In the Crowd: The Liars, Young People
In The Crowd #17/The Liars, Young People, Get Hustle, Gogogoairheart, and Bedroom Walls
The Troubadour - L.A.
Wow, when I saw this line-up on the Troubadour website, I got really, really excited. Not often do this many interesting bands come together to play a show. I am more used to the lame local act, followed by the label's bright new hope, with the main act finishing off the night. Simple enough, but this show had "fabulous disaster" written all over it from the start.
Basically a big nepotistic noise fest, all of these bands have something in common with each other. The Liars' current drummer was in Bedroom Walls, the local proponents of "romanti-core". One of the guys from the Young People was in Get Hustle for a bit. Gogogoairheart is just plain weird and everybody knows everybody anyways. Shit, why not invite Har Mar Superstar and PJ Harvey up to play too…
All this potential and all I can remember of the show are non-musical moments (more on those later). Sure, some of the sets were good. GGGAH was good, but with only three of them onstage, they just couldn't get the craziness going. Get Hustle did a really neat Yeah Yeah Yeahs interpretation, though their drummer and organist really cranked out an amazing cacophony. Young People seemed to be playing a private little show for each other, mostly forgetting that a sold-out audience was even there. Only the Liars grabbed my attention, but even they have changed drastically from the last performances here. Having no real bass player anymore, none of the material from "They Threw Us in a Trench" was played, a shame since I was hoping at least some of it would be reworked by their new lineup. What they did do was lay down the thickest and most grueling noise attack that the Troubadour has probably seen in awhile. Vocalizerist Angus just kept moving and chanting and mumbling through the short set. Guitar shreds and sampler shrieks hammered the audience along with some of the loudest drumming ever. Think Koto drummers with trashcans…
The really choice non-musical moments included:
1. GGGAH has been playing for a bit, and the two bartenders aren't having any of it. One frowns and looks at the other and says, "These guys really like Can, don't they". The other one looked back questioningly "In a can?" Beer – 5 bucks, moments like this - priceless.
2. Cheers ring out in the main room, evidently directed at the VIP area. Overlooking the stage is the VIP room, where a sticker from the doorman will get you shitty sounding speakers, crappy TV monitor, and the same overpriced under-liquored drinks you can get in the main room. Naturally, I assume that someone's friend has made it up there and is cheering to his adoring, but unstickered friends. Not so, says a tiny Asian girl next to us, there is a flasher. This young girl in knee sox is opening up every couple of minutes, giving even the band a show. Alright, Hollywood. Never lets me down.
3. Somebody dropped a Get Hustle 7 inch on the ground and I found it. That rules, because I spend all my money on Bud in a cup. Someone up there likes me, and it is probably not the girl with the knee sox.
So there you have it… the little Hollywood concert that tried, but couldn't…
- Grant Capes | 2004-04-06
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