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Monthly Archives: May 2009
Let’s get the bad out of the way. This show was yet another poorly lit, frustrating experience. The few moments that utilized the lights to create an interesting atmosphere in which to see the band was just barely bright enough to notice it happening.
It baffles me how lighting could go to the sidelines in terms of expressing one’s music. It is such an easy tool to utilize in order to increase the way and richness those in the audience can connect to the music.
I did what I could in a horrible situation for photography.
With that said, the show was amazing. Dredg is always a treat to see live. They do a great job with letting it all flow out naturally.
Gavin is a great front man. His stage presence is reminiscent of Jim Morrison to me. He has this fun swagger about him. His voice is unique and he has great technique with singing powerfully and in control.
Compared to the few outings I caught while they were still writing the new songs that require Gavin to play guitar, he looks a lot more natural up there with one in his hands.
He has never looked out of place playing on his slide guitar which rests on the table in front of him. It did at one point seem as though being strapped to a guitar was a whole new world to him. haha.
Not now. Now, he has that same swagger on guitar as he does the rest of the time without it. It’s quite fun to watch.
Dino is the most calculated person I think I have ever seen play. At times it is hard to not think of him as a robot. If you couldn’t happen to look into his eyes while he played I think you would believe he actually is a robot. The guy hits crazy hard and knows how to lead the rest of the band through dynamic build ups through out their set.
Mark’s guitar playing is probably the most easily recognized element in the music that notifies the listener they are hearing a dredg song. Until this show I was struggling with pinpointing just how far and away the batch of songs on their newest album have come from the last album.
Seeing them live and being able to fully focus on Mark made it apparent that distance is not far at all. His style has not changed although the influences for the music has.
Drew is definitely the ambassador of dredg. He is the guy that is always a beacon of fun. No matter how serious he can look, there are always moments of charm as he finds someone to quickly interact with in the crowd.
It was interesting seeing the addition of a synth in front of Drew.
A lot of times when you see a band member abandon their analog (well, analog enough) instrument for a synth it gets a little nerve racking. I mean, “keyboards have no soul!” Or, at least that is what I have read on numerous bumper stickers. haha.
The way Drew writes and plays quickly disproves that. It is a welcome addition to the soundscape that dredg creates.
The show was amazing. A lot of energy. A lot of heart and/or soul (haha). A lot of great songs. A lot of surprises too. With dredg that means guest appearances by friends. This night it was Judgement Day joining the band on stage to provide strings to a good grip of songs.
Well. That about sums it up.
Check Dredg out!
Enjoy the photos. I hope. ^_-
p.s. Gonna add this video of them at Coachella last year playing “Saviour” off their new CD to help give you all an idea of how great these guys are.
Wow. What a fabulous concert!
Ben Folds knows how to organize a crisp and fun event. The opening band was this very pleasant and mellow group featuring two female singers, strings, and piano.
After the opening band, Ben held an a capella competition featuring groups from USC, UCLA, and a school from Northern California (anyone that knows the names of the groups please tell me and I’ll include them here).
It was very entertaining to watch a range of voices recreate Ben Folds songs. The groups were full of personality as well!
Then, as an extra surprise Josh Groban came out and announced the winner. This would not be the last we saw of Josh Groban either!
Finally, it was time for Ben to come out. The man is really great at performing live. He is one of those artists that gives me chills to watch. Ben is great at funneling his passion and heart into his music.
The first part of the set ran through songs from “Way To Normal.” Seeing this songs live gave me new appreciation for them. It always helps when the artist gives little anecdotes about the songs. Ben is known for this and it really adds a layer of intimacy to his shows.
After getting some of the new stuff off his chest, which you could tell he was excited to showcase to the audience, it was on to the older material.
Of course we heard “Bitches Ain’t Shit” and got some fun stories about Ben making good on his ancient publishing deal. We got the extra bonus of hearing about a jingle he wrote for a Japanese radio station. With each story you feel a little closer to the man and can respect him all the more for what he does.
Los Angeles finally got to participate in one of his famous conductor moments turning the entire audience into his personal back up singers during a run through of “Not the Same” and were again utilized for “Army.” Again, the man knows how to make the audience feel close to him and important.
Then, during the encore Josh Groban reappeared on stage. This time it was to sing “Still Fighting.” His rendition of it was nothing short of amazing. I’m not even a Josh Groban fan. The guy can sing great and it really was a joy to see the two of them performing that song together.
All in all, it was an excellent night. One I’m sad to say did not include any of my friends. Shit. They missed out and I could have used Myke, Jacob, or Andy’s help with keeping me from forgetting how the trumpet part of “Army” goes. haha.
Heaps more photos if you click “Continue reading »”