Against the backdrop of LACMA’s famed street lamp installment, Urban Light, Los Angeles indie pop darlings Saint Motel returned to their homeland momentarily last Thursday. The event, hosted by The Roxy Theatre, was the first performance of the museum’s Muse Concert Series and gave patrons an opportunity to browse the Tim Burton exhibition currently on display. I unfortunately was unable to see the art, but didn’t mind so much because the performances were more than enough to hold my attention (sorry, Tim Burton).
To kick off the show, Saint Motel’s Summer Sweat tour-mates The Silent Comedy got the crowd warmed up for the main event.
After seeing the crowd’s excitable response to the jams played by The Silent Comedy, it’s no surprise they opened the show. People loved them, and those vibes endured until Saint Motel took the stage. The Silent Comedy played a melange of songs that either sounded like ’70s rock or old fashioned, jumpy country.
These guys rocked so hard they got the crowd out of the doldrums brought on by excessive drinking and waiting around (Stark Bar is lovely, by the way). Midway through the performance, I noticed homedude’s beard and handlebar mustache combo:
I’m a huge fan of creative facial hair, and this motif was a pleasant surprise. I had to ask my photographer friend to get a shot of it in order to share it with LAMB readers. Great, isn’t it? For their final act, The Silent Comedy played a country rock version of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Their rendition was not only loud, rowdy, and featured an extra percussionist, but it really got the audience going, providing a great segue into Saint Motel’s set.
Saint Motel came out strong, with an upbeat pop number that got attendees who had strayed away from the stage back in the thick of it. If the Silent Comedy didn’t get people out of their booze stupor, then Saint Motel certainly did. They packed in a full set, cramming in at least eleven songs before ten o’clock, the mandatory noise curfew, and never relented on quality of performance. As they usually do, Saint Motel had a visual component playing alongside the stage, showcasing weird imagery and video that channeled a bit of Tim Burton’s essence.
At the midpoint of the set, lead singer A/J Jackson announced they’d be playing a slower song, but immediately delved into their keystone hit “Puzzle Pieces.” What jokers. The first few measures of the song brought on an instant uproar from the crowd; it was almost a fever pitch level you’d only hear at a Beatles concert. Speaking of, did anyone notice the kicks on Aaron Sharpe?
I could totally envision these shoes on one of The Beatles. Love it!
In addition to playing their own songs, Saint Motel covered a few numbers by The Who before ending their set. Their cover of “A Quick One While He Is Away” made an indelible impression on me (I really, really like covers), since it infused Saint Motel’s “garage glam” into a classic rock staple. It was at this point Aaron and A/J showed us some on-stage loving:
…then someone jumped into the crowd as things wound down:
Saint Motel managed to finish at exactly 10:00 PM, much to the dismay of the show-goers. The Saint Motel/Silent Comedy train is leaving town for a while, as the two bands round out the rest of their Summer Sweat tour this month. They’ll be making stops in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and Nevada. Until you get a chance to see Saint Motel live, or want to relive the magic of Thursday night, here are some photos to drool over:
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