Category Archives: TVD Los Angeles

TVD Live Shots: Iron Maiden with Trivium at the Honda Center, 9/21

The first of two sold out Iron Maiden shows was nothing less than spectacular for the 10,000+ in attendance in Anaheim on Wednesday night.  It was if someone flipped a switch and miraculously transported fans within the Honda Center, well… Somewhere Back in Time.  This performance had everything one would expect at an Iron Maiden show—amazing pyro, a killer set list, unbridled energy (courtesy of Steve, Dave, Adrian, Bruce, Nicko, and Janick), and of course—EDDIE!  Combine that with the most rabid and insatiable metal fans on the planet, and this show had all the ingredients necessary for a powder keg of TNT to be detonated within the heart of Southern California. For many, it was Maiden’s best live performance in over a decade. For me, it was a dream come true.

For those that know me, it’s no surprise that Iron Maiden is one of my all-time favorite bands. I’ve been a fan since I was introduced to Piece of Mind back as a teenager in 1983, and there was no turning back from that point forward. That album changed my life, and my appreciation for what I consider true Heavy Metal. Many have asked me where my obsession with Iron Maiden actually came from. Maybe it was Steve Harris’s unmistakable baselines?  Maybe it was Bruce’s high-pitched screams? Maybe (just maybe) it was Maiden’s unmistakable imagery. While I’ll probably never be able to pinpoint it, I’m sure it was all of the above and so much more over lifetime of killer albums and amazing live shows with a band that I consider true rock royalty.

Kicking off the festivities on Wednesday night was none other than Trivium. Hailing from Orlando, this killer quartet has been kicking ass and taking names since 1999, and their opening set at Honda Center was no exception. As lights dimmed, Matt Heafy walked out center stage, threw up some “horns” to the thousands now in attendance, and immediately stuck out his trademark tongue as the band launched into “Silence in the Snow.”

Lighting was eerily moody throughout Trivium’s abbreviated 7-song set, but Heafy, along with Corey Beaulieu (guitars), Paolo Gregoletto (bass), and Alex Bent (drums) pulled from the pain and gifted the masses one incredible opening set.  My favorites from the evening included “The Heart From Your Hate” and “Strife,” while others gravitated toward “The Shadow of the Abattoir.”

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Sitting at this party / Wondering if anyone knows me / Really sees who I am / Oh, it’s been so long since I felt really known

Fragile in the morning / Can’t hold on to much of anything / With this hole in my hand / I can’t pretend that we always keep what we find / Oh, yes, everybody splits apart sometimes

Living in the wake of overwhelming changes / We’ve all become strangers / Even to ourselves / We just can’t help / We can’t see from far away / To know that every wave might not be the same / But it’s all apart of one big thing

Oh, it’s not just me, it’s not just me / It’s not just me

New from Weyes Blood. These lyrics are a motherfucker—a really great reflection and I relate.

This week if felt like our city dodged the crossfire felt in cities around the world. The weather that I love to chat about was classic LA Indian summer conditions. Personally, I had a bump in my road. I had a bad reaction to my covid booster and was out for almost two full work days with a splitting headache.

For those hours, all of the things that keep me going—music, food, TV—were just too much for my consumption. I didn’t panic, but can’t help reflecting upon how grateful I am to be back to my computer, listening to music, and eating crunchy day-peppers and cucumbers.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It’s so easy, but I can’t do it / So risky, but I gotta chance it / So funny, there’s nothing to laugh about / My money, that’s all you want to talk about / I can see what you want me to be / But I’m no fool / It’s in the lap of the Gods

I can see what you want me to be / But I’m no fool / No beginning, there’s no ending / There’s no meaning in my pretending / Believe me, life goes on and on and / Forgive me when I ask you where do I belong / You say I (you can do it) / Can’t (you can do it) / (You can go and set it free) set you free from me / But that’s not true / It’s in the lap of the Gods

Last weekend it rained. There I go talking about the weather again, but a few things happened last week and a big one was that it rained and our heatwave broke. We went to a cool party and walked in the rain and got wet.

A few other now novel things happened. Some of us had birthdays, and in England they are burying the Queen. Not sure why it means so much to so many, but I can feel the winds of change in my bones. Such is the beauty of September and October. So, enjoy a playlist of cool news songs and a few more dedicated to the ol’ mum.

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TVD Live Shots: Sammy Hagar & The Circle, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, and Chris Trapper at FivePoint Amphitheatre, 9/10

These sure are crazy times we are living in. However, Redheads in Southern California were feeling like they were on top of the world Saturday night when Sammy Hagar & The Circle took the stage on a muggy and overcast evening at FivePoint in Irvine. In tandem with George Thorogood & the Destroyers, this rock party was simply bad to the bone on so many levels. 

I have been a huge Sammy Hagar fan my entire life. From Montrose to his solo career to Van Halen and beyond, this cat has been taking names and melting faces since 1972, and he’s still at the top of his game. Joined by The Circle (featuring Michael Anthony, Vic Johnson, and Jason Bonham), the band came to party on Saturday night in front of a hometown crowd. While a bit overcast and muggy, the Santo shots started early and were poured often, and didn’t stop until the night’s final curtain call. Let’s dig into the night’s festivities, shall we?

Opening up for Sammy Hagar & The Circle was Chris Trapper (a killer singer /songwriter from Boston, MA) along with legendary George Thorogood & The Destroyers. Trapper’s 4-song set was brief, and those who were lucky enough to get there early were treated to some amazing music by a man and his guitar. I don’t always find openers terribly compelling, but there was something about Trapper on stage all by his lonesome that touched my soul. Songs like “The Accident,” “This Time,” and “F%&k It” demonstrated in spades why Sammy brought him out on this tour. I look forward to digging into Chris Trapper a little more in the not so distant future. Well done.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Makin’ believe this is what you’ve conceived / From your worst day (I’m takin’ a dive) / Oh, movin’ in line, then you look back in time / To the first day (I’m takin’, I’m takin’)

And you and your sweet desire (don’t you do it, don’t you do it) / You took me, oh (higher and higher, baby)

It’s a livin’ thing / It’s a terrible thing to lose / It’s a givin’ thing / What a terrible thing to lose

God Save the King. God Save the US. Stay cool.

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TVD Live Shots: The Stadium Tour at Petco Park, 8/28

With nearly 35,000 packed into Petco Park in San Diego, fans finally got to let loose and rage to some of the biggest bands on the planet including Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, and Poison. It was as if the metal gods from above provided a portal back in time where the only thing that mattered was the music. Add fish nets, big hair, and of course ice-cold beer, and this one had all the makings for one incredible party under the stars in the 619. And after waiting nearly 2 years for this one to roll into town, I can honestly say The Stadium Tour delivered on all cylinders and kicked some major ’80s ass.

Taking the pole-position at Petco were LA rockers, Classless Act. While many say that the opening slot on any major tour is a thankless task, their performance on Sunday was simply magnificent. Led by frontman Derek Day, this five-man wrecking crew turned some heads with a killer set that highlighted why this band is so fricking awesome. Watching Dane Pieper (guitar), Griffin Tucker (guitar), Franco Gravante (bass), and Chuck McKissock (drums) light up songs like “This is For You” and “Haunting Love” was a real treat. And of course, Derek’s on-stage antics and killer vocals were second to none. For me, Classless Act’s performance on Sunday was one of the best, and shame on you if you came late and missed it.

Next up was Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Joan has been melting faces since her start in The Runaways in 1975, and her set on Sunday was a testament to how bad ass she really is. Donning her signature leather under a scorching San Diego sun, Joan and the Blackhearts ripped the cap off a 12-song set including standards such as “Cherry Bomb” (The Runaways cover), “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” and “Bad Reputation.” All sounded phenomenal live and showcased why she is still considered “The Queen of Rock and Roll.” In my opinion, she’s still tops in class and one of my all-time favorites, bar none. Long live Joan Jett!

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TVD Live Shots: Soft Cell at YouTube Theater, 8/24

Fans of ’80s synthpop were in for a special treat Wednesday night when Soft Cell dropped by the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California for one of their first stateside shows in over 20 years. Best known for their hits “Tainted Love” and “Say Hello Wave Goodbye,” Marc Almond and company put on an amazing 2-hour show that had the packed house singing and dancing all night long. 

I’ve been a Soft Cell fan for the better part of my life and was thrilled to hear earlier this year that Marc Almond and David Ball would be once again joining forces to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. Synthpop aficionados and ’80s nerds like me understand the importance of this album, and to see it performed live in its entirety would be a dream come true. That happened on Wednesday night. One caveat however, Ball was unable to join Marc Almond on stage as part of the US tour due to doctors’ orders due to ongoing physiotherapy. Traveling was just not in the cards. While disappointing (to say the least), the show went on with their full touring band including Grammy winning producer Philip Larson filling in on keyboards for David.

For those in attendance, there was no opening band—Wednesday’s performance was unapologetically 100% Soft Cell. Act I featured ten songs including new tracks, B-sides, and classics alike. Marc Almond bookended the first set with two Soft Cell tracks including “Torch” and “Martin.” Both were beautifully recreated and sounded amazing. However, my favorites from this set were two newer tracks, “Bruises on All My Illusions” and “Nostalgia Machine.” If you weren’t paying attention, you would have never known that these songs were just released in May of 2022 off their latest album, Happiness Not Included. They sounded so good and had that vintage Soft Cell sound we all know and love.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

When it’s time to go / You’ve got to let Me go away / And face the world / Say goodbye, cry some tears, don’t worry / When I hit the city / I’ll build you a house / Right down the street from Mine / Have some faith in Me / And I’ll show you why

This week finds me clinging to my Idelic music favs: Hazlewood, Bacharach, with a big dose of Chuck Berry. Although the world feels wobbly, week’s end finds me enthusiastic.

Such is the summer of ’22. No need to make sense of it. A rollercoaster both epic and no big deal. Smell the mint, cucumbers, basil, and roses. Eat your favorite ice cream. Savor each bite, and cruise to the beat of the sun.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

And if the way I hold you, can’t compare to his caress / No words of consolation will make me miss you less / My darling, if this is goodbye, I just know I’m gonna cry / So run to him before you start crying, too

And make it easy on yourself / Make it easy on yourself / ‘Cause breaking up / Is so very hard to do / Oh baby, it’s so hard to do

This morning I drove down the canyon and dropped my kid off for his first day of high school. Truly not an occasion for a break up song, but all said, sentimental thoughts have invaded my Idelic playlists for much of this month.

Why am I not surprised I’m reaching for favs like Scott Walker and Burt Bacharach as comfort?

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TVD Live Shots: Rob Zombie with Mudvayne, Static-X, and Powerman 5000 at Five Points Amphitheater, 8/12

Friday night’s “Freaks on Parade” tour featuring Rob Zombie, Mudvayne, Static-X, and Powerman 5000 was incredible. The sold-out show at Five Points had everything one would expect at a Zombie spectacle: masked performers, clowns, and a 15’ blow up Satan. Killer live performances by the aforementioned was a match made in hell for the thousands in attendance in Irvine. Pound for pound, one of the best metal shows I’ve seen this year and it’s not even close. Let’s dig in, shall we?

Kicking off Friday’s show was none other than Boston’s very own, Powerman 5000. Led by original vocalist Spider One, these cats have been torching stages around the world since 1991, and show no signs of slowing down any time soon. While there have been many variations of the band over the years, they have consistently provided their fans with cutting edge metal that’s truly second to none. While they only thrilled us with 8 songs, the set was awesome.  Fan favorites included “Nobody’s Real,” “Supernova Goes Pop,” and “When Worlds Collide.” Get there early and check out their set—definitely worth the price of admission.

Next up was Static-X. I’d never seen the band live before (pre or post Wayne Static) and had heard from good friend ‘G Vitty’ that their performances are incredible. After an abbreviated 7-song set, I understood why he held their live shows in such high regard. Complimenting new vocalist Xer0 was founding bandmates Tony Campos (bass), Koichi Fukada (guitar), and Ken Jay (drums), and all seemed to love being on stage together. Favorites from the evening included “Wisconsin Death Trip,” “Cold,” and “Push It.” Familiar with the Static-X catalog, I can honestly say they killed their classics and held Wayne Static’s memory in the highest regard. Respect.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I wish I was like you / Easily amused / Find my nest of salt / Everything is my fault / I’ll take all the blame / Aqua sea foam shame / Sunburn freezer burn / Choking on the ashes of her enemy

In the sun / In the sun, I feel as one / In the sun / In the sun / Married / Married

Married / Buried / Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

GRUNGE. The first time I heard the expression was to describe my band. Late ’80s, as I recall after a rehearsal, Tom Loggia and I rolled by a party for Stephen Sprouse. The clothes were very rock ‘n’ roll, but the crowd’s super uptown Madison Ave types. We rolled up, dressed head to toe in leather, unshaven, stoned. I remember photographer Matthew Ralston greeting us with a big grin, grabbing me by my dreads, kissing me on check as he exalted “you’re so grungy, I love it!”

I’d not say I invented grunge, but I did own a bar in the heart of Hollywood called Smalls, and in the summer of 1990 when the Budweiser, dope, and dreadlocks were flowing. 4am would find me cruising my convertible Impala slowly west on Melrose listening to an advance cassette of Ritual De Lo Habitual. Our crew of “Hollywood Homies” were high as the August sun.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Rock and grills / Mountains and hills / They won’t last they won’t last / Your building’s tall very tall / Your people small very small / They won’t last they won’t last / They won’t last they won’t last

Stop rider coming baby / Cakifia is her name / Some call her California / She’ll break just the same / She’ll break just the same / She’ll break just the same

Over the many years I’ve written this “mini column” (aka intro) for the Idelic Hour, I’ve mentioned this and the hour of music is my weekly diary. This week was a big one in our home. Wednesday our son Jonah turned 14. As parents we understand a child’s birthday is a family celebration. We reflect on the day of and the day before. We pull baby photos and look and coo in awe of life and the constant ebb and flow of change—what I call my rock ‘n’ roll journey. As a second time around, an “older” parent, I also have become keenly aware that life only comes around once.

Wednesday was my one shot at celebrating Jonah’s Fourteenth, and my goal was to savor every minute of it. For me 14 was pure rock ‘n’ roll magic. In those days my old man had moved from NYC was living in San Fransisco. On the weekend dad would say, “go for a ride.” This meant we’d get in the car, pop in a cassette, smoke a joint, and explore the California coast.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You got soul, and everybody knows / That it’s all right, whoa, it’s all right / When you wake up early in the morning / Feeling sad like so many of us do / Hum a little soul / Make life your goal / And surely something’s got to come to you

And say it’s all right / (It’s all right) / Say it’s all right / (It’s all right) / It’s all right, have a good time / ‘Cause it’s all right, whoa, it’s all right / Now everybody clap your hands / Give yourself a chance / You got soul, and everybody knows / That it’s all right, whoa, it’s all right

It’s the last weekend of July. It’s hot so I’m gonna keep it simple: listen to a bunch of old records and maybe hit a few new sides.

At some point this weekend I’ll ride my kid to the beach and watch him surf. I’ll BBQ some chicken and eat crunchy yellow cucumbers. I’ll try to do it all with a smile because “life’s a sweet ride.”

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TVD Live Shots: Red Hot Chili Peppers with HAIM and Thundercat at Petco Field, 7/27

I was so excited when I found out that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were going to be performing in San Diego at Petco Field. I have been a fan of their music for decades, and it was an amazing experience to see them perform live again after a number of unforeseen “Covid cancellations” the past few years. The sold-out show was absolutely incredible, and I would highly recommend grabbing tickets to this one if they come to your hometown. The energy RHCP released on stage was contagious, and they had the entire stadium dancing and singing along all night long. If you are a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers—or rock and roll for that matter—you need to go see this band live.

I’ve honestly been a huge RHCP fan my whole life. As a teen growing up in Southern California, they were my hometown heroes from day one and pioneered a whole new genre of music encompassing funk, rap, and alternative into a unique sound that has been their signature ever since. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have often been imitated, but no one has been able to duplicate their unmistakable sonics or swagger. That in a nutshell is a testament to the incredible musicianship of Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith, and John Frusciante.

Opening Wednesday’s show at Petco Field in San Diego were two Los Angeles based bands, HAIM and Thundercat. Both bands were uniquely different and provided those who arrived early an amazing opportunity to rock out as the stadium began to fill up. Thundercat took the stage first and electrified fans with his funky baselines and smooth as butter grooves. HAIM was up next and brought Thundercat’s surge of energy to a whole new level. Sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana ripped off a powerful 9-song set that captured the mind and invigorated the soul of the San Diego faithful. All in all, both openers performed brilliantly and set the stage for what was about to come.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

When you call Call my name / I need a shelter / I need a friend Someone to hold me To lend a hand / I fell on hard times / I lost the plot / No understandin’ The pain I got / My body’s broken / My body is bruised / Try to remember / What it’s like not to lose / I won’t go under / I won’t give in / Try to remember What it’s like to win / I need a shelter / I need a friend Someone to hold me To lend a hand / I fell on hard times / I lost the plot / No understandin’ The pain I got / My body’s broken / My body’s bruised / Try to remember / What it’s like not to lose / I won’t go under / I won’t give in / Try to remember What it’s like to win / When you call Call my name

Today’s thought? Is my mind broken?

Actually it’s my right middle toe. I broke it a few weeks ago and finally got around to a foot doc. The prognosis? “If your gonna break something it might as well be your right middle toe.”

Well, this said, there is a certain frustration with a small bone break. What a surprise as I found myself flipping through old records thinking of songs about broken bones and hearts. Luckily I don’t have a broken heart but I did pull a sad song, “Broken Finger Blues” from my departed pal Richard Swift, below.

It reminded me of the week I spent with him five summers ago. He was recording The Seasons, a brilliant French Canadian band I was trying to manage. In a quiet moment in the studio I asked Dickie about his next solo album. Swift played me the song. I remember turning to him, asking if he really broke his finger? He shook his head and said “Yeah Johnny.”

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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