Trontroland's Labor Day Weekend

One week from now my life should return to normal and so should this blog.  But until then we are accepting content from our readers to fill the void.  Actually, we'll take that anytime, but right now it's especially nice.  Here's a review from our good buddy Trontroland, haling from the LBC:

 Just returned from my summer vacation back East. I was pumped to see some local music so I checked the City of Devils calender of upcoming events and to my surprise there was some excellent choices over the Labor Day Weekend.  The Saturday Space Rock Show at the Key Club sounded cool. The Grails show down in Costa Mesa on Sunday also peeked my interest.  I ended up going to both and was very happy at one show and hugely let down at the other...

The Space Rock Show offered a mighty diverse Euro prog/space rock line-up with some other up and coming California bands thrown in.  I convinced a friend of mine to go because he has heard me talk up the Lumerians after seeing them in Long Beach about 3 years ago.  So we emailed Lantrvn and were told we would be put on the list for $20 tickets.  When we got to the will call the nice girl just gave us the tickets for free and said "have fun." Great start wouldn't you say.

It was only 8:00 and we were thinking of going to get some liquor from the nearby store and party in the car, thinking we would be able to see the start of the show by 9:00.  My friend suggested we just go in and check the scene out and then go on our little mission.  Glad we went in because on stage was one of the true classic Space Rock guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton (original guitarist from Hawkwind)! He was playing an acoustic song on stage and really sounding good.  Then members of Farflung crept on stage and jammed along with him for a nice 15 minutes.  Glad we didn't take my advice and go off for cheap car drinks!

Talking to the friendly staff we were told that Lumerians would be on at 10:30.  So to the upper dinner club we went and pounded down drinks while looking down on the stage at BrainTicket.  Brainticket is another iconic, old, prog rock band with a Grace Slick- type belly dancing singer and a very good instrumentalist (sitar, organ, general space music equipment). Also, again there were members of Farflung and Anubian Lights helping out. (Tommy Grenas was playing bass - very well). While the music wasn't my thing, the light show was absolutely amazing!  Next up were the Lumerians.  A quick jump outside for a smoke and we were ready to catch some waves with these fellas from San Francisco.

Back inside and we were amazed to see how many old Germans and other people were cheering and smiling and going crazy.  "Are they giving away Becks?" I wondered.  No it was Nektar on the stage and not the Lumerians.  Nektar may have been a great prog rock band back in the 70's, but I was not happy that they pushed Lumerians back.  We tried to find out what time the Lumerians were coming on but nobody could hear us from the crazy German singing and mayhem.  Pissed off and having to piss, I went down to the lower level, underneath the main floor to find a restroom.

As I walked down the stairs and opened the doors I was blasted by crazy lava lamps around the merchandise table.  "Wow, here is the merchandise table I was looking for earlier."  There was some great records, CD's and posters I would have loved to have bought, but was too strapped from the $10 tonics.  After using the loo, I headed back up the stairs to where my friend was watching the Nektar show and grabbed him to come check the merch. table.  While looking around the merchandise area I noticed a little hidden hallway going off toward a room with many cheering people in it.  Instantly my heart sank and a pain hit my stomach. No way!  I had no idea there was another stage down here on the basement floor.  And yes, here were the Lumerians- packing up their equipment!  Turns out we not only missed them, but Chrome too!  Fucking Helios Creed's band!

I tried to have fun the rest of the night, but the air was out of my balloon. Lantrvn deserved better than they got (half empty club at 12:30).  Next time I go to a club I am going to make a reconnaissance on every floor to make sure this doesn't happen again!

Sunday night with the Grails at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa was much different.  I still checked the bar out for any hidden jam rooms or secret bars but the Detroit Club is not large so no worries.  Easily found the merchandise table, with Alex from the Grails working behind it.  He was very nice and listened to my embarrassing story from the night before.  He pointed to the main stage and said "that's where we will be playing when the warm up band is done."

The Grails are my kind of band. Expert musicians, no lyrics, and plenty of open spaces to jam in.  After the warmup act True Widow finished, I quickly grabbed a front spot and settled in.  The band took the stage with an added slide-guitarist, and opened with the twangy mid- tempo "Almost Cut My Hair" followed by All the Colors of the Dark.  Both songs off of the new CD "Deep Politics."   Here is the rest of the set list:

  • Immediate Mate
  • Back to the Monastery
  • Acid Rain
  • Take Refuge
  • Pharaoh
  • Origin-ing
  • Silk Road
  • Encore- Reincarnation Blues
I wish they could have provided some cool lights or some crazy videos that drummer Emil Amos has produced (see Grails- You Tube), but being up close and personal with my favorite band was all I needed anyway. Wish I could have gone to the Bordello Tuesday night to see them again...