Late last year I saw Black Box Revelation open a show at The Wiltern. I had to reference Google to remember what show it was, but I had no problem remembering Black Box Revelation.
What struck me about their show at The Wiltern was its authenticity. It didn’t feel like it was about money or fame, a “hit” nor a label. With Jan Paternoster and Dries Van Dijck (Black Box Revelation) it was simply: music. After that initial show, I vowed to see them the next time they came to L.A.
October 17th was a particularly busy night in Los Angeles, musically speaking. There were, at minimum, five competing shows I would have liked to see. Depending on the set times and the distance between venues – if you’re not drinking – it is possible to see 2-3 shows in one night in Los Angeles. I’ve done it before, but on this particular Wednesday night I was drinking and I was determined to see one band: Black Box Revelation, at The Troubadour.
When Paternoster and Van Dijck started playing, I forgot about all the other places I had considered going, the other bands I might have seen. There was a reason I vowed to see Black Box Revelation the next time they played in L.A. and I was rewarded for sticking to the plan.
Perhaps it’s because they hail from Brussels where, I imagine, if you’re playing music, it’s truly for the sake of playing music. It could be the lack of props and a light show that keeps the focus on the music. Or, maybe it’s the way some people compare them to The Black Keys and The White Stripes, which makes sense in that they play rock music and it feels familiar. Yet, Black Box Revelation is different. Perhaps the familiar feeling is the comfort that comes with consistency in quality.
During the course of two shows, I’ve identified numerous things I find appealing about Black Box Revelation, yet they still maintain a sense of mystery. Not only do they play rock & roll music, they are rock & roll, to the core. Their music is your invitation into their world. The rest is up to you. Don’t expect this band to put out a lyrics video. They won’t stop the show to explain the meaning of the next song they’re going to play. They don’t hard-sell you to visit the merch table. Black Box Revelation doesn’t insult your intelligence. They trust you’ll get it.
Before the music business there was music. Black Box Revelation is keeping that era alive.
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Winners (3) will be selected by random.org and notified via email on August 24th, 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 Atmosphere: In the three years since Atmosphere’s dropped a full length record on the world, they’ve been far from stagnant, staying at the top of their game in every respect. For the better part of two years, Atmosphere toured the globe in support of their critically acclaimed – and #5 Billboard Top 200 charting – album, When LIfe Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. And in their “spare” time, the group returned home to Minneapolis in 2009 to record their 2010 double EP, To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy, an homage to their friends.
In 2011, Atmosphere is taking that feeling one step farther with this long awaited LP, The Family Sign, a tribute to their true extended family: their fans, their loved ones, and each other.
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.
I don’t remember what the 1st biggest surprise was, but I do remember the original title of this post: To Anyone Who Dreamed To Have a Life Without a Boss. . .
To find out why that was the original title, click “play” and watch the video below.
Or, if you prefer to play a game to figure out why that was going to be the title of this post, don’t click “play.” Instead:
Jump below the video.
Read the rest of this post.
Guess why that might have been the original title.
Then come back here.
And see if you’re right.
Don’t worry, it’s not a hard quiz. It’s been psychologically proven that people like to feel smart (not sure why we needed a study to prove that one). So if I can make you feel smart while you’re reading this, then chances are you’ll keep coming back to read my blog. That’s also why those quizzes that play in movie theaters before the feature film are so easy.
But anyway, METRIC! I’d seen this band before – back in the days of one-syllable-bands-that-begin-with “The”: The Hives, The Vines, The Strokes, etc. I’m pretty sure I saw Metric open for at least one of these bands. And I’m pretty sure I thought they were alright. But, at The Greek Theater, Metric held their own, so much so I thought perhaps maybe they were headlining. (This thought was exacerbated by the fact that we arrived late, which is easy to do when a show starts before sunset). Judging by the audience’s reaction, we weren’t the only ones who thoroughly enjoyed Metric. Here’s a bit of their performance:
Now, about Phoenix. . . First of all, every good-looking person in LA was at this show.
Phoenix live at The Greek
Secondly, I definitely wasn’t supposed to have a camera in there. So, as you can imagine, getting this video was a challenge. Right – nobody would want a great video to get out. There are some people (NIN), venues (Hollywood Bowl) and promoters who understand that getting media out there is a GOOD thing. And then there are others that think, “OH NO! What if somebody sees it and decides they like this band and must see them when they come through town next?” Or “What if somebody thinks ‘Wow, The Greek looks like a beautiful venue and the sound is great. I should go there sometime. . .’ ” Or “What if a music supervisor sees it and decides she needs the music for this year’s blockbuster film?” It’s not like I’m making money off this. You are. It’s good for you. I promise.
Bonnaroo Ferris Wheel and Arcade
So, Phoenix. . . I first stumbled upon them live at Bonnaroo earlier this year. I was backstage before the band went on and just before the singer arrived. His plane had been delayed, causing him to arrive at the festival grounds just 20 minutes prior to going on stage. Until that moment, it was questionable whether the band would miss their slot entirely. Instead, band members jumped up and down and squealed (like school girls, but not annoying) when they were reunited. What followed describes something I haven’t seen in music for a little while — a band that actually LOVES each other. These guys were genuinely excited to see each other, took a deep interest in the well-being of the others and could not wait to get onstage. Perhaps a lot of bands feel this way and are just too cool to express it, but Phoenix didn’t hold anything back. Just prior to going on-stage they huddled:
“Let’s make this the best show we’ve ever played!” one member exclaimed.
“Let’s make these people go NUTS!” called out another.
“Let’s have fun!”
And on and on until everybody had expressed himself and the entrance music kicked in.
“That’s us!” they cheered, and they all went running for the stage.
I had a press pass, and was allowed a camera. . . but I was so mesmerized that I forgot to use it.
That was Bonnaroo, but something tells me that pre-show huddle was not a first. It felt like a ritual, and one that pretty much guarantees a good show. Phoenix gets themselves so amped that they have no choice but to have a great show. And their fans – well, they’re going to have fun, like it or not. Phoenix’s performance at The Greek was as enjoyable as ever. The band member’s love for each other reaffirmed and the fans having the time of their lives. Phoenix’s performance is light and fun, yet seriously good. The Greek is the perfect venue for a show like this. Outside, warm air, perfect sound, relaxed security.
Just kidding about that last part. Don’t want anyone to get in trouble.