A Local Night Out: Local Natives @ Fox Theater

After a stressful and uneventful day of going to school and continuing the process of moving stuff into my room, I decided it was about time I did something fun. After all, Thursday is the new Friday (never mind that I still have classes on Friday). I realized it’s been a while since I’ve been to a concert (almost three weeks, the last one was Steve Aoki at Opium, Barcelona, Spain!). I decided to check out my songkick and found a band that I like was playing in my local venue: Local Natives. The Local Natives are a hip indie rock band from Los Angeles. I wait until two hours before the show starts to buy tickets at the door (and save myself an $8 processing fee I would have had to pay online).

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Fox Theater is a pretty nice venue. In the past year I have been there at least three times. There are two things that piss me off though:

  1. Parking. Such a pain to find a parking spot. Unless you don’t care to pay $15 to park in a nearby parking structure for a “special event” (aka, the weekends), finding street parking is a pain. But to save $15, it is a pain I’m willing to endure.
  2. Walking down Telegraph Avenue. The Fox Theater is located on Telegraph Avenue, but there are some sketchy people on the outskirts of the theater. Every time I walk down that street, I get hollered at by at least one man. From asking for my number to asking if I had a boyfriend, I’ve never walked down this street without some kind of remark. This time it was, “How you doing little lady?” Which is alright I guess, but the men that say these things are a bit scary.

I managed to find parking several blocks away in front of a raggedy old burger joint. Luckily meter parking expires at night so it is free.

I walk towards the box office to buy tickets and four or five large men stand on the corner opposite of the theater trying to sell their tickets. A man yells at me asking me if I needed tickets for tonight’s show—Ground floor tickets. Standing tickets are the best, I love being in front of the band (when I can actually see them and not be blocked by massively tall people, or normal heighted people for that matter). I ask him “How much?” and I walk swiftly by. If he offers me a good price in the next few seconds I’d take them. Instead, he says, “How much are they worth to you? Come here” and with that, I keep my pace and move on.  It was a simple question! I don’t have all night to bargain with some guy who will probably rob me if I make him unhappy. He continues to yell at me saying “They’re out of floor tickets! Come here!” but I continue walking. I might as well save myself the hassle of that possible conversation and just by my own ticket.

I buy my ticket, and feel ecstatic. Time to get my buzz going! After all, it’s almost the weekend!

I look around for a bar close by so I don’t get mugged walking by myself in the night. I don’t want to venture out too far. All the bars around the Fox Theater, that I had to patience to walk to, looked too expensive for me, a meager college student. I was feeling disappointed that I might end up having to pay for a beer 3 times its price inside the venue! At last, I turn back around and walk down to The Uptown, a punk little bar/venue across the Fox Theater.

The bouncer looks pretty bored and laid back. I ask him if there’s a show on tonight and he says “Unfortunately, there’s not, but feel free to stroll on in.”

I reply, “I think I will, thanks.”

Then he says, “Year, quick!”

“What?”

“What year were you born in…hurry!” As he’s getting ready to stamp the entry stamp on my arm that I’m already holding out.

“Oh, ’92. April.”

“That’s good enough for me.” And I’m in.

The place is pretty empty. There were two men sitting at the bar and two small groups chatting over a few drinks. The walls are scattered with some very indie looking photographs. Things like a fence or a couple’s shadow; I liked them because they were all every day sort of pictures, things you don’t take the time to appreciate.

I park myself down at the bar like the two other men. The place is pumping some kind of punk music that I don’t really enjoy. The bartenders are covered in tattoos.  A chalk board lights up with a cartoon mohawked man drawn on it with the words, “Lets get drunk!” flashing in different colors. It is pretty fitting for the place. I order a Sierra Nevada for some reason. It’s an alright beer, definitely not my favorite. After I finish that I feel like trying something new, so I order something I’ve never seen before: Moose Drool. It didn’t taste like it sounded, thankfully, but I still didn’t enjoy the flavor of it. It tasted like dirty bark to me. I guess I’m not into brown ales. I sit and listen to the bartenders boring conversations.

While drinking my beers, the security guard comes in and starts talking to the bartenders. He then tells us the story of when Green Day came to play three years ago, and he and the other guards were working an all nighter and hanging out in the basement because the bands were testing their fog machines or something. He tells us that they had airsoft guns (basically a kind of bb gun), and they turned that night into an airsoft war, running around in the basement of the Fox Theater shooting each other through the fog with airsoft guns. It was a pretty entertaining story, but it was past 8 by now and time for me to get my groove on.

At this point, I had a nice little buzz going for me. I chatted up everyone I ran into and got a security guard to take this picture of me at the Fox Theater under the lights.

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I got into the venue and asked if I could ‘buy a drink’ in the main floor. The ticket lady, middle aged, said I had to have a floor ticket to get in. I asked if I could just use the bar and she told me there was a bar on my seating level. I said, “Please?” and she said she was sorry but she can’t. Then I bargained with her, I said, “What if I run past you?” and she laughed and said no with a sad shake of her head. So with an “aw man,” I looked down and walked away. Then I quickly turned around and made a sprint for it! And she kind of got ready to block me and we both laughed, then I left and went upstairs. Oh well! I tried.

I went upstairs and the ticket guy told me my seat was ‘up there’. I asked him if I could sit at the front, and he repeated my seat was up there…so I said, I know, can I sit ‘up there’? (pointing to the front) And he literally said, “Yeah, I don’t care,” And gave up.  And that was that. I took a seat at the front and put my feet up on their balcony rail. For some reason, 95% of the people in the balcony were couples! I started to feel a bit out of place. I was sitting in between two couples with a couple seats between us. I listened to an amazing opening act by Wild Nothings. They were really great, pumping out their jams, they made me a fan.

During intermission, the people who’s seats I was sitting in arrived. The usher apologized to me (meaning, ‘move’) and I asked her if I could sit in the seat next to me. She said “Yeah, sure” so I moved one seat over. What do you know, the couple that came were two pretty good looking guys! Ha! So, to make a move, I said “I was just warming it up for ya ;)” (classic I know, I’m pretty original) and he laughed and thanked me. He then asked me if the Wild Nothings played, and if they were any good. After talking to him, I realized I didn’t want a boy at the moment so I didn’t pursue the conversation further.

The Local Natives came on and put on a great show. Taylor Rice, Guitar player and lead singer, rocked his strange little mustache and played the guitar with his constant little foot stomps and convulsions. Kelcey Ayer and Andy Hamm rocked out with the snake-like body roll and the small yet fast repetitive bending of the knees. Their different dance styles looked funny together but it was entertaining to watch.

They played my favorite songs; Sun Hands, Breakers, You & I, Heavy Feet, Camera Talk, and other great tracks.

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Certain songs of theirs have these beautiful harmony parts. Three singers match their voices to make this amazing melody that melts you away. You don’t get that quality in a lot of music now-a-days. At one point, it shook my happy! I felt this strange little zip of energy course through my body, as if they hit a right note in my soul. They played a couple slow emotional songs that were amazing as well. In my fragile state I didn’t want to sit around and listen to these sad songs so I went down and bought a band T shirt to support the band! Points for me for skipping the end-of-the-show lines.

The concert left me feeling great. I even got to share a special moment with the boy sitting next to me. It’s a great feeling when you’re nodding your head to music you love and you are in sync with the cute boy sitting next to you. I know he was enjoying the moment as much as I was. It was a special moment. Imagine being able to completely agree on something with a stranger without saying a word! That’s what it was. We sang together too, making the music even sweeter.

Thank you, boy sitting next to me in the concert, for sharing that awesome time of my life with me.

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