This weekend in Long Beach was a lot of fun, I actually went to Long Beach twice. On Friday, I went to the Ink n' Iron Festival with Suzanne and Jodi and on Sunday, I went to the Southern California Lamp Exchange with my mom. The tattoo convention was cool even though I didn't get one (since it was too expensive and I didn't know what to get). The lamp exchange was nice because we got a lot of free energy saving lamps for our old crappy lamps, a lot of them were floor lamps too!
The bands at Ink n' Iron that I wasn't planning to see ranged from interesting novelty acts (Chapel of Thieves, who sounded like Halloween music) to sort of good douchie music (Jail Weddings, whose spastic singer Jodi likened to Morrissey). There was also a sort of hillbilly band with a banjo, autoharp, washboard, fiddle, etc. They were interesting, but I don't remember if they were any good.
The bands I'd planned on seeing at Ink N' Iron did not disappoint, even the Black Angels who I've seen more than I would actually expect to in the past year. I noticed when the Warlocks came on that a few of their songs sound kind of similar, for example "Zombie Like Lovers" sounds a lot like "Come Save Us" and they did play both songs. Also, I recorded video of a song that I thought would be "The Dope Feels Good," but ended up a different song.
The Black Angels played for about an hour, and managed to keep things interesting with different band members switching between bass, guitar, drums, and keyboards. I read in an OC Weekly review that they even had an electric sitar, but I didn't see it myself. I haven't heard the new Black Angels album Directions to See A Ghost, so I couldn't necessarily distinguish the new material from the old aside from the fact that I was more familiar with the older songs.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club closed the show and they were excellent, as usual. Robert was dancing around more than usual and Peter was being extra breathy during "666 Conducer," which they opened their set with. Nick wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary for him, though he wasn't wearing sunglasses. The strobe lights weren't that bad for this show, they actually seemed more noticeable during the Black Angels' set.
Some highlights of the show included older favorites like "Red Eyes and Tears" and "Love Burns" and near the start/middle of "Six Barrel Shotgun," Robert put his bass down and jumped off the stage. Then he moved towards the middle of the barrier for the photo pit and pulled it from about 6 feet away to right up against the stage. It was one of the coolest things I've seen Robert do in concert (and he does a lot of cool things).
The acoustic portion of the set featured Peter's version of "Cool Water" and his newer song "A Fine Way To Lose," which were both warmly received. Then Robert came out and played "Sympathetic Noose," which is always nice to hear. They continued their set up until "American X," when Peter announced the fire marshall was shutting them down early. Still, they managed to squeeze in a couple more songs, including "Steal A Ride" which was bittersweet as it was Wic's last official song with them.
After the show, the security was being extra mean by kicking everyone out before they could even look at merch to buy. It was a little bit after 1 AM, since BRMC had gone on at around 11:30 PM and played for about an hour and a half. A short show by BRMC standards, but fairly long for most other bands. We waited around near the truck that was waiting to load up BRMC's stuff so we could say goodbye to Wic and everyone else.
We proceeded to the parking lot after saying our goodbyes and watching Rob do a funny dance for us. Peter was right behind us going to the parking lot so he could show us how he puts his guitar on his motorcycle. Suzanne volunteered to show Michael and Peter how to get to the 710 freeway from the parking lot, but didn't realize that she wasn't sure how to even get out of the parking lot. Michael's response after following her in circles for a bit: "Smooooth." It was hilarious! Peter didn't seem too happy about it either.
Eventually, she did figure out how to get out of the parking lot and onto the freeway after feeling the embarrassment of leading them in circles. Part of the 710 was shut down, so we had to take a detour to the 91 and ended up back in Buena Park at 3 AM. We were still hungry, so we went to Denny's near my house. That pretty much sums up the Long Beach adventure, minus all the gory details about Suzanne and Jodi's tattoos. If you're curious about that, I'm sure they'd be willing to share all about it.
Check out all my photos from the festival on my Flickr account. Also, I took a few BRMC videos and put them up on YouTube. Here's my favorite video from the night, with the moving of the barrier: