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Biffy Clyro, Live at The El Rey

February 18th, 2014
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The band’s last LP was named Opposites, which is quite a fitting introduction with anyone unfamiliar with their work here in the USA. Founded in Kilmarnock, Scotland, the band released their debut long player in 2002 and gradually built up a reputation in the UK as a solid rock band. A deft hand at songwriting and extensive touring didn’t harm their cause, either. They now headline venues such as Wembley Arena (attendance approx. 12,000) in London, and headline occasions such as the Reading/Leeds Festival.

On the other side of the pond, specifically in Los Angeles since 2007, they have played in support of Editors, played at The Troubadour and played Coachella. Their set time at Coachella in 2013 was at 2:25pm, and they were not able to play all the songs they wished. As you can see, their experiences in the US and Europe are quite opposites.
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By Marv Watson Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews

Photos: Nico Vega Album Preview Party

February 13th, 2014
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Nico Vega is a band that exudes passion and integrity and can incite anyone to action. Formed in 2004, the group consists of lead singer Aja Volkman, guitarist Rich Koehler, guitarist Jamila Weaver and drummer Dan Epand. Their new album We Are The Art, will continue to uphold what Volkman calls the band’s “running theme”: “standing up for who you are in the world and having the confidence to shine.” Nico Vega previewed the album in Los Angeles to an eager, enthusiastic crowd.
Photos by Marv Watson
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By Marv Watson Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews

Blink-182, Live at The Wiltern

November 19th, 2013
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Playing the sixth of their seven sold-out 10-year anniversary shows, Blink-182 played to an excited, sold-out crowd at The Wiltern Theater. Entering the stage to a huge ovation, the band wasted no time in getting into what was perhaps their most well-received and mature LP, known as the Untitled album.

Each member had a time to shine, with maybe Travis Barker the brightest of lights; he sat atop Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge at his drumkit, which he played (as is expected), with finesse throughout. Following the conclusion of the Untitled album set, the band re-emerged for a five-song encore, comprised of some of their older numbers. Though well received by the audience, those in the audience actually paying attention to the quality of the sound would have noticed that DeLonge’s voice seemed to have lost its punch in the set break. Read more…

By Marv Watson Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , , ,

Desaparecidos, Live at The Fonda

November 6th, 2013
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Conor Oberst’s recently revived project Desaparecidos stopped by The Fonda in Hollywood Monday night, reminding people that the post-hardcore/emo scene wasn’t just about goth teenagers whining into their diaries. Amped up with a political undertone, the band rocked their way through a 16-song set which basically summed up their entire output.

Since releasing their only LP in 2002, the band has been on extended hiatus, Oberst devoting more time to Bright Eyes, with other band members similarly diverted– guitarist Denver Dalley founded Statistics, for example. Their output has almost doubled in the last 12 months or so, with a number of two-song releases, and these were happily lapped up by the mixed-age audience. The biggest reactions were reserved for the older numbers, however, notable “Mañana” and “Greater Omaha.” Read more…

By Marv Watson Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews

Primal Scream, Live at The Fonda

October 17th, 2013
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Scottish Indie-rockers Primal Scream made a rare stop in Los Angeles Sunday night, playing to a sold out crowd at The Fonda theatre in Hollywood. Frontman Bobby Gillespie, his accent difficult to understand for most of the audience, looked dapper in his pink suit and pointy black shoes, channeling a younger version of Mick Jagger with his charismatic presence.

The set list was surprisingly heavy on the band’s more recent material, with some glaring omissions evident. That said, they did eventually play favorites from their seminal LP Screamadelica (three of the four encore songs were from the album) as well as representing their most sonically challenging period from the ’90s, dropping the screeching classic that is “Swastika Eyes” between more country-tinged numbers “It’s Alright, It’s OK” and “Country Girl.” Anyone in the crowd not familiar with the band’s classic LP XTRMNTR would have been somewhat shocked when this one sounded. Gillespie finished the song by reciting, rapid-fire, the lyrics to “Exterminator,” as if he just had to get it in there somehow.

Before going off for the encore, they roused the crowd up by playing possibly their most recognisable track, anything from Screamadelica aside, in the form of “Rocks”. Naturally, this left the crowd baying for more, which they duly delivered by dropping “Higher Than The Sun,” “Loaded” and, to close, “Movin’ On Up.”
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By Marv Watson Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews

Pixies, Live at The El Rey Theater

September 13th, 2013
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Seminal band Pixies played the final stop of a straight three-night stretch at the small El Rey Theater in Los Angeles Wednesday evening, to a packed crowd. A surprising mix of youngsters, barely old enough to have been a thought when the band’s last LP was released and older heads, most sporting more than a smattering of grey hairs, lapped up a barrage of almost back-to-back favorites for a little over 90 minutes.
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By Marv Watson Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews ,

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Live at The Wiltern

July 11th, 2013

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club swung through Los Angeles, stopping at The Wiltern to promote their latest LP Specter At The Feast. Taking to the stage in their usual all-black garb, with Robert Levon Been practically hiding beneath a pulled-up hoodie, the band worked their way through a typically high-quality, backlit set, playing for two full hours, the bass thrum only broken up by haunting  mid-set solos– Robert playing a piano-solo of “Promise”, Peter Hayes following up with an acoustic-guitar solo of “Some Kind Of Ghost.” Those in the crowd waiting for some serious foot-stomping rock-n-roll weren’t left disappointed as the trio, including new drummer Leah Shapiro, blasted through back catalog favorites including “Beat The Devil’s Tattoo,” “Spread Your Love,” “Stop,” “Six Barrell Shotgun” and “Whatever Happened To My Rock and Roll.” They were still, however, able to leave the crowd baying for more, leaving out fan treasures such as “Rifles.”
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By Marv Watson Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , , , , ,

Photos: Movement Electronic Music Festival at Hart Plaza, Detroit

June 4th, 2013

Detroit’s premier electronic music festival rolled through town last weekend, featuring a plethora of old and new names alike. Here’s a photo gallery, courtesy of Marv Watson.
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By Marv Watson Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Crystal Castles and Doldrums Live at the Palladium, Hollywood

April 29th, 2013

Doldrums opened for Crystal Castles at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, CA, on Friday, April 26th. Playing to a sold-out, all-ages crowd, the duo entered the stage amidst a spewing haze backlit by neon purple strobes, like an epileptic sunset at a rave festival and immediately began churning out hits from all three LPs, including set opener “Plague,” “Alice Practice” and “Not In Love.” Without pausing for the entire set, they cranked up the bass and shook the Palladium to its foundation, much to the delight of the audience, who couldn’t get enough.
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By Marv Watson Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , , , , , ,

Phoenix at the KROQ Red Bull Sound Space

April 23rd, 2013

Fresh from their headlining slot at week one of Coachella 2013, French band Phoenix, beloved of hipsters the world over, played a short, intimate set to a gathering of prize-winners at the Red Bull Sound Space at KROQ Studios in Los Angeles, CA.
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By Marv Watson Posted in Features, Los Angeles , ,