No Duh with blink-180TRUE at House of Blues Anaheim

No Duh
blink-180TRUE
Date:
November 28, 2014
Location:
House of Blues Anaheim

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Story
I invited a friend of mine who earlier in the summer had gotten me into Disneyland for free; this was one of my ways of thanking him.  Anyways, we carpooled to the show together, but arrived there an hour before doors open. We walked around the Downtown Disney area looking in shops as well as people watch. After a good while of killing time we decided to go back to the House of Blues to get in line. Upon settling in our spot, my friend and I started talking with one another as the venue started to get crowded. We were both surprised that there were a lot of people at the venue tonight since it was Black Friday. After waiting around an hour, the curtains opened to reveal the first band of the night; blink-180TRUE. I was completely surprised to see them there because their name wasn’t on the ticket stub. Anyways, it didn’t matter to me because I did like blink-182 and was excited to see what this band had to offer.

Blink-180TRUE turned out to be a fun tribute band. The band members acted in the same manner as the original band in the beginning of their career; sort of that immature skater guy persona. In between song performances the two guitarists would make crack jokes and banter with one another. That added humor made their performance extremely more fun and exciting. The band started things off with Feeling This. In between songs there was a heckler in the crowd that kept yelling for them to get off the stage and for No Duh to get on. The guy did that for about half an hour, but finally stopped towards the second half of their performance. Back to the band, their best performance of the night was First Date. That performance was so energetic and spot on. The whole crowd got into it and sang along to the chorus; I ended up having that song stuck in my head for weeks. I was in pure bliss when All The Small Things and What’s My Age Again? were performed. I grew up listening to Enema of the State and this bought me back to my Middle School years. The band closed their set with Dammit, which was a perfect end to that their performance of the night. As far as I’m concerned, they ended things on a high note and were a great tribute band. I would enjoy seeing them again sometime in the near future.

It would be another half hour before No Duh hit the stage. Once they did, the whole crowd was incredibly loud with excitement. The band delivered an amazing, fun performance of No Doubt’s hits! Being a No Doubt fan for over 10 years this was a huge treat. All of the band members got into their respected roles especially the Gwen and Tony of the band. It was so hilarious seeing the banter between those two! I truly enjoyed it, especially the charisma that the lead singer possessed. She was truly memorable and had this strong energetic presence that she bought to stage.  For me the best performance that the band did was Hollaback Girl. I know it’s not a No Doubt song, but that was such a fun performance. In the middle of the set a guy dressed up as a banana came out to the middle of the stage and started to dance around; it was so funny. Upon performing Bathwater, bubbles started to come out off the stage. That effect created a great atmosphere for that song. Other memorable songs that they performed included Hella Good, Simple Kind of Life, and Trapped In A Box. Now during around the middle of their set a fight broke out to the left near the bar. Also towards the end of No Duh’s setlist, I saw the members of blink-180TRUE in the crowd. I thought that was pretty cool that they were out there supporting the other band. Also towards the end, the lead singer came up to the stage and gave this little girl next to me a drum stick. That was a fun show; I would definitely jump at the chance of going to see No Duh again if that opportunity presents itself once again.

No Duh Setlist (Incomplete)
1. Trapped In A Box
2. Saw Red
3. Hella Good
4. Bathwater
5. Simple Kind of Life
6. Spiderwebs
7. Hollaback Girl

blink-180TRUE Setlist
1. Feelin This
2. Rock Show
3. Aliens
4. Pathetic
5. Going Away To College
6. Dumpweed
7. Don’t Leave Me
8. First Date
9. Wendy Clear
10. Anthem Part 2
11. All The Small Things
12. Carousel
13. Josie
14. What’s My Age Again?
15. Dammit

Trivial Notes

  • 1st concert at the House of Blues, Anaheim.
  • Viewed a fight near the bar where one woman pushed another woman’s in the face causing her to fall.
  • My first free concert; got tickets from a meeting I attended at CSUF.

Le Butcherettes, Sister Crayon, and Eureka the Butcher at The Observatory Santa Ana

Le Butcherettes
Sister Crayon
Eureka the Butcher
Date:
September 20, 2015
Location:
The Observatory Orange County

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Story
Arriving a few hours to obtain free parking, I killed time going on social media.  I ended up posting an Instagram post of my ticket stub which Le Butcherettes’ Instagram page later reposted and followed me. Getting bored waiting in my car, I went outside to stand in line for the show. Inside the venue I ended up near the front of the stage. As the venue began to fill up this woman next to me started to chat with me. Turns out she and her friend came from Rancho Cucamonga to see this venue, but were clueless about the opening bands. As we chatted Eureka the Butcher made his way to his equipment on stage. His entire half an hour performance consisted of him DJing and just grooving to the music. This disappointed me as I expected him to actually perform. Before I knew it his set was over with and he was off the stage.

Less than half an hour later the second band took the stage; Sister Crayon. The all black clothed members entered the stage setting up for what would be a mesmerizing performance. The lead singer took the mic commanding the entire room as she sang. Before each song though, she told a brief story on the inspiration that came in creating the track. Listening to these stories made the songs more personal as you got the behind the scenes of how they were created. The lead singer of the band put in a lot of raw emotion into her performance. She controlled and owned the stage with every word that came out of her mouth. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t understand half of the words she sang, but I was mesmerized by her stage presence. I’ve never quite seen a singer get so emotionally invested in their performance as she did. It was a sight that I will not forget anytime soon. The bands sound was unique, hard to put in words exactly. Engaging with the crowd added to the excitement that everyone in the room had. There was a fan near the front that took out his hat, waving it the lead singer trying to get her attention. It worked as she took the hat wearing it for the duration of a song. Upon finishing the song, she gave the man back his hat. It would be another half hour before the last band hit the stage.

When Le Butcherettes made their presence on the stage that was the moment when the crowd got crazy. The members came out on stage wearing similarly themed red outfits that represented their raw passion and love of music. Lead singer Teri Gender Bender possess this strong charisma about her when performing. Just like the band before, she bought strong emotional energy into her performance. One of my favorite moments was when a person in the crowd started chanting “Mexico! Mexico! Mexico!” All the Spanish speaking Latinos started chanting which happily surprised Teri. She smiled with glee and chanted it back to the excited Latinos fans. Loved seeing the confused faces that the white fans were making when this was going on. Standout performance was Demon In Your Eye, that was the strongest performance filled with strong burst of energy. The other stand out was Henry which had everyone in the room singing along in the top of their lungs. Throughout the whole set the band kept up their high strong energy and by the end they were drenched in sweat. Teri jumped into the crowd at the end as everyone partaken in the excitement of the band. Still they played strongly until the end of the night and ended on a high note.

Le Butcherettes Setlist
1. Burn The Scab
2. Demon Stuck In Your Eye
3. Devil Loved
4. They Fuck You Over
5. Sick Of You
6. Boulders
7. Shave The Pride
8. Witchless C Spot
9. Stab My Back
10. Leibniz Language
11. Bang!
12. We No Owe
13. Sold Less Than Gold
14. Weakness Gives Me Life
15. Henry
16. La Uva

Reviews

Celluloid Annoyed. September 22, 2015. “Le Butcherettes at The Constellation Room – 9.20.15” by  Joe Cortez. http://www.celluloidannoyed.com/concerts/2015/9/21/le-butcherettes-at-the-constellation-room-92015

Trivial Notes

  • 6th concert at The Observatory, Santa Ana.
  • Only female fronted band I saw during 2015.
  • In the main room Panteon Rococo was playing, would see them 10 months later.
  • Eureka the Butcher was a disappointment as I expected him to perform not DJ.
  • This was one of the worst crowds at a concert that I ever attended. Once the main band came on stage that’s when the people in the back pushed and shoved their way trying to get into the front. One woman in the crowd kept trying to make her way in front of me so I stood still and had my elbows in the way. She finally got the hint and left after 10 minutes. After a while later another woman with her boyfriend just pushed and shoved their way to the front. I get that you like the band but don’t be an assshole by pushing people around.
  • Due to my distaste for the crowd it would be six months before I would attend another concert at the venue. I also didn’t try to get a photo with the band or get signed album at the end because I didn’t want to be around the crowd anymore.

Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts at House of Blues Anaheim

Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts
The Icarus Line
The Slater Slums
Date:
November 4, 2015
Location:
House of Blues Anaheim

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Story
I noticed that Scott Weiland and his new band were set to perform at Anaheim in the fall of 2015. I had a gut feeling that I should attend the show or I’d end up regretting it. Even if I had to buy my own ticket I knew I had to attend this show. I’ve been a fan of Weiland since high school as those were the years where I first experienced the music of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. The concert provided an excellent opportunity to see this legendary front man who left an everlasting impression during the 1990s rock era. As luck would have it I won a pair of free tickets! After answering the question of which song did Weiland covered for the Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack and who original sang it (But Not Tonight originally by Depeche Mode) I won with ease. I’ve viewed Not Another Teen Movie a whole bunch of times but never noticed the song until I looked up the answer. His cover ranks as one of my favorite songs of all times; his cover is one of the few songs that can make me emotional on a given day.

Weiland and his newly formed band, The Wildabouts, were on tour promoting the release of their album “Blaster.” Unfortunately this would prove to be the only album the band would release as Weiland would pass away (more on that later). The newly formed band came about when Weiland had a falling out with the other members of Stone Temple Pilots. STP would continue to tour that year with Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington stepping in to provide the vocals. Actually this newly formed version of STP performed at this exact venue six months prior this day. I had the opportunity to attend but decided against it as it didn’t feel like STP without their original singer.

Initially I invited a now former friend to the concert who would later bail on me the day of; he blew his only chance. His loss would be another person’s gain as another friend accepted my invitation within minutes. The two of us arrived to the venue around 9:30 pm – a bit later than I anticipated but nothing I could do. Completely missed The Slater Slums set, so not sure how they performed the night. I did though see the last few minutes of The Icarus Line as they rocked on stage. What I remember of the band is that they were extremely loud to the point I could not coherently understand any of their lyrics. In retrospect this would be one of, if not the first, band that I did not enjoy seeing live. Their music did not resonate as I’m not a fan of this heavy metal genre. The six members on stage generated too much noise instead of music in my opinion.

As the band bid adieu I surveyed the venue disappointed in the turn out. To me Weiland is a big name that could draw a large crowd, but for some reason the people were missing. Up to this point I’ve never seen the venue so empty and I hated seeing the low turn out. I felt like this because it felt like a disrespect to the artist, but I did my part and showed up that night. My friend and I stayed in the back chatting about podcasts and such. The one conversation I do remember is the revelation that Charlie Sheen would come out as HIV positive (he later would). To the left of of us turned out to be the most interesting person I had seen at a concert. An old man laid sprawled on the floor drunk out of his mind. Still clenching a beer bottle he would take a swig here and there. He made odd noises that caused me and my friend to back away from him. The noises he created sounded like drunk babbling, burping, and farting. Later in the evening the man disappeared, I never saw him again but he turned out to be memorable to me. Within the next half hour people trickled in including the concert promoter who gave me the free tickets. He appeared extremely important, and busy, as people swarmed around him. I would have given my gratitude but felt I would have bothered him, my stupid shyness.

As people chatted among themselves the lights suddenly went out. Lights beamed on stage illuminating and astonishing everyone in the room. The three Wildabout members, all of whom wore black, hit the stage prepping their instruments.  The band members started playing the chords of Crackerman which signaled the arrival of the legendary front man. Weiland burst on stage grooving to the beat of the music as fog blanketed the stage. The front man decked out in a white dress shirt with grey pants held a red and white megaphone as he dazzled the audience. This man displayed such strong raw energy that I’ve never seen previously before. Weiland incorporated members of the band in his performance whether that meant going behind them as he wailed his arms adding excitement. Other than Weiland that megaphone stole the spotlight as it stood front and center. I’ll never forget the instance that Weiland clutched the megaphone against the mic as he sang into it. That’ll be one moment that I’ll never forget from this night. As he sat the megaphone down the next tune started up – the first track off “Blaster” Modzilla. Through the night his vocal strength and unique voice astonished me through his whole performance. The hits kept on coming as Amethyst, Meatplow, and one of the singles off the album Way She Moves followed. The next performance blew me away as the best performance of the night came up next. Of course I’m speaking about Big Bang Bang, one of Stone Temple Pilots best tracks. “Big Bang Baby it’s a crash crash crash” Weiland sang these lines into the megaphone starting the performance. His swaying dance moves, unique growling voice combined with the fog atmosphere mixed with the flashing red, blue, and purple lights equivocated to an explosive performance. There were other aspects of this performance which I enjoyed that included spinning in place during “spin me up, spin me, spin me out”, harmonizing with the left guitarist during the chorus, and singing into the megaphone for the last few seconds of the song. Tracks from”Blaster” were played masterfully as the band dove into Hotel Rio, Parachute, and White Lighting. Moving to the center of the stage, Weiland started playing another Stone Temple Pilots song, Vasoline. Coming to the center he sprung into action channeling his inner rock star. How I wish I could have seen Weiland in his prime back in the 1990s when this song first came out. Departing from alternative rock Weiland took a turn to play some blues rock. Paying tribute to one of his icons (David Bowie), he did him justice covering The Jene Genie. Returning to his roots he played yet another classic Stone Temple Pilots Dead and Bloated. Signaling the introduction of the song the megaphone made a quick appearance. The flashing blue lights combined with Weiland’s dance antics left the audience wanting more. Soon he left the stage microphone in hand.

As I waited for the encore performance something dawned on me. I realized that Weiland never engaged with the audience. What I mean by that is he never spoke to us, the only words out of his mouth were the lyrics to his songs. The crowd grew smaller as the night dragged on with half the crowd staying at this point. Weiland took the stage for one final time, but instead of standing up he sat down on a stool which had been placed in the center of the stage. His most emotional performance came out that night as he played Circles.

 The Circles performance easily became the  most emotional aspect of that night. The somber atmosphere as well as the seriousness displayed made this the most powerful performance of the night. Changing gears by getting out of the stool Weiland performed his next number; Do It For The Kids. He became re-energized moving quite a lot around stage again. Last performance of the night was a Stone Temple Pilots number Unglued. Weiland grooved on stage while swaying his arms like he did in the Sour Girl music video. He finished strong giving it all that he had for that final number. As he finished singing he approached the guitar amp creating distorted noises as the band finished. Getting up he put down the megaphone back on stage turned to the crowd and took a bow. Just like that he left the stage without saying a word.

Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts Setlist
1. Crackerman
2. Modzilla
3. Amethyst
4. Meatplow
5. Way She Moves
6. Big Bang Baby
7. Hotel Rio
8. Parachutes
9. White Lighting
10. Vasoline
11. Jean Genie
12. Dead and Bloated

Encore:
13. Circles
14. Do It For The Kids
15. Unglued

The Icarus Line Setlist
1. Frankfurt Smile
2. Fshn Fvr
3. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
4. SPMC
5. Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers
6. You Make Me Nervous
7. Seasick
8. Meatmaker
9. Gets Paid
10. Black Presents

Trivial Notes

  • 1st and only time I would see Scott Weiland.
  • 10th concert at the House of Blues, Anaheim in Downtown Disney.
  • Scott Weiland passed away 29 days later on December 3rd, 2015.
  • 1st artist that I’ve seen that would pass away.