Hollywood Bowl

Chromeo Concert at The Hollywood Bowl

Chromeo, the electro-funk duo hailing from Montreal, brought down the Hollywood Bowl Sunday night. The self-proclaimed Lords of Funk, David “Dave-1″ Macklovitch and Patrick “P-Thugg” Gemayel have been making music together since the mid-90s. Their sound is an anachronistic technological wonder; beneath Chromeo’s retro aesthetic is shining modern production. The set was full of dazzling surprises and boundless energy; the crowd at the Bowl was enthralled from start to finish.

The set was opened with “Intro” flowing into “Fancy Footwork,” with “Bonafied Lovin’” and “Needy Girl” not far behind. They played six tracks off their most recent release, 2018’s Head Over Heels, which was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical category. Stand out moments included the full on sing along that took place during “Must’ve Been” and an impressive drum solo in “Don’t Sleep.” 2014’s White Women had its time, too. Chaz Bear of Toro Y Moi joined Chromeo on stage during “Come Alive,” and the crowd danced in a sea of cell phone flashlights to “Old 45’s". During “Over Your Shoulder,” Dave-1 walked along the ledge between two sections of crowd before meeting up with P-Thugg for a guitar duet standing back to back. The set was closed with “Jealous (I Ain’t With It).” Dave-1 plays a chrome guitar, and when the spotlights hit it during “Night By Night” off Business Casual the beam scattered like a disco ball obliterating everyone in it’s path.

Chromeo’s powerhouse live show is a precisely calibrated, beautiful thing to behold. From the thick synth bass driving the groovy beats to the gurgle of P-Thugg’s talk box to the expertly executed light show, Chromeo was a blast to open the Hollywood Bowl season with.

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Toro y Moi Concert at The Hollywood Bowl

Toro y Moi opened for Chromeo Sunday night at the Hollywood Bowl. It was the first night of KCRW’s 2019 World Festival. At its core, Toro y Moi is Chaz Bear (born as Chazwick Bradley Bundick), but he was joined on stage by a live band that included a bassisst, keys, percussion, and a conga player. Credited with being a prominent figure in the rise of chillwave early in the decade, Toro Y Moi’s heavily applauded January 2019 release, Outer Peace, leans more heavily into the weird, groovy realm where funk basslines meet house beats. This sonic shift made him a natural fit to prime the Los Angeles crowd before Chromeo’s set. That was made all the more apparent by the endless dancing bodies moving to the set that included nine of the ten tracks on Outer Peace.

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Father John Misty Concert at The Hollywood Bowl

As part of KCRW's World Festival and kicking off their 2018 World Tour, Father John Misty played at the Hollywood Bowl Sunday night. Josh Tillman - the much-discussed singer/songwriter of the band - brought the sounds of his short (the album comes in at under 40 minutes), but melancholily-sweet new release, God's Favorite Customer, to the masses. With a sonic landscape that's always reminded me of Elton John and a live performance as flawless as one you'd expect from the seasoned piano man, the only hang ups of the show fell on the crowd. The lone woman standing (completely still, not even dancing) and obscuring the view of the boxes behind her, the cluster of young children running up an down the aisle engaged in a screaming match. These distractions tarnished what was a perfect performance. Then again, these festering sores of the evening lent themselves all too well to the egotistical cynicism so present in Tillman's lyrics.

If you missed this stop, Father John Misty is on tour across the US and Europe through mid November including a stops at Riot Fest and ACL.

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the photos to scroll through them big. To see photos I shot when Father John Misty played Pure Comedy in Houston last October, click here.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs at The Hollywood Bowl

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs opened for LCD Soundsystem at the Hollywood Bowl, and Karen O's flawless performance and relentless energy made for one wild ass ride.

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LCD Soundsystem Concert at The Hollywood Bowl

On the second of two nights at the Hollywood Bowl with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Young Fathers, LCD Soundsystem brought the dance-friendly sounds of American Dream to the LA masses. Of course, the hits had their moment, too. James Murphy and his cohort worked like scientists in a lab; each at their respective station manipulating their own variables with intense focus, but working for a collective breakthrough. I'd say they found it in the double drop of "Dance Yrself Clean."

On a personal note, it took years of listening and a random night spent watching Shut Up And Play The Hits for me to really let LCD Soundsystem under my skin. But under my skin it's crawled and buried and built a home. This was made all the more apparent in what has become one of my favorite moments since moving to LA. Drunk and dancing in a Venice apartment, celebrating a birthday of someone I still don't know, I froze and nearly crashed like the waves outside the front door. I heard them; those pulsing opening synths to "Someone Great." It was late enough in the night that the people still remaining were randomly taking control of the aux cord, and this song happened to be put on by the guitarist of a band I grew up listening to, have shot multiple times, and somehow get to hang out with from time to time. For the next six and half minutes, the guitarist, my photography mentor, and myself were locked in. Unable to do anything but dance and scream along. And that is the power of James Murphy's ranting lyrics and repetitious melodies. The power of a mad scientist.

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the photos to scroll through them large. Film fun will be posted later.