Author Archives: Crystal Eckstadt

TVD Live: Bastille
and Joywave at the Greek, 10/12

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | In these troubling times Bastille’s music feels like an antidote. Their simple tales of love, heartache, joy, and doom resonate with people worldwide. And it makes sense. Daniel Smith, the group’s lead singer and songwriter, has an English language and literature degree, and is an adept storyteller. They are out on this current tour supporting the release of their latest album, Doom Days.

Openers Joywave, an indie synth pop quintet from Rochester, NY played their entire set in matching neon yellow shirts and Adidas sweatpants preparing for a few up-and-coming shows where they will headline. Opening for Bastille is no easy task. Not that there isn’t enough talent in the world because there is, it’s just that their originality is hard to match. Smith, known for his fascination with film (every Bastille album cover resembles a movie poster) brought stage production values to this tour. Songs were played to easily movable sets much like a Broadway show, each song having its own space to tell its story.

The new album, Doom Days, focuses on our planet’s undeniable nihilistic condition, a theme constant for Bastille. Smith told the crowd that while making the album, they set out to create something optimistic but invariably created something depressing. They opened with a “Quarter Past Midnight” the first song off of Doom Days, and played material from each of their three studio albums including “Of the Night”—a brilliant mashup cover of two 1990s dance classics: Snap!’s “Rhythm is a Dancer” and Corona’s “Rhythm of the Night.”

Read More »

Posted in TVD Los Angeles | Leave a comment

TVD Live: Incubus and Dub Trio at the Santa Barbara Bowl, 9/26

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | Driving an hour and half north of Los Angeles along the PCH, California’s coastline road, is a cool thing to be doing. Traveling along this infamous route to see Incubus’ 20th anniversary of the Make Yourself album at the Santa Barbara Bowl? An even cooler thing to be doing.

Openers Dub Trio, a longstanding instrumental group from Brooklyn consisting of guitarist DP Holmes, bassist Stu Brooks, and drummer Joe Tomino, took the early concertgoers on a tour of ska, punk, and metal. They’re a band that has long flown under the radar, but their members can be heard separately contributing to albums from many of hip hop and rap’s greats, such as Tupac Shakur, The Fugees, Mos Def, Common, and even Lady Gaga.

As the day turned to night, a 10-minute documentary appeared on screens highlighting Incubus’ journey from the album that dropped them into the mainstream. 1999 was at the forefront of the burgeoning electronic and rave music scene, and Incubus as an up-and-coming rock band was impacted by the new cultural milieu—a topic touched upon in the documentary. DJ Kilmore has always been an influencer within this band, fusing electronic elements with whichever genre of rock they have decided to explore over the years.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Los Angeles | Leave a comment

TVD Live Shots: The National with Alvvays at The Greek Theater, 9/2

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | Alvvays is an indie dream pop band based in Toronto and fronted by the enigmatic Molly Rankin. I wasn’t too familiar with Alvvays’ music prior to the show, however Antisocialist and Alvvays, their two recorded albums to date, have produced a substantial amount of catchy music with an even stronger live presence.

In an interview with She Shreds magazine, Rankin said that for both albums she had listened to a lot of The B-52’s, Dolly Mixture, Felt, and The Cocteau Twins—the combination morphing into something familiar yet uniquely their own. Rankin’s voice is airy, the vocals are substantive, and for me, the band feels like an amalgam of post-punk and pop. It’s hard to capture how good this band is live and they definitely won me over. It’s no small accomplishment to keep a crowd engaged before the band they came to see, but Alvvays stood on their own here, and by doing so really set the stage.

By the time the band changeover was finished, every empty seat was filled at the Greek Theater, the smaller sister venue to the The Hollywood Bowl which is nestled inside Griffith park. It’s a venue within a forest—a respite from the chaos of the city and a beloved summer venue among Los Angelians.

This was my fifth time seeing The National here in Los Angeles and I am not alone in frequency—I heard one guy say this was his 57th National show. This band has a cult following much like the traveling fans of Phish and Dave Matthews Band, and despite forming in Cincinnati this show felt like a homecoming for them. I am not sure if it was the intimacy of the venue or the giant spruce trees looming around us, or the unusual amount of time that lead singer Matt Berninger spent in the crowd, but it was apparent that we all felt connected and the vibe was just right.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Los Angeles | Leave a comment

TVD Live Shots:
Young the Giant and
Fitz and the Tantrums
at the Forum, 8/10

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | Feel good pop music continues to appeal to the masses. The Forum, an imposing piece of architecture in the heart of Inglewood, is a legendary Los Angeles venue built in 1967 to resemble a Roman Coliseum by the same firm that built Madison Square Garden. The Forum is a prestigious venue to play. But last Saturday, at a venue that has seen everyone from The Eagles to Diana Ross, modern indie pop music prevailed.

Not entirely sold out but close to capacity, the crowd was a mixture of families, fashionistas, and low-key people sporting Vans and Hawaiian shirts; hints to a more laid back Southern California lifestyle. The young children in attendance signaled a night of youthful and joyous, spirited music that only concerned parents would permit their children listen to. I was singing “Shout at the Devil” by Mӧtley Crüe at 6-years-old but hey…we all have different experiences and tastes in life, and that’s just what this show represented.

The night seemed a little motley too. The Nashville trio COIN, who define their music as pop songs with rock instrumentation in an interview with Billboard magazine opened the show and played their most popular hit to date “Talk Too Much.”

Fitz and the Tantrums took the stage bringing the kids to their feet as they danced to the band they no doubt came to see. But it wasn’t just the children who loved this 18-song set, the entirety of the arena sang along as Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs, the vocal duo of the group, powered through the high-energy Motownesque dance songs they are known for.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Los Angeles | Leave a comment
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text