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Cinespace Event Rocked Downtown
At 8pm, LAist attended the self-proclaimed Anti-Event at Cinespace. Unlike a standard gig--where the bands are typically sequestered far away from the public--we were warmly greeted by musicians as we checked-in. Throughout the evening, bands mixed and mingled with their fans and peers. This is the first time we've seen artists so accessible and laid-back. It was refreshing, to say the least.
Much of the atmosphere can be credited to the physical space. Located off Hollywood Blvd., Cinespace was glossy, high-tech and chill. Deejays Sariah Storm and Nalepa of Terpsichore provided pre-show grooves, while computerized effects danced on strategically-placed monitors and projection screens. The visuals provided a consistent backdrop for the contrasting musical styles. The space was large enough to hold the crowd, but small enough to keep things intimate. The cozy front lounge boasted a wall of open windows that overlooked Hollywood Blvd., while the main stage was actually multipurpose theatre. Therefore, seats were not arranged in typical amphitheater fashion, but instead, wrapped around the room and the adjacent bar in small clusters.
Remote held the unenviable task of opening for the other bands. After the first number, the crowd rolled into the theatre and Remote found their groove. Tal and Ran Pink's intelligent lyrics and compelling vocals came together perfectly on Late Night Radio and Police Myself. But if you look past these two radio-friendly songs, things get really interesting. The quiet, introspective Great Escape, which recently debuted on KCRW, is subtle and just as well-crafted as the upbeat songs. Bassist Ethan Schreiber, guitarist Mike Lewis and drummer Jason Pipkin provided a solid backing throughout the set.
We find it hard to perfectly explain Remote's sound, whose diverse influences include Radiohead, the Beatles and even Simon and Garfunkel. Suffice to say, they have their own style--which is at its best when Ran and Tal Pink's extremely compatible voices weave in and out of often-philosophical songs.
Around 10pm, Colored Shadows took the stage... and subsequently blew us away! The emotional, flawless vibrato of Lucas Field was effectively juxtaposed against complex and elaborate landscapes. Keyboardist Tad Moore contributed additional processed vocal embellishments, which evoked a dreamy, ethereal quality. Howie Diamond (drums) and Ben Pollock (guitars and vocals) further contributed to the rich sound. Although Field's voice is reminiscent of Bowie and Morrissey, it's nonetheless distinct. We were especially impressed by his phrasing and unusually strong vocal control. Shadows' single Life After Love could easily find its way on a movie soundtrack. Pure ear candy.
If you call your band Huge, you better live up to the name. Thankfully, they delivered the goods. Jason Rabe, Ravi and Clive filled the theatre with guitar-driven rock. The set was solid and very radio-friendly. Standout numbers included Wolves and the newest song Happiness Everyday. Extra kudos go to Huge for cosponsoring the evening, along with Fonogenic and Music For Robots.
EL TEN ELEVEN
At midnight, when most level-headed Angelenos were soundly sleeping, LAist stuck around for the last act - El Ten Eleven. It was well worth the red eyes. The band was recently signed to a big label, so the evening was an impromptu signing party for them as well (thus the final billing).
We were impressed with Huge's ability to fill the room with a trio, but El Ten Eleven upped the ante. With just two musicians, they sounded like a quartet or quintet. Kristian Dunn nimbly played a 1977 Carvin guitar/bass doubleneck, while simultaneously sampling and looping his performance via foot pedals. Bandmate Tim Fogarty effortlessly worked the acoustic and electric drums. The entire instrumental set was formidable. However, the crowd (and a few employees) really lost it when El Ten Eleven performed a cover of Radiohead's Paranoid Android. It was a little bit of magic in the heart of downtown Hollywood... at 1am.
The best part of the evening was that everyone was down-to-earth and genuinely appreciative of the support. With a cover of only $5 (plus free refreshments and a deejay), we'd easily recommend this event without hesitation. Organizers said the next Anti-Event would pop up during the first and last weeks of October.
We'd challenge you to find a better way to discover new music in LA. There aren't many. So, the next time they throw a show, don't miss it. Instead, let your TiVo stay at home. Inexpensive, live entertainment like this is hard to come by (and trumps anything on TV or HBO).