May Update, Or…

RIP Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and Ed McMahon! (Except I didn’t really care about you, Ed, until I realized you were the first in the inevitable triad of celebrity deaths)

The Faint & Ladytron @ The Grove of Anaheim

April 25, 2009

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I arrived at the venue with Jose (who tagged along reluctantly) and our friend Danny (who had seen neither The Faint nor Ladytron live before, but was a fan of both) with just enough time to wait in line for one drink at the bar before Ladytron started their set.

They played most of the songs I wanted to hear, but left something to be desired in their on-stage presence. Their lights were no doubt entrancing, but the highlight of the ensemble was the two lead songtresses, both of whom seemed “more concerned with being witches,” as Danny put it, than connecting with their audience. I agree with many of the reviews of the show that I’ve read: while The Faint and Ladyton together seem like a genius idea as far as drawing a like-minded crowd, the juxtaposition of bleak, stoic Ladytron and high-energy, pogo-friendly The Faint resulted in a disconnect between the two sets.

The lady-like silhouettes of Ladytron

The lady-like silhouettes of Ladytron

The Faint

The Faint

The Faint en rouge

The Faint en rouge

As far as enjoyability, when I’m attending concerts or events, I generally keep the attitude of “Fuck it, I paid my [price of admission] and I’m probably never going to see these people again in my life”. So when The Faint took the stage, I barely hesitated to shove my way to the front of my section and dance my fat little heart out. Yes, I am That Fat Guy at concerts. Yes, I need a 12 foot radius in which to dance, and yes I will sweat all over your sweat-banded little hipster head!


Rufus Wainwright @ The House of Blues, Anaheim

April 29, 2009

“Now, I know you’re going to go to the [Downtown Disney] parking lot to finish this – but don’t. This is Disneyland. There are cameras in your ass right now.” – Disney security guard to Jon, after being kicked out of a HOB Anaheim show for drunken fighting.

I had bought tickets to the Rufus Wainwright show several months ahead of time, thinking that me and my friend Leo where going to be the only ones attending. By the time the show rolled around, my brother and Vanessa, my friend Danny, and Leo and his husband were planning on being there.

I had originally envisioned this as a group outing, with the two couples, Danny and myself attending the show together. But, it didn’t quite work out that way. But I managed to see everyone at some point, which was made me feel like quite the social butterfly.

As much as I love Rufus, this show will not make it into my list top 10 concerts ever. The eyes of everyone in the crowd was almost creepily transfixed on the stage, without any hint of actually connecting with or enjoying the music, and, judging by the “shush” that Andrew and Vanessa received during the show, seemed to resent anyone else who was having a good time. I was also hoping to witness Rufus in his full glory, with an orchestra and back-up singers. Instead, it was just Rufus and a guitar/piano and while this set-up led to a very intimate and almost too casual tone (he forgot the words to several songs) I was nevertheless awestruck that Rufus was able to pull of some of his most technically difficult pieces such as “Vibrate” and “California”, the latter of which was preceded with this gem of an introduction:


Lucy Wainwright-Roche opened (while I was outside at the patio bar) and accompanied Rufus during a few songs along with Loudon Wainwright, a prolific late-1960s folk singer and composer of the score to Knocked Up (thank you, Wikipedia!).

Rufus and his guitar from afar (Hehe...that rhymes)

Rufus and his guitar from afar (Hehe...that rhymes)


May 3 was my first performance as a Men Alive chorister, Songs of the Noble Heart. I think the performance went well, but my fucking pants kept on falling down! Must get them altered before the July 17-18 performance of Wicked to Oz. I was unable to get any photos or video of the performance, so here’s a vid of the Berlin Phil and Rundfunkchor Berlin performing Verdi’s “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves”, one of my favorite pieces we performed in the concert:


On May 16, I did something I thought I would never. I dragged my ass out of bed, put on my Saturday best, and lugged by ass to Long Beach for Gay Pride 2009. My good friend Leo, who lives in Long Beach, invited me to come and I thought it would be a good way to get to know some of my fellow choristers who would be running in our pack that day.

After sitting through about 9 hours of dykes on bike, queens (drag and leather), and an unending stream of churches, government agencies, non-profits and Jazzercisers, we headed up the street to the festival.

I wish I had some engaging, insightful analysis of my first Pride experience, but I have to admit it was just about what I expected it to be. It was crowded (although not nearly as packed as I thought it would be) and hot. For some reason I was expecting the Long Beach scene to be everything I’ve been looking for in a gay enclave: inclusive but not cliquish, down-to-earth by not repressed, and above all diverse. I have to admit I was somewhat disappointed to see the same mix of folks I’ve come to expect from the gay scene in LA/OC.

That’s not to say I didn’t have fun: the whole thing was really entertaining. I had my fair share of drinks and laughs, and I had a great time hanging out with new peeps.

The handsomest mayor/gubernatorial hopeful, Gavin Newsome (This queer is still unconvinced, though)

The handsomest mayor/gubernatorial hopeful, Gavin Newsome (This queer is still unconvinced, though)

Big scary black man in a pimped out car! Run! Oh, wait....

Big scary black man in a pimped out car! Run! Oh, wait....

Leather/BDSM Demo Tent. Electrified paddles: who knew?

Leather/BDSM Demo Tent. Electrified paddles: who knew?

Mainstage

Mainstage

Addendum: Attending Pride without protection from the sun resulted in an incinerating sunburn and subsequent skin-peeling episode. I was tempted to remain indoors for the better part of June for fear of making small children cry.

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