About a month ago, I invited a group of friends to be Guest Groupie contributors on my blog any time they wanted to share a show or some thoughts about music – Doriean, a good friend from college, was one of the first to take me up on the offer! (Click her name to check out her blog – she writes about music she’s into pretty frequently.) And living in LA, she has access to TONS of great music, venues and more. In the week between Coachella weekends, she got the chance to see a bunch of fantastic bands. Check out her first post from Tuesday and read on as she share shows #3 and #4 from her non-Coachella, Coachella week!
Show Three: Dinosaur, Jr. at The Glass House in Pomona, CA
Wednesday marked the third of four shows and the third in Pomona, this time at The Glass House. For those familiar with Oklahoma venues, the Glass House reminded me of a slightly smaller Cain’s Ballroom.
We were there to see one of the openers – King Tuff – as well as Dinosaur, Jr. When we arrived there were at least eight amps stacked on top of each other on the stage: a warning of what was to come.
The music was LOUD. Kyle Thomas, lead singer of King Tuff, is a crazy good soloist with a high-pitched voice sort of like Justin Pierre from Motion City Soundtrack or Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend…except whinier and much more punk rock. Check out ‘Bad Thing’ and ‘Alone and Stoned.’
Next up: Dinosaur, Jr.! These guys have been around for decades with peer bands like The Pixies and Jane’s Addiction.
You would think the long, stark-white hair of lead singer and guitarist J. Mascis would be a distraction…until you hear him play.
On every song he laid down Van Halen-esque guitar riffs over exhausting drum runs. There was so much powerful sound (from those previously mentioned stacked amps) that the rafters were shaking and my ears were ringing until about noon the next day. The style is the stuff my mama called noise when she heard it blaring from my room in the nineties, so you should for sure check them out. My faves are ‘Forget the Swan,’ ‘Start Choppin’ and ‘What Was That.’
Dinosaur Jr. setlist (via www.setlist.fm)
1. The Lung
2. Almost Fare
3. Pond Song
4. Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know
5. Watch the Corners
6. What Was That
8. Out There
9. Feel The Pain
10. Little Fury Things
11. Training Ground (Deep Wound cover)
12. Start Choppin
13. Freak Scene
14. Forget the Swan
16. Just Like Heaven (The Cure cover)
Thursday morning I was beyond exhausted. Working all day and then traveling to concerts can take a toll on a person. However, I was excited about Thursday’s show because: 1) it was closer: in West Hollywood and 2) It would be my first show at The Troubadour.
Then the kids from Dublin took the stage for an almost acoustic show full of fantastic harmonies. No drawn out stage set up for these guys. In fact they even shared a few of the guitars. Faye Rourke, the female lead singer and only chick in the band, has a powerhouse voice. She looks like a girl you might see in a contemporary Christian choir, but she’s got a Gospel-caliber voice.
The show was so intimate. The Troubadour is a smaller venue, which helped, but the band got even more personal with stories from the road, information on the genesis of some of the songs and gratefully thanking the crowd multiple times. As if that wasn’t enough, they turned the closeness quotient up to 11 when, on their final song ‘The Consequences of Not Sleeping,’ they hopped off the stage and stood in the center of the crowd and sang with just one completely acoustic guitar. It was simply precious. I couldn’t grab a set list for this one (sorry) but check out my faves ‘The Kitchen Floor,’ ‘Harper Lee’ and ‘Please.’
Which was my favorite show of the week? I have a soft spot for up-and-coming bands like Little Green Cars. However I love checking out underground indie bands like King Tuff and Dinosaur Jr. But how can you discount FINALLY seeing Modest Mouse and The Postal Service?! I can’t choose a favorite show. All I know is – though I wore myself out – it was one of the best weeks ever!
Interested in writing your own Guest Groupie post? Email me at thegoodgroupie at gmail dot com or find me anywhere online – social media links are at the top right of the page.