the wiltern

Khruangbin Concert at The Wiltern

I haven’t shot any band more than I’ve shot Khruangbin. So, I wasn’t about to let their concert at The Wiltern Sunday night, their biggest headlining show I’ve ever been in the same city for, pass by without me. Spoiler alert, they fucking killed it.

Putting heavier disco beats on old songs, ramping up the Texas vibe with the addition of pedal steel guitarist Will Van Horn, and an outfit change before the encore, it was beyond apparent Khruangbin is having so much fun in this season of their career.

Huge thank you to Laura and the entire Khruangbin crew for having me out time and time again. Click the photos to scroll through them big; you might even catch a couple 35mm film shots in the mix. To see photos from other Khruangbin shows click here.

DIIV Concert at The Wiltern

DIIV brought shoegaze psych-rock to The Wiltern for their Los Angeles stop on the Desert Daze Caravan with Ariel Pink. Building on the intro by a solid minute, they opened their set with the titular track off their latest album, Is The Is Are. As the first lyrics spilled from Zachary Cole Smith's lips the pit opened and grew chaotic. This kept up for the entirety of the set. Their stoic performance became a soundtrack to the homemade visuals being projected behind them; shot with a shitty camcorder, lagging as Quicktime Player struggled to keep up, featuring the mundane sights of life on tour interspersed with naked woman and boyish humor. Heavy heads rolled and lolled on hunched spines, but every now and then you could spot them craning around to watch their nostalgic home movie, too. Speaking directly to friends and members of the audience (largely about socks), it felt as though we were all hanging out in their garage-turned-studio. Maybe it's the fact that the majority of the time I've spent listening to DIIV has occurred in the isolation of bedrooms where the droning, haunting sounds open wide and swallow you whole, but overall, the show was lighter than I expected. The guitars weren't so dense, the melodies had room to breathe. While the execution of the songs was a mirror to their recorded counterparts, this shift in vibe made it feel like listening to a whole new band. Whether that's good or bad, you'll have to decide for yourself.

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the images to scroll through them big and on black.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra Concert at The Wiltern

Touring their newest release, Sex & Food, psych-rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra played The Wiltern in Los Angeles Friday night. From the faux plants to the copious amounts of white shag carpet to a turntable and its collection of accompanying vinyl, it was as if Ruban Nielson invited the entirety of the sold out crowd into his basement and said, "hey, let's get a little weird." Highlights of the weirdness that ensued included Nielson taking a jaunt through the venue and all the way up to the mezzanine for a quick jam session, a brief break between songs for members of the band and some of the techs to take a group tequila shot, and a stripped down but crescendoing version of "Not in Love We're Just High" that managed to feel heartbreaking considering the subject matter. A departure both sonically and thematically from their applauded third album, Multi-Love, songs off the fourth release garnered less enthusiasm from the crowd than the former. Still, the set was full of a candid personality that made the entire night feel intimate, and well, weird. In a good way.

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

AWOLNATION Concert at The Wiltern

AWOLNATION played the final concert of the first tour backing their latest release, Here Come The Runts, at The Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles Friday night. The crowd showed just as much enthusiasm for new songs as for tracks off previous albums. So much enthusiasm that at times you could feel the balcony bouncing up and down (I won't even try to pretend this didn't scare me).

I've got a soft spot in my heart for AWOL. Most reasons are romantic and nostalgic, but one is actually about anxiety. I read in an interview years ago (at the pinnacle of dealing with my own anxiety) that AWOL's founder, Aaron Bruno, experiences social anxiety which led to struggling to release his music and later perform live. The first time I saw AWOLNATION was at Center of the Universe Festival in Tulsa in 2014. During the set, Bruno was reserved and stayed in the dark, literally dodging shafts of light. I can't know for sure, but I always wondered if this was him dealing with his anxiety. If that's the case, Bruno has come a long way because he was the total opposite on stage last night. And that's pretty freaking cool to see.

Click and scroll through the images to see them big.