LA 101 at Gibson Amphitheatre featuring Silversun Pickups, Dandy Warhols, Matt and Kim, Dengue Fever
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Better than: Watching
Biff Griff get arrested outside the clock tower while chilling on your hoverboard.
“Okay everyone, for this photograph I want you to think about the night you lost your virginity.”
Silence. Snap, the shutter clicks, and Matt and Kim erupt into laughter. Now that's a candid. Backstage at the Gibson Amphitheatre the Brooklyn-based indie pop duo sit with friends following their performance at L.A. Weekly's inaugural LA 101 music event, when suddenly Matt mentions that earlier he discovered the original Back to the Future DeLorean time machine parked in the Universal back lot behind the venue. The best part? It's unlocked. Chairs are pushed aside and drinks left unattended as the group scurries outside past security and into the lot where Doc Brown's most famous invention sits like a crown jewel, crammed in between thrashed stunt cars, just begging to be played in. Before the night's end, even the Silversun Pickups would take turns behind the wheel.
Before we go any further, here's total disclosure: this will not be a full review of LA 101. See, we have a little rule around these parts… well, scratch that… it's a pretty big rule: no matter how drunk you are, you post show reviews by 9 a.m. Last night, however, yours truly enjoyed the backstage bar more than she should have and brought new meaning to Johnny Depp's tattooed “wino forever” motto, waking up at 7 a.m. — memory obscured, kind of like that dude in Memento — to a few illegible notes scrawled on torn paper in something that used to be a critic's notebook before it fell victim to a spilt beverage.
So what do we remember? Local faves Dengue Fever never fail as crowd pleasers (though they seemed somewhat out of place on the bill last night) and the Dandy Warhols erred on the side of a languid psychedelic burn, but Matt and Kim succeeded in their goal to turn the venue into a massive, basement-style dance party. Fans climbed over seats, spilling into the aisles, and despite a stage that threatened to overwhelm the two tiny New Yorkers, with every pump of his fist and every pixie-like leap upon her drum kit, Matt and Kim reminded us why an infectious charisma can be one of the most important weapons in a band's arsenal.
By 9:30 p.m. the crowd wanted one thing and one thing only: Silversun Pickups. And after six hours of live music and subsisting off nothing but popcorn and booze, they got it. Buzzbands LA's Kevin Bronson wrote a fantastic recap, describing the band's 90-minute-plus set as “tight and focused and power-packed, seamlessly fusing the newer, lushly orchestrated material from Swoon with the more jagged stuff from 2006's Carnavas.”
Bronson goes on to note one of the more touching moments during the performance with Silversun frontman Brian Aubert:
Aubert, a terror wielding his guitar, was a creampuff when showered with adulation from the crowd up front. “This might sound like a little bit cheeseball …,” he said. “We've been waiting so long to say these words: Hello, Los Angeles.” He asked that the house lights be turned up so he could admire the admirers.
Check out some highlights from Timothy Norris' slideshow below: