This has been the summer of concerts. It seems like everyone good is coming through town these days and I've had a tough time saying no to a show. This weekend, though, was the first time all summer that I've gone to shows on consecutive nights. And both were so radically different, it was almost amusing.
On Friday, I went to Kings of Leon at the Greek. I first saw KOL at Coachella this year and was blown away by them: their mid-day set seemed to match the 105 degree temperatures. So when I heard they were coming to the Greek, I signed up right away.
They didn't disappoint. All 6,000 at the Greek were on their feet for their entire set and had tons of energy. It didn't seem like an LA-crowd, prompting the band mention this between songs. But I think a lot of that had to do with the Kings' performance: they just fucking rocked. I mean, straight up, loud, fast rock and roll. It was the perfect way to end the week.
There's still a few performances from the show stuck in my head: "Taper Jean Girl," "Trani," but most of all, "Slow Night, So Long."
And "Slow Night, So Long," is what I said after seeing Hall & Oates last night at the Hollywood Bowl.
Now, let me clarify something: I did not purchase tickets to see "Hall & Oates" months in advance. After the Kings of Leon show, Blake mentioned that he got some $9 tickets to Hall & Oates at the Bowl, thinking it would be an amusing show. He had an extra ticket, so I figured for $9, it wouldn't be too bad.
Whereas Kings of Leon were 1 1/2 hours of pure energy and rock, Hall & Oates were 1 1/2 hours of easy listening and slight boredom. Sure, I enjoyed hearing "Meaneater," "Sara Smile," and "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," but in order to get to those hits, we had to sit through a bunch of new, crappier material. I don't mean to be harsh, but I go to a show like that to hear all the greatest hits. I don't want to hear your new cover of "What's Going On?" As we walked out of the show, a lot of the crowd seemed to be complaining that they didn't play "Private Eyes" and a few other huge hits.
The band sounded fine and Darryl Hall's voice still sounds great (although Oates is looking a little pulled back and creepy), but the show was pure cheese. The stage banter was amusing ("This next one's a song about getting off the road. It's about simple things in a complex world") and Hall seemed to be more into fussing with his hair than singing. Oh yeah, and at one point, there was a flute solo. A fucking flute solo at a "rock" concert.
Trust me, I had fun and knew from moment one that it would be a silly, cheese-fest of 80's music. But one night after seeing something really kick-ass, really made the night suffer in comparison. If the crowd at the Hall & Oates show had been at the Greek Theater a night earlier, they would've been booing Hall & Oates off the stage and chanting for Kings Of Leon to come out and rock their asses off.
PS: Oh yeah, one other thing: there was a large catfight/near-brawl after the Kings of Leon show. Four girls yelling and pulling hair and their boyfriends shoving each other and putting each other in headlocks, nearly coming to blows. That was awesome. There was nothing that cool at the Hall & Oates show.