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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

GD Live 2: UTADA HIKARU @ HOUSE OF BLUES

This is going to be more of a rant, so be pre-warned and skip to the video clip if you're not feeling it (sorry it's so low-grade, but that's another thing about the House Of Blues LA - more to come, below).
#1. I've been waiting a long time coming to see Utada Hikaru perform live. As many of you Utada fans already now, she is one of the biggest artist in Japan and doesn't put on concerts often, not even for every album. She is now trying to cross over the Pacific and appeal to the English-speaking audience and her tour In The Flesh, was the perfect chance for me to see her.
#2. Her performance was great. Her voice is unique and impeccable as ever. Set list was great too, as she performed many of her Japanese hits as well. Could have used more of that and less of the rock-heavy English songs.
#3. Even though she came on about an hour later than she was supposed to, her people ran it much better than the Sephora debacle. But I still think Utada will never be big in the U.S., which is fine cause I'm sure she has plenty of money already and is doing it for the love. It is just a shame to see someone who I think can make the transition, run amuck by poor management, exposure and shit venues like the House Of Blues Los Angeles.
#4. Now for the negative (you've been warned twice). Back in the day, I saw quite a few shows at the House Of Blues LA. Off the top of my head, De La Soul, The Roots and many more. At that time, I don't know if it was because I was in college and really didn't know better, but I enjoyed myself at those shows. But now that I am much older and wiser, at least older, I see what a SHIT PATHETIC VENUE THE HOUSE OF BLUES LOS ANGELES REALLY IS:
-a. Nobody working there knows nothing. Normal ticket price for this concert was around $40 and we paid around $120 for their "VIP seats". When we get there they tell us there are no seats and that it's GA only. So we basically had to fight for what we paid for and eventually ended up with decent seats in a VIP reserved area. Three different people in our group called many different numbers about a week or more before the show to get some answers on where our seats were exactly and none of us got the same answers. VERY SHADY. BIG UPs to Saul at House Of Blues for making things right and not even taking our tip. I hope you are able to move on to bigger and better things in your career than staying at a dying venue like the House Of Blues. Props to Murahito for finally asserting himself!
-b. FUCK STEVE CONDON (that last name is just too easy). One of these wannabe, short, muscle maxed out, overpaid mall cops. Supposedly, he is in charge of The Foundation Room (which is this weak VIP lounge/bar in the House Of Blues, where people go to chill before/after/during the show). It's basically a place where you can't see the show at all and most people just wait there afterwards because the parking line is out the door (one thing that you can see from The Foundation Room). Anyways, I digress. So we are sitting in our VIP seats, which are actually bar stools, and Boy Steve Condon decides to stand right in front of my wife and as the show is beginning and going on. There is a row of empty seats right in front of him. I ask him if he is going to stand there for the rest of the show. Then his 'roid rage + probable hemroid rage (you really need to learn how to wipe better Steve Condon) kicks in and he says, "This is my post and so what if I stand here!." I understand that he was most likely waiting for the other VIP guests to get there so he could seat them, but he could just have easily stood in the back of the VIP booth so his monkey-greased hair and bald spot isn't blocking anyone else's view or making them teary-eyed from the stench, walked his short legs over to the entrance when they showed up (even though they never did and those seats we're open the rest of the night) and sat them down. So we get into it a little and he basically stands there like the slave he is and I just keep looking at his thinning hair. He finally leaves after about 4 songs in and doesn't come back. Another former trainer/high school football player who got promoted beyond his skill set of barely being able to put a sentence together who is aspiring to become famous in Hollywood (Nashville Film Festival, way to go Boy!).
-c. The drunken fool jumping up and down, doing the Diddy dance with the Mexican rancher yelp next to me trying to dance with my wife...wait, that's my cousin.
So to wrap this up, I still feel like Utada can do better, but enjoyed her show very much. We did end up having a good time. AVOID THE HOUSE OF BLUES, especially in LA, as they are very shady in their pricing and have Boy Steve Condon. I also think the House Of Blues LA is a run down venue that has been passed by with MUCH BETTER VENUES LIKE CLUB NOKIA.

{Ray's attempt thwarted by the HOB mall security flashlights. Ganbatte!}


{BIG UPs to nesfarted for the great footage & espionage - how did you get your camera in?}

Happy birthday Utada and thanks for sharing it with us.
::MH::

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