First official trip to the wondrous Getty Museum, perched on a hillside overlooking the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, not to be confused with the old museum in Malibu, now known as the Getty Villa. I had been to the new fortress once long ago, before it opened, for an interview with the book division. Obviously didn't pan out & wasn't practical, but sure would have been cool. The museum is built into the hillside, and at that point was unfinished...Taking the tram up, then elevatoring 4 stories down into the hill, checking through security, and pacing along unfinished cement corridors was pretty exciting, with all kinds of vehicles passing by, (inside), and incessant construction, it was like being in your own James Bond film. Very hip.
The return was less ceremonial, simply melding into the pack of tourists and trying to sample the amazing smorgasbord of art and photography laid out, courtesy of the late J.P. Getty. The Getty Trust is in good form, and will certainly be viable for a long time coming; the museum a heady reflection of that fact. One of the public outreach efforts it makes is to have concerts one saturday a month, the lure this particular day being 'The Antlers', from Brooklyn. Did I mention that it's free? Show was free, museum was free, parking a mere $15...(no sarcasm whatsoever, a stone cold bargain in Los Angeles).
It would have been easy to overindulge, so the plan is more on the lines of a seperate trip for each of the five main buildings...Today's pick turned out to be 'Enlightened Observers', a look at the evolution of documentary photograpy through the century. Varied and extremely moving, it alone is worth the trip.
On the way in, we got a sampling of the prospective acoustics in the courtyard, as the band ran through a brief soundcheck.
The barren intimacy of the songs from their '09 record 'Hospice', were taken up a notch, thanks to incessant touring, but maintained the ability to connect emotionally.
It was fascinating to watch outside the hardcore of fans clustered at the foot of the stage, back to the tourists who would stop and watch, sometimes engage, and sometimes move on...
If you listen closely enough during 'Bear', (above), you can hear the meeting of the 'Valley Singles Club' cloistered near us, doing what singles at free events the world over do...
As dusk fell, the stream of tourists tapered off, and the crowd settled in as the band moved into the heart of their set, nearing the end with a stunning version of 'Two', featuring guest vocalist Holly Miranda.
The perfect capper to a lovely evening at the Getty.