Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD Live Shots: Jeff Lynne’s ELO with Dhani Harrison at the Honda Center, 6/20

After nearly 50 years, the magic of Jeff Lynne and ELO lives on. Those in attendance on Thursday night bore witness to an incredible musical spectacle that seemingly transcended time and space—and one of the most incredible rock and roll shows I have seen in the past 20 years.

1970 was undoubtedly an important year in rock and roll history. The Billboard charts were packed with hits from well-established artists such as The Jackson 5, Simon & Garfunkel, and The Beatles while lesser known bands such as Earth, Wind, & Fire, Aerosmith, and Queen were just getting started on their journey to greatness. It was that same year that Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, and Bev Bevan would unite to form what is surely considered one of the most influential bands of our time, Electric Light Orchestra. As with many bands, Electric Light Orchestra (or ELO for short) has gone through many reincarnations since their inception, and after a near 13-year hiatus, reemerged once again in 2014 as Jeff Lynne’s ELO.

On Thursday June 20th, Jeff Lynne kicked off his highly anticipated tour celebrating nearly 50 years with family and friends at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. For those who have never attended an ELO show, I found it to be a “bucket-list” type of experience that should not be missed. Fans from all over the country traveled thousands of miles to be part of the magic, and Thursday’s sold-out performance delivered. The capacity crowd was one of the most diverse I have ever seen at a live show as well—people from all backgrounds and walks of life converged to celebrate one of the most storied bands on the planet. What was even more special was seeing all of the families with multiple generations of ELO fans attending the show together. Seeing moms and dads rocking out with their children and grandchildren was a truly a highlight for me on Thursday evening.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’m writing this during a quiet and wet early summer morning. I’ll call this condition an “Idelic anomaly,” for when do we Sidels ever have a quiet morning and summer rain?

Yes, the first week into Summer. Jonah slept over at a friend’s, and it’s quite damp and serene here this AM. I had made this a short week by taking Monday off and heading down the coast and out to sea for a day of my beloved sport, tuna fishing. It was just what the doctor ordered—thirty-six hours on the open sea off the coast of Baja. In the morning the tuna start breezing by and by noon the sun was out and the sea laid down. By sunset we could have been on a glassy lake.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Holiday / Oh what a lovely day today / I’m so glad they sent me away / To have a little / holiday today, holiday / Holiday / And I’m just standing on the end of a pier / Hoping and dreaming you were here / To share my little holiday

Dear dad…being a dad is a trip. I think about “it” and therefore you much of the time—how our lives and kids happen and unfold. God only knows, but there is magic to it for sure.

Yesterday a friend and I were chatting about this new Clarence Avant documentary, The Black Godfather, and how, as a kid, his dad used to take him to sit in Al Glaser’s box at Yankee Stadium. It took me back to one of my earliest childhood memories—my old man taking me to see Mickey Mantle at Yanks. Yeah man, only magic a dad can make.

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TVD Live Shots:
Blue October with
Mona at the House of Blues Anaheim, 6/8

Over the years I have had the distinct privilege of seeing many of my favorite performers live all over the US. As each year passes, I add and delete bands from my concert “bucket-list” and try my best to see acts that I may have missed over the years.

One such band is Houston’s own, Blue October. Although I’ve never been a huge fan, I dig their music and was easily persuaded by my brother Mark to take the plunge and check out one of their live performances. He’s been following the band for over 20 years and considers himself a Blue October superfan, so I figured what the heck and jumped into the show headfirst. Two hours later I was hooked and may have just become a Blue October fan for life.

Opening up for Blue October on Saturday night was Nashville, Tennessee based indie-rockers, Mona. Fronted by founder Nick Brown along with drummer phenom Justin Wilson, these two scorched their 30-minute set and left a near-capacity crowd screaming for more when the flames finally subsided. Most openers just fill space, these guys created it and engaged on levels that highlighted just how special this band actually is. They’re now on my radar and will be a force to be reckoned with in the not so distant future. Incredible set.

Now on to the headliners. It was a sell-out on the Garden walk as fans from all over southern California lined up early for a chance to rush the barricade and be up close and personal with their favorite band, Blue October. Justin Furstenfeld and company came out swinging and reignited what Mona had already set ablaze, launching into their 2013 hit, “Sway.” You could feel the crowd surge forward as Justin reached out to the audience from stage end, mic extended, smiling ear to ear.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

No more pencils no more books / No more teacher’s dirty looks yeah / Well we got no class / And we got no principals / And we got no innocence / We can’t even think of a word that rhymes / School’s out for summer / School’s out forever

Vs.

So take the photographs and still frames in your mind / Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time / Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial / For what it’s worth it was worth all the while / It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right / I hope you had the time of your life

Ka-boom! Today is the last day of school! My kid graduated elementary school—that’s 5th grade. Here in California, public school is a big deal. Next year is middle school—big campus, big kids, and it’s gonna mean big ideas and big changes.

Back to the magic of the last day of school, the “DNA” of which has never left me. Arriving home, the changing of my uniform (yes, I wore a jacket and tie), and right to my stereo and bong. Blasting Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” today is a tradition I truly enjoy. The guitar riffs transport me to the days of my sister’s 8 track quad stereo.

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TVD Live Shots: The Specials and L.A. Salami at the House of Blues Anaheim, 6/2

The Specials are by far one of the most influential ska bands of all time. Founded in 1977, their unique brand of music helped to revive a little-known genre originating in Jamaica in the late 1950s. The Specials’ fusion of traditional ska music with a formidable punk rock attitude and danceable rocksteady beats took the world by storm with a sound so unique it created its own genre, Two-Tone.

Who would have thought that four decades and over 20 albums later, this group from Coventry, England would still be around, playing the music they love to packed houses all around the world? Back then, probably not too many. However, The Specials withstood the test of time and are still one of the most dynamic bands to ever hit the stage. Their show at the House of Blues in Anaheim on June 2nd was no exception and thrilled the thousands of loyal fans in attendance.

Before we jump into the review, readers should know that The Specials original date at the House of Blues on May 28th was cancelled moments before hitting the stage. Guitarist Lynval Golding fell ill soon after his performance on the Jimmy Kimmel Live television show with what we now know was a severe bout of dehydration. Although fans were disappointed, The Specials stepped right up and immediately rescheduled the show for Sunday night and dubbed it “A Night with The Specials.” There would be no opener on Sunday, just the Two-Tone favorites playing an extended set in front of some ecstatic fans. Read More »

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

See the dwarfs an’ see the giants / Which one would you choose to be? / And if you can’t get that together / Here’s the answer, here’s the key / You can freeze like thirty century man / Like a thirty century man / I’ll save my breath and take it with me / Till a hundred years and so / Shame you won’t be there to see me / Shaking hands with Charles de Gaulle / Play it cool an’ Saran wrap all you can / Be a thirty century man / You can freeze like a thirty century man / Like a thirty century man

I’m your man, man! Funny, my daughter sent me a photo saying she thought she was looking more and more like me? Fuckkkk that’s scary thought but it’s true…I am her man.

And yeah man, there’s a whole lotta wax and song about being a man, the man, your man, or “THE man.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You gonna look fine / Be primed for dancing / You’re gonna trip and glide / All on the trembling plane / Your diamond hands / Will be stacked with roses / And wind and cars / And people of the past

The weather has been moody in LA this week. We’re used to a bit of Spring gloom (aka morning fog) but fast moving clouds, spring showers and cold? In May? Strange days indeed. I am happy to report that today is a glorious morning in the canyon. Crisp, clear, and quiet and although summer is not exactly in the “air,” we’re gonna act “as if” for this holiday weekend.

There is nothing like Californians on a three day weekend. We all have cars and plan to be on the go. Whether it’s surfing, BMX biking, fishing, hiking, hot air ballooning, ballroom dancing, or a renaissance fair—whatever—many us will pack the car head out and leave the changes of 2019 behind this weekend.

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TVD Live Shots: Corey Taylor and Friends at
the Garden Grove Amphitheatre, 5/19

Corey Taylor may be one of the most versatile vocalists on the planet today, and he exhibited that once again on rainy Sunday night in Southern California. From The Damned to Prince to Boz Scaggs, Taylor slayed an incredible 18-song set of rock and roll classics that had fans from all walks of life out of their seats and rocking. 

When most think of Corey Taylor, minds immediately race to bands like Slipknot or Stone Sour where for years he has demonstrated an incredible vocal prowess along with a song-writing ability that few (if any) can match. His music is powerful, his vocals are solid, and his following is enormous. Few, however, know that Corey Taylor also tours solo from time to time. These are usually intimate performances where he can branch out into different types of music that helped shape the musician he is today. A Corey Taylor and Friends show typically covers classics across multiple genres and are done so in a way that pays tribute to the very artists he has come to know and love.

Kicking off Sunday’s show were Southern California heart-throbs, the Cherry Bombs. This uber-talented dance troupe are considered the Darlings of Rock & Roll and captivated the near-capacity crowd with a super-sexy performance that I’m sure most in attendance would not have expected. The Cherry Bombs’ show was a combination of Cirque de Soleil, the Seventh Veil, and Home Depot all rolled into one. Whether you were into pole dancing, fire, or hula hoops, this one had it all and then some. It was the perfect way to get Sunday’s party started, and a party it was.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You ride on the swing / In and out of the bars / Capturing moments of life in a jar / Playing with children / Acting as stars / Guiding your visions to heaven / And heaven is in your mind / Take extra care not to lose what you feel / The apple you’re eating is simple and real / So water the flowers that grow at you heel / Guiding your visions to heaven / And heaven is in your mind

Some pretty cool lyrics to be had about heaven.

Heaven is a truck / It got stuck / On the breeze / Asked the driver nicely / I need a lift? / I need release / The sand in the boats / On the rose covered floats / She is the queen of  / A canceled Pasadena thrill / (California) / I know arks can’t fly / I know the sharks / They don’t have wings / But lady you need some cold advice / About a few things / Loosen my dress / Tie me up just like all the rest / She is the queen of / A canceled Pasadena, thrill / (California)

Some call them “bits,” I’ll call ’em crumbs. It feels like I’ve been living off crumbs of late, but surely whoever is reading this should know we’ve got heaven’s crumbs up here in the LA canyons. You know, lil’ bits of life that make it all worthwhile. Sometimes you gotta search hard for them. I sometimes find them in a smile. Like the grin Steph Curry gave to his baby brother Seth in last night’s Warriors play-off game.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

When I was young, my mama used to say, boy / A woman’s like a flower with love on her you shower / Ever since that day, her words never went away / I always will remember to treat my baby tender

I guess my quote means that lessons from mom stick with ya?

I’ve spent many Thursday nights in my garage creating The Idelic Hour. I’ve often wonder why I sit, listen deeply and explore song. It’s only for a few hours, but songs open my heart and spirit. There, at that moment, all that is good, cool and groovy may enter.

Sometimes grabbing a muse for my playlists can spark a little journey of sorts. I hate to be predictable about it, but at the same time the “routine” gives me comfort. Fuck man, in a world that seems to spin faster and faster every week—bring it!

(By the way, did you get a chance to peek the new HBO mini series Chernobyl? Ugh! It’s great but intense.)

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TVD Live Shots: BeachLife Festival,
5/3–5/5

REVIEW: BRIDGET GARWOOD | The first annual BeachLife Festival in Redondo kicked off Friday with plenty of mellow vibes and sunshine to go around. Situated on the Pacific Ocean near the Redondo Beach marina, you could hardly ask for a more idyllic setting, palm trees, warm sand, and sherbet sunsets were the backdrop for what the festival dubbed, “a huge beach party celebrating our way of life.”

The Southern California way of life was largely acoustic on Friday evening, with the almost-local gentlemen of Slightly Stoopid, hailing from Ocean Beach, switching up their reggae-ska vibes for an even more laid back acoustic set. With beach balls flying in the crowd, Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald strolled onto the Low Tide stage, popped open their plastic beach chairs, and played fan favorites such as “2AM,” bringing special guest Bob Weir on stage just before his headlining performance, to cover “Franklin Tower” by the Grateful Dead, and Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How it Feels.”

Over on the Rip Tide stage Timmy Curran played his folksy tunes with a blues tinge to a crowd happy to groove along. Timmy’s surf music had some great harmonica pieces and lovely harmonies, overall calling to mind a slightly more down to earth Jason Mraz, who would take the stage Saturday evening.

Headlining Friday on the High Tide stage were Bob Weir and the Wolf Brothers. Commanding the crowd from his entrance with a jolt of electric guitar, Weir brought the sea of people immediately to their feet. The ease with which Weir rips off his solo runs during “Jack Straw” comes from his years in the spotlight with the Grateful Dead. His raspy vocals and soulful guitar immediately bring to mind a bygone time of hippies dancing in muddy fields, which is not a bad association for the BeachLife Festival to have in just its first year.

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TVD Live Shots: Yngwie Malmsteen, Sunlord, and Paralandra at the House of Blues, 5/5

Yngwie Malmsteen is arguably one of the most incredible guitarists on the planet today. Inspired by classic composers such as Paganini and Bach, this virtuoso from Stockholm, Sweden has taken the world by storm since going solo in 1984 and has never looked back.

A touring madman, Malmsteen is back at it again in 2019, blazing trails across the US in support of his latest album, Blue Lightning. Over the past 20 years, I have seen Yngwie perform on countless occasions, and each time I am blown away by the sheer magic that pours out in every performance. His distinct sound is like no other guitarist on the scene today—fusing classical music with rock into a melodic masterpiece that transcends time and space.

On May 5th, Yngwie Malmsteen marched back into Southern California (one of 5 local shows) for a night of mind-blowing guitar gymnastics at Orange County’s premier concert venue, the Anaheim House of Blues. Different from most Malmsteen performances, there would be two opening acts prior the Maestro taking center stage.

First up was Missouri quartet, Paralandra. I honestly wasn’t expecting much going into this set and was literally blown out of the photo pit by Cassandra Carson and her incredible vocals. Her on stage persona reminded me a lot of Lzzy Hale with some unique vocal twists that took their set up a notch. Next up was a killer metal trio out New York City called Sunlord. I have never heard of the band before, but really enjoyed their time on stage. Alfonso Ferrazza seemed to channel Lemmy throughout the set, and I will definitely be digging into this band going forward.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

We are the Sherlock Holmes English-speaking Vernacular / God save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula / We are the Office Block Persecution Affinity / God save little shops, china cups, and virginity / We are the Skyscraper Condemnation Affiliates / God save Tudor houses, antique tables, and billiards

Preserving the old ways from being abused / Protecting the new ways, for me and for you / What more can we do?

It’s been two weeks since my last Idelic Hour episode. It doesn’t really seem that long ago, but the world is spinning so fucking fast. I feel like so much has happened, but maybe nothing has happened at all?

Can you tell what’s going down? Between Muller and my 24 year daughter, maybe there’s an answer? There is a ridiculousness to the social norms that I can only smile about. At the very moment I am determined to move into May with a blast.

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TVD Live Shots: A Special Evening with
The National at the Orpheum, 4/26

REVIEW: CRYSTAL ECKSTADT | This was a night to remember, a more unassuming affair than one might suppose. But this is The National after all, and everything they do is unassuming—yet it’s not. To channel rock music into the gamut of existence and its myriad of emotions is what they do. As such, it’s not surprising then that they teamed up with Academy Award-nominated director, screenwriter, and graphic artist Mike Mills to create a short film starring Oscar winner Alicia Vikander.

I Am Easy to Find is a superb emotive piece tracing the fragments of a life. The score created by The National is the foundation for their new album, also entitled I Am Easy To Find. A five-city tour, “A Special Evening with The National,” that is drawing near its conclusion, gives the audience a chance to screen the film and hear the much-anticipated new music.

After the screening, a Q&A is hosted by Carrie Brownstein with Matt Berninger, Bryce Dessner, Alicia Vikander, and Mike Mills on the panel. Regarding the making of the film, Vikander said that it was one of the best artistic experiences she’s ever had. Following the Q&A, The National then took the stage joined by both Feist and Phoebe Bridgers.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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