Concerts, Music

Concert Diaries: Early Winters and The Pierces At the Hotel Cafe

When it comes to concerts in LA, I tend to repeat my mistakes. Instead of booking tickets the minute they come out on sale – and believe me, it’s easy to be privy to “secret” pre-sales and special offers – I postpone my buying until the last minute. Nine times out of ten, or maybe three times out of ten, please feel free to insert any statistical value here that drives my point home, the tickets are sold out. And then I have to trawl Craigslist, eBay, Stubhub, even users who say they’re going, in order to come up with tickets at the last minute.

But it is possible to get tickets second-hand, of course. Fun things have happened when I went to get them. Like the bus journey that lasted half a day, involved a long walk through a golf course and by a duck pond, and culminated in me fidgeting near a pool party. A guy wearing a wife-beater and flanked by three gorgeous women took a wad of tickets out of his cargos and picked four for me. After accepting  payment, he asked me if I would like to join the party. I had a birthday party to attend, and I declined. I regret that. But the Feist concert proved to be wonderful, and I managed to sell two of my tickets and broke even, hah!

The Pierces were a band I had stumbled across thanks to a recommendation from a Gossip Girl addict, and much of early 2010 was spent tripping on Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge. It’s a brilliant album, the two sisters spinning their addictive melodies over lyrics that spoke of secrets, boredom and making love with the lights on. I heard of their appearance at the Hotel Cafe when attending the Ariana Hall appearance at the same venue, a few weeks ago. Did not buy tickets, did not pass go, landed up at the venue early today hoping to get some. They were preceded by a band called Early Winters, and the sign said that the venue would be cleared after their set ended. Undeterred, I got in for the first set. A fine performance by the band more than made up for a somewhat-long work-day. The lead singers were a Canadian dude and a British lady, and their other band members were in New Zealand and Japan when they collaborated on their album over Skype video chats.

Soon after the venue was cleared, we went outside and stood on the aisle of shame. “Back up against the wall, please”, the lady at the gate kept repeating to us, and the two Middle-eastern women in front of me giggled all throughout. After some nerve-wracking minutes, they finally agreed to let us in. I fist-bumped the bouncer, swooped in to say hello to the lead singer of Early Winters, who was selling merchandise near the front door – got a signed CD from her, my third CD in 2 weeks, looks like a bad habit’s in the making – and sauntered in. The sisters rocked the set, debuting songs from their new album and totally bringing the house down with old favorites. The Hotel Cafe, ladies and gentlemen. I have a feeling I’ll become a regular here.