Over the past few months, as the pandemic had seemed to be waning (fingers crossed cases go down again soon), I was lucky enough to do some normal things again. I used to go to shows a lot before the pandemic, but because of COVID-19, that hadn’t been possible until recently. In the month of October, however, I went to seven concerts. I saw Sadgirl, The Black Lips, The Rolling Stones, Arlo Parks, Starcrawler, Jungle, and Rocket From The Crypt.
Sadgirl was on the first day of the month at the Ebell Theater in Highland Park. I was very excited for this show because I knew almost all of the songs, and honestly, I knew the merch would be so good! Misha Lindes, the leader of the band, screen prints all of the merch for their shows and does really cool designs. My favorite piece was a tank top with the screen-printed Fiorucci angels and the word “Sadgirl” above it. I brought some friends along and we danced a lot and sang along to almost every song. It’s the best when you know the songs, I think! I loved getting to see Sadgirl. Their music is so beautiful and kind of makes me feel nostalgic because they have a retro feel.
The next week, I went to see The Black Lips at The Echo in Echo Park. This band, unlike Sadgirl, is rowdy and ready to stir stuff up! The Atlanta-based band turned the small club into a rodeo. Toilet paper was handed out to a few people (myself included) to be thrown around. The band itself is so well put together–it’s a huge band with nine people, making the music very well-rounded. They have Zumi Rosow on saxophone (an instrument that feels kind of unusual in rock music, but you’d be surprised at how common it is). The Black Lips really know how to put on an engaging show!
The week after, I went to see the Rolling Stones at SoFi Stadium. That show was crazy! The stadium makes the Forum (which is literally next door) seem very small in comparison. The Rolling Stones have been around for a while, so they knew what they were doing. Mick Jagger had at least five costume changes. He was strutting his stuff all along the stage, really showing us his moves!
The day after I saw The Rolling Stones, I went to see Arlo Parks. Her music is indie pop with a touch of RnB. I loved her album Collapsed In Sunbeams. It was a beautiful and poetic piece. I was so happy to get to see her live. She exudes a beautiful energy that fills the audience with pure joy. Her show was really touching because she really connected with the audience.
The next week I saw Starcrawler, which is modern punk. I would like to first acknowledge the opening acts, Wacko and an up-and-coming band, Surfbort. This whole show was certainly a punk show. There was an aggressive mosh pit (where fists were thrown), as well as a lot of shredding on guitar. I won’t pretend that I didn’t get a little scared here and there, especially when somehow the mic got passed to me during Surfbort’s set, and all I could do was let out a small shriek of shock. Arrow DeWilde of Starcrawler stole the show. She is an incredibly active performer. She owns the stage. I loved this show because it was so powerful and intense. It was unlike any other show I had ever experienced.
The next week I saw the band Jungle, which is a band that makes dance and funk music. This show blew my mind. That was mostly because it was just so fun and felt very cathartic. I feel like that was a week when I just wanted to dance. Blu DeTiger opened for Jungle and was so fun to watch. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lead in a band who chose bass as the main instrument. Then Jungle came on. In a crowd of 6,000 people, I don’t think I saw one person seated. Everyone was up on their feet. It was a par-tay!
Lastly, on the 29th, I saw the band Rocket From The Crypt perform. Rocket From the Crypt is a rock band. This was a really cool experience for me because my dad’s cousin plays saxophone in that band. They are also my mom’s favorite live band. I took a train out to San Diego and went to the venue. The stage was set up in an arts and crafts manner and supposedly had 3D features, (that didn’t work super well, but it looked really cool!). There were cardboard aliens and a felt rocket that went up through the curtains at the end of the show. (It took me waaaay too long to realize why there was a rocket in their show.) Rocket From The Crypt is known by some people as one of the best live bands. They get everyone excited and have a great time. This was a great way to end my “Rocktober” (as my mom commonly refers to it).
I love live music and have been around it for my whole life. I still tend to get anxious about whether other concert-goers are vaccinated and wearing masks, but I am so grateful to be able to see live music again, because it is one of my happy places. If you are able to, go see live music and support your favorite artists! And if you are taking advantage of what is out there and available to you in the pandemic, be safe! It makes it waaaaay more fun for everyone else!