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Arts and Entertainment

La Rocca, Dios Malos, & Phoenix @ The Wiltern 9/21

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We jumped at the chance to see French rockers Phoenix (pictured, right) play The Wiltern last week, with opening acts La Rocca (pictured, left) and Dios Malos in tow. We saw Phoenix do a lively and energetic gig last year at the smaller venue Avalon, and knew they could deliver a solid show. Having last seen Beck at The Wiltern during the summer we knew that there'd be plenty of chances to get a great spot on the SRO main floor, and since we made it in just moments before the first band took the stage, we were happy with getting a place at the very front of a section close to the center.

La Rocca kicked things off with an inviting flourish with "Sketches (20 Something Life)." We're knew to their music, but took an instant like to their polished rock sound. Hailing originally from Ireland, but now calling LA neighborhood Silverlake home, bandmember Bjorn Baillie remarked during the performance that this was the biggest venue they've played yet. But they seemed right at home, and their sound fit the space like a glove, boding well for them to be successful as headliners or in bigger venues to come. Other songs on their set list were "Goodnight,"Non-believer," "This Life," and they closed with "Cambodia." We could easily imagine their songs finding a home on a top-selling and well-assembled alterna-rock soundtrack, and we'd much rather hear one of their tunes backing any one of the endless tv series promos that are so frequently matched with over-produced pop-rock junk.

Next up was Hawthore-based Dios Malos. And we needed a second drink to get through their set.