opening night @ the hollywoodbowl
big win here was surprising not santana, who turned in a solid but forgettable performance, but rather the blue man group performing with the LA philharmonic. george lopez is still funny as hell, he intro'd santana and was the most charasmatic presence of the event. nice start to the 'bowl season.
om summer sessions @ vanguard
i went to this with little expectations, hoping that the new, larger venue hadn't ruined "deep', LA's version of NYC's body and soul sunday house music party. true enough, the new venue is a little larger but the crowd fills it out nicely by midnight and the extra space works out just fine. the star of the evening (for as long as i lasted, it was a school nite) was chuck love. he not only dj'd a solid set of soulful house, but played the guitar, french horn, flute, and belted out a few tracks with his pipes. excellent stuff!! i'd almost bought om summer sessions before and now i'm planning to pick it up on my next amoeba pilgramage (i like it, but i like used prices even better).
kinky & sidestepper @ california plaza (downtown lala land)
best event of the summer thus far and free, courtesy of kcrw. sidestepper churned out a great performance which was not dissimilar to their performance at the bowl last year. fun, slightly electric latin beats and vocals. kinky on the other hand, was out of this world. i'd heard they were good live but we were blown away. for those of you unacquainted with kinky, they've been around for a while now making partytime electrorock from a latin perspective. we'd arrived early to make sure we got good seats but even the people at the back were dancing by the end of the show. i'd highly recommend catching their show.
karsh kale, dhamaal sound system @ the getty center (los angeles)
i had high hopes for karsh kale and little other expectations for others on the bill. again, the price was right (free!) so even if it was mediocre it's tough to complain. karsh kale wasn't bad but never really hit a crescendo, i expected a little more from him live. the crowd kept expecting him to go big but he turned out a decent but relatively uninspired performance of electro-indian tracks. the highlight of the evening for me was dhamaal sound system from SF, who were clearly engaged with the audience and having fun while playing funky world beats. the dj and vocalist were focal points, freestyling with the crowd and playing right to their audience.