PHOTOS + REVIEW: LOVE AND ROCKETS @ THE THEATRE AT ACE HOTEL (LOS ANGELES, CA)
Fifteen years could mean a whole lot of rust to dust off for almost anyone. However, it seems that Love and Rockets were spared the inevitable test of time. For the first time in 15 years Love And Rockets stopped by Los Angeles. The band sold out three consecutive nights at The Theatre at Ace Hotel downtown. They delivered an effortless psychedelic infused set and filled the otherwise heavily Spanish Gothic theatre. A setting that almost seemed better suited for the likings of Bauhaus.
Daniel Ash’s eloquently airy guitar riffs stood in stark contrast to the heavily adorned surrounding walls. This contrast was further accentuated by the polarizing psychedelic light display on the background screen. It aided in creating a strong sense of opposing forces between music and the environment, resulting in a well balanced dance of light and dark. This was echoed by David J’s poignant and soul stirring bass lines and Kevin Haskins’ heart thumping drums that led the audience through an amazing musical journey.
Their undeniable chemistry resulted in a lighthearted performance that almost stood in stark contrast to the heavy and nearly emotionally explosive stage presence of Bauhaus. As they looked completely at ease on stage and with each other they delivered an amazing set that allowed each member to equally shine. This reunion seemed like the least likely to ever happen as each member is heavily invested in their own future projects. But it is certainly one reunion that all fans truly appreciated. While I would love to never bid farewell to Love And Rockets and will continue to hope for new material to be released, I find myself saying, “well if this is it, they definitely will go out on the highest of notes.”
They opened their set with “I Feel Speed” and “No Big Deal” off their 1989 self-titled album, which were met with great enthusiasm from the crowd. They then moved onto “Kundalini Express” which might have contributed to quite a few blurry shots for the night. The song was perfectly executed and just impossible to resist as you could hear the entire theatre singing along from beginning to end. They moved on to “The Dog End Of A Day Gone By” off the album, Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven that saw its beautiful crescendo of drums grow right alongside the audience’s excitement. They played, “Judgement Day” from their 1996 release Sweet F.A. and then another one of my favorite songs, “Haunted When The Minutes Drag.”
They playfully teased fans with a quick snippet of the intro to “No New Tale To Tell” which lead into “American Dream” before rocking out a perfect version of “No New Tale To Tell” that got the entire crowd chanting along. Singer Sharon Robinson joined them on stage for “So Alive.” They guided the audience to their final album Lift with a stunning rendition of “Deep Deep Down.”
What I feel is so unique with Love And Rockets is that there really aren’t any hits vs deep cuts songs -not to fans anyway. This added such a high energy to the entire set which beautifully navigated through each album the band has released. The evening started on a high note and ended on an even higher one with, “Yin And Yang The Flower Pot Man,” the encores that saw Vinsantos, Agnes Twin, Kitten On The Keys, and Sharon Robinson joining them on stage for the moody and soulful “Holiday On The Moon,” and of course their magnificent cover of The Temptations’ classic song, “Ball Of Confusion” and their final farewell to the audience with, “Sweet F.A”.
The set might have not been the longest but it carried quite a punch, leaving all fans more than thankful to have been able to once again experience the magic of Love and Rockets. Although I still wish I had gotten a chance to see Daniel Ash on Saxophone because that is something truly extraordinary.
I Feel Speed
No Big Deal
The Dog-End of a Day Gone By
Haunted When the Minutes Drag
An American Dream (with No New Tale to Tell intro tease)
No New Tale to Tell
So Alive (with Sharon Robinson)
Deep Deep Down
My Dark Twin
Yin and Yang (The Flowerpot Man)
Holiday on the Moon (with Vinsantos, Agnes Twin, Kitten On The Keys, and Sharon Robinson)
Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today) w/ War (What Is It Good For) (The Temptations cover)