Saturday, December 17, 2016

Holland & Clark at Mrs. Fish, 12-16-16 Concert Review

Holland & Clark performing "As Long As I've Got You"
With all the craziness and horror in the world these days, we are going to need good music more than ever. Seeing Holland & Clark reminds me that the world is actually not a bad place, that there are plenty of good people, that there is plenty of beauty. Last night they played at a venue called Mrs. Fish in downtown Los Angeles. It was not exactly a listening room, and with the band’s volume fairly low I did wonder if those not in the immediate vicinity of the stage could hear the music at all. But everyone I spoke with there – both patrons and staff – was incredibly kind, and the place had a great vibe. And I managed to grab a spot right in front (though the couches in the front had been reserved).

Holland & Clark did two sets, delivering a mix of original material and covers. They opened the show with a cover of “I Only Have Eyes For You,” that classic tune The Flamingos recorded in 1959. Holland Greco was on keys for this one. They then got into the original material, beginning with the cool “What Is Dark” and following it with “100 Proof,” a song that Holland has been performing for quite a while now. For that one she switched to the electric ukulele. I always love hearing that one, and she followed it with another favorite, “Bedford Stuyvesant,” on which she also played the ukulele. 

Happy Friday night,” Holland said, before then going into the fun “Guilty Pleasure Zone.” Then, after a cover of The Charmels’ “As Long As I’ve Got You,” Holland grabbed her electric guitar for “Solace,” a nice, mellow tune that just feels so damn good. I loved that one the first time I heard it, and appreciate it even more now. The first set also included “Fool Around,” with a great old-time groove, and “Speedway,” another of Holland’s excellent early tunes. They ended the set with Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You.” (And in the second set they covered his “Baby Be Mine.”) The first set ended at 11:14 p.m.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, what with a name like Mrs. Fish, yes, this venue has a large aquarium. There are different levels to this place, and the fish tank is in the upper level (but visible from below), and it is home to some brightly colored, beautiful and quite active fish. The venue was fairly crowded. Downtown L.A. has clearly become a more lively and vibrant place than it was in years past, though the streets are still populated by assorted lunatics, junkies, dipshits and beggars. What do those folks make of all the clubs, bars and lofts that have sprung up in their domain in recent years?

Right at midnight, band members started returning to the stage, and at 12:05 they kicked off the second set with “Stuck,” another gem from early in Holland’s solo career. I love the bass line that Erika Takagi plays on this tune, really giving the song a different life. After “Only Up From Here,” Holland said, “So I wrote a Christmas song.” And though the song has been available online for several days, last night saw the debut concert performance of “Santa’s Magic Trick,” a fun song with a classic rock and roll holiday vibe. Certainly one I will be adding to my Christmas play list. “Let me tell you about a guy I know/He lives way out in the North Pole/He’s the sweet and generous type/Kind of makes you want to wait up all night.”

Later in the set, backing vocalist Dana Wilson stepped to the front of the stage to take over lead vocal duties on a cover of “Addicted To Love.” I have started to appreciate this song more now that Holland & Clark are performing it. She also sang lead on a delightful cover of The Coasters’ “Down In Mexico,” while Bri Schaefer sang lead on a cool rendition of Classics IV’s “Spooky,” changing the gender to “a spooky little boy like you.”

The second set also included “Flashback,” and it was a great, groovy version thanks in large part to Clark’s work on guitar. They ended the second set with the hauntingly gorgeous “Spirit.” The second set ended at 12:56 a.m. There was no encore. By the way, here is some great news for music fans: Holland & Clark are planning on going into the studio in March to record a new album. That will help get us through these screwed up times. And in the more immediate future, Holland & Clark are actually playing a show tonight at Cheetahs Club.

Set List

Set I
  1. I Only Have Eyes For You
  2. What Is Dark
  3. 100 Proof
  4. Bedford Stuyvesant
  5. Guilty Pleasure Zone
  6. As Long As I’ve Got You
  7. Solace
  8. The Flight
  9. The Rumble
  10. Fool Around
  11. Be Good To Me
  12. Speedway
  13. Rock With You
Set II
  1. Stuck
  2. Only Up From Here
  3. Santa’s Magic Trick
  4. We Can Still Get It On
  5. Baby Be Mine
  6. I Found Fun
  7. Addicted To Love
  8. Flashback
  9. Freak Flag
  10. Down In Mexico
  11. Spooky
  12. Spirit
Here are a few photos from the show:

"I Only Have Eyes For You"
"I Only Have Eyes For You"
"The Rumble"
"I Found Fun"
"Freak Flag"
"Down In Mexico"
"Down In Mexico"
Mrs. Fish is located at 448 S. Hill St. in Los Angeles.

1 comment:

  1. Does anyone have any video of the night? Would love to hear some of it. Thanks for the article. It's great for those of us that live on the other side of the country and don't have access to some of the live action.