Regrettably, summer 2007 is already little more than a blur with only a few things standing out:
1) I read many blogs at work, though what was discussed in said blogs, I cannot recall
2) Michael Vick
3) The abomination that was the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” Epilogue
4) Buying my very own metallic blue Fender P Bass — my very first eBay transaction that did not involve American Idol tickets
Though I’ve yet to join a band, I did support several other bands this summer – not by legally purchasing their music, but by purchasing a ticket to their summer tours. Here are some of the highlights…
The warm up: Coachella Valley Music Festival, Indio, CA, April 27-29
Nothing complements rock n’ roll like a sweltering sun. For three days, I braved gridlock traffic, 110+ degree heat and every LA-area prep school hipster to feast on a veritable pantheon of music styles and genres. The acts were as diverse as Hot Chip, Manu Chao and Lupe Fiasco, the performers as old as Willie Nelson and as green as Lily Allen and the set lengths anywhere from Air’s 20-minute disappointment to Rage Against the Machine’s too-long reunion set.
James Murphy and the rest of the LCD Soundsystem joint took the prize for the best set of the weekend. Though they performed in the “rave” tent, complete with spinning disco balls, flashing lights and ecstasy, the most arresting song of the evening was the mellow finale: “New York I Love You But Your Bringing Me Down.” Following LCD that evening were the Brooklyn punks of The Rapture, who kept the beat strong and the limbs shaking. Other standouts include Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon, Lupe Fiasco (all three of which performed on the main stage) and Ratatat (who blew everyone away).
(More after the jump)
Daft Punk, Los Angeles Sports Arena, July 21
The evening went like this: Sebastian, Kavinsky, Ratatat, Daft Punk. When an act consists of two men in robots suits positioned near the top of a giant illuminated pyramid, it’s impossible to tell where the music is coming from or if some Spears / Simpson lip-syncing is taking place. However, that did not matter to anyone in the venue, and all I can say is that I emerged from the darkness sweaty and satisfied.
Menomena, The Troubador, June 12
These three Portland boys played to a sold out, incredibly enthusiastic crowd, and their set was fantastic. Their talent shines through their live set, as they swapped instruments and microphones, playing everything from saxophone to xylophone to the plain old acoustic guitar and voices ranging from mellow bass to shiny tenor. During “The Pelican,” off 2007’s “Friend and Foe,” their harmonizing was pitch-perfect and a definite pleasure.
Klaxons, The El Rey, July 10
Much of Klaxons’ music relies on spontaneity — heavy synths, sporadic drums, off beat guitars and hurried vocals. Therefore, it’s no surprise that live shows showcase their best talent. Both at Coachella and at the El Rey, they charge their performance space, sucking everyone into the music.