Last night I saw Brothers and Sisters, Celebration, Blood Bothers, and the headliners: …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead last night at the Henry Fonda Theater on Hollywood Blvd.
For those of you who haven’t been there, The Fonda is an excellent venue. Beautiful inside like a goddamn theater as opposed to some kind of auditorium or dingy bar venue (not that dingy bar venues don’t also have their may merits). A large stage framed by ornate molding and curtains looks out on to a fairly large open area (all tickets are “general seating” [read: mosh pit] for rock shows) with a balcony area above.
Upstairs is an open-air lounge (ostensibly for smoking) with a view of Hollywood Blvd., a second bar, couches and chairs, mood lighting, and even semi-private rooms with more couches and chairs. In fact the balcony reminds me of some of the hipper lounge|bars I’ve been to, lately.
One thing the lounge area lacks? Fucking outdoor heaters! And with LA plunging into the snowy depths of the high 50’s, thin-skinned Angelenos like myself were freezing in the light breeze.
Brothers and Sisters? Meh, they were OK. I wouldn’t see them if they were headlining, yet, but they had a good sound and were fairly entertaining if only for the fact that there seemed like there were 20 of them on stage and we were to assume that they were all brother and sister.
Celebration? Pretty much the same as above except that they were better and the singer sounded a lot like she also fronted the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs.
Blood Brothers? Holy f’ing shit! These guys were awesome. Totally frenetic on stage and screaming their heads off. I have no f’ing idea what they were saying, but it sounded good. And the lead singer was channeling Mick Jagger with the head shaking, hand on hip metrosexual swagger, and pouty lips… so you can’t go wrong there.
…AYWKUBTTOD? The people I came to see. The, unfortunately, suffered from horrible mixing, where you couldn’t hear any of the keyboards, one of the guitars crapped out 2 minutes into the show, and the vocals were turned way down. It got better as their set progressed, but even with the audio problems their show was awesome, and for one reason: stage presence.
There are 6 guys in AYWKUBTTOD, and all are apparently multi-talented, because they kept switching instruments! The lead singer would become the keyboard player, the keyboard player would become the drummer, the drummer would become the guitar player, and over and over. Listening to the album, you have no sense of this; which means that they don’t do this in the studio, or that they’re all really fucking good. I choose the later.
Oh, and the main drummer is unbelievable.