Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MGMT, Spoon & Beck w/Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Strings 09/20/2008

This past Saturday, the wife and I went to The Hollywood Bowl to check out our second most anticipated concert of 2008. Our most anticipated show of 2008 actually happened last month, when we were down in San Diego, where we had the pleasure of seeing Radiohead in concert. Surprisingly enough, even though we had wanted to see Radiohead more, this concert we went to on Saturday ended up being way more enjoyable. It was a combination of better seats and great music. Let's get to the bands.

MGMT were the surprise of the night. We had picked up their album, "Oracular Spectacular" a few weeks ago and, despite having some good songs, it hadn't wowed us. Not until Saturday night that is. They had a short, half an hour set, but they fully convinced both my wife and I that these guys were fucking rock stars. Every song they played got cheers from the crowd. This band is fantastic live, and it was just a great way to kick off a great concert. Here's an MP3 download of one of our favorite MGMT tunes not called "Time to Pretend".

MGMT - Weekend Wars

Spoon was next up on the bill. I've enjoyed their music for quite some time, but I'm not up on my current Spoon releases, so most of their set, while technically and musically excellent, didn't get a whole lot of crowd participation from myself and my wife. Not to say that we didn't enjoy their set. It was longer than MGMT's, every song they played sounded great. But that's what we've come to expect from Spoon, so it was business as usual with them. Not that it's a bad thing. Here's an MP3 download of one of the songs we knew, and sang along with, at the concert.

Spoon - I Turn My Camera On

Beck came on stage for a full hour and a half, and just rocked my metaphorical pants off. He did the best thing I've ever seen him do when opening a concert . . . he started off with "Loser". That got the entire Hollywood Bowl to get up and not sit down through maybe 3/4's of his set. Even I, a staunch anti-dancing in public kinda guy, got up and fucking danced like one of the drunk motherfuckers seated next to us (will get to that in a minute). Towards the end of his set, Beck brought out the Hollywood Bowl's string orchestra, and while the tone of the concert went a little mellow after that, it still did not detract from the awesome set it was. There was an encore, which included the two turntables and a microphone song (the name eludes me right now). Here's an MP3 download of "Timebomb", one of the many fun songs Beck played during his set.

Beck - Timebomb

Concert Gripes
Unfortunately, no concert at the Hollywood Bowl is perfect. Even though we had better seats than ever, we still fell subject to people who would rather talk about their personal lives, in drunk volume (which is like turning your outside voice to 11), effectively ruining a considerable chunk of Spoon's set for us. And these people were not even supposed to be seated next to us. That's concert gripe #2. When you buy tickets, and they tell you that you need to be seated at a certain seat, stay there! I don't want 15 sluts trying to crowd my section, when I paid way more than retail for it, and ruin it with their presence and retardedly loud conversations about what their douche-bag boyfriends did to them 10 minutes ago. Fucking shit.

I did get to see a rather funny altercation between a couple of young seat poachers and their rightful owners. The people that had bought the tickets that corresponded to the seats next to us had wandered off (most likely to drink) after MGMT's set, and came back just as Beck was launching into "Loser", to find these two chicks seated in their spot. Now, the people that had been there originally were tore up by now, so even though justified, they might have gone a little overboard when trying to get back their seats. All they needed to do was get an usher and get these silly bitches evicted, but the guy (it was a couple) took it upon himself to get these broads out of his seats on his own. I heard him call the chicks "bitches" repeatedly, he did a rather inappropriate dance right in front of their faces in an effort to get his seats back, and when they finally left, after him repeatedly asking them "show me your tickets bitch!", the two girls kicked the chairs over and walked off, most likely with the guy's girlfriend's purse, because now she couldn't find it anywhere.

So, there you have it. A great show, punctuated with inevitable annoying moments that were beyond our control.

Next month we're going to class it up and spend a night with a philharmonic orchestra. I need to dust off my blazer. I hear only fancy attire is allowed.

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