Last night's show at the Glass House was so good, that I felt it was worth a mention. I had originally chosen to get tickets for this show just for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, who are easily one of my favorite new bands in recent years. As far as openers go, they are definitely ones to watch. I don't mind seeing their headline shows either! They're really talented musicians and you can hear a big shoegaze influence while keeping their songs interesting and hook-filled. They write really amazing songs and are definitely able to play them live well.
Search Amazon.com for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
It has been awhile since I saw Stars live, so I had almost forgotten what an excellent show they put on. For awhile, they seemed to be really popular and that is not undeserved. I do recall seeing Metric opening for them at the Knitting Factory back in 2003, and most people probably are more familiar with Metric than Stars. Both bands are good in their own right, it just seems that Metric has managed to play more big festivals over here. Or maybe I've just seen them at more big festivals... Anyways, Stars are pretty cool. They have a sophisticated indie pop sound which is also very polished.
I hadn't heard the new album "Five Ghosts" before the show last night, but it was more because I didn't even know they had a new album. Now that I have heard it, I definitely recommend it - only $5.99 to download and $9.99 for a physical CD. What makes a Stars show special is not just the lights and talent of the band, but also the graciousness and encouragement of them to their fans. It's always nice to hear the band members thanking the fans for their support and telling them to start a band. They also thanked the openers multiple times.
Last but not least, I must point out that the Glass House is one of the best venues in Southern California. Free parking, safe college town, plenty of shops and restaurants to hang out at before and after gigs - that's definitely a win win. Another nice thing about the venue itself is reasonably priced food, sodas, energy drinks, and water - which makes up for the fact that they don't serve alcohol (which I don't normally drink anyways). They also have a big area for merch tables, which makes it easy to buy stuff and support all those talented artists we love so much.