Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Said I know what it means to get left for dead, / when the saints rise up at the sound. / When the spirits don’t move in / their chains and the shoes / and the crack of the guns all around. / I know how it is to get all dressed up, / where nobody would know where to go. / With a fifth in your vest, / and some pills on your tongue / and a gun looking out across / the Valley of the Shadow below, oh…

“Another pleasant valley Sunday…” I guess so? Not every day in the San Fernando Valley is pleasant, but I like to think they are. After all, the climate is changing these days.

Back when I first moved to LA, no cool soul went to—let alone lived in— the Valley. Hey, no one cool from New York lived or went to Brooklyn either. Now I’m not the only one avoiding “going into town” for the convenience of those wide valley boulevards. When we recently had the option of enrolling Jonah into middle school in either the Valley or Silverlake we choose…

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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.

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TVD Live Shots: Backstreet Boys with Baylee Littrell at the Honda Center, 8/5

ANAHEIM, CA | I’m a rocker at heart, but I gotta say that AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, and Brian Littrell brought out my softer side on Monday night at the Honda Center. A sold-out crowd of 15,000+ joined me for a massive 33 song set that took us all on a wild ride down Backstreet and beyond. These guys haven’t lost a step since they took the world by storm in 1993 and would argue they have only gotten better with age. Backstreet’s definitely back—and in a big way!

Although I enjoyed some of the Backstreet Boys classics back in the day, they really weren’t my cup of tea. When I heard they were headlining at the Honda Center, I honestly didn’t think this band had the cachet to sell out an arena of this size. Legendary artists such as Elton John, Depeche Mode, and U2 have sold-out multiple nights at Honda, and I was skeptical at best that BSB would be able to pull that off.

As I walked up to the arena on Monday night, I was greeted by thousands upon thousands of rabid fans circling the building. Many had been there hours on end, waiting for their chance to rush the barricade and be up close and personal with their childhood heroes. The area surrounding the Honda Center was packed with fans from all walks of life including a few of bible thumpers warning BSB fans they were going to hell for attending the show. I didn’t know Backstreet sold their souls to the devil but guess anything could be possible these days. What I thought would be an average show at best was already shaping up to be something so much more.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It’s rare when I lack inspiration to go digging through record crates to find Idelic Hour inspiration—AKA: a playlist. This week’s source came from a Facebook post. My old Boston punk rock pal Johnny Angel reached out with the question:

What are your three favorite “cut out” albums?

My god, I hadn’t thought about “cut out bins” in a long time. In my mind they pre-dated used records, which I associate with California swap meet culture of the ’80s and ’90s. The cut out bin brings me back to NYC in the ’70s and the magic of record stores. There were five in the 2 block radius of my parents’ apartment on East 85th street.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You got to try a little kindness / Yes show a little kindness / Just shine your light for everyone to see / And if you try a little kindness / Then you’ll overlook the blindness / Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets…

Today’s Idelic Hour muse is Dr. Generosity’s, a New York City Saloon from the ’60s and ’70s. My son turns 11 this weekend and I can’t help but day dream of the “big eyed” wildness of growing up in the untamed NYC of the 1970s. AT Dr. G’s there was sawdust on floor, barrels as tables, empty beer mugs, and of course poets and musicians.

It’s interesting digging through my crates—songs of kindness and generosity were “slim pickens,” but there’s plenty of tuneful doctor records to fill in the mix.

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TVD Live: Knotfest Roadshow with Slipknot, Volbeat, Gojira, and Behemoth at the Glen Helen Amphitheater, 7/27

With nearly 40,000 in attendance and temps exceeding 100 degrees at showtime, the 2019 Knotfest Roadshow was everything I wanted going into the show and more. It’s as if they pulled the very best from their previous festival formats and ignited it simultaneously at America’s largest outdoor amphitheater. It will definitely go down as one of the best live metal shows I have ever seen.

I have attended a lot of shows in my lifetime, but Saturday’s Knotfest Roadshow might have been one of my all-time favorites. What was billed as “A Mind-Altering Collision of Music, Art & Culture” ended up being so much more for the tens-of-thousands that braved sweltering heat, parking lot hikes, and extremely long lines on Saturday afternoon at Glen Helen Amphitheater.

Typically, festival-type shows like this bring in 2 or 3 bands to fill space prior to the headliner taking the stage. That was not the case at this year’s Knotfest Roadshow. Slipknot went all-in to bring out the very best money could buy, landing international metal sensations Behemoth (Poland), Gojira (France), and Volbeat (Denmark) to round out the bill. On paper, this one looked too good to be true and I was wondering walking in if it would live up to the hype. We would soon see.

As the sun began to set and heat began to dissipate, black metal legends Behemoth took the stage and kicked off this year’s roadshow with a thundering set that conjured up demons throughout the San Bernardino Valley. Nergal, Inferno, Orion, and Seth challenged the masses with a set so diabolical that it caused many to question their own faith when the dust finally settled. Songs such as “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” and “Chant for Eschaton 2000” whipped the faithful into a frenzy from which there was no going back and signified the start of something special under the stars on Saturday.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Sounds of laughter, here comes sunshine, smiling faces all around. / They possess you, bless you, sunshine, now you can never let them down, I say sunshine. / Sunshine, sunshine, is that a cloud across your smile or did you dream again last night? / It’s best you rest inside a while as blue doesn’t seem to suit you right.

Things ain’t what they used to be, pain and rain and misery. / Illness in the family and sunshine means a lot to me, I say sunshine. / But could it be Sunshine is drifting with midnight and lonely when everyone’s gone? / Blue crystal spirits and gardens in moonlight / Leave weak alone and bleak all quiet and grey by dawn.

Sunshine, sunshine rising to late to chase the cold and failing to change the frost to dew. / She’s trading her mood of yellow gold for frost bitten shades of silver-blue. / Friends and lovers past and gone and no one waiting further on, / I’m running short of things to be and sunshine means quiet a lot to me, I say sunshine. / Sunshine, sunshine…

Over the past several months I’ve been going to a show or two a week. It certainly has dawned on me that the kids are not really showing up at shows like they used to. To say it bluntly—it ain’t what it use to be for rock crowds in LA.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

1, 2, 3, 4!

You want a part of me / You want the whole thing / You want to feel something more than I could ever bring / You want it badly / You want it tangled / I want to feel something more than I was strangled / I fell in love with the sweet sensation / I gave my heart to a simple chord / I gave my soul to a new religion / Whatever happened to you? / Whatever happened to our rock ‘n roll? / Whatever happened to my rock ‘n roll?

Yep, it’s been many moons since I fell in with her, rock ‘n’ roll. “Despite all the imputations, You could just…” Well, you know. Have a fun and amazing life.

This said, it’s not as easy to find “our rock roll” these days. Even here just a few miles up from Sunset Strip. It’s cool though, rock ‘n’ roll will always have its days, and today with this playlist of Idleic records, I’m here to help rock on.

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TVD Live Shots:
Rick Springfield with
the Pacific Symphony Orchestra at Pacific Amphitheater, 7/11

Although I’ve never seen Rick Springfield in concert, I have always been intrigued at the possibility of catching one of his rare live performances in Southern California. An acclaimed actor, singer, and songwriter, Springfield has dozens of albums under his belt and a cult-like following like no other in the industry today. Fans from all over Southern California flocked to the Pacific Amphitheater on Thursday night for a special performance under the stars accompanied by the celebrated Pacific Symphony Orchestra. This show had all the ingredients necessary to be special and I was excited to finally get a chance to see Rick Springfield live!

Walking into the Pacific Amphitheater, I was amazed at the number of die-hard fans that Rick Springfield still has. Men and women from all walks of life were pouring into the venue donning shirts emblazoned with slogans like “Jessie’s Girl,” “We’re with Rick,” and my favorite “It’s a Rick Thing, You Wouldn’t Understand.” In addition, long-stem roses seemed to be standard fare for many of the female persuasion, with many leaving bouquets for Rick center stage prior to the show getting underway. I asked a super fan sitting next to me if this was typical of Rick’s shows and she emphatically screamed, “Of course it is, what else would you expect at a Rick Springfield concert?”

The show kicked off promptly at 8:15PM, and the crowd went absolutely nuts as Springfield took center stage directly in front of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. Fans were screaming, roses were flying, and there was a surge to the front of the stage as Rick kicked off his set with 1983 classic (and Night Tracks standard) “Affair of the Heart.” If you didn’t know better, you’d have thought you were at a classic Van Halen show by the way the crowd exploded.  Alas, we were underway and headed for sheer musical madness.

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TVD Live Shots: Seal with Rennie Adams at Pacific Amphitheater, 7/10

As far as singer/songwriters go, Seal is in a category all by himself. His recent show at the Pacific Amphitheater highlighted this once in a lifetime talent, dazzling the thousands in attendance with his incredible vocal range and undeniable stage presence that is truly second to none. And speaking for the thousands in attendance on Wednesday night, Seal’s performance from start to finish was simply unbelievable!

Over the years, I have seen thousands of concerts. Each and every one has added something unique to what I consider the ever-evolving musical tapestry of life. Good singers are a dime a dozen, but true vocalists are few and far between. Artists such as David Bowie, Elton John, and Freddie Mercury have electrified us with their vocal prowess for decades, and left fans of all ages mesmerized at their incredible god-inspired talent. I’d also add Seal into this group of legends as he continues to energize the world with a voice so pure, he seemingly inspires the angels on high.

Wednesday’s Seal show at the Pacific Amphitheater in Orange County was special. After a killer opening set by Rennie Adams (who was mentored by Seal on Australian TV show The Voice), Seal took the stage on what ended up being a breezy California evening and lit the place a blaze with an incredible 15-song set that left fans of all ages wanting more when the dust finally settled.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

The best of my years will go to you, / It’s the only thing that I can do, / But these things don’t come overnight, / Lovin’ you baby, I think I’m right. / Let me say before I forget, / Lovin’ you baby, it’s where it’s at yeah / Ya baby, look what you done for me, / Ya baby, you set my heart free, / Oh but I feel, yeah, yeah, yeah, I feel yeah

Over the weeks and weeks of many an Idelic Hour, I’ve often mentioned there is not a day that a love song couldn’t add something too.

As I was kicking back over the long July 4th weekend I reflected on things I’m grateful for. The constant that came to mind was Susan. Fuck man, my ol’ lady really takes care of us here, and this week’s Idelic set is love songs for my ol’ lady.

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TVD Live Shots: Judas Priest with Uriah Heep
at Toyota Arena, 6/28

I love Judas Priest. I have followed them since the release of Screaming for Vengeance back in 1982 and have been a huge fan ever since. It’s amazing for me to look back upon this band’s successes over the years and know they have remained on the throne of all things metal for nearly fifty years.

Think about that—fifty years! In an age where many bands come and go like waves upon a beach, Judas Priest has withstood the test of time and reinvented itself many times over with a simplified sound that became the blueprint for what I consider true heavy metal. Bands like Van Halen, Metallica, and Slipknot were clearly influenced by Judas Priest, and countless others have followed suit over the years. Bottom line, we’d probably have a much different metal landscape without Judas Priest at the helm, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

On June 28th, Judas Priest marched into the Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA and unleashed their Firepower on the thousands in attendance. Opening the show was Uriah Heep, another legendary rock band from England. Similar to Judas Priest, this band has had a myriad of lineup changes the past 50 years, but still holds true to their signature sound to the delight of fans worldwide.

Mick Box is the only one left from the original band and has done an incredible job surrounding himself with an uber-talented group of musicians who deliver on all-cylinders. Vocalist Bernie Shaw and keyboardist Phil Lanzon have been in the current lineup since 1986 with drummer Russell Gilbrook added in 2007 and bassist Davey Rimmer rounding out the lineup in 2013. I wasn’t sure if I would dig their set (as Uriah Heep was a bit before my time) but must say that they brought their A-game on Friday night, wowing fans with a crisp sound and unbridled energy that is typically absent in bands from this era.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Once upon a time there was a tavern / Where we used to raise a glass or two / Remember how we laughed away the hours / And think of all the great things we would do

Those were the days my friend / We thought they’d never end / We’d sing and dance forever and a day / We’d live the life we choose / We’d fight and never lose / For we were young and sure to have our way

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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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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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