Tag Archives: live music

Win Tickets to See Youssou N’Dour and Angelique Kidjo at The Greek

June 10, 2011

Two lucky Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend readers will each win a pair of tickets to see Youssou N’Dour, Angelique Kidjo, Vusi Mahlasela at The Greek Theatre on June 16, 2011.  Here’s what you need to know to enter:

  • The contest begins now and ends at 11:59 EST June 14, 2011
  • TO ENTER:  Visit Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend on Facebook
  • You will see there are several ways you can enter and you can get additional entries for each thing you choose to do.  You can follow us, tweet about us, like us on Facebook, and more.  ENTER NOW
  • Winners (2) will be selected by random.org and notified via email on June 15, 2011.  Winners will have 12 hours to respond before a new winner is selected
  • Your tickets will be available for pick up at Will Call at The Greek Theatre on the evening of the show.  Please bring photo ID.
  • Transportation and accommodations not included

About Youssou N’Dour / Angelique Kidjo / Vusi Mahlasela:

Youssou N'Dour (photo by: Youri Lenquette)

Youssou N’Dour, Angelique Kidjo and Vusi Mahlasela will play The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles for the first time on June 16 as part of the venue’s 80th Anniversary season.

Known for shaping Senegalese music, Youssou N’Dour is a singer endowed with remarkable range and poise. N’Dour is also a composer, bandleader and producer, who has a prodigious musical intelligence. The New York Times has described his voice as “an arresting tenor, deployed with prophetic authority,” and as a voice that “soars heavenward with passion and then wafts tenderly toward earth.” As a craftsman of an inimitable brand of ensemble music, N’Dour absorbs the entire diversity of the Senegalese musical spectrum in his work, often filtering his country’s musical heritage through a modernist lens of genre-defying rock or pop music from outside Senegalese culture.

Angelique Kidjo has been deemed “Africa’s premier diva” by Time Magazine, and the moniker speaks accurately to the singular career and life she has forged: Like Miriam Makeba was before her, Kidjo is the continent’s most internationally celebrated female musical exponent. And yet, the Grammy-winning artist has lived outside Africa for more than two decades. She currently resides in New York City, where she is an exceptionally active member of the music scene and reaches people around the world with her recordings, tours and philanthropic work.

Vusi Mahlasela, is simply known as ‘The Voice’ in his home-country, South Africa, celebrated for his distinct, powerful voice and his poetic, optimistic lyrics. His songs of hope connect Apartheid-scarred South Africa with its promise for a better future. Raised in the Mamelodi Township, where he still resides, Vusi became a singer-songwriter and poet-activist at an early age teaching himself how to play guitar and later joining the Congress of South African Writers. After his popular debut on BMG Africa, When You Come Back, Vusi was asked to perform at Mandela’s inauguration in 1994 and continues to spread Mandela’s message as an official ambassador to Mandela’s HIV/AIDS initiative, 46664.

About The Greek Theatre:

Greek Theatre Los Angeles

For “official” information about The Greek Theatre, you can check out their website, but here’s my take:  The Greek Theatre is one of my all-time favorite music venues. Start to finish, The Greek Theatre is an EXPERIENCE!  You can get there early, picnic, and drink wine. If you don’t mind a walk, you can park on Vermont and enjoy the walk to and from the venue.  If you’re reading Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend, chances are you’re not the type  to leave the show early, so you can take the easy route and commit to the stacked parking option.   The venue is beautiful, outdoors, surrounded by trees.  The sound is impeccable.  I’ve seen some of my favorite shows at The Greek and I’m very excited to share these opportunities with you.

What Now?

Well, if you haven’t already done so, ENTER TO WIN TICKETS NOW.

For more info about this show or Greek Theatre, click here.

To buy tickets to this or any other show at The Greek Theatre, click here.

If you have questions or comments, please leave them for me below.

Thank you!

Colette

Win Tickets to See Dispatch at The Greek Theatre on Sun June 12th!

June 6, 2011

I’m excited to kick off a series of ticket giveaways and other fun Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend promotions with one of my favorite venues, The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

FIVE lucky Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend readers will each win a pair of tickets to see Dispatch, plus special guest Stephen Marley on June 12, 2011.  Here’s what you need to know to enter:

  • The contest begins now and ends at 11:59 EST June 9, 2011
  • TO ENTER:  Visit Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend on Facebook
  • You will see there are several ways you can enter and you can get additional entries for each thing you choose to do.  You can follow us, tweet about us, like us on Facebook, and more.  ENTER NOW
  • Winners (5) will be selected by random.org and notified via email on June 10, 2011.  Winners will have 12 hours to respond before a new winner is selected
  • Your tickets will be available for pick up at Will Call at The Greek Theatre on the evening of the show
  • Transportation and accommodations not included

About Dispatch:

Dispatch

Forget trying to slap a label on Dispatch. You’re welcome to give it a shot, plenty of people have, calling them at times a heartfelt acoustic trio, a wailing rock band, a devil-may-care funk act, but the band defies epithets at every turn. When they hear a description of their music, they just grab the closest instrument and switch things up in an effort to keep the stereotype-slingers at bay. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that they find inventiveness more interesting than playing it safe and churning out the kind of neat little ditties that people listen to for a week and then forget.

Social responsibility has always been a major component of the Dispatch culture and this summer’s tour is no exception. This summer the band will roll out their Amplifying Education campaign, which will focus on educational issues here in the United States. Not only will fifty cents from each ticket sold go to benefit education in each local market, but the band is planning additional
programs to spotlight education in every market they visit. Known as a band that attained superstar live status completely on their own terms, the members of Dispatch – Brad Corrigan, Pete Heimbold and Chad Stokes – released album after album on their own Bomber Records label, steering clear of the major label system and selling more than 600,000 albums. In the process the trio
became true indie pioneers, building an enormous, passionate base of fans through the embrace of internet file sharing, word-ofmouth
and constant touring.

About The Greek Theatre:

Greek Theatre Los Angeles

For “official” information about The Greek Theatre, you can check out their website, but here’s my take:  The Greek Theatre is one of my all-time favorite music venues. Start to finish, The Greek Theatre is an EXPERIENCE!  You can get there early, picnic, and drink wine. If you don’t mind a walk, you can park on Vermont and enjoy the walk to and from the venue.  If you’re reading Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend, chances are you’re not the type  to leave the show early, so you can take the easy route and commit to the stacked parking option.   The venue is beautiful, outdoors, surrounded by trees.  The sound is impeccable.  I’ve seen some of my favorite shows at The Greek and I’m very excited to share these opportunities with you.

What Now?

Well, if you haven’t already done so, ENTER TO WIN TICKETS NOW.

For more info about this show or Greek Theatre, click here.

To buy tickets to this or any other show at The Greek Theatre, click here.

If you have questions or comments, please leave them for me below.

Thank you!

Colette

Queens Of The Stone Age: Review For Those With A.D.D.

April 12 & 13, 2011
The Wiltern, Los Angeles

Queens of The Stone Age

Queens of The Stone Age

It was so good the first night, I went back the second night, which was actually the last night of the Queens of The Stone Age (QOTSA) tour.  QOTSA played every song from their debut album (yeah – that was a while ago), plus a bunch of other songs meant to remind you they’re one of the best rock bands around.

By the end of the second night, my hearing was compromised to the point that I couldn’t hear the letter “r” for 2 days.  The margaritas led me to believe it was a sign, considering  Rated R is one of my favorite QOTSA albums.  As you will see from the tweets below, completely worth it.

For those with A.D.D., Queens of The Stone Age at The Wiltern (I hope you didn’t miss it):

Venue rules, not QOTSA rules

Venue rules, not QOTSA rules

You can click to make these bigger or put on your reading glasses:
QOTSA Tweet reviewQOTSA Tweet reviewQOTSA Tweet review

QOTSA

QOTSA

Butch Walker and The Black Widows, F*ckit

February 28, 2011
Shhhhh Los Angeles

A week or so ago Butch Walker (@butchwalker) tweeted this:

11:11

And I responded with something like this: “I wish @ButchWalker would do another residency. . .”

Amazing musician? Great songwriter? Brilliant producer? That’s all merely a front – Butch Walker is a mother f*cking genie!

Playing Angry Birds on stage

Tonight marked the second of four Monday night shows by Butch Walker & The Black Widows.  The songs are so new, Walker has the lyrics readily available on an iPad.  At the same time, Walker and The Black Widows know the set so well, the setlist is merely a placemat for the whiskey.

“Is this too loud out there?” Walker asked, leaning into the crowded room.  “I feel like it is, but f*ck it. . .”

The picture of rock & roll

The Black Widows played for about an hour, trying their new songs out on friends and family, before they head into the studio to record an album.  The music is fun.  There’s a song that takes you on a Bryan Adams flashback, and you somehow come out feeling okay (that’s genius).  There’s a song about being sucker-punched and the corresponding story about how Walker secured this Monday night venue (surely, there could have been a less-painful way).  The songs are more “upbeat” than some of Walker’s previous work, although there are some thematic similarities.  If you’re a Butch Walker fan, this all makes sense. If you’re not familiar with Walker. . .  chances are nothing I’ve said makes sense anyway.  Wiki him and you’ll find you do know Butch Walker.

The Black Widows

The venue? The drinks were strong and affordable.  In fact, they served me the strongest drink short of those I’ve made myself.  Cover charge? There isn’t one. I can’t tell you where it is, but I’ll give you the following hint: it’s one of few places in LA where the AT&T iPhone seems to get reception.

Thank you for making my wish come true, Butch.  If we don’t count “no line in the women’s room” and “free parking”, I get two more, right?

The Black Widows:

Adele: Live From The Artists Den

February 25, 2011
“Live From The Artists Den” Taping
Los Angeles, CA

Adele: Live From The Artists Den

Last night I went out to dinner with a friend. Within minutes of sitting down at the table, the topic of music arose. “I don’t really listen to music much,” our waiter informed us. We looked at him in sheer disbelief. He may as well have been speaking another language. “Except Adele! I LOVE Adele!! She’s amazing! The new album is brilliant! Have you heard it?? I really only listen to Adele.  She’s so. . .”  Suddenly we couldn’t get him to shut up about music. Adele’s  music has permeated the consciousness of even a self-proclaimed non-music fan and moves him to such a degree that he passionately speaks about Adele as if he were a life-long super fan.

“I’m going to see her perform tomorrow night,” I replied with a smile.

“You are??? Are you going to cry when she sings ‘Someone Like You’?” he asked.

Tonight I was fortunate enough to attend the taping of Adele’s performance for “Live From The Artists Den. ” Usually when I see a spectacular show, the words flow with ease as I later recount it.  In this case, I’m finding it difficult to articulate in words the brilliance of Adele, her music, and the experience of this show.  Words feel too limiting, too definitive, but I will do my best in hopes that it inspires you to see Adele live and watch “Live From The Artists Den” when it airs.

Santa Monica Bay Women's Club

Adele’s “secret show” took place at Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club, in a beautiful ballroom with hardwood floors.  Rows of chairs, draped in white slipcovers, filled the room.  “I came here earlier for sound check and no one was here.  It looked like it was set for a wedding.  . . Someday. . .  fingers crossed… ” Adele laughed.  While not traditionally a music venue, Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club happens to be one of the best-sounding venues in Los Angeles. There was so much space in Adele’s voice, supported perfectly by the room, sonically, it felt as though Adele was breathing for all of us.

Adele

When Adele sang, I could see sound.  I watched the tones travel, bounce, roll, morph, intersect, and dance around as she sang.  It felt like Adele was playing with her voice, as if they were childhood friends on a playground.  You could feel the breeze and hear the smack of their hands in a high-five, each time they passed one another on the swings.

Adele

Every note was intentional, but didn’t feel controlled.  I’ve never experienced anything quite like this.  Typically when I’ve seen an exceptional vocalist perform, they’re so good that they simply nail every note.  Sometimes they may add something even more challenging to illustrate the sheer depth of their talent, and they sing the songs with perfection.  Adele is even better than that.  It didn’t feel like she was singing the songs or hitting the notes or “showing us” what she could do.  It felt as though she was spontaneously creating each note, every sound, every variation, before us, as she felt was perfect for that particular moment.  Adele is among the most “present” musicians I’ve ever seen perform.

While this is the first time I’ve seen Adele live, I imagine she never sings a song precisely the same way she sang it before.  The variations may be minute, but they’re felt nonetheless, and her voice provides the space to do this as if it’s effortless.  I can only describe the feeling I experienced as “space.”  There is so much room in Adele’s voice, there’s so much space when she sings, she takes you on a journey with each song, rather than simply singing them to you.  You may be sitting or standing very still when you see Adele perform, but you will be moved greatly.

It’s refreshing to see sheer talent on stage.  No exorbitant lighting. No elaborate set design.  No short skirts or flashy costumes. Nothing about Adele’s show says, “Hey! Look over here. . . ” or “let me distract you with this. . . ”  Adele is pure talent. You don’t need to look anywhere else. Just listen.

Adele is setting records with her latest album, 21. She is the first living artist to achieve the feat of two top five hits in both the UK Singles Chart and the UK Album Chart simultaneously since The Beatles in 1964* The album debuted at #1 in the UK and simultaneously in nine other countries. Having been released in the U.S. just this past Tuesday, 21 is expected to debut #1 on the U.S. album charts as well. After expressing immense gratitude for her success, Adele interjected her surprise, “But. . . I didn’t think I wrote number one songs.”  Yes, you do.

Thankfully, even in the face of disposable “radio hits,” people still recognize undeniable talent, music with soul,  integrity, and deeper meaning – and they want it.  Tickets to Adele’s summer tour went on sale prior to the release of her latest album in the U.S., and shows sold out within minutes.  People will still pay for the experience of good music.  There is mass demand for quality. Adele is a testament to that.

“Live From The Artists Den” is entering its third season on public television in April. The air date of Adele’s performance is TBD, but I will update this post once it’s confirmed.  I encourage you to support The Artists Den whether by watching, purchasing DVDs of previous shows or compilation CDs, or by attending a live taping if ever you have the opportunity.  Our support of programming like The Artists Den and musicians like Adele is a powerful vote for quality music.

*Official Charts Company

The Pilgrimage of U2

Preparing for Sunday’s show at The Rose Bowl

U2, Honolulu 2006

A Pilgrimage

“Every time we play here it’s like a pilgrimage” Bono said to my friends and me following U2‘s 2005 show at Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.  That show was also a pilgrimage for the four of us – two traveling in from New York, one traveling from San Francisco, and myself coming from Los Angeles.

When I was 13 years old and feeling trapped in a small town, listening to U2 albums was my escape.  I remember the precise moment, sitting alone in my bedroom blaring U2 and thinking, “I want to see this band play in Dublin.  Someday, I’ll see them play in their hometown.”  I knew then that in order to realize that dream, I’d have to get out of my hometown.

At 13-years old I had a very influential pep-talk with myself about the path I was headed down and the drastic changes that were necessary if I was going to experience a life that involved fulfilling my dreams around the world.  To the people who discount the impact and influence of music — that night in my bedroom, under the influence of U2, I made the decision to turn my life around for the better.  For that reason and their music, U2 will always remain one of my favorite bands.

U2 Claw - The 360 Tour

U2 Claw - The 360 Tour

Tickets for this weekend’s concert at The Rose Bowl went on sale months ago.  I was vaguely aware that the show was approaching this weekend, but hadn’t thought much about it.  Then Wednesday, thanks to a very helpful blog posted by the LA Weekly, I was reminded.  I was also alarmed by the article’s headline: “U2 in Pasadena: Clusterf*ck Nearly Guaranteed Unless You Read This Post.”

U2 2006

U2, Honolulu 2006

I’ve been to a lot of big concerts around the world over the years, including U2 in Dublin (82,000+ in attendance) and Honolulu (the closing show of the tour), without any hassle whatsoever.  So it didn’t occur to me that this one, in my own backyard, could be a “clusterf*ck.”  I hadn’t given it any thought.  The show started at 7:00pm, I’d leave my house at 6:00pm, park, and stroll right into the Rose Bowl. Wrong.

As LA Weekly reported, nearly 100,000 people are expected to descend on the Rose Bowl Sunday.  LA Weekly and the Rose Bowl’s official website offer warnings about the lack of ample parking and encourage very early arrival (between noon and 4:00pm).  Traffic is sure to be extremely congested.  This is LA – traffic is congested even without U2.

With that I had a look at my ticket.  $250.  Suddenly I was pissed off.  It’s not that I feel a U2 show isn’t worth $250, but during the past 7 weeks I’ve seen amazing shows, at small venues, minus the “clusterf*ck,” for much less money.  Nine Inch Nails’ last show ever was only $65.  Thom Yorke’s secret show at The Echoplex, with fewer than 700 people in attendance, was a $20 ticket.

It wasn’t a question of whether or not to attend Sunday’s concert – it became a question of “how?”  I called a wise friend who suggested getting a hotel room in Pasadena Saturday night.  “Relax, hang out by the pool, wake up, have brunch, walk around Pasadena, and stroll over to the Rose Bowl.  That’s the only way to experience this show without a headache,” he suggested.  So at 10:00pm Wednesday night I began researching hotels in Pasadena.  Apparently my friend is not the only wise person and evidently a fair amount of other wise people actually planned ahead for this event.  Website after website, phone call after phone call, I was met with the words “SOLD OUT!”

Finally, it seemed a room was available online.  I called the hotel to inquire about parking.  “Oh, we’re sold out,” they told me at the reservations desk.

“Well, it says you have a room online,” I replied.

“It might say that, but our computers update more frequently than the website and we’re definitely sold out.  Oh wow – all of our properties in the area are sold out!”

“Do you have a wait list?” I asked.

“No, no, we don’t.  Sorry,” she said.

I ran back to the computer and clicked the “reserve now” button on the screen that showed 1 available room.  Thankfully, the website must have considered my request “in progress” and held the room for me while I was on the phone with the reservations desk.  As quickly as I could type, I filled in the required fields and practically begged the hotel to charge my credit card.

When I received the confirmation screen I smiled and relaxed.  Took a few deep breaths. . .  Entertained the gracious thoughts swirling around my mind. . . And then, realized the absurdity of it all.  I’m staying in a hotel, to see a concert 25 miles from my home.   “This U2 show better be good!!!” I thought to myself and then Tweeted to the world.

Delivering a message of peace

Delivering a message of peace

A few hours later I reconsidered the weekend.  Saturday afternoon I’d be sitting by the pool, surrounded by friends.  After a day by the pool we’ll head to dinner, have some laughs, and catch up.  Everybody who’s in Pasadena this weekend will be there to see U2.  I recalled the vibe on the streets of Dublin prior to the concert in 2005.  Every shop was playing U2 songs.  The energy was high and so were the people.  Just kidding – but everybody was in a very happy, outgoing mood.  Pasadena will likely feel the same.   Sunday night, we’ll all be treated to an amazing performance.  I say that with confidence because this band will not subject you to a “clusterf*ck” and then disappoint.  U2 puts on spectacular live performances. I remembered the roar and shake of the stadium as 82,000+ fans experienced U2 at Croke Park.  There will be nearly 100,000 fans at The Rose Bowl.

See you guys Sunday

See you guys Sunday

Bit by bit my perspective shifted. I thought about the power of this band and their music to inspire 100,000 people to endure traffic, limited parking, and crowds, in order to gather at a single location, for 3-4 hours of live music.  I thought about the crowd at Croke Park and how their feet rarely touched the ground as they jumped incessantly during the concert in 2005.  I remembered that night in my bedroom, in my small town, and considered the amazing, worldly life I’ve lived ever since.  This is what I love about music.  Music brings people together.  Music is a movement.  Music is a dialog.  Music can inspire change and positive action.  Music can articulate how you feel when nobody seems to understand.  This “clusterf*ck” is evidence of the importance of music.  It’s the result of a band that’s been creating and playing music, while remaining relevant and making a positive difference in the world for three decades.

Suddenly I was thankful that U2 has once again provided the opportunity for a pilgrimage.  What’s even more impressive is that it’s a pilgrimage within my own city.  Now I know what Bono meant when he used that word to describe playing in Dublin 4 years ago.

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