Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Portishead live

Shrine Expo Center
Los Angeles, CA
18 October, 2011

Portishead, fresh off a triumphant performance at ATP's I'll Be Your Mirror festival in Asbury Park, NJ earlier in the month, brought their show to the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles for the first of a two night stand.  The core trio of Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons, & Adrian Utley were expanded by a few members for an impressive touring version, that was tough and concise, with a sound mix that left room for shocking noise, but sold out none of the tender nuances.

From the opener "Silence" from 2008's Third, they were firmly in control of the proceedings, unveiling a set that was pretty equally divided between old and new, and the older material didn't seem in performance as far away from the more discordant newer tunes as it may seem with the recorded versions.

The emotional heart of the evening was the trifecta of "Magic Doors" into a breathtaking "Wandering Star", brought back to earth with the grinding "Machine Gun"  All in all, a stellar evening in the company of a band that's come firmly into it's own.

Setlist: (courtesy of Setlist.FM)

Silence/Nylon Smile/Mysterons/The Rip/Sour Times/Magic Doors/Wandering Star/Machine Gun Over/Glory Box/Chase The Tear/Cowboys/Threads  (encore) Roads/We Carry On

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Return of Jens Lekman

28 SEPTEMBER, 2011

Jens Lekman returned to Los Angeles in support of his new EP An Argument With Myself, just out on Secretly Canadian domestically, or Service worldwide.  His last area appearance was an intimate pool party at the Mondrian Hotel late last year.

This evening was a cozy show at the Masonic Temple in Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Santa Monica Blvd.  Sweat dripped in the packed windowless room, the stained glass Masonic eye overhead keeping an eerie check on everyone...

Accompanied by percussionist Addison Rogers from Bloomington IN, he kept it acoustic, save for assists from his Roland 404, and covered a generous portion of his catalogue.

For those unfamiliar, Jens is an observationalist singer/songwriter/raconteur from sweden whose songs spring from the germ of a simple idea, (getting a haircut='shirin', making a picnic lunch for a seaside trip='your arms around me'), before heading out to parts not entirely expected

Highlights: a spare reading of 'Black cab stood above all, after which Lekman murmured that that was the best rendition they'd ever done of that song.

At one point, the stage was invaded by dancing girls, and for all the fun listening to the songs provide, the most exhilarating moments of a Jens show always seem to be when the dance party breaks out.

Evening closer 'I Remember Every Kiss', shorn of the recorded version's symphonic grandeur, brought things to a close with Jens outsinging the original...

Setlist: (courtesy of

  1. Intro
  2.  An Argument With Myself
  3. Waiting For Kirsten
  4. I Saw Her In The Anti-War Demonstration
  5. A Sweet Summer's Night On Hammer Hill
  6. I Broke Up A Fight
  7. The End of the World is Bigger Than Love
  8. Cowboy Boots
  9. Black Cab
  10. Golden Key
  11.   The Opposite Of Hallelujah
  12. That's the Way Love Is
  13. Encore
  14.  Sipping On The Sweet Nectar
  15. Every Little Hair
  16. And I Remember Every Kiss