The Music Box, Hollywood, CA
The Music Box had double booked for this evening so the concert started at the unusual time of 6 pm, which is bad in a city where “fashionably late” is the norm for those trying to appear cool, and had a curfew of 9:30 pm. Unfortunately for Morningwood, or myself depending on how good they are, I was down the street at as the doors opened, eating at Palms, a Thai restaurant. I highly recommend the BBQ Beef w/Lime and Garlic, but make sure everyone in your party has some because your body will be expelling noxious garlic fumes the rest of the evening.
Kasabian create fun, danceable rock music in the mold of the late ’80s/early ’90s Manchester scene. The keyboards and electronic devices are used to full effect in creating their sound, which was strong during the first two songs of the set, “I.D.” and “Cutt Off.” The lyrics of the latter also recall that heady time when a new generation of youngsters discovered partying with mind-altering substances as lead singer Tom Meighan sings, “Johnny was a scientist/He was hooked on LSD.”
They also played straightforward rock songs where the keyboards and effects moved away from the forefront. On “Reason is Treason” the keyboards don’t appear until the bridge. “The Nightworkers” is propelled by the drums and is sung by lead guitarist Serge Pizzorno.
Meighan is a competent front man who gets the job done, but he doesn’t stand out enough to make him memorable. At the beginning of “Fifty Five” he dedicates the song “for the punks of L.A,” a rather odd statement because I didn’t recall seeing any punks in the audience nor would punks be attracted to the big, lush sound the band creates.
When he shouted, “All right, you fuckers,” that was definitely a more apropos statement since there were certainly some of those in the audience.
Kasabian put on a fun show. Their infectious tunes had the crowd dancing and they used the colored lighting to good effect. They only played for about 40 minutes, but should be ready to headline small clubs once they get more material. This set is floating around on the Internet to download if you know where to look.
01 – I.D.
02 – Cutt Off
03 – Reason is Treason
04 – Processed Beats
05 – Fifty Five
06 – The Nightworkers
07 – L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)
08 – Club Foot
This was my second time to see The Music. I saw them open up for The Vines back in 2003 at this same club. I had no idea who they were then, but was very impressed. Their music had aspects that reminded me of Jane’s Addiction and other large-sound bands.
They are now out headlining in support of their album Welcome to the North. This concert was of a grander scale in many ways. They have a larger catalog of songs to choose from, a greater area of the stage to use, more people in the audience to see them and a pretty amazing visual show. I was impressed by this show as well, including the fact that these guys are all in their early twenties.
The band’s music is an overwhelming sonic assault meant to conquer any resistance. Loud, bombastic rockers with psychedelic flourish that rarely slow down for the listener to catch their breath. That same attitude infuses their lighting scheme. Flashing, swirling, colored lights swept across the band and the audience. I couldn’t tell if I was being blinded or if my senses were stimulated to the point of saturation.
I grew nervous as my diminished awareness didn’t allow me to keep track of the very short woman who was dancing/jumping in front of me. I feared that she was going to leap up in her frenzied state and coldcock me in the chin. I kept seeing the bottom of her head suddenly appear closer than it should have so I stuck my forearm out for protection. My fear subsided when she drifted away, and I was thankful that I hadn’t followed up on the offer from the kind, black gentleman outside the theater who was selling opium and mushrooms. Besides, had I taken the mushrooms I would have been peaking after the show due to the Music Box’s lame curfew.
The highlight of the evening was “Bleed From Within,” a song led by Phil on drums. It was a percussion lover’s dream as Stuart and Adam put down their guitars to play their own set of drums in unison, creating a sense of tribal unity amongst the audience and band.
Robert, the lead singer, rarely spoke to the audience. Before closing the set with a song that brought to mind early Black Sabbath, including the amoeba-looking effects, he said goodbye, but I don’t think people comprehended what he was saying because the band left and never came back. They only played for an hour. There was still 15 minutes left before 9:30pm, so it was fair to expect an encore of at least one song when the lights initially came up, but the crowd wouldn’t leave.
Many started stomping their feet wildly and screaming for more. I hadn’t seen a crowd worked up like this in quite a while. For a moment, it felt like things could get out of hand, but security quickly moved everyone out.
It’s always best to leave them wanting more and both bands did that this evening. Go to their Web sites and find out when they are coming to your town.
Once I get a set list for The Music later this week, I will amend the review.