Sunday, October 25, 2009


The day had finally arrived!

I left the house in darkness to catch an 8:30 AM flight out of DIA. Two and a half hours later and I was in Los Angles. The Metro Rail is an easy ride downtown where I checked in at the Stillwell Hotel. The late morning and afternoon were spent wandering the high rise section of downtown LA, enjoying the warmth and sunshine. I find it somewhat amazing that they can safely build such tall building in an earthquake prone area, but architectural engineers have figured that one out.

A man and his wife
Lay sleeping as they stormed in
Never to awake

Distant eye peering
Drone flies quietly above
Wait for its thunder

Vast desert landscape
Its human tide ebbs and flows
Pain laps its dry shore

Brilliant white light
Thrown against the mud brick wall
Hears only wailing

Parked by the curbside
A dynamite-laden car
Ride to oblivion

Cheney speaks again
Laments Bush's silence
Dummy's voice revealed

Trashed economy?
Health care? Iraq? Afgan war?
Give us Balloon Boy!

Rounds the street corner
Feels the suns heat through the haze
In her black high heels

From thirty thousand feet
Dried mud from and ancient sea
The planet's thin skin

The essence of life
Flows downhill to feed the sprawl
Owens Valley dies

Waiting at the station
Black palms against the morning haze
Hears the loud freeway

The purpose of my very short visit was to see Echo & The Bunnymen perform their Ocean Rain concert at the Nokia Theater this Saturday night. I had a quick dinner and returned to the room to change into different clothing. Then it was off to Nokia Plaza which was filled with people. Something involving Michael Jackson since there were many who had dressed up like zombies in the theme of "Thriller". At 8 oclock the doors to the Nokia Theater opened.

The warm up band, She Wants Revenge, casually took the stage and launched into a ten song set that got the audience moving. They are described as such:

"She Wants Revenge is a darkwave duo hailing from Los Angeles, California who formed in 2005. The band is comprised of Justin Warfield and Adam 12. Accompaniment members TommySheWants and Scott Ellis join them on stage. She Wants Revenge draws inspiration from various bands including Bauhaus, Depeche Mode, New Order, The Cure and The Sisters of Mercy. The band blends their influences with ever-present electronics (eg. synths and drum machines) in the style of "darkwave", a style of music reminiscent of the New Wave and Gothic Rock sounds of the 1980s."

I liked their sound and made a note to get a copy of their album.

During their performance I kept on checking the audience to see what the attendance would be like. Initially it was somewhat pathetic, with small groups of people, probably enough to fill a movie theater, scattered across this large concert hall. I asked and learned that approximately 3000 tickets were sold, out of a possible 7000. It was a respectable crowd by the time the Bunnymen took the stage.

I was seated in the front row, only several feet away from Will Sergeant. As a result of Will being front and center, I spent much of the show just watching him play his fabulous guitar, watching the movement of his hands and directly hearing the results blasting into my ears. The boys put on a great performance, sending me into the zone where I stood and danced the entire show, their music playing my emotions.

I would have gotten some great shots were it not for the fact I was warned during the break before the Bunnymen came on not take any pictures. Kind of hard to ignore when one of the event staff are seated only 7 feet away from me. It is clear that people up front receive greater attention for one reason or another.

Even though getting into the theater required passing through a metal detector, I did manage to sneak in a digital audio recorder, my first attempt to bootleg a concert. But I'm not sure what happened: I started the recorder, checked input levels and let it go. Afterwards I found out that it shut off by itself shortly after it was turned on. Got nothing. No explanation. It did not do this in all the tests I had done before. Based on the bit I did get, the recorder and mic are a great combination. I must now do some other tests at shows here in Denver before I try again in Liverpool.

Watches the six strings
Head bowed in concentration
Hands that deftly play

Stands there before him
Silhouette against the blue
Sound that captivates

In music's temple
Angels sing there before him
Draw him to the light

All good things must pass. They play their final song and then it's over. I snagged Will's set list. The crowd disperses into an empty plaza and I make my way back to the hotel. I wander the streets for some undetermined length of time, going in circles down darkened streets until I stop and check my map that gets me back home. In bed by 1AM.

"Show me your license"
Sitting cuffed on the sidewalk
Laughing like a fool

I get up at 5:30 AM and go in reverse to get back to Colorado. On my home turf by 2 PM. The great thing about being tired is that I don't stress out while flying.

Two months till the next gig with the Bunnymen.

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