All photos by Donofthedead
It was old school night at the House of Blues and it looked like a line-up of bands we would have gone to in the early '80s. Couldn't miss this one: TSOL have been putting on great shows lately; I heard good things about the Adolescents' latest shows; The Razorcake gang loves the Crowd!; and, Los Villains, I have never heard of before.
I had a weird feeling while driving down Sunset Blvd. going to the show. I was debating in my head if I should park at the House of Blues or park farther down the street for less money. Convenience won me over and I valet parked at the club. I didn't pull into the club, as usual, and was greeted right at the street by one of the valets. The main lot was already filled. The doors weren't even open yet. That should have tipped me off right away, but I jumped out of the car and gave up the keys.
The doors opened. I and my friend who usually accompanies me to such events went through a security check. They wanded us with metal detectors and did the usual searching of the bags. Afterwards, we received bands for our wrists so we could drink. We got in the club and I set up my camera.
Los Villains hit the stage. Attendance was sparse at best but some of the curious lined up front while others stood away. They were a six-piece band, consisting of two drummers, two guitarists, a bass player, and a singer. It's a novel idea. Musically, they came off sounding like the generic melodic punk that is prevalent here in LA. The mix coming out of the monitors didn't help them either. They played a short set and were gone.
OC was in the house from this point forward. Once the Crowd hit the stage, I was giddy like a child. I haven't seen them live since 1982. I'm not that familiar with their catalog, but songs that I did recognize were "Modern Machine," "Letter Bomb," and the tune "Right Time" that was on the first Rodney on the Roq Vol. I. In fact, I heard other songs that I recognized and knew some of the lyrics to, but it's been so long since I have listened to any of their stuff. I shot some photos and then walked around the club. The crowd was reaching capacity and had a weird energy about them. Kids were yelling that The Crowd sucked - usual moronic stuff - when they are the ones that are clueless. I personally thought The Crowd played a great set.
When the curtain opened for the Adolescents, I was shocked to see how much they have aged since their first album. For god sakes, they were in high school still when they recorded it and when it was released. I was in junior high. That makes them in an age bracket of late thirties to early forties. I had seen Tony, the singer, in the ADZ in the last few years so he didn't shock me. Steve Soto, the bassist, I saw earlier this year in Manic Hispanic. It looks like he lost some weight recently. It was Rikk, lead guitarist, Frank, rhythm guitarist, and Casey, drummer, who I haven't seen in over ten years. They tore through hits off the first record and the Welcome to Reality 7" - songs like "Rip it Up," "Amoeba," and "Kids of the Black Hole." I felt pulled back in time when I was young teen seeing them for the first time after listening to their album over and over again. The crowd was in a frenzy. I was shooting pictures from the crowd and I was getting banged around. It felt like old times. I forgot what song they played for an encore but they did persuade Ron Emory of TSOL to play along.
TSOL was last. I was able to get on stage to shoot pictures of them to avoid being smashed around more. Here is a band that knows how to work an audience. The set list was the same as the last time I saw them, but that was okay because Jack, the singer, always has great banter and sarcasm to bash the crowd. Songs were played from their entire catalog of releases. Kid were flying everywhere. In the middle of the set, Jack took a request from the audience. They played "World War III" as best as they could since it looked and sounded like they haven't practiced it in a long time. I left the stage area near the end of their set because, as most people don't know, the sound on the stage usually doesn't sound as good as it does in front of the stage. I met back with my friends at the middle of the club behind the sound and light boards to have a good view. They ended the set with the classic, "Code Blue," as they usually do. It's always great hearing hundreds of people yelling "I wanna fuck, I wanna fuck the dead." No sooner than the song was about to end, my friend that works light there ran up to me and said, "Somebody just got shot." The lights went up and Jack informed the crowd that two guys got shot to the right of the stage and I think the stage manager told the audience that the show was over.
I lingered with my friends around the sound booth to wait for the crowd to thin out before I got my car out from valet. It was going to take awhile since the concert looked sold out and Eddie Murphy had rented another part of the club out for a wrap party. Also there was another gig/dance club that was booked in the main room after the concert. The parking lots were packed. I heard through one of the staff's radios that the suspect was an African American with dreadlocks and he was still at large. I guess he shot and ran. One hit was in the chest and the other was hit in the jaw. I didn't see, but my friends did.
The club looked empty, so I grabbed my friend that came with me and walked out of the club. Boy, that was a mistake. There were police and security everywhere. We walked to the valet booth and stood in line for about fifteen minutes to be told that our tickets were being taken where all the police were. We hiked over to the street past the police and security and saw a large group of people but no valets. I knew I should have parked my car somewhere else. We walked up and down the street to see if they had started retrieving cars yet. They hadn't. I saw a small commotion up the block, so I left my friend to see what was up. They were collecting tickets. I walked back and get stared down by four males. I had a bad feeling about them. I also noticed that my friend was pretty distressed, sitting on the curb. We made small talk as we waited to see if my car would ever come. The four males' car came up after fifteen minutes and they yelled to a girl that they hoped to see her at the "race shows." I knew it! Stupid Aryan Nation fuckheads! After they pulled away, my friend confessed to me that they had confronted him. He was so wired, I was surprised that he didn't go off and hit the one that confronted him. He thought they were white power kids and felt that the whole gang of them would have attacked him if he did. They most likely would have since they have that pack mentality and can't stand up for themselves. We left the club at 10:30 PM and my car finally arrived ten minutes to midnight. What a way to end a night.
The Crowd: http:www.thecrowd.com