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California Roll Call!

Poll

Which shows you seeing?

Shrine Expo Hall - May 15 - Los Angeles
12 (37.5%)
Greek Theater - May 16 - Los Angeles
10 (31.3%)
Bill Graham Auditorium - May 17 - San Francisco
10 (31.3%)
Total Members Voted: 15
  • 2rbo Nutt37
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Will we get some sort of hourly Vlog update, you guys? I mean, this is what the young folks do these days.
You wanna know my biggest disappointment for the live sets 2019? You wanna know? I tell you what my biggest disappointment is: I AM FUCKING NOT THERE!


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How many meals have consisted pizza so far, Caleb?


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I'm branching out!

I admit to getting a wood fired pizza at Grand Central Market, which was absolutely worth it.
Never for money, always for love.


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***LONG POST WARNING*** (I'll edit later, this took two hours)

I've decided my trip review should reside here. Reviewing each show in individual threads wouldn't do justice. This was a pilgrimage.

There was a nervous anticipation when arriving to LAX. I had met Enjoyed and Pooter in real life prior, but never any of the other members. The flurry of activity here and on the group messenger kept the suspense levels peaking as I waited for inchem to 'snatch' me. After finally connecting, we loaded into his vehicle and wandered off to find food, connect on all things forum/album/live shows/life, drive to my hotel, and bump NG in the vehicle. Arriving at Pooters hotel, we decided the hotel bar was the best place to wait for the crew to arrive as we waited for a response on where to situate ourselves. We found that the beer and the bar was bad, but were lucky to have Whitenoise, AndroidGeoff, Pooter, Darkstar, and Fern (WN wife) walk in the front doors (we also found that Biff was secretly behind us). We headed up to the suite (Presidential), took in the view, and started live general bullshit chat all while Enjoyed, Makeskidskill and Whirly arrived soon after. Pre-show meal was in order meaning Makeskidskill suggestion for Dirty Dog was confirmation of sacred foodie knowledge. We met with Bo from the reddit, attempted drinks at a USC bar...that was a mistake...the two starbucks across the street was a better idea. Gig time.

We get in, have half the group peel off to the bar, other half to find a spot. I peel off for drink ($15?!?!), and merch, find the crew, try to track where the others gone, and start bumping to Black Madonna (who played a killer 'history of disco track').

Show: no expectations, up to star guitar was partly expected, the synchronized dancing with Enjoyed was a surprise. GTKO was the first 'WTF' moment. Claps, confetti, disco balls, more would be added as the show went on. Eve of Destruction was a watch in awe experience as the gatchaman/pokemon/office girl hero scene played out. No Geography, felt like a '60s space epic. The wall of bright lights ending left me in strong glint mode yelling 'HOLY SHIT!'. EV was hard as nails. EBW 6 was the freak out moment with "Robots!!!" coming from me (see inchem video). Get Up On It/DYOH was just pure fun. Wide Open was the crying moment (a lot of personal emotion). Galvanize right to the end of BRB was the party. Particularly loved the spinning fan light effect in Song To Siren. Got Glint was a surprise to the rest of the group, not me as I had seen it 2/4 times I'd seen T&E prior. Catch Me I'm Falling is way better live then album to me. The Reel, oh how I love the Reel. We are all freaking out after. Someone sees Erol at the soundbooth and we say our hello's. We roll out back to pooters hotel (minus inchem as he had to head home), over analyze it all, stay up too late learning about each other, and all pass out there.

Next morning rise after little sleep, find food, split off respective ways to change/coffee/beer, have an intense pooter dj set in the car, and meet back at the hotel. I manage to find a few invaders along the course of the day. We head to the taco place to meet with Whirly and Makeskidskill, meet enjoyed's wife, eat and head to the greek.

Show: I'm tired and anticipating a short show due to outdoor noise restrictions. I was seated next to Enjoyed and Alexa right at the front of our section which is exactly in the middle of the venue behine the soundbooth (and erol). We manage to sneak in Whitenoise and Fern behind us as a seat was not in use. Black Madonna finished with Another One Bites The Dust that was played the night previous (this would be a bet next night). Show tracklist...is exactly the same. With it being an outdoor gig, there was no ringing in the ears by the end. Energy levels have peaked again. It was nice to have the seat create a whole section to dance and not worry about being annoyed by groups of 'friends' just catching through the whole show. This gig is the closest I think we will ever get to a Red Rocks gig. This was also what I call the Technical gig as we could better see what was happening at the booth and on stage as stagehands set up rigs. Post-show, Erol comes straight out to talk to us. We slowly make our way to the cars, have a nightcap, and I finally get to my hotel so that I can grab stuff for the journey the next day.

Meet inchem at LAX the next morning, eat breakfast, and make our way. The ride is filled with chems and enjoyed albums, speed (traps), and a slow down at SFO. Check inchem into his hotel, make it to pooters, and wander over to pre-food.

Show: Getting to the venue we find that it is much bigger then the shrine (with exponentially more people). We start searching for Connor with no success. We head upstairs to see how the balcony looks like...this place can hold a LOT of people. We conclude that we need to make our way in sooner then later. Enjoyed has the british rave crowd cutter routine down to get us right in front about 10 people back. Same set. We all go hard as this is the last show. The intensity levels were immense, the love was all in the group, the sweat was dripping. It was bliss to finish like this. We find Connor (+ mom) by chance and get the iconic photo. I ask if anyone has seen Erol as we start walking out, I look next to me, and he turns around and says 'hey' with a sad face. At that point we see that another patron is down on the ground beside him and is receiving medical attention...yeah give them space, see you erol. Head to Smugglers Run, enjoy the rum, head to pooters knowing that there ain't no more shows. We start a board game which I am to drunk to understand and eventually fall asleep.

Next morning is pretty chill. Pooter regails us with a quiet solo piano and vocal show, we start the game again (which I now understand), and then head to brunch. Over the course of the day we play more games, I head to Amoeba, and have indian take away.

Overall, it was spiritual to say the least. To connect with everyone was like the best family reunion ever, even if I never made it to one before. Every show ended with me yelling "Thank You Old Friends". Many new adventures will come from this journey as we will meet again.
That would have blown my mind. If I had a mind.


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Ryno!! ❤️❤️ Thank you so much for your review, I am SO glad to have met you after all this time and that you journeyed all the way to California for the shows!
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.


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Like Ryno, I thought here in this thread would be a good place to follow-up with a ‘review’. So... here’s mine. Apologies in advance for leaving out details and whole songs, possibly misremembering a bunch of things, and for anything being out of sequence. Instead of trying to write 3 separate blow-by-blow accounts of each show (I mean, who the hell wants to read a bunch of my TLDR posts??) I want to focus on not just what I heard, but what I’ve seen and felt among the highlights that burn brightest in my reserves at the moment.

First, I’ll back up a tad. Sometime in November I was roused from my slumber by the familiar ding of Facebook messenger. Not to sound overly dramatic, but having become accustomed over the past couple of years to sleeping with one eye open and my phone’s volume set to highest, the first thing that ran through my pessimistic head when I heard my phone blowing up was the dreadful news that someone close to me was either a. In the hospital, or b. Dead or dying. I am happy to report that to my surprise and relief, it was neither of those things. The messages were from an excited forumite from across the pond ecstatically sharing the news of not one, but two Chemical Brothers shows announced for Los Angeles (Shrine Expo and The Greek)! Finally, some good news and the promise of pleasure, escape, and much needed release to look forward to in a few months’ time! And to make matters even more exciting, a third show up in San Francisco, a mere few hundred miles away. Three stand alone shows back to back in California, which never happens!

In the blink of a few short months, we were ready to embark on the first leg of the journey to the Shrine Expo. So many questions and internalized anticipations for all three shows; Would the sound be all right? Will it be stifling in there? Will the crowd be aggressive like they were when trying to secure a decent spot during the massive Nocturnal Wonderland? How will this top having been 5 rows deep from the stage at Coachella 2005? Will I get to hear the Reel?  Will my husband be able to manage crowd anxiety and have to babysit me like in previous years when I insisted we try to be as up close and personal as possible?? Should I even try to be out there on the floor? I have a family shindig on Saturday morning in LA, will I make it back from San Francisco in time? Will I be so tired I might die? So many questions and worries running through my mind!!

The Shrine would be my first ‘indoor’ live Chemical affair. Once inside, we bid the forum kids good luck on the floor while my husband and I secured our spot on the upper level, stage facing right, up against the ledge with a perfect unobstructed view of the festivities on stage and floor (which is where the forum gang congregated). This afforded me with room to spread out, dance if I want, and observe what I must -and at the Shrine in particular, we were within blast radius of a large air conditioning vent. My sanctuary space for the Shrine evening also offered  a new observation point that I had not experienced before. This observation point felt so ideal for me at this time, it was also taken advantage of for the San Francisco show, too - the largest of the three venues. Room with space to move with freedom, and breathing space to consume the visual spectacle - to see and hear both musical and audience response. My view at the Greek show was a bit tighter as it has assigned seating, but still felt like I was on an observation deck so I could take it all in.


When the show begins, the lights dim and through the fog, the atmosphere becomes awash in blue as Tomorrow Never Knows warbles its way through the speakers. Eventually succumbing to an avalanche of cheers as Tom and Ed take the stage. We were ready to Go as the song lulled us into the set, and all the previous baggage and worry dissolved. Free Yourself indeed seemed to take on a life of its own.

The first of many highlights is MAH - this is across the three shows. I must have been so caught up in the moment, it took me by surprise at first to hear this so early on in the set. That’s not a bad thing. The beats awaken the beasts. The crowd’s reaction to this at their shows was everything I had hoped it to be and then some. Led by the visual snout-nosed master of ceremonies, complete with lasers jutting from his fingertips, this song 100% demanded the audience rise to the occasion. And they did with fists raised in unison, the madness being carried on the song’s torrential current. To hear this erupt indoors triggered so many memories of the old club and indoor gymnasium rave days. It was... phenomenal. To be swept into EML Ritual from that was like being dragged into an indescribable madness. It’s the part of the trip where shit can go seriously wrong, or seriously right. Thankfully it was the latter. :p

Swoon is for the lovers. The softly wavering synths were like a blanket of calm to help break that feverish madness from the last couple of songs. Swoon sounds and feels as warm as a friend’s embrace. Fists have lowered and bodies are left to gently sway side by side. The couple in front of us grabbed hands tightly and gave each other an excited, giddy kiss. I mean, I know it must sound incredibly corny, but can you not think of anything more ridiculously perfect during a moment like this? Hahaha  Everyone’s together now... we hear Temptation, and how we have green eyes and blue eyes and grey eyes. And to those who’ve been blessed to have danced this dance before, we know Star Guitar is coming along to take us deeper into the set.

At some point not too long after comes a most surprising and unexpected foray into Gravity Drops. When hearing this, it felt like more a bridge to the next tune - Got To Keep On. The chimes rang out like church bells, as the pink lights emanating from the visuals baptized the audience who played along to the synchronized images on screen dancing along to the music. The ‘rain like tears’ part of that song - you know which part I’m talking about - enveloped the entire atmosphere. It felt like taking hits of nitrous oxide. The lights switched to near strobe white-brightness. White tissue confetti drifted above and sprinkled down on to the sea of unsuspecting people. Everyone became transfixed to see where this rain was coming from. Between the overwhelming sonic nitrous oxide, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to believe the confetti was coming from the sound itself. The confetti blew all the way up to the upper levels at the indoor venues, and magically drifted along the light breeze and cool air at the outdoors Greek show. Beautifully, subtly interactive. Then that beat returns with those chiming bells to bring everyone’s gaze and body response back to orbit.

I think somewhere in here (though I may be out of sequence?) is Hey Boy Hey Girl, which was a battle cry to join Eve of Destruction. The vocal seemed to on everyone’s lips. The visuals here, as well as how this song is played out - is my favorite addition to the live show. The music here is the soundtrack to this fun, short film. And with that said, this part of the show is hard to describe! It’s like watching a movie with suited up people fighting people suited up in monster costumes. Compete with lasers shooting out of belt buckles and cosmic power ranger kicking ass and taking names. Anyone with Japanese film expertise, it would be interesting to read their take on these super fun visuals. ;)

Saturate is a tried and true crowd pleaser. This song knows how to throw a party. It gives the crowd a chance to come together again and interact with each other. I had not experienced the balloons until this tour. What’s not to love about bouncing around a beach ball at a concert? These were more like giant earth balloons, gently drifting over the crowd in near unison to the paint balls on the screen. In an odd way, the music served to keep everyone tethered to the earth for fear of drifting away with the balloons in the breeze. The balloons didn’t drift up to the levels where I was, but (and I’m unashamedly corny here) it was such a joy to see the faces of people smiling as they bounce the incoming balloon away. As the balloons are taken away, the music of No Geography takes us to the next stop. The beautifully spiraling pinwheels of sound in No Geography are all encompassing and rippled across each venue - almost reverberating off the walls of the Shrine and Civic Center, and off the edge of nature that immediately surrounds the Greek amphitheater. You wonder what’s the next stop of the journey?

Escape Velocity takes the reigns and leads us into madness. I absolutely adore the Golden Path treatment on this, and this song remains a remarkable highlight each time I’ve experienced it live. When it reaches the farthest depths, Tom and Ed work the crowd, fucking with and tweaking that “I’ve found myself in some kind of hell” vocal. It melts into a flurry of booming sound as the heat rifrom the floor could be felt from the upper areas where I was standing (most notably the Shrine). The smoke machines, which have cleverly been pumping vapor into the atmosphere, worked their magic beautifully here as the mist was drawn to the mass of dancing bodies in the pit. The intensity of the red lights beaming from the stage illuminated the space’s entirety. And that beat - that grounding beat that keeps everything within orbit - is the salvation that eventually brings everything back into control.

We’ve now come to the part of the set that felt like being called back to the reminisce days - an energized mash up of songs giving nods to the past. All of which brings us to the place we are in now, in transition to Wide Open. Here in the bluish light, we are bathed in what feels like the open sea. Our heroine from Further appears to swim through the depths, and the bubbles sparkling across her cheeks turn into fluttering birds. And we are now somehow being swept along on a cosmic musical current, swimming with those birds across an ocean sky. There are soaring sounds punctuating Wide Open which sound like whale song drifting across miles and miles of ocean deep.  It just went so perfectly with the visual ocean world we were immersed in. As Wide Open draws to a close, our heroine surfaces to breathe, and there is this feeling you’re reaching the final leg of the set... I’m missing a bunch of stuff in between so please forgive me... but I wanted to mention Catch Me I’m Falling in this vein as well, since it too feels like the second wave of Wide Open. Oceanic, soothing, welcomed, keeping us in the current but setting us adrift to wherever the next song takes us.

The last stop on the journey home is the Private Psychedelic Reel. The song swirls amidst the stained glass backdrop of our newfound church. We’ve been born again through sound. No Geography is right. We’ve gone to heaven and hell and all earthly points between and beyond, and some people have literally moved mountains to be at these shows. The madness at the end as the last synth standing (and falling) releases its final sputtering gasp of the evening. This feels like a culmination of everything that makes these shows what they are. It is and will always be (for me, for what it’s worth) the perfect closer and the sweetest farewell. Until next time...

Wednesday through Friday have been an absolute pleasure, from my husband being 100% there for me, meeting up with old friends and meeting some new ones along the way, too. The forum family and being able to spend time with you all, and break bread with you before and after the shows. The woman in front of me at the Greek dancing the entire time without stopping or missing a beat - she was a goddess. The lady behind me who was seeing her first ever concert - the live music she sees from here on out certainly will have a tall order to fill. The random Chems Redditor, glad he made it through. The drunk lady who engaged me after one of the shows as we were waiting for the loo who kept apologizing for being drunk and for keeping on talking about how awesome the Chemical Brothers are - sister, you never have to apologize to me for that! To the security guards that let us back into the San Francisco venue (another story for another time) thank you for not being jerks so I could continue enjoying the show. These concerts have surpassed all expectations in every way imaginable. I don’t know how the Chemical Brothers shows manage to get better every time I see them, but they do. The tribes in LA and insanely crazy San Francisco were made up of an amazing congregation that I am so happy to have been a part of. :)

Now, someone else, please please pretty please, chime in because I’m quite frankly so deliciously exhausted right now and I’ve gone on long enough.  It’s time for me to get back to reality land.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 05:30 by whirlygirl »  
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.


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Wow, you guys. I'm sitting here smiling and wiping away small tears of joy as I'm reading your essays of probably one of the most memorable forum experiences to date. Even though I wasn't there, through your words, it felt like I was. Ryno's depiction of socializing and getting to know each other, playing board games like a small "family" at Poot's, even being entertained by with piano music by him (I did cheer reading this), really struck me emotionally (being a sucker for bonding moments). It even hit harder when I read your introduction, Whirl's, recollecting what you felt when your phone rang. I know some of you went through tough times and all the more I was happy and glad this all panned out the way it did and you all had the time of your lives.

Thank you for letting us participate in these joyful moments. Man, what a ride. Can't wait for the other pilgrims to chime in!

P.S. Makeskidskill, hahaha, I had totally forgotten about that one.

You wanna know my biggest disappointment for the live sets 2019? You wanna know? I tell you what my biggest disappointment is: I AM FUCKING NOT THERE!


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Thanks so much for the vivid reviews and happenings, Whirly and Ryno.  It means a lot to read the details of the weekend especially when you're not there. I can only hope the future holds another one these opportunities.

Whirly, tell Jim we miss him.


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Finally back home, and I can't wait to share my review of the whole experience. Hopefully not as long a wait this time :P

What I can say now is an enormous thank you to everyone I met, rocked out with, car DJ-ed with, crashed with, talked excitedly with, got far from sober with. You people are such generous, incredible souls, and took this entire weeklong journey to another level for me. I wish there'd been a day break in the shows just so we could have hung out more. Whirly especially, we hardly got to chat!

Oh yeah and the shows were okay too.

What a rush.
Never for money, always for love.


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Ryno and Whirls

Loved reading your reviews! I finally found time to read them without distraction and in peace. Such a joy and privilage to be in your company to share these chemical moments. and to echo Whirls, Its been a long, long, long time being in a indoor stand-alone show. I cherish it! Ryno, thanks for being and watching 'my six'! You had my back at every show. Respect!

Once again, I appreciate you guys and girls giving there perspective and view from the shows.

As for White Noise....you have about 2 weeks to hand me a review on my desk  ;D

Edit: WN thanks for the rip. I was able to find more memories and tidbits on that rip. Really helped me give more special attention on my review.
This is up there. Like, Star Guitar up there.


 

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