After work I zipped to North Hollywood to meet Aaron for dinner at pitfire before heading over to the NoHo Metro station to hop on the red line to go down to the Wiltern. Halfway there I realized the red line didn’t go to the Wiltern. We’d have to make a transfer at Wilshire and Vermont. We got out and couldn’t figure out where to go as all the signs said “to union station” and “North Hollywood” .. and all the dots (to denote which color line) were red. This was true on both levels of the two level track station. Ultimately we discovered that the purple line shared the track with the red at the bottom level, but the only indication of this was the line “wilshire/western” and a down arrow by the stairs leading to the lower tracks. Once you arrive at the lower tracks everything still indicates the red line stops there. Once we figured that out I said we should probably get transfer tickets or we’ll get a heavy fine if we’re randomly inspected (for this is how LA polices their system). We went back to the top (street level), which was a four-story esecalator ride from the bottom. At the top we were confused by the automated machine offerings – it didn’t appear we COULD buy a transfer ticket. We guessed that this meant we didn’t need one and sped back down the escalator. At the bottom of the escalator we ran up to the closing doors of the purple line as it sped away without us.
We decided to take the city bus on Wilshire to get down to the wiltern. Upon entering the bus we’re forced to pay for our fare. I only had a five so I put it in the automated dispenser. I waited for change. The driver said “it don’t make change – you got a day pass now.” So now the money I’d saved by taking public transit was completely shot. It would only get more ironic after the show – but more on that later.
When we finally got to the show I ended up having to sell my extra ticket for $10 ($20 below what I paid for it).
We still got there early enough to get a decent spot on one of the landings not too far away from the stage and to the left.
At 9 the opening band “fuck buttons” went on stage. The “band” consisted of two guys standing in front of computers pressing buttons. I’ve seen techno/computer assisted music on stage before but this was bad. Really really bad. They just made random sounds into beats and let them go on and on forever. Most of the audience (myself included) started playing video games on our cell phones to pass the time. After the lights went back up everyone around us was in agreement “weren’t they just terrible?”
Another twenty minute wait and it was time for Mogwai.
The lighting was good – although way more minimal than at Coachella, which detracted from the effect. The sound was good (although during some particularly heavy songs they have a tendency to smash all their sounds into one sonic mush that obfuscates all melody). The choice of songs was not so great. Even though I have three or four of their albums I only recognized three or four songs. The set I listed to online at LastFM.com was much better, and the Coachella set list was much better.
I tried to record the concert – but the batteries on my camera gave out after the third song as I’d never recharged them after coming back from San Antonio.
After the show we walked over to the subway station to discover a big metal gate closed at the bottom of the escalaters. Apparently the purple line (and perhaps all the other lines) closes by midnight.
Luckily one of Aaron’s friends was leaving work farther down on Wilshire at 12:30, so she was able to schlep us back to North Hollywood.