Rebecca Coleman: Growing up I had no idea that live shows were a thing. I had heard rumors at school about kids getting tickets to see Britney Spears. I had seen Cassandra wail in Wayne’s World. But as for real-deal live shows? I was fully clueless. I credit my ignorance to having a single mom who wasn’t really “hip to the scene” per se (sorry mom), and a dad who, despite being simultaneously into the Cure and Counting Crows, wasn’t really a live music guy.
It wasn’t until I started playing in a band as a teenager that I was truly awoken to the world of live music. The scale ranged from playing small DIY spaces in L.A., to playing gigantic outdoor festivals across the country/UK in front of thousands of people. I finally got it.
Now I have my own band, and although I can’t wait to tour again, I have so loved getting to see so many great shows coming through LA over the years. I can’t help but think that all those years spent in ignorance were just leading up to this one night: September 10, 2016 when Jeff Lynne’s ELO graced us with his presence at the Hollywood Bowl for the Fireworks Finale, joined by the strings of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
Jeff Lynne played three nights in a row at the Hollywood Bowl. We caught the second night. He had never played the Bowl before and hadn’t played in L.A. for 30 years. I somehow managed to get tickets the day of for a killer deal and left work early to catch the bus up to Hollywood from Long Beach. I felt like I had just scored big time, which I had.
The show was incredible. I couldn’t believe how amazing his voice sounded. From “Evil Woman,” “Telephone Line,” “Living Thing,” “10538 Overture” and so on, his voice was absolutely handling these melodies so many years later. The energy was actually electric. The strings section was crucial of course and made for a sonically magical experience. I grew up listening to classical music with my grandma so the infusion of classical and rock music really strikes a chord if you will. To top it all off, trippy visuals and synths in harmony with the sweetest guitar licks made me feel like I was truly in a ’70s portal. The finale of fireworks really made for a perfect night.
Jeff’s songwriting is so legendary and it felt like a huge honor just to be there to witness his body of work coming alive in the most beautiful venue in L.A.. The lasers, fireworks and wine didn’t hurt either. My only regret is not going all three nights.
Pageants Singer Recalls Hypnotic ELO: Pageants’ “It Might Be Crazy” single is out now. The Sun and Settled Days album is out July 30.