Kiddie faux-hawks, fashionably mismatched tutu ensembles and tattoos (fake on tykes, real on moms and dads) swarmed upon L.A. Live in downtown this past weekend, when the trendster tyke sensation Yo Gabba Gabba and its stage show "Party In My City," took over the Nokia Theatre for a total of 5 shows in two days.
We attended the very first show on Friday and the very last on Saturday, and found the fandemonium more frenzied than any grown-up rock show we've caught there.
Host DJ Lance Rock - who's been a pal since his days behind the counter at Amoeba Records and behind the decks at The Short Stop - excited the tot lot so much, we think it's safe to say he's a children's TV icon at this point, standing right alongside Pee Wee Herman, Mr. Rogers and Capt. Kangaroo. The show has become a bonafide phenom too, with car sponsorship, a crapload of merch and crowds (young and old) in character cosplay. Pink Foofas and green-striped Brobees ruled the romping.Friday's "Super Music Friend Show" guests Pretty Lights, were funky and bright, but it was Ok Go's Saturday "Friend" set (they played Club Nokia in the same complex later that evening) that really was super: each dressed in different primary-colored suits, they led the kids in sing-a-long of their hit "This Too Shall Pass." Biz Markie offered his "Biz's Beat" both days, even busting out his hit, "Just A Friend," and inviting the little ones up to boom-box, which on Saturday, included bleach-banged Kingston Rossdale with mama Gwen Stefani in tow. (He does a mean "Boom Boom Pow" by the way). Other celebs sighted with their stylish offspring at the Gabba gatherings over the weekend: Dave Grohl, Nicole Richie and Joel Madden, Tori Spelling (and mama Candy!), Jessica Alba, and Jack Black, who actually has his very own episode on the popular Nickelodean TV show and hence, was probably the only star the kids in the crowd recognized or cared about. Small world moment: hanging backstage with Rock after the show Friday, we ran into author Jillian Lauren (the subject of this LA Weekly cover story) with her son and hubby, Weezer bassist Scott Shriner, whose band we were scheduled to review later that night! No big surprise really, last year Weezer joined the illustrious list of artists (The Roots, The Killers, The Tings Tings, The Shins, MGMT, Hot Hot Heat) who've done musical guest ("friend") spots on the show. They must have really enjoyed playing "All My Friends Are Insects" (see clip below) too. It's a bonus track on their current Epitaph CD, Hurley. Read our Nightranger report on YGG's "Party In My City" show at the Shrine last year here. Read our 2008 music feature on the show (before it sold out concert venues) here.