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Monday, December 13, 2004

Almost Acoustic Christmas, Night 1, and other weekend fun

Okay, everyone else is doing it, so let's talk about how AWESOME it was, to go to this show, with so many bands I liked.

I occasionally have off nights when it comes to planning stuff, but this time it went PERFECTLY. Laurel picked me up at 3, we drove to Mel's Diner on Highland and had a nice big dinner, then we walked to the Hollywood/Highland subway station and took the train to Universal.

I don't understand why anyone would drive, ever, to Universal. Especially for a concert. We took the tram up the hill after getting off the subway, and we just walked down the hill and onto the train afterwards. I mean, we were tired. But it beat the crap out of concert traffic.

A side note: the entrance for the amphitheater is right by the actual Universal Studios park. So we were waiting in line right by the Waterworld Stunt Spectacular, which would send up the occasional firework over the course of the night. This is funny only because the Waterworld Stunt Spectacular still exists. Then again, as I recall, it was the hip new replacement for the Miami Vice Stunt Spectacular. Universal Studios is up with the times.

The Music
That was actually the name of the first band, and I kinda dug them, in that "Whooo! First band! Whooo!" way. I mean, we walked in during their set and my head immediately started to bop. I guess that's a good sign. I need to remember to check them out more thoroughly.

Snow Patrol
You know, here's the thing. I like Snow Patrol just fine. I've heard a lot of Snow Patrol. I highly enjoy their single. But I guess it's just not my scene, because they don't really grab me the way they grab other people (like Laurel). They certainly brought the quality, though. A good match to the night's tone.

Yet another crowd favorite. But maybe a little too earnest. "This is a song about being yourself, even if it means being different." I like "Someplace Only We Know" all right, but I was certainly spacing out a fair amount.

The Shins
Didn't haze out at all, and really dug it, even though I was a bit caffeine deprived at this point. Every Shins song I've ever heard, I've liked. I think I'll use whatever Christmas gift cards I might receive to finally acquire their albums.

Taking Back Sunday
Crap. They weren't BAD, necessarily -- just annoying and loud. Which was great, because I desperately needed to walk around and drink a diet soda and talk to Laurel and not listen to music. This concert was six hours long, y'all. It was INTENSE.

INTENSE. I like to refer to their sound as "songs to have an apocalypse by," and they were great in exactly that way -- dark and bass-tastic. I always forget that they do at least three songs that I really love. I should burn their album to CD (I got it off the iTunes) at some point.

Modest Mouse
After about four months of hearing them every time I turned on the radio, I'm finally prepared to say that I like "Float On" a lot. But it's taken me a while to get there. They don't grab me, they're just good solid rock. And I like them for it, but not enough to overshadow...

Gwen Stefani?
::sigh:: I was so excited for the end of the Modest Mouse set, because of who was following them, and then stupid Gwen Stefani showed up for a surprise performance. She did her single and a new song that heavily incorporated the phrase "Holla back" and while I'll admit to dancing to her single every once in a while, it still doesn't forgive the fact that I had to wait an extra fifteen minutes to see-

Franz Ferdinand
I've heard they were great live. Those people were right. This is what I love about live music -- hearing all your favorite songs being played by the band, hearing the passion they have for their work... I think they were the only group to play a new song that night, and "I'm Your Villain" is really great -- a more offbeat sound, a lot of starts and stops but a lovely beat. And then afterwards, "So that was a new song, and now we'll do one of our Golden Oldies -- for those of you who remember our Golden Oldies," and we all went nuts over "Take Me Out." I still love that song as much as I did the first time I heard it, despite the threat of being overplayed. But I love it even more with this new memory of the sound dropping out, 5,000 people shouting back, "TAKE ME OUT!'

The Killers
Hot Fuss is probably my second-favorite album of the year (if I were the type to make those lists, which I'm really not), but Brandon Flowers and his eyelashes reminded me of how thoroughly good every song on that album is. Probably the best set of the night. Really awesome.

Man oh man. Interpol was pretty good (Laurel made a Morrissey comparsion that I thought had some validity), but man, the Interpol fans put me to shame. I kinda just enjoyed the secondhand fan craze, because I really don't know this group at all, despite the many people I know who like them a lot. I was kinda burned out, though. I'll try and give them another listen at some point.

Jimmy Eat World
Laurel needed to eat and I was tired. So after a little bit of their set (I did get to hear "Bleed American," a song I do love) we took off. "Bleed American" is still fun and punk-lite, after all these years. It's kinda sad, their veteran status, given that they haven't had a single on the radio in years. Strange.

It was a weird, yet amazing, night overall. Tons of great music. So worth the money spent.

Other things done this weekend: made some progress on Jonathan Strange, made two batches of brownies, finished watching season 1 of Arrested Development (god that show ruins me with its funny), saw the Ed Ruscha exhibit at MOCA, went running...

Yeah. A good weekend.

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