Monday, June 15, 2009

Red Cortez, Robert Francis, Kenan Bell @ Spaceland (6/12/2009)

This was my first LA show in two weeks and my first time at Spaceland in almost a month. And I thought I was getting tired of Spaceland. It was great to be back, and the night seriously calmed the "maybe I should move back to New York" thoughts that began after my East Coast trip earlier this month.

It's easy to call this show one of the more unusual ones I've attended. First, it was a benefit show for Taco Zone, a taco truck that parks outside of the Vons on Alvarado and Montana, and a taco truck that I had not yet patronized (although I did go after the show). Second, the bands didn't start playing until 10:30; instead, there were DJ sets beginning at 9. Finally, I had never seen any local hip hop in Silverlake/Echo Park, and Kenan Bell filled that role, playing to an unusual Spaceland crowd.

I got to Spaceland at 10. Small turnout. Noticing that the back room was almost empty, I thought it would be a good opportunity to spend some time there before all the smokers invaded.

Red Cortez started the live music portion of the evening at 10:30 with their rootsy post-punk. I don't know what this band did since the last time I saw them, but wow; they were significantly better than their January show at the Echo, when I left disappointed. Excellent and energetic set from this very promising (and now CER Endorsed) band.

Robert Francis was up next. I was expecting a solo singer-songwriter performance. Instead, I was greeted with a three-piece band. The first song wasn't particularly noteworthy, and I mostly tuned out the remainder of their set. The last two songs sounded pretty good, though.

After Robert Francis there must have been almost 100% crowd turnover, because when Kenan Bell took the stage I didn't recognize anyone at Spaceland. Give me hip hop with a live band any day. And Kenan Bell delivered: electric guitar and bass, acoustic guitar, drums, keyboards, and Mr. Bell on the mic. A great set that brought a party atmosphere to Spaceland. I know little about Kenan Bell, and I don't know where or how often they typically play or how they've assembled a fanbase, but the crowd was loving it. You can add me to that fanbase. CER Endorsed as well.

Red Cortez:
Kenan Bell:

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