Saturday, February 02, 2013

Concert Review: Sound City Players

38 song set. 3.5 hours. Dave Grohl on stage the entire time. Now that's a concert!

After the LA premiere of his documentary Sound City Players, Dave Grohl ventured a few blocks to the Hollywood Palladium to jam with his all-star band.  We were about 20 feet from the stage and our brains almost exploded from all the entertainment.

First up was Alain Johannes from Queens of the Stone Age who did a few songs including "Hanging Tree".  Then came Chris Goss from Masters of Reality and Brad Wilk from Rage Against the Machine.  Then Black Rebel Motorcycle Club played a couple of tunes including "Whatever Happened to My Rock N' Roll". Dave drummed during their set.  Throughout the night, Dave appeared on guitar, drums and even bass. These sets were heavy and solid, but I was looking forward to some of the more melodic music to come.

Next up was Lee Ving of Fear, who got everyone hopping with punk rock classics like "I Love Living in the City" and "Beef Bologna."

Dave brought out old bandmate Krist Novaselic, Corey Taylor from Slipknot, and Rick Neilsen from Cheap Trick.  Dave's fellow Foos Pat Smear and Taylor Hawkins rounded out this supergroup lineup.  Previously, I only associated Slipknot with a migraine they induced in me at Ozzfest 2001, but Corey can actually sing.  I liked their original tune from the Sound City soundtrack: "From Can to Can't." Other highlights of the set were "Ain't That a Shame" and one of my all time favorite songs: Cheap Trick's "Surrender."  Rick Nielsen threw an old record into the crowd during this set and played his famous Hamer checkerboard guitar.

Rick Springfield is still pretty hot, and he blazed through a set of his hits including "Love Somebody" and "I've Done Everything For You".  Dave Grohl seemed to have the best rapport of the night with Rick, and marveled at the amazing opening 3 notes of "Jessie's Girl" that spurred instant recognition in the audience.  "That's songwriting!" Dave's enthusiasm is infectious, and I love how he admires so many different genres and eras of music.

Now I have never been a fan of John Fogerty or Creedence Clearwater Revival because I find his voice too shrill, but he won me over with his energy and by playing the one song of his that I, as a baseball fan, really enjoy: "Centerfield."  He also played all the CCR classics: "Born on the Bayou," "Proud Mary," a blistering duet with Dave on "Fortunate Son" and "Bad Moon Rising."

After being on my feet for almost 5 hours, I really wanted a break but I refused to leave my post without getting an up close glimpse of Stevie Nicks.  She was the grand finale, and it didn't disappoint.  Stevie and Dave began with a duet: "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around."  She then played "You Can't Fix This," a new contemplative song she had written for the Sound City soundtrack about her 18-year-old godson who died recently of an overdose at a fraternity party. She did "Dreams," "Landslide," and an incredible nearly 10-minute-long version of "Gold Dust Woman." "Gold Dust Woman" is the song that made me listen to Fleetwood Mac - only after I heard Hole's version of it.  Since then, "Rumours" is a CD that never leaves my car.

I go to a lot of concerts, but this was one of the best shows of my life - a night that celebrated so many different styles of awesome music and amazing performers. Once again, I felt truly happy to be living in LA and having an opportunity to see this. I hope Dave makes good on his plans to tour a bit with this all star band so others can experience it. As we left and navigated our way through the street meat vendors, someone in a car yelled out their window, "Who played tonight?" A few of us responded in unison: "Everyone!"

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