This concert left a sour taste in my mouth. It was at The Fox Theater in Pomona, which is another multi-tiered venue with the very stupid rule of limiting the number of people in the pit. No wristband, no entrance into the pit. Every time this happens to me, I am reminded I need to just buy a bunch of different colored wristbands so I don't have this problem anymore. There are so many things that make me angry about it - usually they half-fill the floor (if that), and the people down there drinking, talking during songs, and taking pictures do not deserve to be down there. Some people have class or a job and can't afford to sit around all day - why should that be the determining factor whether you get to be in the pit?
Middle Class Rut opened the show, and during their set I found out my friend and I would not be able to get down to the pit, so I was already quite angry and then I had to listen to this band's "music". They were like what I would expect to hear from my little brother and his friend who had just learned their instruments and just wanted to rock out and play them as hard as possible without any real rhythm or effort to be original.
(Really 30STM? This is who you picked to tour thru America with? Huge downgrade from Shiny Toy Guns/Neon Trees on the last tour)
I have been excited to see 30STM for a while now, mainly because I think their music translates very well to a concert setting (This Is War sounds like a live album already). Unfortunately, I was unable to enjoy their music to the fullest being surrounded by a super drunk guy who shouted "GOD LOVES YOU!" for an amazingly long time and people with floral patterned button up shirts (that were tucked in!)...so that was a a shame. Jared is quite the showman, coming out in sunglasses (I really think people will look back in 20 years and be like - why did I wear sunglasses indoors? That was douschy of me) and covering Bad Romance (THERE ARE OTHER SONGS TO COVER BESIDES LADY GAGA'S - note to bands in the scene). He was repeatedly telling us to jump and dance like a motherf*cker. I was actually quite annoyed by his constant pestering, but at the last song he told everyone who wanted to come down to the pit (wished he had done that 15 songs earlier) and I saw why he kept needing to say that. The crowd sucked. It was freakin' Kings & Queens and people were standing, literally not moving. Not even a head bob.
This is actually a trend I'm beginning to notice in LA, which really saddens me and dampens the concert experience. People are just too cool to dance, sing along, or have a connection with a band. The superficial attitude a lot of people have means it's weird to show emotion or mosh and it really sucks.
All in all, the experience did not live up to the $40 I spent.
2010 saw the long-awaited return of my favorite band in The Graduate, discovering amazing new bands (including ones that made music before 2010 that I'm kicking myself for - looking at you, Valencia), and a large influx of female lead vocalist bands coming into my catalog. Here were my favorite albums this year.
10) Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Is there a sicker start to a song than Stylo's beat? Found this album instrumentally stimulating.
9) Mercy Mercedes - Believe It
Sugar-sweet pop-rock done right. I love how this band has guitar solos. Points down for the lame album art.
8) Neon Trees - Habits
They actually make me proud to live in Utah. There is not a single person who hasn't liked "Animal" after I introduced it to them. And I've introduced it to a lot of people.
7) Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History
The definition of catchy. These guys know how to shred.
6) The Maine - Black & White
Not well-received on this site, but I love their play on words (“I did the right thing to the wrong girl”, “growing up won’t bring us down”) which are so simple but work.
5) He Is We - My Forever
Heard them for the first time opening for Yellowcard. Now I might like them better than Yellowcard. They make it very hard for me to hear Taylor Swift on the radio now, knowing there's a band that's doing what she does a lot better lyrically and musically.
4) The Narrative - Self-Titled
They have filled the void The Hush Sound hiatus left in my life. ”Don't Want To Fall” is the most beautiful piano song by a female vocalist I've ever heard.
3) My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
I never thought I would be liking, let alone, buying a MCR record after booing along with the crowd at the mention of their name at a Thrice concert in high school. But how can you not like an album with that awesome of a name? I usually hate 15-song albums because that means the fat hasn’t been trimmed, but it was all meat on this album. It's a very fun record, the type that I can't wait to hear live and dance along.
2) The Graduate - Only Every Time
I waited three years not knowing if this band was going to ever make music again, but the wait was worth it - this album is more indie (if that’s a sound) than their debut, but in a good way. ”Pull Me In” is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard - it’s play-at-your-wedding worthy in my opinion. Love love love this album art as well.
1) Valencia - Dancing With A Ghost
Their previous record is one of my all-time favorites, so I knew it was going to be impossible to replicate that (nor do I think lyrics that deep are easily repeatable because of the trauma Shane underwent). But I really enjoyed this different sound from them, and it has this way of drawing out the same emotion in me as it does from Shane (particularly the end of "Still Need You Around").
I was watching Corey Warning's cover of "OK I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don't" in the kitchen without headphones, and my dad asked from the other room what band was singing the song. Brand New, you're catchy enough to catch the attention of a 49-year-old whose last CD was Susan Boyle. Well done.
After listening to William Beckett on the AP Podcast, I'm even more excited than I was before for TAI...'s new album (and I was already quite excited). I loved loved loved the direction the EP went, and I got the sense from the podcast William has a desire to break through (he mentioned Kings of Leon's mainstream success a lot) as the next FBR band to make it big (I get the sense he wants a little more attention than the American Idols provided with their cover of "We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands"). This desire isn't a bad thing in my opinion - sure bands have failed doing it (cough Cobra cough) but I really expect this will be an accessible, awesome record. I've always thought they typify a glamour rock'n'roll band rather than the 13-yr-old girl band they often get labeled as.
Let's just hope they survive this KISS tour to get into the studio to make this gem.
P.S. I highly recommend those AP Podcasts - you get to hear songs that influenced them, their favorite songs they've written, and loads of other stuff packed into 2 hours.
So, a lot of bands/songs I like deal with angst-ridden males penning their feelings against their ex-girlfriends they were wronged by - in fact, as I found out in Kenny Vasoli's case, he wrote a whole album about one girl and the not-so-nice things she did to him. More specifically, he flew out to Seattle on his birthday weekend to be with her and arrived to find her pregnant with her ex-boyfriend's child. All this was unbeknown to him and he spent his birthday and the rest of the weekend in a motel. Now that's a pretty good story.
And it made me wonder about these other artists who I enjoy. What are the stories Adam Levine's relationship with Jane which caused him to name an album after her? And what were some of the best deceptions pulled against Chris Carrabba? I would be so interested to hear these stories and better understand why a girl would lead one to write harsh, unforgiving lyrics like "I'll be your friend in hell, until then I despise you."
I love this picture of Kenny (probably singing about that girl).