Last Night: Army Navy, the Jakes, Valley Arena and the Colourist at the Yost Theatre, Santa Ana; June 25, 2009.
Better than: Congregating around UCLA hospital.
Best tribute: The Sega Genesis Michael Jackon's Moonwalker game playing behind the Jakes during their set (I think it was actually the Valley Arena's call, but I missed their set).
If my two-part interview with Army Navy's Justin Kennedy wasn't enough of a tip-off for you, I was pretty psyched about the LA band playing the Yost in Santa Ana last night. Unfortunately, it didn't seem that I had much company there--playing last (hitting the stage around 11 p.m.) on an all-ages show on a Thursday night isn't fun for anyone, and after local faves the Jakes (pictured, with a considerable all-ages fanbase) finished, the place kinda cleared out.
That didn't deter Army Navy from plowing forward, though, playing several blasts of power-pop fresh air from their self-titled debut album--opening with "Saints," and hitting "Slight of Hand," "Dark as Days" and "Silvery Sleds." A couple of new songs, too, which might make it onto their sophomore release (they're planning on releasing that in early 2010)
Hey, check out this video of them doing their cover of Maxine Nightingale's "Right Back Where We Started From," segueing right into "My Thin Sides"! (Sorry if it gets a little shaky. My hands got kinda tired. It was late! And seven and a half minutes is a long time to hold your camera up in one position!)
I talked a bit to lead singer Sameer Gadhia about the absence of keyboard player Ehson Hashemian (as noted here); Gadhia said that Hashemian isn't "comfortable" with a "couple things going on with the band right now" but didn't seem to think it was necessarily a permanent departure.
Sadly, I didn't get to see the Colourist or Valley Arena, but KUCI's Ashley Eliot told me that earlier in the night was the best turnout yet since the station started booking shows at the Yost in April. Yay!
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Personal Bias: Oh man, where do you start?
Random Detail: In keeping in tradition with projecting wacky things on the screen behind the stage at the Yost (last month the Fling played noted wacked-out cult film The Holy Mountain), Army Navy played a Mexican movie involving lucha libre, which was, to their disappointment, not also about spaceships.