It was a mad, crazy night, on Wednesday, I got invited at a very fancy gig, the Yes Saint Laurent after-party at the Palladium and I was a bit confused at first, as everybody else apparently… Hedi Slimane had chosen the Palladium in Los Angeles to present Yves Saint Laurent’s pre-fall 2016 women’s collection and if the crowd outside was waiting to get in to see the runway show, there was in fact another crowd, who got to wait much longer to get in for the after-party, directly connected to Slimane’s love of music.
It’s simple, if you were a celebrity in Hollywood you were attending the show, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Courtney Love, Jessica Alba, Sylvester Stallone and many others were there, I only saw their Instagram pictures of course, but I got the front row spot for one of the best rock shows of the year, with too many bands I could handle in a night, and an after party which stretched in the early morning hours. It’s clear, fashion people were here for the runway show and were much more interested by the bar, the gift bags or the free ice cream, the music was accessory for them, so it was not too difficult to get a good spot despite the very large crowd. The lineup had been kept secret till the day of the show, although I had heard Beck and Father John Misty would be playing and after a long wait of one hour and half, after more lines and more metal detectors, I was finally in. It was around 9:45 and Father John Misty was giving an amazing performance on the large stage… I felt so sorry I missed the beginning of his set because he seemed to be in a great spirit… But he always is that way right? He was moving floors and ceilings as he has developed quite a tumultuous choreography, moving his long arms and legs in every directions, kneeling or lying down, embracing an invisible drama, he is such a theatrical performer, always using elegance with an over-the-top tragedy, and I liked his performance despite the fact I am always aware he is in full character, I recognized a few songs, some of my favorites from his last album ‘I Love You Honeybear’, I forgot which ones, but I guarantee you, he was really convincing.
Beck was fucking good too, his set was pure delight to my eardrums, especially because it was an oldies-heavy set, played with an amazing sets of pedals, and distortion galore, a real eargasm for Beck lovers. Looking eternally young with his large hat and black bomber, he moonwalked like a pro through his set, with ‘E-Pro’ and Devil’s Haircut’ in his mind. He visibly had a lot of fun, just like his new (to me) and talented guitarist and his old-time bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen,… ‘Think I’m in Love, ‘Soul of a Man’, ‘Minus’, ‘Mutherfucker’… His set was an euphoric time machine. I had missed you Beck Hansen, please do this again soon okay?
I first could not believe it but, just after Beck’s performance, I had a glimpse of a famous face from backstage,… and Joan Jett effectively took the stage next, surprising everyone as we didn’t have any idea she would be playing! What a treat, I had never seen her and she was a blast, especially among girls who were ferociously pushing and rushing to the front. Her band were raucous and loud and Joan was very crowd-friendly, she was asking for some sing-along, then jumped a few times on the side of the stage,… Joan has the hits and she plays them, ’Bad Reputation’, ‘Cherry Bomb’, ‘Do You Wanna Touch Me’, ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’, ‘Crimson and Clover’, ‘I Hate Myself For Loving You’… People were ecstatic and it was one of these am-I-dreaming-this moment? She looked right at me a few times, removed her leather jacket, revealing a painted-on-her red shinny leotard, and everything about her looked and sounded so rock ‘n’ roll.
After this series of surprises, it was the turn of the Burger Records bands, and I don’t think I would have imagined this in my wildest dreams, Yves Saint Laurent people, the cream of the cream of haute couture, in the same room than the psychedelic garage-punk-rock Burger bands? The Vogue’s people, Demi Moore, Jane Fonda, Justin Bieber, Matt Bellamy, Pamela Anderson in the same place than these cool bands I see at the Echo and Burgerama? Two worlds colliding and making an awesome night, but one thing was sure, most of the people around me, punks or models were drunk at this point.
The Allah-Las brought their psychedelic krautrocky cool vibe, a bit druggy Brian Jonestown Massacre, but with much more sun in the guitars. The Sloths were as dramatic as they were comical, and they were magicians too, doing magic tricks to make this show really special. The old-school band had played the Palladium in the 60’s, and they could not believe they were back at the same place 50 years later. Their set included fire, knee-slides, shirt-rip-off, mysteriously-appearing confetti, and some of their hits, ‘One Way Out’, or ‘Makin’ Love’, the single that brought them back in the business, from the grave. They were story-tellers and raucous rockers all-combined in the same short-set, like a second chance to shine. Cheryl Glazerr were more riotous than I could remember, and they even got cut off for playing too long. This girl can combine class and rebellion in the same song,while sending frequent outbursts of rage with the help of a newly added keyboard. Then, the bands succeeded themselves faster and faster, bluesy Curtis Harding had brought a full band and a large sax, injecting some real soul and beyond, No Parents and their furious mosh pit reminded me that it was a punk show after all, with decadence and funny songs like ‘hippie die’ and ‘punk is easy’… the girls of Bleached got very loud in a punk-grunge style, at least one of them had a sort of early-Courtney-Love look, but I remember them to always have had punch and fury… It was already very late or early morning but more bands were supposed to play, at least Kim and the Created, The Mystic Braves, and if I believe Gary Tovar’s smart phone – the Goldenvoice’s co-founder showed me the list he had received – a few other bands like Thee Oh Sees, Corners,.. could even have played. But there was no way they could have all fit in the time left, It was 3 am and the show was over, Kim was pissed off, disappointed, ‘We love you Kim’ shouted the crowd, the mixed crowd I had observed all night long, the crowd of drunk guys, runway models and music fans…It was the night when all the worlds collided for a unique music-fashion fest.
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1975 (Volume 7, Number 1)
Smith’s final freelance contribution to Creem.
putting Nigeria on the map
back at # 1 for a third non consecutive week
not a dreamer but a steely eyed businessman and pop musician
Willie Nelson will play at the Palomino fest on Saturday
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1975 (Volume 6, Number 12
Elton John came across as completely engaging
by episode nine, season four, the bastards finally got me sick of Kate!
some hooky and wildly inspired tune
Harry has the summer of his career!