CVIndependent

Tue12112018

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Reviews

22 Apr 2018
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Beyoncé’s Coachella Weekend 1 performance made news around the world. Well, her Coachella Weekend 2 performance was just as impressive, even if it was pretty much a direct copy of her set last week, complete with the Jay Z appearance, and the Destiny’s Child reunion. Although Beyoncé started about 15 minutes later than scheduled, it was an incredible spectacle—with the energy of a crowd of more than 100,000 people. The Internet stream truly didn’t do her performance justice. Being there in person to witness the show—to hear Beyoncé’s voice and feel the energy of that crowd—was amazing. This is what big-time live music is truly about and why people go to shows. Beyoncé held the crowd for close to two hours—and there were people as far as the eye could see until the very end. Of course, there were some other great performances during the day. • X Japan had…
21 Apr 2018
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A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone about Coachella, and specifically this year’s lineup. “It’s not as fun as it used to be,” he said. On Friday, as I walked around the Empire Polo Club, I pondered my friend’s assertion. I don’t agree: Coachella is still fun! There were a lot of changes made to the layout this year. The new Sonora Tent, an air-conditioned space inspired by the Glass House in Pomona that hosts a lot of the smaller rock acts, has been moved to where the Mojave Tent used to be. The Mojave Tent has been moved to where the Sahara Tent used to be, while the Sahara Tent moved to the front lobby area, close to the Ferris wheel. I spent a couple of hours of wandering aimlessly and taking in the vibrant art installations. One highlight: Spectra, designed by design studio NEWSUBSTANCE (right).…
11 Mar 2018
Grammy-nominated Swedish electronic band Little Dragon came back to Pappy and Harriet’s on March 2—and two hours before the show, fans were already crowding the stage. Barriers were set up in front of that stage, because Little Dragon fans get a little crazy—in a good way, dancing as if injected with frontwoman Yukimi Nagano’s personality. Nagano welcomed her fans by saying, “How are you? Good to be back in the desert.” Her offbeat signature moves were full of vigor as she stepped across the stage—displaying a vitality that was free and unrestrained. A few songs into the set, Nagano thanked the crowd: “Thank you! Guys, you feel good. Make some noise!” Her request was rewarded by a roar from the audience. She introduced her melody “Ritual Union” by stating: “This next song is not a love song. The lyrics would enthuse Morrissey: “Love’s sinking in the sand, petals falling on…
06 Mar 2018
Shovels and Rope brought haunting lyrics and unpretentious harmonies to Pappy and Harriet’s for a sold-out show on Friday, Feb. 23. Husband-and-wife duo Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent redecorated the stage with wooden pallets lighted by inexpensive Christmas-type lights. Lamps were also added, creating a comforting ambiance. “It’s going to be a fun night … peace, love and music,” Michael Trent said as he greeted the audience. “There is so much desert,” Cary Ann Hearst added. “We were having an argument if we played here before. We are grateful to be here.” Trent then made a quip about the sight lines at Pappy’s: “We are Shovels and Rope, for those not in the front row. We are two people, and we are short.” Shovels and Rope fuses electric guitar and a roaring kick drum with thoughtful choruses—and the result was the best performance I have seen so far this…
20 Jan 2018
The Reverend Horton Heat returned to Pappy and Harriet’s for the third time on Thursday, Jan. 11—and the band was welcomed by a sold-out crowd. But first, Riverside’s Voodoo Glow Skulls brought their ska punk—with a heavy emphasis on punk—stirring up the crowd, especially three corn-feed bro-punks who moshed while the rest of the crowd was buffeted in their wake. As the band chanted “Who Do Voodoo We Do!” the crowd responded by replying, “Fuck You!”—which fed the fury of the moshers, who splashed perfectly good beer on the crowd. Big Sandy was slated to go next—but Jim Heath, the Reverend himself, announced with a grin that this is a “Pioneertown psychobilly freakout!” The Rev delighted the crowd with the hits, including “Five-O Ford” and “In Your Wildest Dreams,” off 1994’s Liquor in the Front. Heath caused some rockabilly gals to swoon with these words from the latter song: “My…
24 Oct 2017
If I had one day in a year to hear and see live music in a year, I would go to one day of Desert Daze. The festival once again returned to the 420-acre Institute of Mentalphysics, sandwiched between Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree, on Oct. 12-15. Gone was the “pitchfork” animosity yielded last year by some misplaced musical souls who did not understand this was a celebration of music done respectfully among the sacred joshua trees that surround this community. Local artist Erica Svenneby summed up the excitement of the weekend thusly: “Fucking Iggy Pop in my backyard!” (See Brian Blueskye’s detailed review, with some of my pics, here.) That’s a slight understatement in my opinion, but a true reflection of the excitement of the festival. However, Iggy was not the only legend in attendance; John Cale was there to bring true musical balance to the utopian lineup, for…
22 Oct 2017
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The Desert Daze music festival has continued to grow in both popularity and acclaim. However, I am not sure the festival was ready for Iggy Pop. Frankly, I am not sure any festival could be ready for Iggy Pop. But he’s exactly what Desert Daze got as its headliner on Saturday, Oct. 14. His performance was 75 minutes of chaos—starting with the very monent Iggy Pop and his band took the stage, going right into “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” The simple chords to that song played with distortion are enough to drive any crowd wild—and the response included a gnarly mosh pit, crowd-surfing, people jumping up and down and a spirit of lawlessness. At the front of the stage, security staffers had their hands full dealing with all of the photographers who had signed an agreement specifically to photograph Iggy. Iggy being Iggy, he changed his mind and declined…
09 Oct 2017
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When Gorillaz—a “virtual” band featuring four animated members—released its first, self-titled album in 2001, I didn’t know what to think about it. Now two decades into Gorillaz’s existence, many people still don’t know what to think about Gorillaz, which was founded by Damon Albarn of the Britpop band Blur, and visual artist Jamie Hewlett, creator of the graphic novel Tank Girl. While the future of Gorillaz seemed bleak after Albarn and Hewlett had serious disagreements in 2012-2013, they patched things up and got back to work on Gorillaz, which is currently on tour to support new album Humanz, the band’s first album since 2010’s Plastic Beach and a surprise release later that year, The Fall. On Thursday night at the Forum in Los Angeles, Gorillaz played to a sold-out crowd—adults who were probably teenagers when the first album came out; teenagers who have discovered the group; and even children who…