On the way to the Bootleg Theater, the older gentleman who was my Lyft driver and I discussed the inevitable change coming along with the presidential inauguration. Although he was a very conservative Republican and our political opinions were far from the same, we engaged in a civil conversation, managed to understand the other’s perspective, and reached a friendly agreement by the time I arrived to my destination. With that as the start to my evening, my mood was set to attend the Love Trumps Hate fundraising event, in support of ACLU and Planned Parenthood.
The Bootleg was already bustling as I wandered in, and as I headed right for the main stage area, I ran into the event creator and A&R Director of Angry Mob Music, Ralph Torrefranca. According to him, so far things were running smoothly, and the response was positive all around. Only thing was that Nick Waterhouse had a last minute scheduling conflict, had to play earlier, and was already into his first song so I should get in quick. I finished my greetings and hustled inside to find Waterhouse set up as a trio of him on guitar with bass and drums as backing. Their playing was loose but still driving, and the set seemed very relaxed and off the cuff, which the crowd was enjoying the intimate experience of.
After the performance, I wandered out onto the patio, where I met a few other concert goers and started a conversation about which items we had our eye on in the silent auction. They were both interested in the Fitz & the Tantrums grand prize, and I had my eye on the Leon Bridges 7” vinyl single. We discussed how much we would donate in order to get these coveted items, and by the end of the conversation, we all joked that we would give up at least an organ or two to snag that Fitz & the Tantrums ticket and merch package. After all, we agreed, it was ultimately for a good cause.
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Back inside, Bloodboy had a full crowd watching intently, with the theatrical movements and moving pop vocals of their female lead. Towards the end of their set, I made a move for the auction room, and found people playing ping-pong, making GIFs at the photo booth supplied by Amoeba Music, and placing their bids on the array of auction items. The night carried on nicely with James Supercave, followed by Yacht taking over the venue. By the time our headliner, Silversun Pickups hit the main stage, the party was in full effect. The crowd was buzzing with excitement over these local Silver Lake legends that helped fortify the Los Angeles alternative music scene over a decade ago, and it certainly seemed fitting that they would take us through to the end of the night. Although it was technically an acoustic set, Silversun still brought a huge sound, and all of their beloved hits as well, leaving a perfect impression on their fans.
As Silversun’s set came to a close, most in attendance headed out, while others stayed and got merchandise signed by any artists still hanging around. Nearby, two acquaintances of mine had fallen into an intense discussion about the lack of bipartisanship, and what really was the best way to convert Trump supporters over the next four years. The conversation kept up until doors closed, and as they finally came to their conclusion and we made our exit, all I could think of was the pleasant political conversation with my Lyft driver, and thought maybe that exchange was the real answer to their debate. As I left Love Trumps Hate, I knew that this would not be the last event of its kind that Los Angeles and Orange County would host in support of the causes that mean the most to the people, and somehow felt like that might also be the answer too.