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Manoeuvres

Posted on March 30th, 2011

Dave!Last night I saw an amazing show by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at The Music Box L.A.

All the expense and trouble of getting here melted away as the band slammed through a sensational set list of their incredible music. And, because I had bought a "VIP Package," I got to attend a soundcheck and meet the band before the show even started. This was an incredible experience, and made a great thing even better...

OMD Soundcheck

OMD Soundcheck

The soundcheck ended up being fantastic, but the concert itself was amazing. One of my favorite new bands, Mackintosh Braun, opened up for them, which was like extra frosting on your cake.

I thought it would be impossible for any band to even get close to the energy from the Matt & Kim show I attended last week in London, but Andy, Paul, and Co. played their guts out for an enthusiastic crowd that absolutely loved their performance...

OMD Live!

When I met the band, I gave them crap for not playing Seattle. They said that they had been asked to tour the States again, and Seattle would definitely be included next time. Which is like chocolate pudding on top of your extra frosting on top of your cake. I can hardly wait!

Since this was the final show on their tour, Andy took a minute to send out some thank you's. One of them was to their record label, Bright Antenna, for sponsoring this tour in the first place. Apparently no concert promoter would back OMD because they didn't think people would show up. Of course, the band went on to not only sell-out every single show, but they even added an extra one. Which also sold out...

OMD Sold Out!

Congrats to Andy, Paul, Martin, and Malcolm on a great album, a great tour, and for having such great fans.

   
And now it's time for how I got here...

Along with Depeche Mode and the Thompson Twins, the holy trinity of my favorite 80's bands is completed by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (more often known as "OMD"). Other bands like a-ha, Pet Shop Boys, and Duran Duran came along to snag my attention, but my DM, TT, and OMD came first.

As a massively huge fan of their work, I was thrilled when OMD released a new album last year, History of Modern, that was as good as anything they've ever done. It ended up being my pick for "Album of the Year," so you can imagine my delight when I found out that they were touring the USA in March.

Except there was no stop in Seattle, and I was gone for a big chunk of the shows because I was in London and Venice. A part of me was gutted that I'd miss the tour, but a part of me was also relieved because I'd be flat-broke when I got back from Europe.

And then they added an extra Los Angeles date six days after I returned from London.

I was sorely tempted but, the cost of the flight, hotel, food, and tickets was more than I could spend, and I've already seen OMD live several times.

But then Mackintosh Braun announced they would be the opening act.

Keep in mind, THIS is what my favorite albums list looks like for 2010...

Dave's Favorite Albums of 2010

  1. History of Modern by OMD.
  2. Sidewalks by Matt & Kim.
  3. Foot of the Mountain by a-ha.
  4. Where We Are by Mackintosh Braun.
  5. All You Need is Now by Duran Duran.

With Mackintosh Braun added to the ticket, there was no way I could miss this show. I had just seen Matt & Kim. I had flown to New York for a-ha's farewell tour. The chance to see tracks from four out of five of my favorite albums of 2010 performed live was too much.

And so I decided to throw responsibility to the wind, spend a chunk of money I don't have, and fly to L.A. for one night only for an opportunity to listen to some great music. And since I was already going for broke, I went ahead and got the VIP deal. In for a penny, in for a pound, I guess.

What was especially cool was that Ian and Ben (Mackintock Braun) hung around in the lobby after the show so I could tell them that they were the reason I flew to the show. They were genuinely grateful, and a couple of really nice guys. If you haven't listened to their stuff, I highly recommend it.

And so now I fly home. Poor, but happy.

Which is as it really should be, I suppose.

   

Pink

Posted on March 29th, 2011

Dave!And... here I am in L.A. for one day only.

Though the city has not-so-pleasant memories from when I was working here, I do still love it quite a lot. Probably because it's one of those places I've been to so many times that I've long-since worn out all the "touristy crap" and can just relax and do the things I like to do.

The trip got off to an ominous start. After the cabin door had been closed on the small aircraft, some guy yelled for the flight attendant because he wanted off the plane. He claims the reason was a text message from his lawyer. But the pilot was new to the job, and those of us at the front of the plane could hear every word of her pre-flight conversation with the co-pilot. Phrases like "You know what I'm doing, right?" and "How do I fly out of here?" don't exactly inspire confidence.

And so we were delayed while the guy got off the plane, which was too bad for him because the take-off was unlike any I've ever had from our small airport. Rather than doing a high-banking turn as usual, she did a lovely, lazy spiral. This afforded us an amazing view of the valley that I have never seen in my 25 years of flying out of here...

Pangborn Field from the Air

After a transfer at SeaTac (Seattle) I was off to the City of Angels. After working all morning in my hotel room, I knew exactly where I wanted to go for lunch... PINK'S HOT DOGS!

Pink's Hot Dogs!

After all, it comes Betty White recommended...

Betty White Loves Pink's

And their "Patt Morrison Baja Veggie Dog" smothered in fresh guacamole, onions, and tomatoes is worth the effort to get here. The veggie dog itself is better at America's Dog in Chicago, but the fresh California toppings at Pink's are fantastic...

Pink's Veggie Dogs

The reason I came to L.A. was located in Hollywood, so I passed the time walking the Walk of Fame. A couple times ago when I was here, Michael Jackson had died. This time, it was Elizabeth Taylor's star that was covered in flowers...

Elizabeth Taylor Star

The weather was flawless. A cool breeze with flawless blue skies...

Perfect L.A. Day!

Right up until nighttime, when the sunset was pretty amazing on Hollywood Boulevard...

L.A. Sunset on Hollywood Boulevard

But the real awesomeness was yet to come...

OMD VIP Pass

To be continued...

   

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