BRMC @ The Wiltern 5-8-07
Before leaving for LA, me and Jodi stopped at Togo's for a late lunch/early dinner. We left for the venue at around 4:50 PM and arrived about an hour before doors opened. There was a short line already forming and I went to get a spot while Jodi parked the car. I ran into Dana and Dannielle on the way there, so we waited in line together. Later, we were joined by Theresa from Portland and Jackie and her sister Andrea. A little after that, we saw Alexander who introduced me and Jodi to his friend Deniece and Collette.
There were some girls who worked for Verizon Wireless who were taking pictures of people waiting in line. We had our pictures taken, but I never saw it on the screen above the stage. Getting inside the venue was actually not bad, it seems like they were only checking for gum. The pit wasn't that full when I got there, though Peter's side was mostly full. While waiting for the show, I finally met Angie who was standing behind me and then towards the middle during the show. Suzanne said hi, but had to move to the back so as not to block people's views of the stage. Speaking of the stage, it was really high - like 5 feet tall at least.
Unlike the previous 2 shows, there was another opener named HT Heartache. She was like a country folk singer with a warbly voice. She really seemed out of place at this show. The audience politely applauded all her songs, though most people didn't seem too into it. The Black Angels were more warmly received with their '60's inspired sounds of echoing guitars and dynamic drumming. They sound to me like a heavier version of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Watching them perform is always a treat. I am starting to appreciate their songs "Black Grease" and "First Vietnam War" the more I hear them. There was some video footage behind them that looked pretty interesting.
Soon after BRMC entered the stage area, Robert said that this was their largest North American show yet and they were glad that it was in their hometown. Even Nick seemed more into performing on the drums and actually smiled a few times near the end of the show. The setlist didn't change much from San Diego, with the addition of Stop - which was nice to hear again. They played "Red Eyes and Tears," which is always well-received. Near the middle/end of "Took Out a Loan" (the show opener), Robert adds some lyrics which I usually can't hear. "666 Conducer" has been consistently amazing to see and hear live because of the grooving bass line that Robert plays almost entirely on his knees.
During Howl, Peter is playing his keyboard more facing the audience with a black drapery covering the front of it. I guess it's better than having his back to the audience, though I don't understand what the covering is for. Robert was especially into the performance, moving to the edge of the stage quite a few times. Even Peter seems to enjoy watching that. There was more time for applause before the encore started. Peter played "Fault Line" and "Devil's Waitin'," during which he forgot a line and had the audience singing along to fill it in.
The rest of the band came on and during "Ain't No Easy Way," Robert threw his tamborine into audience. However, this was not the most exciting thing he gave to the audience. At the end of "All You Do Is Talk," he unplugged the Epiphone bass guitar he was playing and handed it to the audience. And people went nuts for it. I think there was some punching by the girl who ended up with it. The security had to break it up a little.
Thanks to Angie, we ended up at the after party with all the VIPs and fans lucky enough to get passes for it. We saw all the Black Angels and BRMC members in various places. Jodi said hi to Robert at first and later, he came up to us while she was looking for a silver sharpie in her bag. It was loud and Robert has kind of a soft voice, so I couldn't hear him for a lot of the conversation. I just kind of nodded along and agreed, though I definitely heard him say that he was handing the bass to Jodi. Of course, she ended up with it in San Francisco, so he actually succeeded in giving it to her there. A pleasant surprise for me was talking to Nick, who remembered my name and thanked me for supporting them over the years. This was a real surprise since he hasn't seemed too talkative in the past.
A bunch of the photos I took from the show are up on Flickr. Here are a few of my favorites:
Well, there are tons more photos I took, and here's the only video I recorded that night of "All You Do Is Talk":