Hollywood Bowl: KCRW’s World Festival Featuring Feist

July 21, 2008


…I distinctly remember reading a Bill Simmons column on EPSN in the first few days after the Lakers lost the NBA Finals. He said what I’ve found to be the most empty and disappointing part of my favorite west coast city. To paraphrase, even during the Lakers’ home games, fans didn’t seem to care; the fans with enough clout and money to sit lower-level wouldn’t show up until mid-second quarter, and they’d spend the rest of that comparing handbags, sunglasses and looking for the backs of celebrities’ heads. The worst of it was when, late in close games, people would leave just to get to their cars first and beat traffic.

As soon as Feist left the stage before her encore people started trickling down the stairs and out of the bowl. Even though the lights didn’t come on and she eventually came back on stage, people kept finding the exits like rainwater finds gutters. Maybe you have season passes to the bowl, or whatever, maybe you think she blows, but please explain what the big rush is to get out on the 101. I’m half-surprised I don’t see people getting up and leaving near the end of movies only halfway through the denouement.

Let me preface the next sentence by saying that I love this city, and people don’t all suck here. I think this LA-apathy (heretofore “lapathy”) is just part of what you get though with flaky, non-committal and often fake people. Red Sox fans may be mostly douche-bag-band-wagon-free riders, but at least they care. The best fans are the ones apparently in cities not distracted by the glimmer of plastic (see: Steelers, Raiders, soccer fans).

When her set started and she played Mushaboom we got on our feet, like the people in front of us, kind of standard procedure at a concert we thought. After a few seconds the thirty-something couple behind us pulls on my shirt and matter-of-factly says, “I can’t see anything.” I didn’t know what to do so I respectfully sat down out of confusion and started thinking about how lame I’ll be once I turn thirty. Oh, I’m sorry for trying to enjoy myself. Maybe our section E seats were too close to the stage, and these people, like celeb-hunting Lakers fans paid too much money to stand.

I understand that the Bowl is a different kind of venue. First of all there’s no standing room and it’s a variety of ages, making it ideally suited for seated-music (whatever that is), but this isn’t church–wait I can dance at church if I want to. I know general admission usually sucks at big shows; you start wearing other people’s sweat and hardly have the room to scratch your head, but it is the best way to enjoy live rock/pop/indie/hip-hop. You probably meet more selfish people pushing and blocking your view when you’re on your feet, but no one is trying to stop you from having a good time.

I love the Bowl, I love the atmosphere and how friendly everyone is. We shared alcohol with a group of complete strangers sitting next to us. But I know I’d rather have seen my indie queen from Canada at the Wiltern.

Feist – Intuition (Live on KCRW)

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