Lagwagon - Swingin' Utters - Western Addiction - toyGuitar (1/17/2015 @ The Fonda Theatre, Hollywood CA)I fully expected to wake up Saturday morning feeling like I partied with Death. Luckily, besides still being sick, I was completely fine. Apparently Sangria doesn't issue hangovers, which is rad to know. Want to be a piece of shit without feeling like shit? Drink Sangria! I'm formally submitting that be their motto. So after a shower and a few hours of watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I was ready to go explore Hollyweird.
First stop: Amoeba Records. Duh. I met up with my friend Keri here and perused the punk section. I don't like leaving here not buying anything, and I was about to pick up Dead to Me Moscow Penny Ante, until I found The Lawrence Arms Cocktails and Dreams used on the cheap. Anyone who knows me knows I have a total dude boner for Brendan Kelly. Obviously, don't act like you don't.
Second Stop: The Museum of Death. Keri and I have been talking about going here forever, but for whatever reason hadn't. Today was the day. For $15, you can take a self guided tour of fucked up morbid shit. This place basically has a bunch of interconnected rooms full of different themes. Serial Killers, executions, autopsies, Charles Manson, The Black Dahlia, you name it, they had a picture of it somewhere. I thought towards the end it kind of ran its course when we got to the Taxidermy stuff, but you know, still counts as death. One of the rooms had a video playing of a funeral home preparing a body for burial, and I could not stop watching it. It was disgusting. But once they started to insert plastic caps under the eyelids so they keep the shape, I was out. I fucking hate eye stuff. Also, they had a bunch of pictures of decapitated people. I learned I have a weird fascination with decapitations and severed limbs. Who knew? My favorite was the crime scene pictures of a decapitated body the L.A. police found, and the severed head they found in a fast food bag a couple of days later. I think the weirdest part was the big old G.G. Allin shrine they had at the end. That was weird to me for some reason. Anyways, I highly suggest going to this place, its all very interesting, but if you have a weak stomach stay the fuck away. It gets pretty gross.
After staring at dead bodies and stuff for an hour or so, Keri and I grabbed a couple drinks at the Frolic room, then Yelped and ate at the lowest rated pizza place near us. It was so bad. Definitely deserved their 2 star rating. Finally killing the 3 hours before the show started, we began to wander towards The Fonda Theatre.
I always forget how much I fucking hate going to bigger venues to see a band play. First of all, apparently the Fonda has a strict no gum policy which is kind of bizarre. After getting patted down to enter the place, I walked in and had to pee. I took care of business and washed my hands because it had been a while, and I had been touching Hollywood stuff all day. As I turned around to grab a paper towel, there was a creepy dude standing right behind me holding one out for me. Sure, this guy was a bathroom attendant, and this is his job, but how long had he been there? I didn't notice him walking in, did he hear me fart while I was pissing? Did he see me do the weird dance dick shake? Did he hear me contemplating possibly trying to shit because the toilets were black and "metal as fuck"? I avoided eye contact and bailed. I was about to buy a beer when Keri walked up holding one. "How much was that?" I inquired. "Twelve bucks" she replied. Fuck that, looks like I'm struggling through this sober. We walked out to the stage area to wait.
This will eventually be a trash can
I knew this day would come. The day I had to review a band I didn't like. I knew about toyGuitar, but I never bothered to listen to them. So this show was to be my introduction to this band. And boy was I underwhelmed. It's not that they are bad or anything, they just aren't my style. They seemed to be a slower style punk band, kind of like a garage rock version of the Ramones. Now I know I'm about to lose most of my punk points here, but I DO NOT LIKE the Ramones. So I did not like this band. Add to that the awkward dead silence between songs and the fact that none of them looked like they were having fun besides the drummer (or were trying way to hard to look like rock stars, whatever), I was just bored. But hey, listen to them and decide for yourself. They just were not my particular taste.
After being lucky enough to remember seeing these guys play the night before at VLHS, I was kind of excited to see them play again, but in a bigger place and with more people. Boy am I an idiot. This place, like most bigger venues, has waaay too much fucking bass on the PA. Besides sounding like an outdoor rave, they were fine. They played mostly the same songs as the night before (Not shocking, they only have 1 album and a few EP's and splits) minus a few since they had less time. The other weird thing was we could not hear a single word the singer said between songs. I don't know if he was talking to low or what, because his vocals when playing where fine, but anything he said, did not hear it. Fun fact, when I went to the merch table to buy their album after the set, their merchbot totally recognized me as the Carlo Rossi guy from the night before. So, yay, I got that going for me.
the light show made them better
It was around this time I remembered I am old, and the place was finally getting really packed. We noticed some seats on the balcony and headed up. First of all, there is a smoking area on the roof that I did not know about, which was pretty cool. It's all covered in AstroTurf and has a the show inside projected onto the side of the building. And a bar. But drinks were still expensive and I was really only craving nicotine. After getting our picture taken for L.A. weekly, it was time to sit the fuck down and be rocked by the Utters. Swingin' Utters is a band that I like, but was never super into. So I enjoyed seeing them play, but I have no idea what any of the songs they played were. All I know is the singer is pretty entertaining to watch as he awkwardly paces back and forth on stage, hitting his head and whipping the microphone cord into the stage. Also, the sitting was nice.
the zoom on my iPhone is fucking terrible.
As I have said before, Lagwagon is the band that got me into punk. I saw them play a few months before, they started their recent tour in San Diego, but I don't know what happened. Maybe they were rusty from taking so much time off? Whatever it was, Joey sounded like shit at that show and you can tell they had some kinks to work out. That's why when I heard they were playing Hollywood at the end of the tour, I jumped and bought tickets as soon as they were available. Well, I'm happy to report they were back bringing their "A" game. Joey sounded great, and the only real mishap was Joe Raposo's strap kept falling off his bass. Lagwagon's set list for the night was pretty diverse too, playing a few songs off of Trashed all the way to the newest album Hang, including fan favorites Violins, Sick and even the B-Side jam Wind in your Sail. They ended the set playing Razor Burn, and then after a very weak "one more song chant" (this seems to be the new thing, I always thought encore's were dumb anyways, but it seems like so does everyone else now. Instead of chanting, or yelling, everyone just kind of stood there until they came back. It was funny) came back to finish off with the opening 2 tracks from Hang and May 16th. Fun fact: I stood in the front for the opening song Obsolete Absolute, but after I remembered I had a record in tow, and some idiot spilled an entire beer down my back (why would you bring a $12 beer to the front anyway?) I decided how bad an idea that was in my old age and made my way towards the back through the pit, where I immediately saw a mosh pitter slip and fall face first on a puddle of beer. It was quite humorous.
look at the old people rock and roll
After I left I really wanted to buy a street hot dog because they smelled so good, but then I saw the fucking bell peppers all over grill and decided that was a dumb idea. And I had a long trek back to Vista and didn't want to risk shitting myself on the drive.