|RJ Bloke performing "19th Nervous Breakdown"|
Los Angeles is in the middle of a heat wave (actually, I hear much of the country is suffering from extreme temperatures), and the tent, while providing some shade, did not do much to stop the heat, though there were misters set up. RJ Bloke began the show. “It’s hotter than two rats fornicating in a wool sock,” he noted. “I don’t say that often. If ever.” He then opened the show with “19th Nervous Breakdown,” one of my personal favorites. My grandfather bought Hot Rocks for me on vinyl when I was a kid, and that was a song that stood out to me then. He followed that with his Beatles selection, “She Said She Said,” one of the best songs from Revolver. RJ Bloke chose not to do an original number, in order to keep things moving. He was followed by Stephanie Erin Wittmer, who began her set with her Beatles choice. Interestingly, it wasn’t a Beatles original. She chose “Act Naturally,” a song originally recorded by Buck Owens. She was one of two artists who picked covers for their Beatles songs, the other being The Doohickeys, who played “Twist And Shout,” which was originally recorded by the Top Notes and made a hit by The Isley Brothers before The Beatles released their version in 1963. Kind of strange, with all the great original Beatles songs to choose from, that two artists played covers. Anyway, Stephanie Erin Wittmer, for her Stones selection, played “Dead Flowers,” from the great Sticky Fingers album. “When Jay asked me to do this, I Googled ‘Easiest Rolling Stones song,’” Stephanie said in her introduction. Her original number was “Always Been A Sucker,” a song from her Pilot EP. Greg West accompanied her on guitar, and then his band performed next. From Exile On Main St., Greg West picked “Sweet Virginia.” And for his Beatles song, he played “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” first telling the crowd: “This next one we practiced. It’s hard. The Beatles were a studio band when they did this one.” And indeed, The Beatles had stopped performing two years before The White Album was released (the famous rooftop show being the only exception). Well, the band delivered a really good rendition.
The Doohickeys were up next, and for their Stones song, chose “Honky Tonk Women.” It was a fun rendition, even though the bridge to Haley’s violin broke during it. But, as she said afterward, there’s no fiddle needed for “Twist And Shout,” which was, as I mentioned, their Beatles choice. Curt Barlage played his original song first, then delivered a really nice rendition of The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down.” He followed that with his Stones selection, “Street Fighting Man.” Eagle Noise played “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” (from the White Album) and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” that second song leading straight into their original number, “Eager Noise Jr.” A few folks in the audience wore either Beatles or Rolling Stones T-shirts, and the bass player for Eagle Noise made it clear where her allegiance lay, from the style of bass she played to her T-shirt, which read “Who the fuck is Mick Jagger?” Frisky Jones played “I Saw Her Standing There,” from The Beatles’ first album, Please Please Me. They then talked about how Mick Jagger is an underrated lyricist and how he’s written some brilliant songs. “This song is not one of them” was the introduction to “She’s So Cold,” a song from Emotional Rescue. It’s true that “She’s So Cold” is no lyrical masterpiece, but it’s still one hell of a fun song, and Frisky Jones delivered a good rendition. The band’s original song, “Full Face Leather Mask,” was also a lot of fun, and the audience sang along to this punk number. From punk to bluegrass? Why not? Gilbert Louie Ray Band followed Frisky Jones, playing the Rolling Stones’ “Mother’s Little Helper” and The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends,” both excellent choices. I also enjoyed the band’s original number, “Lonesome Can Of Beer.”
This is Jay Souza’s concert series, and this show was his idea, and so not only did he open the show as RJ Bloke, but his band, Patrolled By Radar, also did a set. For the Stones song, the band played “Waiting On A Friend,” from the Tattoo You album, released in 1981 (the most recent Stones song of the evening). This is one that Patrolled By Radar had played in concert before, and these guys did a wonderful job with it. They then did their original song, “The Widow Next Door,” before going into The Beatles’ “For No One,” a song from Revolver, Jay adding some nice harmonica work to it. Patrolled By Radar was followed by Wyman & The Wolves, who played “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” and “Paint It Black.” They totally nailed both songs, and I especially loved the sitar-guitar work on “Paint It Black.” They joked before staring their original song, “These are the shortest sets ever.” Then Kilo Bravo took the stage, a band from Long Beach, “not to be confused with Kilo Tango, not from Long Beach,” they joked. Kilo Tango was scheduled as part of the lineup for the show, slated to play between Gilbert Louie Ray Band and Patrolled By Radar, but wasn’t able to make it. Kilo Bravo chose “Dig A Pony” from Let It Be, and “Some Girls,” the title track to the Stones’ 1978 LP. One of the best original songs of the evening was Kilo Bravo’s “Don’t Count On Me,” and the band jammed on it. I need to get a copy of Kilo Bravo’s Chew This Slow record. The final band of the evening was Ryan Hahn & The Believers. “Thank you, Mick Jagger, for existing,” Ryan Hahn said before starting the set. “And thank you to the Beatles for also existing.” They decided to begin with their original song, “Alright.” Then from Some Girls, they chose “Beast Of Burden,” and wrapped up the show with “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” from Abbey Road. That was a fantastic ending to a wonderful evening of music. The show ended at 8:15 p.m., exactly four hours after it began.
Here are some photos from the show:
|Stephanie Erin Wittmer performing "Act Naturally"|
|Greg West performing "Sweet Virginia"|
|The Doohickeys performing "Honky Tonk Women"|
|Curt Barlage performing "Don't Let Me Down"|
|Eagle Noise performing "Happiness Is A Warm Gun"|
|Who the fuck is Mick Jagger?|
|Frisky Jones performing "She's So Cold"|
|Gilbert Louie Ray Band performing "Mother's Little Helper"|
|Patrolled By Radar performing "Waiting On A Friend"|
|Wyman & The Wolves performing "Norwegian Wood"|
|Kid Bravo performing "Dig A Pony"|
|Ryan Hahn & The Believers performing "Beast Of Burden"|
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