I’ve been looking forward to seeing Beady Eye, fronted by Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer and Andy Bell of Oasis, since May 2010, before they settled on a band name.
I was also excited when Beady Eye released their album, Different Gear, Still Speeding, on Dangerbird Records earlier this year. Dangerbird is one of my favorite labels. They’re artist-friendly, fan-friendly, good people, who give back to the community in numerous ways. In addition to being genuinely good people, the team at Dangerbird Records knows how to develop and launch artists authentically.
Beady Eye is kicking off a tour in the U.S. next week and will be hitting The Wiltern in Los Angeles on Saturday December 3rd.
One lucky Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend reader will win a pair of tickets to see Beady Eye at The Wiltern in Los Angeles.
Here’s what you need to know to enter:
The contest begins now and ends at 11:59pm EST November 30, 2011
You will see there are several ways you can enterand you can get additional entries for each thing you choose to do. You can follow Beady Eye, tweet about the contest, like us on Facebook, and more. ENTER NOW
Winner (1) will be selected by random.org and notified via email on the morning of December 1, 2011. Winner will have 5 hours to respond before a new winner is selected
Your tickets will be available for pick up at Will Call at The Wiltern on the evening of the show. Photo ID will be required to pick up tickets
This is an all-ages event
Transportation and accommodations not included
About Beady Eye:
Watch “The Roller” official music video
Here’s an excerpt from their official bio: “Music, it’s all about the music, we could all have sat at home after Oasis split but what would have been the point of that. We had a couple of weeks off and then we were back in the studio demo-ing. We’re musicians, it’s what we do, it’s how we define ourselves.”
That’s Andy Bell, one of the two guitarists in Beady Eye, explaining why the band had to happen.
“We love music,” enthuses Liam Gallagher, Beady Eye’s lead singer. “We’ve got these songs, we go in and we do them. We’re fired up, not because we thought we’d show everyone it could happen without you know who [Noel Gallagher], we’re fired up because we’re doing music.”
And with the line-up completed by second guitarist Gem Archer and drummer Chris Sharrock, and with producer Steve Lillywhite [The La’s, Morrissey, U2] also in tow, Beady Eye entered London’s RAK Studios back in June and over 12 weeks put down what Gem calls, “the best thing I’ve ever been involved in.”
“It was important not to sit and dwell on the past,” says Liam. “We’d just come off an Oasis tour and we were on fire, if we’d said, ‘let’s do something in a few months, or next year’, the flame would have burned out or we’d have got the fear.”
“It’s the best way to do it,” says Gem, “straight off the back of a load of gigs.”
And the results are nothing short of astonishing. Thirteen songs that are loud, vibrant, exhilarating. It’s raw rock’n’roll one minute, and classic pop the next from the raucous Jerry Lee Lewis and Stones inspired Bring The Light to the Merseybeat wonder of For Anyone, to the stomping T-Rex glam of The Roller to the pounding Millionaire and Four Letter Word. It sounds like a debut record by a band just starting out with a huge appetite for music, and despite individually all having made records for two decades or more as Chris Sharrock says, “that’s exactly what it is.”
I have numerous fond memories of shows at The Wiltern.
The Wiltern is where Nine Inch Nails played their final show. I’ve seen tons of rock shows there, including QOTSA, Wolfmother, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Mastodon. Most recently, I was inspired and moved by The Civil Wars’ show At The Wiltern.
As with most venues, there are parking tricks, secret bathrooms, and easy access to bacon-wrapped hot dogs after the show.
If you listen closely, there are multiple varying tones to applause: polite, obligatory, appreciative, supportive, congratulatory and many more. The sound of applause generates momentum and creates a feeling. Among the most special experiences is when audience applause sets the tone and spirit of a show, in contrast to coming after the events and moments of a show.
When John Paul White and Joy Williams (The Civil Wars) took the stage at The Wiltern, the applause led the show. It lasted a while. It was the sound of great triumph; the sound of victory. I don’t think I’ve experienced that specific tone of applause, in person, prior to this show. I imagine it’s heard during a parade when the hometown athlete brings home an Olympic gold medal. It may be similar to the sound of applause during the celebration of a victorious political campaign.
The applause of the crowd was amplified – we were applauding The Civil Wars, but we were also applauding ourselves. The Civil Wars are “our” band. There weren’t any radio stations, TV talk shows, publicity stunts, or million dollar marketing spends telling us we should listen to The Civil Wars. We discovered them and we told our friends. We purchase their music and sell out their live shows because we support true talent. The Civil Wars sold 100,000 records in 4 months, without a major label. The fans get credit for helping The Civil Wars succeed because there were only 3 factors in this “formula”: The Civil Wars, their music, and the fans. We did it. We “voted” for talent. And we won.
In Los Angeles, we’ve purchased tickets to The Civil Wars’ sold out shows at The Hotel Cafe (capacity: 165), Largo (capacity: 280), The El Rey (capacity: 700) and now The Wiltern (capacity: 2,300). We’ll follow them to The Greek (capacity: 5,900) and The Hollywood Bowl (capacity: 18,000). We’ll set up the “Who The Fuck Are The Civil Wars?!” website when they win their first Grammy. We’re proud of The Civil Wars. This is the music we’re choosing. These are the people we want to succeed. That is the sound of the applause that preceded The Civil Wars’ show at The Wiltern.
After the applause, the celebration, the fuck yeahs and the thank yous, the show began and, in contrast to the sound of uproarious applause, the crowd was silent. The music and voices of John Paul White and Joy Williams then carried us from one victory to the next, song after song, we celebrated The Civil Wars.
[Updated December 2, 2011]
The Civil Wars have been nominated for 2 Grammys this year: “Best Country Duo/Group Performance” and “Best Folk Album”. Here’s their interview with The Grammys upon learning the news:
Disclaimer: This Means Nothing to The Dillinger Escape Plan
The first time I saw The Dillinger Escape Plan play live was during Nine Inch Nails‘ set at Bonnaroo, June 2009. If you’re going to share the stage with Nine Inch Nails, you need to know how to make people lose their shit. That doesn’t mean jumping around maniacally and screaming, merely to put on a show. While they do tear around the stage violently, The Dillinger Escape Plan knows that in order to make people “lose their shit,” you need to genuinely connect with them. It doesn’t matter how much the band moves if they can’t move the crowd.
The next time I saw The Dillinger Escape Plan was during Nine Inch Nails’ final show, September 10, 2009, at The Wiltern. Here’s the brilliance of The Dillinger Escape Plan: I remember them from those two shows and made it a priority to see them again. I hadn’t experienced the band previously, I had no vested interest in them, I wasn’t a “fan”. They more than held their own on stage with NIN. The Dillinger Escape Plan added something to those shows. Nine Inch Nails is arguably one of the best live bands ever. It takes a lot to be additive to a Nine Inch Nails show, especially the final Nine Inch Nails shows.
2 years and hundreds of live show experiences later, I found myself at The Wiltern, once again seeing The Dillinger Escape Plan. This time, it was their set; they were playing their songs. They didn’t have to win over potentially skeptical NIN fans. They were playing to their fans and those of Mastodon, the band they were opening for.
The Dillinger Escape Plan gives you more than your money’s worth. You feel rewarded for buying the ticket, paying the exorbitant 60% service fees per ticket, standing in line, paying $5 for a 50-cent bottle of water. Even if you don’t like their music, what The Dillinger Escape Plan does from start to finish is make people lose their shit. There’s no ramp up to the show. They come out full force and do not stop until they leave the stage. Their entire set is performed at the energetic level of an encore. At the end of the show, feeling like the band “paid” me, I bought a sweatshirt. That’s what you want – as an artist and a fan. The money, sure, but getting people to give a shit and therefore getting them to DO something – that’s the real pay off.
The Dillinger Escape Plan is raw. Real. Authentic. In the moment. Rock climbing, skiing, mountain biking on the edge of cliffs – all things I’ve done – force you to be present. When you’re truly experiencing life on the edge, anything other than what’s right in front of you disappears. You are fully immersed in what’s happening, to the point where “beginning” and “end” dissipate. The only remaining setting is “ON!” That’s how The Dillinger Escape Plan plays.
Access to the pit at The Wiltern is generally GA, first-come, first-serve. You exchange your ticket for a wristband and you’re in. Once the pit hits capacity, you can stand on any one of several tiered levels (assuming you have a floor ticket). The first tier crowd, above the pit, was going insane. ”How come you guys aren’t down here?” Greg Puciato asked them. ”Because of the tickets you have?? That’s ok, I’ll come to you.”
The Dillinger Escape Plan knows how to express their appreciation to their fans. Yes, it includes jumping over walls, walking on heads, and screaming in the faces of fans, but that’s what they came for. And when the fans couldn’t get close enough, the band came to them. ”I would stay out there the whole time – I just can’t do it,” Puciato added as he jumped off the hands and shoulders of fans, over the wheelchair access ramp and wall dividing the pit, returning to the stage. When you see the videos below, you’ll understand why it’s not sustainable to play the entire show, balancing on a ledge, crowd surfing, and head walking.
That said, if they weren’t climbing in the crowd, they were scaling the amps or somehow levitating above it all. As ticket sales across the board continue to decline, it’s bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan who will endure. They know how to connect with their fans. They know how to make people lose their shit.
If you like music at all, even if you don’t like their music, Massive Attack is a show to see. If you’re depressed about the state of world affairs, well. . . take something to make you feel better and see this show anyway.
During the first of three sold-out shows at The Wiltern, Massive Attack treated the crowd to the perfect blend of music, dance, and overtly disturbing messages. They kicked off the show with an energy level many artists reserve for the encore and maintained it throughout.
Another thing that was consistent throughout the show was the display of facts and figures on a digital screen, behind the band. The information projected to the crowd was meant to shift perspective, to open the eyes of everybody in attendance to some of the injustice in the world. From war to slavery, genocide to oil, Massive Attack covered it all. The massive onslaught of information and statistics, albeit disturbing and often times shocking, did not detract from the music. In fact, the high production value of the show – the lights, the display, the sound – was a perfect blend and clearly intended to communicate a message.
Despite the heavy tone and nature of the show, Grant Marshall and Robert Del Naja (“Massive Attack”) seemed elated, exuberant. . . exceptionally joyous during the after party. It got me wondering – what is the message Massive Attack wants people to come away with?
When I asked what he’d say about the overall message they’re conveying, Marshall responded, “Well, the message. . . I’m actually reading Howard Zinn’s book (A People’s History of The United States) right now, so you better talk to me in a week’s time.”
I phrased the question a bit differently for Del Naja: “So is the overarching message that we’re fucked??” I asked him.
“Yeah, exactly. I was trying to make it a bit more positive than that, but that’s pretty much it. That’s why we’ve got to keep on dancing!” del Naja replied, with a broad smile on his face, mid-dance.
You know about this band, right? Another Jack White side-project. When I first heard about The Dead Weather I was scared. I’m not afraid of references to death, the dead, nor the weather, but definitely skeptical when even the most talented musicians begin launching multiple side-projects. I love the White Stripes and have fond memories of seeing them play intimate shows at The Troubadour long before they signed to V2 and exploded to the forefront of mass consciousness.
The Dead Weather rocking The Wiltern, LA
Then came The Raconteurs. Another group I enjoyed – both live and recorded. Along the way, of course, I’ve seen The Kills and Queens of The Stone Age several times. So effectively, we’re talking about a super group comprised of musicians from four different bands I really like. You see why I’m scared, right?
What if it sucks?
An unlikely scenario considering the fact that I’ve been enjoying The Dead Weather’s debut album “Horehound” since it was released. Even a less likely scenario when you consider how talented each of these musicians is individually, let alone collectively.
Still, I was a bit hesitant.
Well, my skepticism was short lived because the second I saw the set design and the aged family photograph on the drum, I was instantly reminded of the artistry of these musicians. Yes, this night was going to be about the music first and foremost, but it would also be a show.
And indeed it was. It didn’t hurt that I recently saw the documentary, It Might Get Loud, which gave some great insights into Jack White’s character and his musical influences, detailing the specific Blues song that helped define his sound. Then, to see him drumming in The Dead Weather with such passion and energy, while at the same time reflecting back on the endearing observations Jack shares when discussing Meg White’s style of drumming in the movie. . . But even if I knew nothing about Jack White, I’d be mesmerized by his sheer talent – on the drums, on the guitar, and on vocals. Another thing I love about Jack White is that it’s truly about the music. He doesn’t need to be “the star” of the show and in fact, he seems to recognize that they’re all stars, so he can just sit in back on the drum kit and do his thing.
Alison Mosshart takes the lead
Alison Mosshart is a large presence. Her voice sounded great, she moves around the stage, grabs the attention of the audience, and holds on tight throughout the 75 minute show.
Then you have Dean Fertita (QOTSA) and Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs). Both are amazing.
The Dead Weather. Even though it was a relatively early show (9:30 – 10:45 pm), I was so amped when I got home that I stayed up until 3am. And then the alarm went off at 6am… So off I go. But I don’t need to tell you much more anyway. Check them out when they come through your town. Or watch some videos from the show last night: