Posts Tagged ‘Echo’

Ty Segall, Wand, Endless Bummer, August 29, 2014 @ The Echo

October 9, 2014

IMG_0670In support of his new album, Manipulator, Ty Segall did a four night stint at The Echo in Los Angeles. We got tickets for the second night. Not only does he put out prodigious amounts of material, it seemed from videos of his live show that he puts as much effort into his concerts. I can now vouch personally that is the case.

There were two openers. First, Endless Bummer, a three piece punk band featuring the two owners of Highland Park’s Permanent Records. I only caught their last few songs. A solid take on California punk, nothing more nothing less. Hey, this is a side gig for them so I wasn’t expecting the second coming of the Minutemen.

Next up was another local band, Wand. A young looking five piece with a lot of guitars, I wasn’t sure what to expect. They really impressed me. As expected they were loud, but they were a tight band that mixed elements of basic guitar rock with some of the more theatrical elements of early English metal and prog rock. One of the tracks that I really liked is Flying Golem, which you can download here. Do it, it’s got one of my favorite riffs of the year so far! Looks like Ty Segall was involved in producing their debut, which makes total sense.

Having set a high bar, Ty came on ready to go. But he first spent a minute apologizing to the aunt of one of Wand’s band members since he had apparently fallen on her staging diving during Wand’s set. It was genuine and sweet, matching how he comes across in the interviews I’ve heard him give. After dedicating the first song (or was it the whole set?) he and his band (including Mikal Cronin) proceeded to tear it up for the next hour. Most of the set was made up from his excellent new album Manipulator. He played almost all the songs from the album! No complaints here, the songs sounded even better live with an even rawer take on some of the solos and some ferocious drumming.  He got a lot of folks crowd surfing, including some ladies who would neatly queue up on stage and then take their dive into the waiting arms of the crowd.

He also played the outstanding “I Bought My Eyes” and “Slaughterhouse” from the Slaughterhouse album.  I’ll admit I got some chills up my spine from the solos in those two.  He also threw out two covers, Motorhead’s Motorhead, which made sense, and then he closed the show with Bad Company’s Feel Like Makin’ Love, which wouldn’t seem to be an obvious choice for him, but he belted it out as he went out into the appreciative crowd.  A great show, can’t wait to see him again!

Someone recorded the entirety of his show the night after I went.  Video is here.

Hurray For The Riff Raff, Clear Plastic Masks and Lonesome Leash, April 25, 2014 @ The Echo

April 29, 2014
Hurray For The Riff Raff

Hurray For The Riff Raff

New Orleans’ Hurray For The Riff Raff was another band I missed out on at this year’s SXSW but was coming through LA  that we were able to get tickets for last Friday.  After some great deep dish at Masa, we walked over to the Echo.  First opener was fellow New Orleans artist Walt McClements aka Lonesome Leash.  He later joined HFTRR for a song and they explained he had recorded with them when they were both in New Orleans.

I had listened to the few songs he has online; they seemed a little somber.  Live, it came off much more upbeat and I’m always amazed by the talent folks have that are multi-instrumentalists.  In addition to singing, he played the accordion, a bass drum, hi hat, and at time also pulled out a trumpet.  I don’t have the type of brain that would allow me to be doing so many things at once, so I’ll always give props to those that can.  His vocals reminded me of a less raspy Tom Waits, which isn’t my favorite, but it was a good compliment to the accordian and the overall vibe of his set.  He is now living in LA, and I hope he gets to make some more music out here.

Clear Plastic Masks

Clear Plastic Masks

Next up was the Nashville by way of NYC band Clear Plastic Masks.  We had seen the guys from the band hanging outside on the patio earlier in the night and they seemed to be loose and ready to go.  They played straight ahead rock n roll and there was nothing wrong with that because they do it well.  Singer and guitarist Andrew Katz seems to embrace his inner Mick Jagger with both his vocals and his stage presence.  He had friendly banter with the audience, though towards the end of his set he mentioned some sort of trouble in San Francisco and selling their stuff after the show.  A joke or serious, I couldn’t tell.  Back to the music, the rhythm section was solid and I thought shined even more on the slower numbers.  Katz’s lyrics are clever and they were a good warmup for the headliner.

Alynda Lee Segarra’s big hair is matched by an equally big voice.  She is the heart and soul of the band, and her voice is just as full and velvetly live as it is on their latest record Small Town Heroes.  Joined by a fiddle and stand up bass as well as guitar and drums, the band doesn’t hide its Southerness.  Segarra pulled out a banjo for one tune and answered the cheers by saying “you have to go back to where you started”, a nod to her beginnings as a banjo player.  Songs I recognized were Blue Ridge Mountain (Segarra introduced it as a song about the Carolinas) and The Body Electric.  She also played a Lucinda Williams cover, a choice that makes a lot of sense for her.  It was a really fun, rollicking show of Southern folk and rock. The crowd was really enjoying themselves and was happy to clap along to several of the band’s numbers.  They came back for a short encore and had members of Clear Plastic Masks join them.

For a few hours, each of the bands made us drop the California from Southern California.  We stepped back into California when the show ended, but if you do want to escape to the South for a few hours any of these three bands will do the trick.

No videos I found from the show, so here’s a nice live version of St. Roch Blues:

Foxygen @ The Echo 3/29/2013

March 30, 2013

We missed Foxygen at SXSW due to them pulling out of their last couple shows in Austin.  We weren’t too bummed because we had tickets to see them at the Echo in LA tonight.  We arrived to hear the second band on the bill Sam Flax, who had a lead singer glammed out in a gold top and lipstick and a bassist who, depending on the angle, looked either 18 or 50.  They had some good grooves but nothing special, to be honest.

Once Foxygen took the stage, there was a mania that took over parts of the audience which corresponded to the stage.  Lead singer Sam France was full of bombast, gestures, and a great voice that unfortunately got lost during most of the Echo’s not-that-great sound system.  The band careened through a bunch of songs that were raucous but still easy to listen to before getting to the first of the triumvirate of songs you’ve probably heard, Shuggie.  On this song they seemed to settle into a calm for a few moments before exploding again into full-on rockiness.

Foxygen at the Echo.

Foxygen at the Echo.

France had been wearing a black hoodie during the first half of the show but then he threw it off for a white t-shirt that had scrawled “DIGITAL” on the front and “ANALOG” on the back.  The standouts for them “San Francisco” and “No Destruction” were really great, as they toned down the volume a little and let France’s vocal stylings get to the forefront.  “No Destruction” in particular is such a great song and they nailed it live, it showed the full potential of the band.  It’s one of the best songs of the 10’s in my opinion.

And then to counteract that, they left midset, as a joke apparently, and then came back after about 30 seconds and admitted that the joke hadn’t worked.  Later, a person in the audience shouted how they had not gotten to see them at “Southby” due to their cancellation of their last few days of shows.  I cringed, as given the state of the band (who had just canceled their European tour due to exhaustion), I was worried that France would say “fuck this” and leave.  But, guitarist Rado gave a witty “you should have come earlier” and they started their next song.

I hope this band can get their traveling act together because I think they really have something to show people.  Despite the uneveness, they had great energy throughout their set.  With their two main contributors in their early 20s, I can understand the ups and downs, and I hope the hiatuses serve them well and aren’t a harbinger of a breakup of the band.  To highlight the chaos of their set, they brought up guys from the opening band Wolf Thompson and tried (and maybe succeeded?) at setting the Guinness World Record for most tambourine players on stage at once (I counted five).  After the tambourines shuttled off, they played one more song that kept up the clatter of most of the set but somehow had people grooving along.  When they finished, it was obvious the crowd wanted more, but there was not going to be another 30 second fake-out.  The show was over.  I hope to see these guys again.