Sunday, May 29, 2011
JUDGEMENT DAY IN LOS ANGLES WITH THE BUNNYMEN
Although I had stayed out late, I was up by 7 AM, shortly after which I was back on the highway heading south on 101. Turned off at San Luis Obispo, spending the remainder of the day at Montana De Oro State Park: walking the beach, relaxing in the sun, enjoying the fresh air and endless lines of large waves pounding the shore. Dinner in Los Osos, and then back to the park to spend the night, cranking up the truck stereo for the Gang of Four (Live at the Palace, 1984) and Van Halen (Costa Mesa, CA on August 27, 1993). Another pleasant night's sleep, enjoying the sound of the distant surf and the cold fresh air.
Up early, traveling the remaining distance to Los Angles. I stopped in Santa Barbara in an effort to find the dirt road that led to a hot spring in the mountains to the north. But upon considering the distance I'd need to travel and the remaining time available in the day, I decided to just drive into LA.
Visited the La Brea Tar Pits and associated museum, something I'd always wanted to see for the fossil bones. Bubbling asphaltic material spotted the ground in a few areas even outside the fences, the smell of asphalt in the air. Returning to the highway I noticed the "street art" pasted onto transformer boxes, signal boxes and telephone/light poles. Not having the equivalent in Denver, I was fascinated by the varied designs, stopping to photograph what I ran across while driving Wilshire Blvd and La Brea Blvd back to the highway. I had to stop otherwise I would have run late for this evenings show. The following site includes many, many pictures of what is posted in the LA area. Some of these street artists become well established artists themselves, their works appearing in galleries and selling to substantial amounts. Such a vibrant arts scene!
Parked the truck in a lot a few blocks from Club Nokia, a place I assumed would be relatively quiet that evening. I changed, had dinner and then joined the group of people already waiting for the theaters doors to open. There was massive confusion when the theater's staff decided to open doors early, but via a different entrance, screwing the people who had come hours earlier. But they/we headed to the head of the line and into the theater's lounge for drinks. I certainly took advantage of the confusion to easily pass through security and the metal detectors.
I made it to the front of the stage, only one row behind the people guarding their space at the rail. Eventually Kelly took the stage and the San Francisco experience repeated itself. Although the world did not come to an end this day as predicted by religious fanatics, I did experience rapture throughout the show. I'm not sure what it was but the sound was not as crisp as it was in San Fran, particularly Ian's voice that was somewhat muffled. Ian claimed to be nervous at the beginning of his performance, perhaps due to the stony welcome Kelley received during his opening earlier in the evening. Maybe the American Idol crowd is too hip for Bunnymen. Ian eventually warmed up but was still very cool to the crowd, limiting his chattyness and even scolding a member of the audience for referring to the "greatest song of all time" as "Ocean fucking Rain."
Still a great show for me, the time flying by.
I exited the theater and staked out a couple locations where I though the band members might come out, but I learned from Gordy the following night that beneath Club Nokia is an underground parking garage via which they all made their exit.
I had a late night meal at a local diner/restaurant mesmerized by the guy making the meals in rapid fire motion. I made it back to the truck without any difficulty to sleep it off, undisturbed in the empty parking lot.
English new wave ensemble Echo & the Bunnymen returned to Los Angeles and instantly rekindled the eighties spirit fans desperately craved. Singer Ian McCulloch appeared from the darkness wearing heavy layers and obscure glasses. His presence caused a deafening ovation that echoed through Club Nokia. The overwhelming reaction cued the band to take the stage and begin their debut album “Crocodiles.” An ominous sound drenched the air as they began “Going Up,” the first track off the album. Nostalgia sent listeners back thirty years as they performed “Rescue” and “Pictures On My Wall.” Once “Crocodiles” concluded, they played “Nothing Lasts Forever” off their “Evergreen” record resulting in unison participation with the crowd. Having such a classic album performed in its entirety created unforgettable memories for everyone in attendance.
Read it all here:
A review and more pictures here:
Download it here: