Yellowcard and Sean O’Donnell at The Observatory Santa Ana

Yellowcard
Sean O’ Donnell
Date: March 17, 2017
Location:
The Observatory Santa Ana

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Story
Watching Yellowcard for the final time during St. Patrick’s Day turned out to be a nostalgic blast. There were bittersweet moments as this concert proved to be the final time I witnessed this band live together. On the other hand, I had the proper chance to bid farewell that filled me with closure. This concert happened to mark the beginning of the bands final week together as their concluding show would be next Saturday at the recently open House of Blues, Anaheim. As their fleeting time draws to an end, the band decided to go out with a bang to their loyal fans that have been with them throughout their 20 year existence together. They altered their setlist for these final seven concerts which they debuted that night. Each song on the new setlist severed a purpose of flooding fans with nostalgia or having the band say goodbye through their songs.

The opening act this time around turned out to be Sean O’Donnell a former member of Yellowcard. O’Donnell joined the band back in April 2010 however left the band in 2012 after roughly a year and half together with Yellowcard. Afterwards he transitioned to become a solo artist which he released two albums. He returned nevertheless to help the band close out their final week. Through the night he proved to be quite the entertaining performer. His humorous personality won the crowd over as laughter filled the air with each joke he told. The most memorable one being about how he’d gladly take being the fifth favorite Sean of everyone in the room; at least he placed in the top 5. His style of music meshed well with Yellowcards pop punk/alternative sound. The relatable lyrics pair with his soothing voice left a memorable mark. The simplicity of the performance is what I enjoyed the most about his performance. He was a one man band as only he and his guitar played for most of the duration of the performance. An exception occurred during the final song in which his old friend Ryan Key joined him on stage.  The unexpected appearance of Key blew the audience away as these two men sang in harmony.

Right before Yellowcard made their grand appearance an announcement played overheard. The announcement mentioned that this night would be an enjoyable experience for all especially if people were not recording the show. It continued to state that video performances of all the songs could be found online. The band actually wants to see the faces of crowd, not see a sea of cellphone faces. Lastly, the announcement mentioned “if you’re recording the band and not living in the moment, then you’re fucking it up.” To my complete shock mostly everyone in the room heeded to the announcement’s message. Once the band arrived on stage only one person, that I noticed, took out their phone to record. Truth be told, I did heed to the announcement as I reflect back on it. I did not take as many photos as I have in the past whenever I go to the concert. The reason being was due to my willingness to be constantly in the moment as the band gave the audience a proper sendoff.

The band started their setlist with the first single from their breakthrough album Ocean Avenue Way Away. The meaning behind the song is the band’s journey from Florida to California as they dreamed of making it in the music industry. Orange County has a special meaning to the band as they moved to this area which also happened to be where they had their first sold out show at the Chain Reaction. Key touched upon this later in the night as he spoke about their humble beginnings and the gratitude of succeeding in California. The greatest hits played that night brought back nostalgic memories. Lights and Sounds and Rough Landing, Holly were some of the memorable performances for me that night due to the memories attached to these songs. I distinctly remember back in 2006 when these songs were first released and how much I loved the former song. These two songs played regularly on MTV and VH1 back when they actually showed music. Lights and Sounds became the first Yellowcard album that I brought that further fueled my love for this band. Before this I became exposed to rock music in the mid 2000’s with Ocean Avenue being one of the first rock songs that exposed me to the genre. After Lights and Sounds the band flew under my radar as I became exposed to new artists and bands. I noticed that they would perform at concerts here and there in Southern California with most of their shows sold out. Once they embarked on their final world tour I could not let this opportunity slip away. Through these two Yellowcard concerts I became exposed to music that I had not previously listened before.

The band did not disappoint that night as they exceeded the audience expectations. All the members wore black – fitting as this marked the “death” of the band per say. However make no mistake as these concerts marked a time of celebration. Bass guitarist Josh Portman ripped through his guitar with tremendous energy to the applause of the crowd. His talent shined through as he profoundly moved wildly on stage. Front and center Ryan Key kept the energy moving with his infectious singing. All through the night Key kept mentioning how people were going to leave the venue barely able to speak. Based on all the fan screaming through the night, would not be surprised if that rang true for a few die hard fans. His speeches were moving, but more on those later. Something I failed to notice the first time around were the antics between Violist Sean Mackin and lead guitarist Ryan Mendez. Bantering between among themselves, they would play jokes with each other. Filling in for drums was Like Torches Jimmy Brunkvist who kept the beat and kept it strong.

As the band dove into their farewell songs Key stated his favorite album they recorded was Lift a Sail. These random tidbits of information are what I love listening as one gets to know the band a bit better. “If this was the last time that we would ever speak / Could we forgive somehow, could we let it rest in peace?” These lyrics summed up the mood of the night as well as this final week for the band. To the surprise of the audience Sean O’Donnell returned on stage to provide vocals for Hang You Up. His brief appearance to sing the chorus alongside Key amplified the experience of the performance. Soon the moment had come as the band were set to play the final song. Key took the time to address the audience to give their thanks for the audience being out there tonight. The band made the dificult decision two years prior of going their separate ways. However, they decided to embark on a world tour in order to give their fans a proper send off. As he finished giving the audience their humble gratitude they launched into Ocean Avenue. This turned out to be the perfect send off by seeing them play their biggest hit last. This is my last memory of the band of them playing the song that introduced me to them. I could not have asked for a better send off. Goodbye Yellowcard, this fan will miss you but will have your music to remember you by.

Yellowcard Setlist
1. Way Away
2. For You, and Your Denial
3. Lights and Sounds
4. Shrink the World
5. Rest in Piece
6. What Appears
7. Light Up the Sky
8. Rough Landing, Holly
9. Awakening
10. Illuminate
11. Lift a Sail
12. A Place We Set Afire
13. With You Around
14. Rivertown Blues
15. Cut Me, Mick
16. Believe
17. Hang You Up (Sean O’Donnell)
18. Empty Apartment
19. Be the Young
20. Southern Air
21. Back Home

Encore
22. Breathing
23. Only One
24. Ocean Avenue

Trivial Notes

  • 13th concert at The Observatory Santa Ana.
  • 2nd and final time seeing Yellowcard.
  • Josh Portman’s official Instagram liked all 6 photos of the concert I posted.
  • Jimmy Brunkvist’s official Instagram liked all 6 photos of the concert I posted.
  • Sean O’Donnell’s official Instagram liked the photo I tagged him in.

Japandroids and Craig Finn & The Uptown Controllers at The Observatory Santa Ana

Japandroids
Craig Finn & The Uptown Controllers
Date: March 13, 2017
Location:
The Observatory Santa Ana

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 Story
I randomly received an email from The Observatory the day of the concert stating free tickets were up for grabs. I jumped at the opportunity as quickly as it came. I arrived later than I anticipated which caused me to miss the opening band, Craig Finn & The Uptown Controllers. I did hear that band did terrific that night. The crowded venue took me by surprise, with it being a Monday night there were many people there. Finding  a decent spot in the back to take photos I was all set. Work had been stressful lately and this was the type of relieve that I needed. I had hoped to attend a concert by this artist mainly the prior week when they were performing at The Fonda Theatre. I prefer this venue over the other due to monetary reasons.

Japandroids were a hit that night as the crowd roared with excitement upon their arrival. The band are currently on tour promoting their third album “Near to the Wild Heart of Life.” The album was released two months priors on January 27, 2017 to mostly positive reviews. The band threw an entertaining performance that lifted my spirits. This became my first concert that featured a two man band. I loved the simplicity of just having a drummer and guitarist performing together with no other band members. Though it was just the two of them on stage, their lively enthusiastic performance certain made it feel that there more members on stage. A funny anecdote that the band mentioned was what occurred at their San Diego concert which occurred a few days prior. A man at the front row became so drunk that he passed out right in front of the band. I wish I could have seen that, that would have been hilarious to view. In the middle of their performance the two band members started playing a classic rock song, can’t remember which one. What I do remember is that they messed up in the middle of playing the song. They quickly got their groove back as they played Back in Black without error. The lighting of the venue intrigued me as my favorite color, purple, was the primary color that flashed throughout the night. Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed the band, they played some great songs throughout the night. Their punk aesthetic sound combined with their polished lyrics were a welcoming sound to my ears. “And it got me all fired up, to go far away.” Those lyrics perfectly summed up the night I experienced. By the way, Near To The Wild Heart of Life remains my favorite song from the band so far. I actually loved the music they played that night and want to get exposed more to them. The band went out with a bang as they sang If You Want Blood (You Got It) with Craig Finn. The crowd got fired up, especially the people in the mosh pit area as they went crazy thrashing around in there. The crowd that night became quite amusing as the long went on. A random guy in the concert yelled out Free Bird. The band went on a long explanation about how there’s always that one guy that needs to yell that at a concert. The whole exchange was quite humorous. All in all, I am so glad that I was given this opportunity to see this band perform live. They’re a phenomenal band that one needs to see live!

Japandroids Setlist
1. Near To The Wild Heart of Life
2. Adrenaline Nightshift
3. Fire’s Highway
4. North East South West
5. True love And A Free Life Of Free Will
6. Younger Us
7. In A Body Like A Grave
8. Wet Hair
9.  Arc Of Bar
10. The Nights of Wine And Roses
11. Evil’s Sway
12. Midnight To Morning
13. No Known Drink Or Drug
14. Continuous Thunder
15. Young Hearts Spark Fire
16. The House That Heaven Built
17.  If You Want Blood (You Got It)

Trivial Notes

  • 12th concert at The Observatory Santa Ana.
  • 1st time seeing Japandroids.
  • 1st free concert through Observatory RSVP.

Panteón Rococó and Antidoping cancel appearance at L.A. Skanking Reggae Fest

Latino ska bands Panteón Rococó and Antidoping were scheduled to perform at the L.A. Skanking Reggae Fest this year. However the day before the festival both bands announced that they were not going to be able to attend due to “difficulties in renewing their visas.”

On Panteón Rococó’s official Facebook page they posted the following message:

EL FESTIVAL ANUAL SKANKING REGGAE FEST ANUNCIA LA SUSTITUCION DE LAS BANDAS PANTEON ROCOCO Y ANTIDOPING DEBIDO A LAS SERIAS DIFICULTADES
PARA OBTENER LA RENOVACION DE SUS VISAS

MASKATESTA Y RASKAHUELE
TOMAN EL LUGAR Y PROMETEN UN GRAN CONCIERTO.

“A pesar de las circunstancias, el show debe continuar y se lo debemos a los fans que cada año asisten al Skanking Reggae Fest”, menciona Adrian Gonzalez de iHomi, promotor y fundador del festival y quien anunció oficialmente junto a Goldenvoice que la banda Maskatesta y Raskahuele tomarán el lugar de Panteón Rococó y Antidoping este próximo sábado 11 de Marzo en el Shrine Expo Hall .

Y es que por primera vez en los 20 años de carrera y giras a los EEUU de la banda mexicana, la renovación de las visas de trabajo para ingresar como artista a los EEUU han tomando en esta ocasión más tiempo de lo acostumbrado debido a las nuevas normas migratorias. Este es el caso también de Antidoping, quienes desde la firma de su contrato con el festival, iniciaron el trámite de renovación de visas de artista y siguen pendientes de aprobación.
Maskatesta, una de las bandas mexicanas que gozan de mas popularidad actualmente, se agregan al cartel del festival, asi como el grupo Raskahuele, incluída entre las 10 bandas más talentosas de California en la actualidad, según la publicación Al Borde y quienes se encuentran grabando lo que será el nuevo y esperado álbum del grupo.

Más allá de lamentarse por las noticias, el Festival continuará con el resto de las bandas anunciadas provenientes de Sudamérica, Japón y EEUU que incluye Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Dread Mar I, Los Caligaris, The Slackers, Jackie Mendez y La Banda Skalavera, quienes tienen cita en el histórico Shrine Expo Hall de Los Angeles este próximo Sábado 11 de Marzo.

El creciente y exitoso festival que dio comienzo 7 años atrás con la idea de solidificar la escena de ska Latino en este país ha mostrado que está mas viva que nunca, reflejando la misma diversidad que el género y sus fusiones tiene. A lo largo de las 6 ediciones previas, dozenas de grupos de ska-punk-reggae de diversos países, no solo de Latinoamérica, se han presentado en este popular festival que reunió cerca de 5000 asistentes el pasado año.

Boletos GA en $50.00 están ya a la venta la venta vía AXS.com , en la taquilla del Shrine Auditorium Expo Hall y en la tienda Bolochos en Los Angeles (303 W. 8th St. Los Angeles Ca. 90014 -Tel. 213 595-5977). Boletos en paquete Experiencia VIP Skallywood estarán disponibles a $100.00

Para próximas noticias y actualizaciones sobre el festival, sigue Skanking Reggae Fest on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Skanking-Reggae-Festival

 

On Skanking Reggae Fest’s official Youtube channel they posted the following video which can be viewed below:

 

As expected fans were visibly upset about this as many tried selling their tickets to other fans. I’ve seen Panteón Rococó once and can understand the hype in seeing this band. The festival went on as planned though but without these two bands.

If you attended the festival what was your experience? Were you deeply disappointed that these two bands didn’t perform? Feel free to leave to comments below!

 

 

Wild Child at House of Blues Anaheim

Wild Child
Date:
September 25, 2015
Location:
House of Blues, Anaheim

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Story
This happened to be a concert which I won free tickets through an Instagram contest. This would be the closest as I would ever get to seeing The Doors in my lifetime.  Wild Child is a tribute band of The Doors fronted by the magnificent Dave Brock. In 2010 Brock became the lead singer of Manzarek-Krieger which featured surviving Doors members Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger. In fact the band’s original name use to be The Doors of the 21st Century which they altered due to legal reasons. There were talks of conducting a world tour in 2016 to celebrate The Doors 50th anniversary. This did not come to fruition as Manzarek passed away in 2013 effectively ending the band. Dave Brock performed with actual members of The Doors, what other members of a tribute band can say that? This is not Brock’s only connection with Morrison. In fact he received his start when he grabbed the lead in the “Jim Morrison Rock Opera” produced by Jim Morrison’s sister Anna Morrison Graham. From there he created the band Wild Child who performed their first show in 1986. For over 30 plus years the tribute band has continued the legacy of this classic rock band.

What sets this tribute band apart from other bands is the authenticity Dave Brock delivers at every performance.  He embodies the spirit of Morrison as he becomes the late great singer through his time on stage. Unlike most he doesn’t do an imitation or caricature, instead he lets us travel through time when Morrison performed with The Doors. Brock is an overall phenomenal singer as he masterfully performs every Doors song in an unforgettable manner. If Morrison could see him, he’d be proud of what Brock is doing to continue The Doors legacy. I became enthralled as he performed classic hit after hit from The Doors catalog. The memorable performances that night included Light My Fire, Break On Through to the Other Side, and Hello, I Love You. These songs happen to be my favorite songs from The Doors so that may factor in my bias of seeing these songs performed. Decked out in an completely black outfit the singer impressed the audience with an astonishing show. The most perplexing thing about this night were the glass walls placed in front of the drums. I could be mistaken but the I believe The Doors would have this as part of their original performances, if anyone knows please let me know. Of the tribute bands I’ve seen, this one marks as one the best that I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t seen Wild Child, I say go see them at least once. You will not be disappointed and you will have an extremely fun night. Seeing Dave Brock sing his lungs out with passion will leave you stunned with amazement.

Trivial Notes

  • 7th concert at House of Blues, Anaheim in Downtown Disney.
  • 1st time  seeing Wild Child.
  • No camera so all the photos are all taken with my phone.

 

 

The Winery Dogs at House of Blues Anaheim

The Winery Dogs
Date:
November 3, 2015
Location:
House of Blues, Anaheim

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Story
The Winery Dogs were on their Double Down World tour promoting their second album Hot Streak. I entered the concert unaware of their music which I ended up enjoying. The three members of the band experienced success with their involvement in other bands. Richie Kotzen was involved with Poison and Mr. Big before venturing on a solo career. Billy Sheehan played with such talents as David Lee Roth, Steve Vai, Mr. Big among other artists. Mike Portnoy played drums for the Dream Theater and Adrenaline Mob. With their impressive experience it would come as no surprise that they threw one hell of a show. Richie Kortzen displayed his strong singing ability as he killed it with his guitar. Billy Sheehan’s guitar solos were some of best guitar playing I’ve heard in years. Mike Portnoy provided the best humorous tidbit of the night as he played with a Hello Kitty drum set! The crowd erupted with laughter at this unexpected prop being used. All in all it was a fun night of listening to some great rock music, plus it was a free show for me as I won free tickets.

The Winery Dogs Setlist
1. Oblivion
2. Captain Love
3. We Are One
4. Hot Streak
5. How Long
6. Time Machine
7. Empire
8. Fire
9. Think It Over
10. Drum Solo
11. Ghost Town
12. Bass Solo
13. The Other Side
14. I’m No Angel

Encore

15. Not Hopeless
16. Elevate
17. Regret
18. Desire

Reviews

Music Enthusiast Magazine. November 11, 2015. “THE WINERY DOGS LEAVE HOT STREAKS ON ANAHEIM’S HOUSE OF BLUES: REVIEW + PHOTOS” by Tammy Greene.
http://musicenthusiastmag.com/the-winery-dogs-2015-tour-review-photos-anaheim-ca/

SoCal Music Today. November 7, 2015. “The Winery Dogs @ House of Blues Anaheim – 11/03/2015” by Rose Guererrd.
http://socalmusictoday.com/winery-dogs-house-blues-anaheim-11032015/

Trivial Notes

  • 9th concert at The House of Blues, Anaheim.
  • 1st time seeing The Winery Dogs.

Social Distortion and Jade Jackson at Pomona Fox Theater

Social Distortion
Jade Jackson
Date:
March 11, 2017
Location:
Pomona Fox Theater

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Story
Kicking things off Jade Jackson arrived on stage ready to give what would be an impressive performance. The band’s blend of country and rock music was an interesting mixture, but one that fit with Social Distortion’s sound. The lead singer proved to be an explosive fireball on stage. Her guitar playing combined with her singing abilities were quite impressive. After witnessing her live, one can understand why Social Distortion worked together with them. One of the memorable songs of their performance was Bridges. Upon introducing the song Jade Jackson mentioned that the song is about a friend that passed away from overdosing. Shortly after that performance, Mike Ness wearing sweats walked on stage. He briefly mentioned the great time they had collaborating with Jade Jackson and his fondness of the band. After that performance I can say that I’m a fan of theirs and will keep an eye out for them.

“I’ve sung the blues, For every broken hearted lovesick dream for you.” Social Distortion started their setlist strong starting with So Far Away. From there the hits kept on coming. My this time when Mike Ness arrived on stage he wasn’t in sweats anymore. Instead he came on stage wearing a white button shirt, black pants, and white, clean shoes, giving off that rockabilly vibe. In addition to playing fan favorites, the band played  some new songs that will be included on their new album set to be released in May; When I Lay My Burden Down and Scars. Things unexpectedly took a political tone as Ness briefly mentioned his distaste for the current president. This segued into their performance of Gotta Know the Rules. Favorites such as Ball and Chain as well as Sick Boys got the rowdy crowd pumped for more. Speaking about the crowd, on the right side of the floor area a small mosh pit occurred throughout the night. For me those are always entertaining to view especially when they’re out of control, this one wasn’t though. Mike Ness, like the last time I saw him, was fantastic as he played the hell out of his guitar. He’s not only a phenomenal guitarist and vocalist but his astounding presence is truly remarkable. I had such a great time seeing Social Distortion my first time around that I wanted to see them again. I have to say they did not disappoint and put on another amazing show. Though this year marks the band’s 39th anniversary, there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight for them. Whenever the band plays in any venue in Southern California their shows usually sell out fast; this one sold out in less than an hour once tickets went on sale to the public. The song that everybody in the room had been waiting for was saved for last, “Love is a burning thing and it makes a fiery ring.” Ring of Fire concluded the almost two hour concert which had everyone singing along to the chorus. To be honest I preferred the first concert that I attended due to them playing all the songs of their self titled album, which happens to be one of my favorite albums of all times. Regardless I had a great time and I look forward to a third concert of theirs in the future.

If you’ve been to a Social Distortion concert in the past, what was your experience attending it? Let me know in the comments below!

 Social Distortion Setlist
1. So Far Away
2. Bad Luck
3. Don’t Drag Me Down
4. California (Hustle and Flow)
5. Gimme the Sweet and Lowdown
6. Ball and Chain
7. This Time Darlin’
8. Instrumental Jam
9. Cold Feelings
10. When I Lay My Burden Down
11. Hope Dies Hard
12. Sick Boys
13. Scars
14. Gotta Know the Rules
15. Sometimes I Do
16. Ring of Fire

Jade Jackson Setlist
1. Aden
2. No Guarantees
3. Back When
4. Better Off
5. Bridges
6. Finish Line
7. Troubled End
8. Salt to Sugar
9. Motorcylce
10. Gilded
11. Good Time Gone

Trivial Notes

  • 3rd concert at the Pomona Fox Theater.
  • 2nd time seeing Social Distortion, 1st time seeing Jade Jackson.
  • Jade Jackson’s official Instagram account liked the photo I tagged them in.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, and Jack Iron at The Staples Center

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Jack Irons
Date:
March 7, 2017
Location:
Staples Center

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Story
The Staples Center became alive last night as eager fans headed downtown to see their hometown heroes The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anxious fans in Chili Pepper attire stood outside counting down the moment of having the chance to see their favorite band perform live. Fans waited in line hoping to buy merchandise while the KROQ booth blasted music handing out free giveaways. Walking along the sidewalk holding a sign that read “I Need a Ticket” an eager fan clinched to hope that he’d score a ticket for the sold out concert. Should of expected a celebrity sighting that night, but was still surprised to see Craig Robinson! Soon the crowd was let into the venue and the fun was about to start.

Onstage a joyous Flea announced the first opening act of the night; Jack Irons. Flea was stroked to be introducing his friend to everyone at the Staples Center that night. His enthusiasm about Irons got the audience excited to see him perform. For those unfamiliar Jack Irons is one of the founding members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers; the original drummer. He left the band in 1988 around the time when fellow band mate Hillel Slovak passed away. Though he left the band there was no acrimonious feelings between him and the others. Flea had reason to be enthusiastic as Jack Irons nailed his performance that night. His performance consisted of playing drums while the large video screams behind him played imagery related to the song being played. No vocals were sung throughout the half hour performance, just him showing off his mastery of the drums. The music he played were punk rock songs yet had a mystical, foreign allure but felt extremely experimental at the same time. He played non-stop throughout his set, which impressed me as he did not miss a beat. My favorite song was the last one that featured odd Alice in Wonderland imagery that had a psychedelic feel. Sadly, that was his last song of the night, but he went out with a bang.

Up next were the New Orleans band Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. The band played a variety of genres from pop, rock, jazz, R&B, funk and even punk. I have to say the band felt out of place that night compared to the other two acts of the night. This band had more bass, jazz sound to them, however the audience had no problem embracing them. It might have been due to their lively performance, their fast paced spirits, or even maybe they were being endorsed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers themselves. Regardless, the band’s energetic performance contributed to creating an entertaining atmosphere. Their dynamic performance will be the main aspect that I will remember from this band. The audience became thrilled towards the end of their performance when they started playing brass cover songs. The songs covered were Suzanne Vegas’s Tom’s Diner, Rage Against the Machine’s Bulls on Parade and Green Day’s Brain Stew. These instrumental cover songs displayed the diverse talent of all the members. If creating a fun, entertaining atmosphere filled with incredible music was their goal, then they met it.

The lights dimmed down for the final time as The Red Hot Chili Peppers made their grand entrance. Flea, Chad Smith, and Josh Klinghoffer entered the stage the three of them jamming together. Throughout those first few minutes the audience became hysterical as their anticipation grew tremendously. Smith, Flea, and Klinghoffer were huddled in around the white, wolf themed drum set giving the audience a taste of what was yet to come. Soon  Anthony Keidis joined the others onstage as he yelled out to the audience “What’s up hometown” to the cheers of the fans. The Red Hot Chili Peppers  were back home and everyone in the room couldn’t have been more excited. The hometown performance of any band always seems to bring out the best in any artist. They’re back on their home turf where it all began. At another point during the concert Kiedis asked Flea where he was sleeping that night. He replied with warmth “at my home in Los Feliz.” This is a band that takes pride about their Los Angeles roots which definitely showed that night. Towards the end of their performance  Flea quipped about some food after the show in Los Angeles if anyone in the crowd wanted to join.  On a side note I was relied that this show was not rescheduled like the others that were planned the week prior. Those shows were scheduled due to Kiedies recovering from bronchitis but he seemed to have made a speedy recovery right on time for their three show performance at the Staples Center.

The band played a fine mixture of new and old songs alike from their 11 album catalog. Can’t Stop was the first performance up which set the stage of how the whole night was going to come together. Hearing their classic hits of Scar Tissue and Californication brought back memories of high school for me. It was during my high school years that I started to listen to rock music with the Red Hot Chili Peppers being one of the first bands I got into. Californication and Stadium Arcadium were among my favorite albums during that time and when I heard songs from those albums lots of memories flooded back to me. Dani California was the highlight for me that night due to the meaning that that song has to me. This was the first Red Hot Chili Peppers song I became exposed to 11 years ago when they were releasing Stadium Arcadium. I’ve always loved that song and actually wrote an analysis on it in my college music class. I never thought though that I would ever see the band actually perform live in person. It did happen and I could not have been happier than I was that night. Emotions came out that night as Under the Bridge and Goodbye Angels moved the audience, some even to tears. Everyone had their eyes on stage as Kiedis sang with strength these beautiful songs. During Goodbye Angels, people in the crowds took out their cellphones, turned on the lights, and waved them in a sea of lights. There was only guy I saw that actually had a lighter all lit up in the air, how far we’ve come. That sea of cellphone lights still magnified the powerful performance bringing even more meaning to it.

Newer songs such as Dark Necessities and The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie showcased how the band’s evolving songwriting through the years. Personally for me these are some of my favorite rock songs of the last five years. Throughout the concert all four members of the band were on point and on their A game. It was fun seeing how all four members interacted with one another and played off each other. They all were in sync with one another with each song that they performed. Josh Klinghoffer did an excellent job during his solo of I’m Set Free. His solo performance surprised me as I was not expecting it, but I was left speechless at the end. Flea’s energetic presence that night were some of the highlights of the night. He’s a superb bass player that one needs to see live in order to understand how amazing he is. Chad Smith rocked it out throughout the whole night having small solos here and there. He never missed a beat and upon seeing him live I can see the resemblance to Will Ferrell more apparent. Kiedis was phenomenal that night as he gave it his all to the audience that night. He was just what I expected to see live; raw energy and tremendous charisma in his performance. An aspect about the concert that I enjoyed was that in between songs the band would play seemingly random instrumental music. From there they would dive to the next song on their set list. It kept me and the audience guessing as to what song would be played next, creating playful sense of suspense. Lastly, the flowing bright light props should be mentioned as they were used throughout the concert. Right in front of the band there a row of large bright lights that would change color and move around based on the song being played. The lights would change different colors most prominently the color red, of course. They would move by forming what seemed like a waves, moving down one row at a time, creating multiple layers of squares, and other designs as those. The band picked a great song to send their night; Give It Away. As the song came to a triumphant end the floating lights formed the red Red Hot Chili Peppers logo marking the end of a memorable night.

 Red Hot Chili Peppers Setlist
1. Intro Jam
2. Can’t Stop
3. Dani California
4. Scar Tissue
5. Dark Necessities
6. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
7. Right On Time
8. Go Robot
9. Californication
10. Tell Me Baby
11. Red Hot Mama
12. Parallel Universe
13. The Getaway
14. Suck My Kiss
15. I’m Set Free (Josh Solo)
16. Under the Bridge
17. By the Way

Encore
18. Goodbye Angels
19. Give It Away

Reviews

Daily Bruin. March 8, 2017. “Review: The Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Staples Center” by Adrija Chakrabarty.                    http://dailybruin.com/2017/03/08/review-the-red-hot-chili-peppers-at-the-staples-center/

Los Angeles Times. March 8, 2017. “Review The Red Hot Chili Peppers are still in love with L.A.” by Mikael Wood. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-red-hot-chili-peppers-20170308-story.html

The OC Register. March 8, 2017. “Red Hot Chili Peppers deliver a high energy set at Staples Center” by Kelli Skye Fadroski.         http://www.ocregister.com/articles/set-745970-band-night.html

Trivial Notes

  • 1st concert at the Staples Center.
  • Attendees who bought tickets for this concert were also given the option of either getting a digital or physical copy of their latest album.