October 3, 2011

LIVE SHOW REVIEW: Fool’s Gold / Tijuana Panthers / Allah-Las @ Troubadour, Los Angeles 9/29/2011


Leave it to KCRW to present a true line-up of SoCal’s finest for local music lovers. LA’s own Fool’s Gold headlined the bill with a passionate, eclectic set of worldly jams for a grown to capacity crowd at the world famous Troubadour last Thursday night September 29, 2011.

Allah-Las opened the eve with their blend of rock revivalist west coast pop. The Los Angeles based band mixed various percussion and instrumental duties among themselves as they embraced everyones favorite breezy surf sound, but with a proper twang nodding to the likes of early guitar rock and roll icons like the The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and The Kingsmen. The new band smell wasn’t lost as the Allah-Las triumphed mostly as songwriters and visionaries in lieu of flashy technical skills that have both done so many great and disastrous things for Rock and Roll. More great music sure to come from these guys.

Allah-Las – Long Journey: california (Facebook)

LBC trio Tijuana Panthers are a shimmering example of a band more than capable of a long and healthy career. Their music is fresh, and visible through all their the heavy garagy Long Beach vibes, there’s a chemistry and common vision. This band seems mostly interested in being awesome. And by being awesome we mean Tijuana have a frequency. One that tunes in an audience. Before the band started the crowd wanted more, and when the Panthers stopped mid song for some reason rather unnoticed to vast majority, the band proclaimed they’d finish the song next time and continued on without even missing a beat. That’s Rock and Roll kids, few things can beat uncontrived confidence. The crowd screamed for more, they moshed, they danced, they sang. Tijuana Panthers’ tight set of open and chugging bar chords, slap your face drumming, witty bass lines, and revolving vocal duties helped keep things as interesting as possible to watch. Technically this band this band can play AND tear a roof off which helps make their brand of ‘indie rock’ much more applicable to a majority of audiences which can’t be said for so many of today’s ‘buzz-worthy’ new lo-fi bands. In other, words Tijuana Panthers seem less likely to have that cliche time stamp slapped on to them in the long run. TBD.

Tijuana Panthers – Creature: california (Facebook)

Fools Gold took the stage to a now packed house. The largest band of the evening filled the stage with all five members both physically and audibly. While Tijuana Panthers played a tight set, it was Fool’s Gold’s musicianship that stole the night. The band’s years and experience stood clear. Fool’s Gold are destined for festival greatness, it was telling as the group jammed through the themes and variations of their eclectic world influenced catalog. Key changes, exploring meters, improvisation, definitely all routine for these cats. Their African rhythms felt more actually rooted in that music, than say the more commercially popular Vampire Weekend, something like the Thrill Jockey released authentic ensemble Extra Golden. Lead singer Luke Top crooned when applicable to the set, his enthusiastic vocals have a pleasant yelping quality to them ala Elvis Costello or Joe Strummer with a subtle James Mercer like pleasantry. In between songs Luke claimed he always dreamed of playing the Troubadour ever since he was a teenager, and there he was, just another night on tour. The collective of pros traded grooves through dueled percussion set ups and complimentary saxophone, bass, synth pads, and impressive electric guitar work courtesy of lead guitarist Lewis Pesacov. With a few gem-like tracks under their belt, “Nadine” “Ha Dvash” “The Dive” … “Street Clothes”, Fool’s Gold are that rare type of band for me who’s musicianship is as interesting as their songs. And when they find their ‘that song’ for the masses, and I believe they will, the amphitheaters won’t be far behind.

Fool’s Gold – Street Clothes: california (Facebook)










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