Foo Fighters: Acoustic at the Pantages

Sarah scored some tickets to the sold out acoustic Foo Fighters show at the Pantages theater on August 29th. It was the first concert I had been to in a while and all I can say is wow. I’m not a diehard Foo Fighters fan but I enjoy music and good production and engineering qualities. My short recap of the concert is that it was not just good, but is possibly the best live musical performance I have ever been too.

If it had been a traditional plain old rock concert with outrageously loud Marshal stacks and little interaction with the audience then my overall impression would not be so ecstatic. The acoustic setup allowed the band to double in size to keep a fuller sound and add something new. They added on one more guitarist, original band member Pat Smear, a keyboard/organ/accordion player, full time percussionist and Petra Haden on violin/mandolin/vocals. The extended band added a very enjoyable dimension.

When it came down to it though, the show just totally rocked. The Pantages is a pretty small venue for a band of this size and our seats were in the orchestra, 11 rows back, barely off center, couldn’t ask for better seats. Dave Grohl was interacting with the crowd and actually responding to shouted comments which made the performers feel much more accessible. At one point Grohl was telling how he joined Nirvana and was staying in Curt Cobain’s apartment and paused at a point in the story and someone yelled out that “the rest was history” and Grohl went with it.

From a production standpoint things were done pretty well. Lighting was spot on and I couldn’t find anything to complain about with the mix. They were filming for a DVD so we might very well have shot of us since we were right on the aisle and they kept panning by us.

We saw Wicked at the Orange County Performance Arts Center a couple weeks ago so if I keep this up I might be in danger of becoming “cultured”.

Video from concert with pretty good video but clipped audio (I guess tiny digital cameras aren’t designed to handle sound levels over 100 dB SPL). I’ll post another clip if a better one shows up.

Evolving Musical Tastes

I’ve never been a huge music nut but the history of rock music class I took a couple summers ago at Cerritos has kept me thinking about music in ways I hadn’t when I was younger. I remember when my musical taste was dictated by what was on the radio, now I’d be surprised if I even like 10% of it.

Looking back at some of the bands I used to listen to frequently, I find they get less play time on my mp3 player, in the car, or on the computer. So what gives? Did I grow out of them? Did I listen to them because friends at the time did? Am I tired of them? Has my taste in music become more sophisticated? Am I more critical now?

I can probably answer yes to all those questions to some degree. I seem to value songwriting, composition, and the recording itself more than anything now. Before a fast beat and catchy guitar riff might have been enough to hold my interest. Now I find I don’t mind deviations from the 3 piece rock band. That probably started with my interest in swing and then ska, but has expanded from there. My new found appreciations probably came from listening to more classic rock and seeing the genre evolve from rock n’ roll to what we listen to today.

Some of my more recent infatuations include Beck (old and new), Cake, Ben Folds, Reel Big Fish, The New Pornographers, Less Than Jake, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Presidents of the United States (they just seem to never get old), The White Stripes, and probably more I can’t even think of right now. There will always be exceptions to the rules though. I’ve found recently that I actually like melodic metal and as I type I’m getting some Parliament and Funkadelic which I got a taste of in my aforementioned class.

So what trends have you noticed in your own tastes and is there anything you listen to that you are slightly surprised you liked in the first place?