X, Los Lobos, and the Blasters: 5/7/2016

X_5-7-16

First off, I hate these e-Tickets, but I bought tickets to this show at the last minute before travelling to Los Angeles to visit my daughter, so I had to bite the bullet and forego a real ticket.

I was pretty psyched for this concert, especially since I had never seen X or the Blasters before (I had seen Los Lobos once). And I figured seeing three L.A. bands together in L.A. would be very cool.

The Novo (formerly the Nokia Theater) is a great venue. We literally had the last row in the balcony, but no matter; the slope was steep so even being in the last row we had a great view of the stage and the sound was excellent.

So, now for the good, the bad, and the ugly.

First off, I was tired. I flew from the east coast the day of the show, so when it started at 9:00, it felt like Midnight to me and I had been awake for a long time already. Then, in addition to the three bands already on the bill, they had a fourth band opening, and they kind of sucked (can’t recall their name – blocked it from my memory). So when the Blasters came out around 10ish Pacific Time, I was feeling the jet lag. But, the Blasters were awesome and perked me up.

Los Lobos played next and they were REALLY awesome, way better than when I saw them the first time. I actually got a real boost in their set.

Then came an interminable wait while X set up. I was fading fast, as was my daughter. Finally, they took the stage around 12:30. As psyched as I was to see them, I was not feeling the energy. They seemed pretty lack-luster after two really hot sets. We stayed for a few songs and then Exene Cervenka stopped the show because a fight broke out in the front. That about did us in. We decided it was time to go.

It probably wasn’t the brightest move to go to a show while jet-lagged, but I’m glad I went. Got to check a couple other bands off my list. I would probably even see X again, but only if it was a local show and earlier.

Rock on!

The Clash: 3/31/1984

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As you probably know by now, I have seen a lot of concerts, but only a few bands totally blew me away the moment they took the stage. The Clash was one of those few.

I was really into The Clash at this time. In my opinion, they were one of the best punk bands ever. I was really psyched to be seeing them, even without Mick Jones.

They opened with “London Calling,” and like I said, I was blown away from the first note. It was like an explosion of energy shot from the stage and shattered every cell in my body. And I could tell it wasn’t just me. The entire Sunrise Musical Theater erupted. I doubt there was a single person in their seats.

As was to be expected at a punk concert, people were climbing onto the stage and diving into the crowd. I suspect that the security was not prepared for this. Police and Sunrise concert security decided to stop it and seized a kid who had clambered onto the stage. Joe Strummer, ever the anarchist, stopped and got in the faces of the security and began yelling and gesticulating at them. I wish I knew what he said. Regardless, they released the kid who ran and did a swan-dive into the crowd. Everyone cheered, and then Joe stepped up to the microphone and said, “I don’t know what you all are doing, but you have the police really nervous.” At which point they broke into “The Guns of Brixton.” It was pandemonium!

As far as the rest of the show goes, there were no weak spots. It was kick-ass right up to the last note of “White Riot.” For those of you who are interested, here is the full set list from the show.

Forces have been looting
My humanity
Curfews have been curbing
The end of liberty

Hands of law have sorted through
My identity
But now this sound is brave
And wants to be free – anyway to be free

(Excerpt from “This is Radio Clash”)