Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Saturday Night

New theater in town

The joint just opened two weeks ago with a two-week, six-show run by the Eagles and the Dixie Chicks. I made it to the last show of the run. I had never seen either act, and I was looking forward to both.

I showed up very early because I was worried that parking would be hard to come by. So I had lots of time to take pictures before the show. Parking was pretty straightforward and close by . . . at least for people who got there way too early.

The Kings were playing across the way at Staples Center, so the Kobe burger was available.

On nights when the Lakers are playing, the cafe serves the Luc burger.

The Dixie Chicks gave us some songs from their latest album, including “Not Ready to Make Nice” and “The Long Way Around.” From that album, they also dug up “Easy Silence,” which I had never noticed before. It shone in the live performance.

The Chicks put on a short set, with just a little stage patter (“This is the last engagement of our six-show 2007 tour . . . There’s a reason they call us the least hard-working band in show business”), and plenty of material to choose from.

Incidentally, I was pretty pleased with how well my camera did that night. You can click on most of the pictures here to see the level of detail I got from the back rows. To be able to pick up a wedding ring or the tip of a moving performer’s spike heel at that distance has to go beyond anything Ansel Adams ever dreamed would be technically possible.

Not that any of these shots get near his level of artistry, and not that you couldn’t do better (these days) with even fancier equipment. But for a low-end consumer-grade digital point-and-shoot, I was fairly happy with the results.

Of course, it helps when the performers’ rings have such big rocks in ’em.

The Chicks played “Landslide,” “Wide Open Spaces,” “Goodbye, Earl,” “Long Time Gone,” “Sin Wagon,” “Cowboy, Take Me Away,” and a mess of other hits.

I would have loved to hear them do “Traveling Soldier,” but time was short. The audience was pretty clearly glad to welcome them to Los Angeles.

The second band of the night warmed up with four numbers from their new album: “How Long,” “Busy Being Fabulous,” “Guilty of the Crime,” and one other I don’t remember. Joe Walsh’s voice sounded a little weak on “Guilty of the Crime,” but by the time we got into the thick of the evening with tunes like “Life in the Fast Lane,” he had come right up to speed.

First tune up after those four was “Hotel California,” with a long and wonderful trumpet intro.

This would be “In the City.” (Get the backdrop?) We heard a lot of Don Henley solo material, which didn’t bother me at all: “Boys of Summer,” “Dirty Laundry,” and “Sunset Grill” made the cut.

Joe Walsh was the only one that night who broke out of extremely tight versions of album favorites to interact with the crowd. Here he is with his “helmet cam,” which he used to put pictures of front-row audience members on the big screens over the stage.

This is during “Life’s Been Good,” which he freshened up with lines like “I got a limo/ I ride in the back/ I go to Lakers games/ And sit next to Jack.” The crowd ate it up. (Another: “I’m makin’ records/ My fans, they can’t wait/ They write me letters/ And tell me Don’s great.”)

Also during this song, at the lines “He’s cool” and “Oh, yeah,” the words flashed up big on the screen over the stage, for all of us to sing along. Joe knows how to ham it up.

I won’t swear what else was in the set list. No Glen Frey solo stuff. “Desperado” made a fine encore. “Witchy Woman,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Peaceful, Easy Feeling,” “Take It Easy,” “Heartache Tonight.” The band played for two hours. I didn’t take notes.

I had heard the band was also playing “Rocky Mountain Way,” which would have been fun, but it wasn’t in my night’s set. They did, however, dig up some old James Gang material. Half the fun of going to an Eagles show is hearing them play each other’s solo stuff. The horn section laid down an incredibly thick, fat sound.

As I walked back over to the parking garage, I stood at the corner while a Maserati pulled out of the VIP parking. I couldn’t see who was inside, but it looked like about four guys. Probably on their way over to the Sunset Grill.


Papa Bradstein said...

I don't get it--how does their concessionaire guarantee that everyone gets the worst brat?

Great pics, and a better memory for a set list than I've ever had. Also--love Joe Walsh.

Of course you couldn't see who was in the Maserati, since I'm sure it was doin' 185.

CaliforniaGirl said...

Did they ask you to turn off your cell phone, or do they have it covered somehow.

Andrew Shields said...

... and you ain't got nobody? You had some money cuz you just got paid?

Oh, sorry, wrong music! :-)