Arthur Nights, Day 2
Arthur Nights, a four-day festival in L.A. hosted by Arthur Magazine began on Thursday (Devenda Banhart, Espers), and will end on Sunday night with the Fiery Furnaces. Friday was the night of be your own PET and Boris (among others, a total of twelve bands/musicians played).
Okay -- this festival is looking not so great. It's being held in the Palace Theater, an old venue in downtown, and while it'd be nice if the place filled up, it's extremely optimistic to believe it will at some point over the weekend.
The ambiance of the place is bizarre as well. It's cavernous and stylish in an old-fashioned sort of way, but it needs fixing up, and downtown is just not the place it used to be.
Overall, the festival seems surprisingly disjointed and unorganized; like it was thrown together literally last minute.
But hey, as long as Boris puts on a truly awesome show, I can't complain that much.
The build up to last night's "big" bands (be your own PET and Boris) was pretty depressing. Howling Hex and Awesome Color absolutely sucked (*sorry*), and the folky dudes on the fifth floor were, while talented and wielded their instruments well, were just bland. Heartless Bastards, which I assumed would be at least mediocre, had a really boring and cold set.
Be your own PET was pretty cool, however. The bass player did a few stage dives (hit me with his bass on one occasion), the drummer was surprisingly talented with a style of his own, the guitarist was ... chill, and Jemina Pearl was loud, obnoxious, and bitchy, just as expected. While it was clear that all of the members are pretty friggin' young, they did a good job of keeping up with (actually surpassing) the sets of the other bands. So bravo, I guess.
Boris was ... holy crap, that was cool. The guitarist -- a cute, petite Japanese woman -- seems to be a classically trained, so while she was exceptionally on, she was a little boring to watch. The bass player (who played a double-necked bass) and drummer (who was like Bam Bam from The Flintstones) made up for any charisma lost on her, though. The bassist was stunning. He was often the backbone of songs, usually not playing notes per say, but just producing this amazing rhythmic bass patterns. When he did play melodies and such, though, he truly shredded up his ax. The drummer was hilarious, yet oh-so-talented. He had a portable mic on a headset, so he was able to scream and shout a random "whoop!" or "yeah!" whenever and from wherever he wanted. But behind the antics was a truly talented rhythm keeper. Never missed a beat, never overdid his fills and solos, and always stayed close enough tot he rest of the band to keep everything together, but detached his own drumming enough to make his raw energy and astounding skill stand out on its own.
Check out pictures for Boris here and pictures for be your own PET here.