Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I See Hawks In L.A. at The Hi Hat, 2-28-17 Concert Review

"Environmental Children Of The Future"
I See Hawks In L.A. wrapped up their February residency at The Hi Hat last night with an excellent set of tunes. The theme for the evening was the apocalypse. Rather fitting these days, eh? But this was not a night of doom and gloom. Quite the opposite, actually. These songs had me smiling and feeling seriously good about the world. So if this is what the apocalypse sounds like, bring it on. I’ll dance right through it.

After a beautiful opening set by The Everyday Visuals (this is a band I will keep an eye out for), I See Hawks In L.A. took the stage just after 10 p.m. They kicked off the set with “Hope Against Hope,” a really good song from their Grapevine album (it was also included on Shoulda Been Gold). “A hopeful way to begin the apocalypse,” Rob Waller said after that one. They then followed that with another song from Grapevine, “Harvest.” “Well, I sat down and read the book of Revelation today/Tried to give a listen to what old John had to say/But I just kept getting bored, so I threw that book away/If the end is coming, let it come another way.” Yeah, that song certainly fit the evening’s theme.

I See Hawks In L.A. played a gig at The Hi Hat on November 4th, and at that show Rob talked about how he’d gotten into a car accident that day. He’d told that story as a way of introducing “Stop Driving Like An Asshole” (I thought of that song on my way to the show last night when a dipshit almost slammed into me on the 134, then got pissed at me when I honked at him). Well, last night Rob reminded the crowd about that accident, then said, “And then today I got stuck in an elevator, and the fire department had to come get me.” He then asked, “Is there something going on?” Someone in the audience shouted out a response, “The apocalypse.”

The band then dipped into their Hallowed Ground album, playing three tracks from it in a row. They got things cooking with an energetic version of “Ever Since The Grid Went Down,” featuring some great work on guitar by Paul Lacques. Rob Waller mentioned that playing this series of shows at The Hi Hat gave them the opportunity to dust off some material they don’t perform regularly. “This next one we haven’t played in quite a while,” Rob said in introducing “Environmental Children Of The Future.” This is one I don’t think I ever saw them perform before, and it was a treat. They followed that with “Carbon Dated Love,” a fun country number that is the lead track from Hallowed Ground.

From New Kind Of Lonely, the band played “River Run.” Rob then removed his outer shirt to reveal a Gun N’ Roses tank top, which had the audience laughing. He bought the shirt at a concert in 1989. “Still fits, too,” he said. The band then played “Slash From Guns N’ Roses,” a song from California Country. I’ve never been a Guns N’ Roses fan, in part because the band’s name requires an apostrophe before the N as well as after. That has always annoyed me. But I do like this song, especially that short lead on bass by Paul Marshall. Delicious!

I’ve been compiling a list of bands that have a song whose title is the band’s name. There are quite a few of them. Bad Company is an obvious example. Other examples include Night Ranger, They Might Be Giants, Bullied By Strings and (shockingly) Kajagoogoo. Well, I See Hawks In L.A. is a member of that interesting group, for the band has a song titled “I See Hawks In L.A.” (on an album also titled I See Hawks In L.A.), and last night they played it. For this song, Paul Lacques played lap steel, which sounded great. I love this song, and their voices blended beautifully on it last night. This was, for me, one of the set’s highlights. And it was followed by another highlight. Back in November, I saw I See Hawks In L.A. cover David Bowie’s “Five Years,” and they did a fantastic job with it. Last week when I learned that the theme for this concert was going to be songs about the apocalypse, I wondered if they’d play it again. Well, they did, and again it was fantastic. They then concluded the set with “Good And Foolish Times,” the closing track from Hallowed Ground. What a fun way to end the show! “Didn’t we have some good times/Some good and foolish times/Didn’t we have some good and foolish times?” Absolutely! And here’s to many more.

Set List
  1. Hope Against Hope
  2. Harvest
  3. Ever Since The Grid Went Down
  4. Environmental Children Of The Future
  5. Carbon Dated Love
  6. River Run
  7. Slash From Guns N’ Roses
  8. I See Hawks In L.A.
  9. Five Years
  10. Good And Foolish Times
Their set ended at precisely 11 p.m. Here are some photos from the show:

"Ever Since The Grid Went Down"
"Slash From Guns N' Roses"
"I See Hawks In L.A."
"I See Hawks In L.A."
"I See Hawks In L.A."
"I See Hawks In L.A."
"Good And Foolish Times"

The Hi Hat is located at 5043 York Blvd. in Los Angeles.

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