It was celeb spotting to the nth power at the Nokia Theater Aug. 7, courtesy of Perez Hilton, Russell Brand, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (whom we watched dance to Perry's cover of Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair", thank you very much). Obviously, the stage was decked out to resemble the "California Gurls" music video. For décor so sweet, the show itself was, surprisingly, not PG—Perry made coy references to underage drinking, pot, sex, partying, underage drinking and more pot throughout the evening. Costume count: 14, maybe 15, and she proved that even stripped of all the candy, smoke and mirrors, she has perfected the art of performance. From an Aug. 8 Heard Mentality blog post by Neda Salamat.
JIMMY EAT WORLD
On Aug. 5, Jimmy Eat World's fans at the U.S. Open of Surfing kept rushing forward in hopes of getting closer to the band, but about 60 people ended up getting kicked out of the arena by the security guards, who grabbed them by the back of their necks and pushed them out. It was the same with crowd-surfers, moshers and people throwing water bottles at the band. The tanned, shirtless crowd made it seem like everyone was almost naked on the beach. A guy asked me if I wanted to smoke marijuana with him, and right after I declined his offer, the cops arrested him. From an Aug. 8 post by Leo Guaiquirian Rivera.
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The night of Aug. 7 marked the much-ballyhooed reopening of Santa Ana's newest hotspot, The Yost Theater, with San Diego's Unwritten Law headlining. Bands were scheduled to start playing at 8:30 p.m., but at 9:30, people were still standing in a line that snaked from the front of the building and into the nearby parking lot. Inside, it was hard to be unimpressed: The place is gorgeous, and the sound system is on a par with OC's finest venues. It's an underappreciated art to take loud bands like Unwritten Law and provide a mix in which the lyrics stream through the sound system with clarity. But whatever criticism can be leveled at the band, even their harshest detractors have to admit they can work a crowd. It was a good show—but picking Unwritten Law as the headliner for this momentous jump-off was a head-scratcher. From an Aug. 8 post by Brandon Ferguson.
This column appeared in print as "ShowGazing, SoCal-Style."