Ash | ash-official.com
UCLA’s Royce Hall, legendary host to a wide range of performances across the performing arts spectrum, served as an apt venue for the pairing of Anna Calvi and Chelsea Wolfe, two lady songstresses with outsized stage presences, with songs that expand upon traditional structures and genres, taking pop well into avant-garde territory.
Billing themselves as The Reflektors, their alternate identity throughout this massive promotional blitz for their new and fourth overall album, Arcade Fire wrapped their week of activity in Los Angeles with a festive Halloween night performance for a packed Hollywood Palladium.
With a local mariachi trio greeting the costumed attendees at the door, dim blacklights throughout and confetti debris already strewn about the dance floor (presumably from a testing of the canons that will later douse the audience during “Here comes the night”) the mood in the air was more nightclub than rock show.
The band, performing here as a ten-piece, newly augmented by a pair of Haitian percussionists, Diol and Tiwill, as well as the return of Owen Pallet and Sarah Neufeld on keys and violins, alongside the familiar core six of Richard, Tim, Will, Win, Jeremy and Regine, played a fourteen-song set, their longest yet of these initial small club shows.
As part of MTV Iggy and Intel’s Music Experiment, which has already produced secret performances by Empire of the Sun in New York, Disclosure in Boston, and culminates with Taeyang in San Francisco on November 25, a lot at the corner of Hollywood and Vine was gated off, creating something of a mini carnival for around 2,000 attendees.
Franz Ferdinand are back. Not that they ever completely went away (they’re a constant presence on the festival circuit) but with Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action due August 27, their first new album since ‘09, there does seem to be a renewed sense of purpose and energy about the band and some fresh excitement in the fanbase.