3rd in the series of LA Slaps. Thanks to @Phokus for the execution.
Los Angels, city of Angels, we meet again. I’m not lying when I say it’s been too long. So I headed out solo from overcast and dark Phoenix and was so happy when I landed in Cali, I stepped off the plane and was greeted by sunny skys and a mellow 65 degrees. If’ you’ve never flown into Burbank, there are no jet ways so you deplane onto the tarmac and feel a little important, I mean its not a PJ but instagram doesn’t have to know. Since I was going to be doing a 4-show/5-night run I checked a bag. Hey, it's free and on SWA you get two, so why not? For the first time ever the airline lost my bag, well didn’t lose it but just decided not to put it on the plane so my bag was chilling in Phoenix. Some frustrations aside, I was informed that the bag was delivered while I was having my face melted. So I’m only slightly annoyed.
But you came here to read about the show, not read about me bellyaching about lost undies and, yes dude, the ringer is full of my dirty laundry, the whites, because the ringer cannot seem empty. Nothing is fucked dude.
Photo credit Jon Rose
Ok, Big Lebowski references for the most part done let's talk about the show. I normally don’t do the VIP meet and greet but this time I got hooked up by a fellow nerd with the promise that I send him the VIP print. Which, can we pause real quick, is absolutely killer. Known Associates pays tribute to the 10 year anniversary of the band and is signed by all 6 members of Spafford. Wait there are only 4 ppl in the band right? Well, we get the man the myth the legend Chuck Johnson’s signature on there as well as Mr. Rose's. Absolutley stunning. But wait, there is more. The great Joey Feldman had a print as well, specific to the 2 nights in Hollywood. “Ballet” is so stunning. Simple, elegant and beautiful. I’ve been a fan of Joey’s ever since his first Spafford print 2 years ago and he was teasing this print on social media all week so when I found out that it was indeed a Spafford print I was over the moon. Check Joey out, this dude is amazing.
Photo stolen from Spafford Instagram
VIP meet an greet is so much fun. I think that there were 7-8 of us at the sound check and we had the run of the place. Met some friends and made some new ones while the band offered us 30 min of fresh new jams to stint our collective 6 weeks of withdrawals. A super intimate performance was followed by some Q&A and despite my best efforts no one wanted to tell me if I would have an Aliens in store for me in a few nights in San Francisco. I think I got personally scolded by Brian for that one, but he had a point, they have never leaked a set list so I don’t see them doing it anytime soon. But hey, it never hurts to ask. Also wanted to give a huge shout out to Jeff and his incredible new ink! He and his special lady friend flew out from Indianapolis to rage and I was super stoked to meet him. If you see this guy at a show give him a high-five he’s definitely killing it.
Before I get into the music just let me say this, the Roxy is AMAZING. Intimate room, I’d guess somewhere around 300 capacity, efficient bartenders and an awesome staff. Their security was so chill nice and friendly that I made like 6 new friends. I never realized how much security can make a show (I take that back, I have been to a certain venue in Phoenix that is kinda rough), these dudes were so nice and accommodating and I don’t think they got annoyed at anyone all night. Plus it’s the Roxy, pretty sure there can be a post made about the history there but that’s for another time. If you get a chance, go. I’d have to say that the Roxy is in my top 5 venues. I’ll let you know about tomorrows show but it’s such a cool place and I defiantly will try and catch a show here again.
Ok, music I got you. Bear with me I started this day after show and have been trying to get to words on paper quicker for you. Now I find myself in a hotel room in cold and rainy San Francisco with a mixlr feed in my ears and a frosty beverage. So lets talk about night one. First off, Jeeeasus Fucking Christ. A God dam heater. Now I’m one for casual cursing but right out the door with All my Friends. Such a great song to get the night rolling. A nice easy segue to get everyone’s feet moving. I may have been more enthusiastic than most but I’m not concerned. As a way to kick off a tour after 6 weeks off, they segue into Bee Jam. All-in-all a solid 20 minutes of Jams to put us in the right mind set for the evening.
A brief pause a lot of shouting and then whats this? “You begin…” floats from Brian and I’m stoked for Be Strange! Having been at its debut a few months prior I’m soooo happy that this is making the permanent rotation. When it debuted it took me a minute to process how epic that Red Rocks show was. Be Strange has started to get a little longer, there are some jams happening and some more room for some more. I think Brian does an amazing job on this one. Gonna give him the gold star for set one based on this one.
After the first break in playing, Brian says what’s up to the crowd and Jordan greets us with the bass line to All In! This song absolutely destroys the place! At this point I’m jumping around and can’t contain myself! I’m pretty sure that I black out at some point due to pure bliss...well, we might as well drive and Spafford is the vehicle that will get us there. This song has the place literally burning to the ground, tempo changes and then the back and forth between Red and Brian with Jordan and Nick keeping everyone on track. Love it Dudes!
Next was a first for me! Tongue N' Groove by Steve Kimock Band is stellar. Only the 4th time that they played this and it’s amazing. I had @finegina tell me about how it was one of her favorites and now I know why. Absolutely beautiful from start to finish and gives us in the crowd a moment to slow down and sway back and forth while collecting out collective breaths. Remember when I mentioned that they hadn’t played a show in 6 weeks. You’d think they would be rusty. I’m here to tell you absolutely not. I can feel an epic run coming on. Put down your phone and go stream this right now. I’ll wait.
Closing out the first set was Shake you Loose! I happened to be standing by Chuck and saw him with a setlist in as he was tweeting the songs and almost asked to see the rest of it. I held back and I think Chuck could read my mind as he promised me a copy post show! Thanks again Chuck for all you do! First set came to a close and I was stoked to be hearing my favorite band again and looking forward to the rest of the night!
After a quick set break the gents jumped right into My Road (My Road) an original that is absolutely fantastic. Slow, fast, jam, improve this song has it all. Great intro to the second set with a solid 15 min jam. And then what is this? Sill haven’t heard a member of the band pronounce this one so I’m still kinda up in the air but Fünkenseven is up next. Still a newer song with only 5 appearances in the rotation, this is an ultimate Jam. Everyone gets to shine while Jordan keeps everyone in line with his steady bass lines. I though that Nick was going to hijack this song a few times but Jordan always brought him back. Little di I know that was this was going to be the start of one of the most epic segues in memory! After the crescendo Nick jumped into the beat for Weasel! Weasel is such a funky jam and it seemed like everyone was feeding off him and just jamming until, wait for it, Palisades! No way I can do the Palisades justice so I need you to go listen to that while I have a post coital smoke, yeah it was that good. Oh and to end the segues and close out set one, lets jump back into Weasel. Just ridiculous. And then it was over. I was informed that Legend was on the list but probably had to get cut due to strict noise curfew. So we waited, almost positive that there would be an encore.
The boys did hit the stage again and thanked us for hanging out and immediately dropped into Ain’t That Wrong! Not sure if the curfew had anything to do with it but this seemed fast hard and loud. Perhaps because of where we were (next door was a statue to Lemme, Guns and Roses lived a block away and Van Morrison lived in a hotel, the one I stayed at btw, just up the street. So perhaps they raged a little faster and harder. I don’t know…
I was absolutely blown away by this show. I’ve seen them a few times and it seemed that they were just itching to get on stage and throw down. I’d like to thank everyone, band, fans and crew for making it such an amazing evening. See you at the next one!
Sorry for the lack of action shots. If I stream I cannot take pictures (I've tried) so please go check out the bands page for some shots. I'm working with the photographer to get you some more imagery for the next reviews.