the music sounded tighter than I remember it from those live shows all those years ago. They exploded right off the bat with three straight Relationship of Command songs: "Arcarsenal," "Pattern Against User," and "Sleepwalk Capsules," and Hollywood went into a spinning frenzy...
And the shit just kept going when they mixed in a few Vaya tracks "300 MHz," "Proxima Centauri" and "198d" sprinkled in alongside "Invalid Litter Dept.," and "Enfilade," before finally going In/Casino/Out with "Pickpocket."
At the Drive-In "198d"
From there it was more Relationship with "Non-Zero Possibility," "Cosmonaut," and "Quarantined," before they played one of their most personal songs, "Napoleon Solo," the haunting melody, which always takes holds on a special place in my heart (and probably does the same for anyone else who lost someone in a car crash). They closed the set with "Catacombs."
They encore closed the night out with "Shaking Hand Incision" and, of course, "One-Armed Scissor." It was one of the greatest nights of my life. Music is powerful. It is life. This shit was so good, I had to return to Blue Palms for one more beer to finish out the night-- "Enemy Within," a soothing, buttery IPA from the good folks at Black Market Brewing Company. Goddamn, that was a good night.
PROPHETS OF RAGE
at The Hollywood Palladium
June 3, 2016
Here's where things get tricky. This story actually takes place before the last one. Yeah, we're going back in time, my dear readers to an early morning where SOMEONE-- I can't say exactly who for legal reasons-- got up in the early a.m. on a Thurday to wait in line outside of the Palladium for just over two hours, baking in the sun, just to get one of these:
Ms. Hernandez rejoins the author for this story, and while this time the parking was still free and not in a lot, it was quite far from the venue, which worked out quite well, because a little exercise definitely could not hurt the author's fat ass in the least, but we did make it and took our place among the Rage-starved mass, listening to some old school beats by DJ Lord. Then Prophets of Rage took the stage-- Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk and Tom Morrello from Rage Against the Machine teaming up with Cypress Hill's B-Real and the legendary Chuck D of Public Enemy. Though the invitation is open for him to join, Zack de la Rocha is not part of this Rage.
But on a very, very, very anti-Donald-Trump night, B-Real and Chuck did a mind-blowing job of trading off verses in his place through such familiar Rage jams like "Guerrilla Radio," "Bombtrack," "People of the Sun," "Take the Power Back," and "Testify."
Then B-Real was able to dip into more familiar territory with a cover of Cypress Hill's "Rock Superstar." Do you guys remember the line "Never inflate the cranium; They're too worried about them honeys at the Palladium"? Dude, we were at the Palladium and them honeys were everywhere! I wasn't worried about them, though. How could I be? I had the lovely Ms. Hernandez dancing with me!
Then the Rage fellas left stage, and Chuck D and B-Real went back and forth doing verses from Public Enemy and Cypress Hill songs with DJ Lord running the beats-- "Hand on the Pump," "Can't Truss It," "Insane in the Brain," "Bring the Noise," "I Ain't Going Out Like That," and "Welcome to the Terrordome."
When the band returned, they would still perform Cypress Hill's "How I Could Just Kill a Man" and Public Enemy's "Shut 'Em Down" among the RATM songs "Sleep Now in the Fire," "Bullet in the Head," "Know Your Enemy," and "Bulls on Parade," as well as a "No Sleep Till Brooklyn/Fight the Power" mash-up-- all which featured the profound guitar skills of Mr. Tom Morello...
Tom Morello doing what Tom Morello does
And amazing as it was to hear all those fucking awesome songs live, nothing compared to everyone yelling "Fuck you, I won't tell what you tell me!" Yes, you know how the Prophets of Rage closed at the show. Fucking great night. Fucking great two nights in a row really. Oh, and I was going to see Eric Bachmann the next night, but that's a story for another time...
The End (of all three stories).