The El Rey, Los Angeles
September 1, 2009
This one’s gonna be quick because I’m in a hurry…
I love Band of Skulls. I first met them during an acoustic performance and interview session at LP33.tv in July. They’ve actually been together for several years, morphing and evolving from one band into another until they arrived as Band of Skulls. Their name can be deceiving which is part of the “joke” they say. All 3 musicians contribute to the writing process which sometimes leaves Russell singing lyrics Emma wrote, from a woman’s perspective. Similarly, Emma may find herself singing about things written from a man’s perspective. The moral of the story – listen to the lyrics and take notice of who’s singing them. Russell and Emma switch off the lead on vocals, often at interesting lyrical moments.
The second time I saw Band of Skulls was at The Hotel Cafe. After witnessing an acoustic set at LP33.tv, and knowing that shows at The Hotel Cafe are often acoustic, I just assumed the band would be playing “unplugged”. Wrong. Thankfully, I was very, very wrong. Band of Skulls rocked a full electric show and played Hotel Cafe as if they were playing a much larger venue. I liked them when I first met them, but I fell in love with them at The Hotel Cafe.
Then, last night they played The El Rey, opening up for The Duke Spirit. The show was great and it was extremely well-attended for an “opening act”. The place was packed and the venue seemed to relax on their “no standing outside the taped lines” policy, so people were everywhere. They played a very short set (perhaps 25 minutes), but it was solid as usual. When they finished and the curtain closed the crowd tried to demand an encore and kept cheering for several minutes, until they were certain the band wasn’t going to appear again. The last time I saw this happen for an opener was when Joseph Arthur opened for David Gray eight or so years ago.
Here’s some video from last night’s show: