Wednesday, April 18

Billboard's First Look Concert Rocks the House

Radical Something led off with a very California sound. It was
somewhere in the realm of reggae and rock. And pretty catchy.

The good folks at Chevy Cruze and Billboard put on a nice little show at The Avalon in Hollywood last night: Asher Roth headlined with up-and-comers Radical Something and Capital Cities kicking things off. And I had a VIP access look at the madness. Let's review!

Free food and drinks? Yes please!
The show started with Radical Something coming out and quickly getting the crowd engaged. Being the hometown band always helps with that. They said they've only been around for about ten months and were about to embark on their first "real" tour, which is pretty awesome. Interestingly enough, the trio did not have a drummer--instead opting to use a computer to supply the beats, while a bassist did his bass groove and the two singers/rappers jumped around a lot. They also had a nice crowd interaction moment by coming into the crowd to take a group picture, something they said was a staple at their shows. Overall, a very solid opener. Highlight song: "Long Hair, Don't Care"
Trumpeter FTW!
Capital Cities came out next--these guys were a fivesome, again with two singers, and again with no drummers. This seemed to be a disturbing trend.

Was this drum kit ever going to get touched?
They did have a horn player, though, who seemed to have a solo on nearly every song. He was great, though, hopping all around the stage and standing on whatever he could to make himself super tall. We also loved the bearded singer (Sebu Simonian), who looked like the San Francisco Giants' Brian Wilson from afar, but who we met after the show and sounded like he was Middle Eastern or something similar. Really nice guy, though, and his dance moves were unmatched.
Kudos to Sebu and his crazy dance moves.
The group had a sound that reminded me of INXS or Tears for Fears or something similarly 80s, but some of their songs were mad catchy. While I think I enjoyed Radical Movement's music a bit more as a whole, Capital Cities' performance was far superior. Highlight Songs: "Safe and Sound," "Chartreuse"
Finally...the drums are being played!
Asher Roth wrapped things up. And since I don't really follow his career, I was only familiar with "I Love College" (like nearly everyone). I also know he had a guest rap on this song by The Constellations that was in NBA 2K11, but I doubt he'd play a song where he's just the featured guest. And I was correct. Asher was probably the worst of the three, just because any time I see an artist where I only know one song of theirs, I'm impatient until I hear that song. He did have great crowd interaction, though.
Time for a "blunt cruise."
Roth was the only performer not from California, but the Philly native said he was thinking of moving out to L.A., he just had to find the right area, and suggested Santa Monica or Venice, to the cheers of the crowd. He complimented L.A.'s sports teams for "killing it right now," and shocked some Philadelphia Phillies fans in front by saying "I'm a San Francisco Giants fan," and adding "that should be common knowledge, dawg" when there were audible gasps in the crowd. Or maybe they were cheers. It's tough to tell. Either way, he brought up some fans for a "blunt cruise," which is apparently one of his songs; they acted like they were in a car and listened to a few hip hop classics before Asher started going into his own creation. The guy on the left in that picture above was loving every minute of being onstage, and may have gotten the most crazy during Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy." Fantastic.
Anyone could come onstage, but you had to dance!
Towards the end of his show, Asher invited anyone to come onstage, but he made a rule that they had to dance, or else...well, I don't know what would happen. At some point, "Apache" by The Sugarhill Gang came on, and it was dancing like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air all around. 

All in all, this was a really entertaining show, and I discovered some new music to enjoy (I guess that's why they call it "First Look"). I'm just sad I didn't win the Chevy Cruze that was being auctioned off, because, you know, having a car would be nice. Props to Chevy and Billboard on this one.

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