This week, my Monday night was usurped by the opportunity to see Broken Social Scene and Feist play at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. After a short jaunt south on the 101, I arrived in Los Angeles a little strung out and reeking of tobacco. My colleague, Adrian and I skipped past the line of delicately coifed L.A. hipsters standing en mass outside of the venue thanks to the magical press pass the Daily Nexus so kindly held at the will call window in my name. We sauntered into the bowels of Henry Fonda (renamed the Music Box that night for an added glean of debonair) and huddled in anticipation with our fellow concertgoers on the soon-to-be sold out dance floor.
By some incredibly fortunate act of mercy, the powers that be (i.e. the weird looking guy in the sound booth) decided to play songs from Lou Reed’s Transformer before the show, helping to ease the edge off from my aforementioned tobacco-fest. The red velvet curtain (yes, the venue was that posh) lifted to the sky and Leslie Feist took the stage. Feist played about eight songs, accompanied by a few members of Broken Social Scene. By the third song, it felt like warm honey was oozing out of her throat and pouring all over my body, suffocating my orifices with a divine natural sweetness (I’m pretty sure it was alfalfa honey, not the clover kind).
After washing the goo off in the bathroom, (a lavatory that was immaculately maintained by a charming animatronic woman named Marta who patted my hands dry for a tip) approximately 27 young men and women pranced onto stage holding various instruments and looking quite radiant. I have never seen performers so happy to be doing what they were doing on stage. As the squadron of brass players raised their horns, glinting in the magenta atmospheric lighting, I felt a shiver of appreciation surround my heart, and it was good.
As the scene kids shook and rattled and twisted, their bodies writhing with the sounds of the self-proclaimed “indie rock disco dance party” that encapsulated the remainder of the show’s encore, it remained good to the very end. As the liquor continued to pour, and the smoke machines were just about out of chutzpah, and I began craving another expertly hand-rolled Bali Shag cigarette, a feverent crescendo and an awesome wall of noise assaulted my inner ear. I could no longer distinguish pitch, but instead the pain of sound waves violently vibrating my eardrums, as each of the thirty instruments on stage (for Feist had joined Broken Social Scene for the encore) played in unison. Arms were raised in exaltation. Heads shook violently side-to-side. I clutched my camera with the fear of a mere mortal trembling before a mighty god. And in a flash of white light, it was over.
Who would have supposed that so many white dudes with receding hairlines could jam with such audacity?