The first time I saw Velvet Revolver, it was at a KROQ festival held at the Home Depot Center in Carson. Needless to say, the concert went so well, it was the first and last of it's kind that KROQ ever had. As far as Velvet Revolver's performance... I don't remember a bit of it. The entire concert was a disaster and I think by the point that VR came on, I was over it.
I've always liked VR and was bummed that I never got to a see a proper show of theirs. I knew that this show wouldn't be it either, but it would be better than nothing, would be supporting a good cause, and it was going to be interesting to see how the band worked with Scott Weiland after essentially firing him a while back.
Call me crazy, but I'm a sucker for Weiland. I know he's a hot mess... I've seen him at his best and seen him at the "send the roadie out and cross off half the setlist because Weiland is loaded" stage. Thing is, when you've seen him at his best, you understand. In my opinion, he's one of the most captivating and engaging lead singers of our generation. So, I'll always take the risk of "which Weiland is it tonight?" because when he's good, it's great. That being said, there has been so much talk over VR and who they would replace Weiland with after letting him go. Probably the biggest contender seemed to be Corey Taylor, and when the show was first announced, I was curious to see if he would be the one singing with them. At the end of the day, it fell back on to Weiland. Even with all the problems, it's clear that it's hard to replace him in a band, even with all his issues, and I was ecstatic to hear that he would be the one singing with VR at this concert.
I was curious, as were many others, to see how this performance would be given that they haven't been together in so long and the "bad blood" between them all. It was nice to see them set aside their differences for a good cause, but at the end of the day, the performance would speak for itself.
...and the performance was good. Not amazing, but good. I didn't expect too much given that they hadn't performed together in a while, but all in all it was a solid enough performance. Honestly, Weiland seemed the best up there. He moved around and interacted with the others like nothing had ever happened, while some band members kept off to the sides like little kids pouting in a corner. I guess I expected them to just put it all aside for the sake of a benefit, but alas, not so much. A certain someone definitely didn't seem completely clean... the in between song rambling was a bit on the incoherent side, but the singing was top notch, especially when it came to a cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here".
The short set came to an end quickly, and the band hustled off the stage so quick it wasn't even funny. No group bow, just a quick dash away. The reunion was over as quick as it had happened.
...and the hunt for the new VR singer continues...?
Sucker Train Blues
She Builds Quick Machines
Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover)
Photos (Tom Morello, Sheryl Crow & Stephen Stills, Velvet Revolver):
Video of Velvet Revolver performing "Sucker Train Blues":
Video of Velvet Revolver performing "Slither":
Video of Velvet Revolver performing "Wish You Were Here":
"New Song #1"
"New Song #2"
Even though I loathe all things Pomona, I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the Fox Theater was. Too bad it isn't someplace else or I would go more often.
Arctic Monkeys were killer... photos and videos below.
Video of "The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala":
Video of "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor":
Video of "Brick By Brick":
The weekend of the supposed Rapture.
A bunch of girls in a swanky hotel room.
This was a weekend that would go down in the history books....
After my friend saw Rammstein in NYC and raved about their live show, I knew I had to try to see them when they hit the west coast. I happily jumped at the chance to get a ticket to the Vegas weekend and it quickly turned into a girl's weekend in Vegas with some of my dearest concert buddies that I had met through Nine Inch Nails touring.
Given the fact that they were giving out stickers that said "I Survived The Rail At Rammstein" after the shows, I was expecting one of the worst rails I'd ever seen. However, what I got was essentially one of the best line/rail experiences I've ever had. We arrived in the afternoon and they lined us up in an air-conditioned gymnasium with restrooms (did I mention it was super hot outside in Vegas right now?). We leisurely laid around the floor of the gym while we waited to go inside. I was stoked when we easily found a rail spot off to the side and was surprised to find that most of the show I would have enough space around me to stretch my legs out. No smashing against the rail, no punching or kicking, nobody trying to force their way onto the rail. I almost felt guilty taking the sticker at the end because it didn't seem like I had survived much.
What I had done though was seen something unlike I'd ever seen before. I'll admit, I wasn't a huge Rammstein expert. I knew a few infamous songs (and videos I'd like to forget) and was really going because my friend had raved about their live show after seeing them at Madison Square Garden in New York. I was blown away by what I saw - it is truly an amazing show. It's a delicate balance between entertainment (fire, theatrics) and the music. When I saw KISS, it was theatrics overload. What made Rammstein so good was that it was just enough of the two to make an great show where your eyes and your ears were pleased.
I also thought Combichrist was such an appropriate and well-chosen open for them. I love Combichrist, but hadn't had a chance to see them yet. Having been on the rail with a friend of mine who has seen them many times, I knew I was in for a treat. They are killer - no other way to put it. I am looking forward to seeing a proper solo show of theirs because I'm sure it's going to be even more intense.
And just when I thought my fun had ended... we headed off to the afterparty. 90's hip hop and lots of vodka. I'm gonna leave it at that.
Fruhling In Paris
Ich ti Dir Weh
Du Riechst So Gut
Photos of Combichrist:
Photos of Rammstein:
Video of Combichrist performing "Fuck That Shit":
Video of Rammstein performing "Rammlied":
Video of Rammstein performing "Benzin":
Video of Rammstein performing "Pussy":
HRC joined me for this show and I warned her ahead of time that my behavior in the presence of Dave Gahan is, what I imagine, similar to that of a adolescent girl at a Justin Bieber show. All logic and reason flies out the window when I see him. Yum. Seriously. Yum.
Oh yeah, and Jane's Addiction was going to be there too.. Normally I'd be more excited for this, but my head was clouded with Dave Gahan giddiness.
We had to endure some pain before getting to the good stuff; Paramore and some other people... I didn't really care, I just wanted my Dave Gahan.
Jane's Addiction were great, as usual, but I'll admit I missed seeing Eric Avery up there. I'm glad I got to see a lot of shows the last round with him still in the band.
Then the time came... Steven Tyler came out to give Dave Gahan his award and while accepting it, mentioned being a bar which I thought was a bit awkward. But I was waiting for the good stuff - his performance! Although I'd kill for a Depeche Mode concert, I do love Dave Gahan's solo work as well, especially Hourglass, which he never toured for. I was hoping to hear a mix of DM songs and solo work and that was exactly what I got... and more. He ended up performing a total of eight songs, a mix of solo, Depeche Mode and some covers. Including what I would later refer to on Facebook as the closest I think I'll ever get to having a religious experience - his cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart". Joy Division is what I listen to when I'm in a dark place... it's very emotional music for me. To hear one of my favorite musicians sing it, and sing it incredibly... was simply amazing. I was so stunned when I heard the first few notes being played that my friend had to literally elbow me to get out my camera and I'm so glad I did. My eyes were watery by the end of it... it was one of my most favorite live moments in music ever. That one song made going to that show completely worth it. He could have only played that and it would have been worth it still.
He continued to perform a solid set, with special guest (gee, I was so shocked...) Martin Gore coming out to play with him on "Personal Jesus". I love Martin's guitar intro (so sexy) on this song, so I was pretty stoked.
I left the venue dazed about what I had just witnessed and couldn't wait to go and re-watch what I'd just seen on my camera. Which you can enjoy for yourself below...
When's the next Depeche Mode tour?
Dave Gahan Setlist:
Cracked Actor (David Bowie cover)
Dirty Sticky Floors
I Feel You
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover)
New Rose (The Damned cover)
Personal Jesus (w/ Martin Gore)
Video of Jane's Addiction performing "Stop":
Video of Dave Gahan performing "Dirty Sticky Floors":
Video of Dave Gahan performing "Saw Something":
Video of Dave Gahan performing "Love Will Tear Us Apart":
Most people are a bit surprised to find that I like The Presets, given my usual taste in music and concerts, but it's as simple as this:
1) I love synths.
2) You can never go wrong with boys from Australia.
3) Sometimes a girl has just gotta shake her ass.
I was bummed when I first found out that this show was on the same night of the second Queens of the Stone Age show. However, after the events that occurred the first night (see previous blog post for reference), I decided that fate had determined my course - I sold my QOTSA tix easily (for face value; karma is a bitch) and bought tix for The Presets.
I had a lot riding on this show... after the awful time the night before I needed The Presets to save me. And they did. I danced to the point that I was sweaty and let the music take me over. By the end of the night, the events of the night before were but a memory and I was left longing for a new album and tour from my two Aussies.
Talk Like That
Down Down Down
A New Sky
If I Know You
Are You The One?
This Boy's In Love
Kicking And Screaming
Video of "A New Sky":
Video of "Together":
Video of "Yippyo-Ay":
This was easily the show I was the most excited about so far in 2011. I was as excited for this show as I would have been for a NIN or Depeche Mode show, and went to crazy lengths for it as well. I was first in the venue, with a spot dead center on the rail. I had time to get a poster by my favorite gig poster artist Kii Arens for the show. Everything was going perfectly...
First it giveth
I am always excited to see QOTSA in concert, but I was particularly excited about this show because they were playing their first, self-titled album in it's entirety. The early QOTSA songs are some of my absolute favorites so the first part of the show was nothing short of mind-blowing. Being in the front, with Josh singing those songs right in my face - it was a dream come true.
Then it taketh away
Just as I was standing there, thinking this was going to be in my top shows of 2011, the unthinkable (literally) happened. I went to this show with my boyfriend, who was on the rail next to me. The guy next to him was acting like a moron the entire show and at some point around Little Sister, he decided to bite my boyfriend on the arm. Yes, you read that correctly. BITE. The asshole ran away after he did it, we remained on the rail, stunned. Frankly, I don't even remember most of the rest of the set because I spent most of the time looking for the guy so I could kill him. I tried to enjoy the rest of the show, but it was pointless.
On our way out, we made the decision not to come back for the second night. I ended up selling our tickets and we decided to go a different route the next evening for a show...
And I will still kill that dude if I ever see him again. I have had my ass kicked in pits before and never have I seen anything like that. Seriously, who BITES someone else?!
I am SO happy I am seeing QOTSA again in July. Hopefully that show will make up for this one, and then some...
Walkin’ on the Sidewalks
You Would Know
How to Handle a Rope
Give the Mule What He Wants
I Was A Teenage Hand Model
You Can’t Quit Me Baby
Someone’s in the Wolf
Make It With Chu
Tangled Up in Plaid
Encore # 2
Sick, Sick, Sick
Go With the Flow
Video of "How To Handle A Rope":