Doriean and I met on one of my first few days in Tulsa – she was my RA. We quickly discovered that not only did we share a dorm floor and a major…we also shared a love of music. And we loved completely different things with a few overlapping bands, which made it even better. Plenty of opportunities to find new bands to love through each other. Since graduating, Doriean has moved out to LA to become the world’s foremost PR maven, which also means she has access to some historic venues, nearly every band on tour and soon will know everyone in town who can get her a backstage pass. In short: she’s LA’s best Good Groupie (check out her blog here where she writes about music frequently), so I invited her to be a Guest Groupie and share some of the shows she’s been to lately. Here’s her first post:
Certainly everyone is aware of what Coachella is: two glorious weekends in the scalding hot desert hopping from stage to stage in order to see as many of the 150+ bands as possible and avoiding nasty port-a-potties. Though Coachella is a pretty hefty ticket band-wise, it’s also a pretty hefty ticket wallet wise and this year I wasn’t able to foot that bill. Next year, Indio, CA. Next year!
Some may not be aware of the special thing that happens the week between Coachella weekends. Performers would rather not travel too far away, considering they have another show in just a week, so they remain close by and try to book a show during the week in Los Angeles and neighboring towns. The result is a week packed full of amazing shows!! During ‘Tween Coachella Week (trademark pending) I was able to go to four shows over four days.
Monday was night one of two ‘College Dream Show’ nights. As soon as I heard The Postal Service would be at Coachella, and then shortly after heard they had new music, I was in a frenzy. Getting to see them was one part nostalgic and three parts awesome!
The stage set was like a dark 80s arcade. Sound directed the lights resulting in illuminated percussion. With all of the lights and lasers the show was as stimulating visually as it was audibly.
Ben Gibbard’s voice rang clear as a bell. He has an awkward dance he feels goes with every song, but we forgive him because he sounds so damn good. The crowd was in love with Jenny Lewis and cheered like crazy every time her verses came up.
The crowd felt like it was made up mostly of long-time fans, so there was a calm annoyance when the band played ‘Tattered Line of String,’ their newest hit. It’s a far cry from the classic Postal Service sound. However, the crowd was patiently attentive through covers. The show closed with ‘Brand New Colony’ and Gibbard directed the crowd in chorus. It sounded lovely with the tall ceilings of the Fox Theater.
Setlist (via www.setlist.fm)
1. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
2. We Will Become Silhouettes
3. Sleeping In
4. Turn Around
5. Nothing Better
6. Recycled Air
7. Be Still My Heart
8. Clark Gable
9. Our Secret (Beat Happening cover)
10. This Place Is a Prison
11. There’s Never Enough Time
12. A Tattered Line of String
13. Such Great Heights
14. Natural Anthem
15. (This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan (Dntel cover)
16. Brand New Colony
Show Two: Modest Mouse at Fox Theater in Pomona, CA
Tuesday night was the second of ‘College Dream Shows,’ and my second of three nights in beautiful Pomona, CA.
Let me tell you a little about Pomona. It’s one of those towns that’s quaint and adorable with antique shops and obscure museums and libraries. That’s cute and all, but – let’s be honest – it’s not a place you want to stay. Pomona is about an hour or so outside of Los Angeles and traveling there three days in a row can wear on you. A small price to pay to the concert gods! If you ever visit, check out The Rookery: a cute craft beer bar and restaurant. Tell them Doriean sent you. Then quietly walk away with a smile when they respond “Who?”
Back at the Fox Theater, Tuesday night’s crowd was a bit more mature than the crowd from Monday night. And much more hard core, complete with shouting song requests and swaying lighters. The stage set up took FOREVER considering each band member plays a handful of different instruments. Even after the show started there were mini-set up/tuning breaks between songs.
As I grew more excited for the show to start, I realized that I didn’t know any words to Modest Mouse songs. Sure, I’ve heard them a million times, but I’ve never taken the time to understand exactly what the lyrics were. They were more like a part of the melody that I could just hum along with as long as I knew a few key words. I thought many people were probably in the same boat until the guy behind me was able to sing every single lyric. I crossed my fingers that he wouldn’t out me to the rest of the highly devoted fans.
The show finally began and the stage was covered in a hazy cloud of smoke. The band members were all just silhouettes; it was pretty hard to really see anything. But the sound. That was enough. The lyrics were easier to understand sung live, despite the probability that lead singer, Isaac Brock, was drunk. There was heavy reverb on pretty much every song that led straight to a heavy jam. Rapture!!
Surprise: they did not play ‘Float On,’ easily their most popular song. I looked all over the Internet for some sort of statement on why and when they retired the tune but couldn’t find a thing. If anyone knows, please leave me a comment and let me know. I can surely understand it. Good News for People Who Love Bad News came out almost ten years ago, and after so many years playing the same song it has to get pretty old. I got my ‘Dramamine,’ ‘Dashboard,’ and ‘Bury Me With It,’ so I was satisfied with the show.
Setlist (via www.setlist.fm)
1. King Rat
3. Black Cadillacs
4. Ocean Breathes Salty
5. New Song!
6. Paper Thin Walls
7. Be Brave
8. Custom Concern
11. Fire It Up
12. Bury Me With It
13. Sugar Boats
14. Trailer Trash
15. Satin in a Coffin
16. Baby Blue Sedan
17. Fly Trapped in a Jar
18. Cowboy Dan
19. Shit In Your Cut
20. 3rd Planet
21. Spitting Venom