The Fonda Theatre

Weyes Blood Concert at The Fonda

Weyes Blood submerged concert goers in a warm pool of psychedelic folk rock at The Fonda Wednesday night. Natalie Mering, who has performed under various iterations of the moniker “Wise Blood” since she was 15, spun intricate and precise ballads that swelled and filled the entire venue. The grand arrangements felt nostalgic and sentimental, glimmering through an anachronistic filter. Blankets of smoke clinging to the stage, trippy oil splotches being projected on the screen behind the band, and the faint whirr of chirping crickets between songs lent a dream-like vibe to the entire set. The California native mentioned this show was particularly special to her as her mom and dog were in attendance.

In support of their latest release, Titanic Rising, Weyes Blood will spend the beginning of this fall touring the states before hopping across the pond for a European stint lasting through November.

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the photos to scroll through them big.

Empire of the Sun Concert at The Fonda

You know those shows that leave such an impression on you that before the set is even over you're already looking up the tour schedule to see when you can catch them again? No? Only my concert obsessed ass? Anyway, that was Empire of the Sun when I saw them at BUKU back in 2015. I finally made good on that this weekend when I caught them on the first of their three (!) nights at The Fonda.

Shot for Half & Half. Click the photos to scroll through them big.

Broken Social Scene Concert at The Fonda

The first of three nights in Los Angeles, Broken Social Scene consumed patrons of The Fonda with their grand orchestrations. Wednesday’s iteration of the amorphous Canadian musical collective featured various makeups of eleven musicians. Twenty years deep in the game, their unfaltering live performance was evidence these guys don’t show any signs of slowing down.

Songs off Broken Social Scene’s latest pair of EPs Let’s Try The After (Vol. 1) and (Vol. 2) were cushioned by classic tracks off older albums. Samplings from You Forgot It In People included “Pacific Theme” (the opener of the set), “Cause = Time,” and "Lover’s Spit” (the final song of the evening). 2005’s self-titled LP was represented by "7/4 (Shoreline)," “Hotel,” and the combustive “Superconnected” and “Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)”. The atmosphere turned sultry for “Sweetest Kill” off Forgiveness Rock Record. “Skyline” and “Protest Song” off Hug of Thunder were played along with the album’s title track. As La Force vocalist Ariel Engle took the role as lead female vocals for the show, it was an opportune time to cover La Force’s “TBT”.

Urgent percussion fueled the crowd all set long, and fierce loyalty to the band’s past catalog helped push them through lulls during new tracks. Banter, talking amongst each other on stage, cracking jokes while tuning guitars; it was all casual. There was a palpable comfort emanating from the crowded stage. It felt more like we were sitting in on a rehearsal in someone’s living room than a concert in Hollywood - in a very good way.

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the photos to scroll through them big.

Night Drive Concert at The Fonda

It’s always a treat when a familiar sight and sound from my hometown of Houston comes to play in LA. Such was the case when Night Drive played at The Fonda with Ladytron for a couple nights.

Click the photos to scroll through them big. To see more of my work with Night Drive click here.

Petit Biscuit Concert at The Fonda

Well into the last leg of the Presence North America tour, Petit Biscuit played the first of two shows at The Fonda in Los Angeles Saturday night. The French Moroccan DJ and producer, Mehdi Benjelloun, had much to celebrate besides the sold out show. Not only was November 10 the one year anniversary of the release of Presence, it also happened to be his 19th birthday. The enthusiastic crowd took every opportunity to remind him, screaming and singing happy birthday at every lull in the music.

Born and raised on a musical diet of cello, piano, and classical music, Benjelloun was groomed for music composition from a very young age. The shift from classical music to light-hearted, downtempo house began at 11 when he got his first computer. At only 15, Benjelloun self-released the smash hit “Sunset Lover”. The self-titled debut EP that followed received critical acclaim deeming Petit Biscuit a wunderkind of French electro. This momentum continued with last year’s release of his LP, Presence, propelling him towards a coveted spot in Coachella’s 2018 lineup.

Petit Biscuit (translating adorably to “little cookie”) is known for incorporating live instrumentation and vocals to chill electronic. This generates a sonic landscape full of atmosphere. His onstage setup consisted of a guitar, launchpad, drum pads, and keyboards between which he rotated crafting each song. It was impossible to watch the set and not be reminded of another young French producer, Madeon. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Madeon was in attendance, taking in the show from a couch on the balcony.

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the photos to scroll through ‘em big.

Rex Orange County Concert at The Fonda

Alexander O'Conner, better known as Rex Orange County, does it all: sings, song-writes, produces, and plays just about every instrument imaginable. And he's not even old enough to drink (legally) in the states. But what else would you expect from a monotone crooner groomed at the same British performing arts school that produced the likes of Adele and King Krule? So maybe it comes as no surprise that Rex Orange County's live show at The Fonda was just as impressive.

A full band complete with strings and horns, a guest appearance by Thea, and plenty of songs performed solo rounded out the set. Oh, and then Randy Newman made an appearance to join O'Conner in "You've Got a Friend in Me," and I'm not sure who was more surprised, O'Conner or the crowd. Don't be quick to assume the show was at all gimmicky, though. The braces-clad concert goers - the street outside the venue looked like a middle school carpool line post-show; parents, lots of parents - screamed back every word and danced their asses off to a show that was very no-frills (the balloon release malfunctioned for the second night in a row). A simple backdrop and some lights were all Rex Orange County needed. 

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the photos to scroll through them big.