Editor's note: This week director Jason Reitman is guest blogging at West Coast Sound. Reitman, whose new film, Up in the Air, was nominated for six Golden Globes earlier in the week (including Best Director and Best Screenplay nominations for Reitman … congrats!), is also a pretty big music head, as you'll see below. On Monday, he wrote on some of his early soundtrack influences. Yesterday he wrote offered fourteen perfect musical moments. Yesterday he chimed in on the beauty of cover songs.
By Jason Reitman
I rarely have the evening free when I'm on a press tour. Nights are reserved for Q&As or flying to the next city. However, during the European leg of my Up In The Air tour I found myself with a free evening in Paris. I went on Twitter and asked what I should do. One person suggested a Fuck Buttons concert. This turned out to be a great idea.
The highlight was the opening band HTRK (pronounced Hate Rock). They consisted of a couple guys on bass as well as a female lead singer who held her glass of wine in one hand and a maraca in the other. She sang these moody unintelligible lyrics while beating a tom drum with the maraca. It was awesome. Here are a few of my favorite live shows of all time:
Living Color opens for Guns N Roses opens for The Rolling Stones at the LA Coliseum on my birthday, 10/19/1988: Axl apologized for something he said the previous night. The entire audience was confused.
Tenacious D at Largo circa 1999 or so: Jack Black was not a known commodity yet and that little club simply could not contain his energy. Felt like the walls were on fire.
Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow perform Brain Freeze: A highly rehearsed four turntable set that uses only 45's for one hour of brilliance. They only did a couple dozen shows.
Chemical Brothers at Brixton Academy: The best audio/visual combo in all of live music. My wife received a cigarette burn on her arm while dancing (apparently a badge of honor in Brixton)
Beck opens for Bob Dylan at the El Rey: The highlight of this show was actually Beck playing a completely acoustic set of country and folk standards
David Crosby in Rob Lowe's living room: It was a Christmas Party at Lowe's house. At some point Crosby just picked up a guitar and played Guinevere for the guests.