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One thing I love about living in Southern California are the numerous concerts, museums, conventions and geektivities that are available within a decent driving distance. This weekend, The Collectress and I attended The Cure Tour 2016 and saw the 80s goth band play at the Hollywood Bowl. I’m such a great blog-mate; I bought these tickets back in October and when I found out Collectress was a fan, decided to take her for her birthday. As a reformed goth girl, the Cure holds a special place in my black, black heart and their popular 1983 release, “Lovecats” is one of the first songs I remember actively enjoying on the radio when I was just a wee Diva!
Unfortunately, Robert Smith didn’t decide to play OUR FAVORITE, but we still had a blast! Here are my 3 impressions.
The Hollywood Bowl is an amazing place to enjoy a relaxing evening of music and friends. I’ve attended the LA Philharmonic performances there, but this was the first actual pop show I’ve seen at the Bowl. What I love about the Hollywood Bowl is that visitors can bring in food, drinks, blankets and picnic baskets and sit under the the Hollywood sign and just enjoy the environment. To private “leased” events (such as, when a performer rents the venue as the Cure did), patrons are not allowed to bring in cans or bottles. During the summer events such as the Philharmonic performances and jazz festivals, audiences are allowed to pack wine and beer. Collectress and I bundled up, brought a picnic, enjoyed the sunset and swayed to the mellow sounds of the Cure echoing off the hills all evening. Even the cheap seats have a great view and a wonderful sound! If you’re like me and hate to drive in traffic, there are park & ride options all over SoCal that will get you to the Bowl for pretty much any event held there. We parked in Pasadena and took a shuttle into Hollywood, getting us through the melee of fans leaving the venue and we made it home before midnight.
As you probably know, I’ve been on a huge Beyoncé kick in 2016. Starting with the release of “Formation” and her Super Bowl performance and reaching a pinnacle with the Formation World Tour, which I attended LAST NIGHT with The Spaniard.
The Formation World Tour may not technically qualify as a Geektivity, but I fangirl hard over Queen Bey and that’s reason enough to share the experience with you, dear reader.
Although I haven’t had nearly enough sleep at the moment–the traffic in and out of Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego took us an hour both ways and definitely leaves something to be desired–seeing Queen Bey live is an experience I will never forget, so I guess I won’t complain about my 4 hours of sleep and early work morning. *yawn*
Here are my 3 impressions of the show.
The Bey Hive
Beyoncé is a masterful performer with skill and talent enough to rock a stadium of 5,000 people for an intense and powerful hour-plus of music and she kept the Spaniard and I and everyone around us on our feet the entire set. She has an authentic connection to her fans and seemed legitimately pleased by the response to certain songs, dance moves or moments in her performance. Honestly, her smile is like the sun, and when she grinned at her fans for singing along to lyrics or for cheering to a picture of her at 15 years old, it felt real and sweet. Also, her fans are so diverse–I saw queer couples as well as men and women of all ethnicities, including numerous black girls with natural hair and ethnic clothing. It was so wonderful to be at the mirror in the restroom next to 4 other women with hair that looked like mine–wild, frizzy, natural and free.
I liken watching Beyoncé’s April 2016 visual album “Lemonade” to the first time I read Their Eyes Were Watching God or The Bluest Eye. There is that breathtaking moment when a text takes root inside a reader and becomes not a far-off interpretation of self to be filtered through societal constraints of race or gender, age or nationality, but simply a reflection, a perfect image of her, the audience member, found on the pages of a book, the lines of a poem or, in this case, the haunting images paired with powerful lyrics and music. “Lemonade” is the story of life, death and family—it is both simple and complex, relying on a rebirth and redemption narrative common in black art; yet it illustrates the unique experience of black feminism in the 21st century, inviting black women to unite and stand together in order to succeed—to take our lemons and to make lemonade.
The world is a darker place this morning with the loss of iconic grandad of glam, David Bowie. The Starman passed away on Sunday, January 10 after an 18-month battle with cancer, only 2 days after his 69th birthday and the release of his 25th studio album, Blackstar.
While we can in no way encompass all the reasons we love David Bowie, his music and his inspiration, in a single post, we have compiled a list of ten Bowie moments that have touched our lives.
*The City of Angels mourns David Bowie all month with special events. See here for more details.
1) Hunting for Diamond Dogs
Right after high school, I became obsessed with glam rock, specifically, David Bowie. His is actually the only discography (besides NIN) I worked really hard to complete, and at the young age of 19, I was on the hunt for one of his more obscure albums to go with the more popular ones I already had, like Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane. Diamond Dogs was notoriously the most difficult to find, and, even after I had most of the earlier stuff (the 1976 release David Bowie, was easier to find), I could never get DD (this was before the internet, ok). I remember trolling through Penny Lane, the local record store near my college in Pasadena, California, searching for Diamond Dogs on CD. The shop girl told me they didn’t have the album and wouldn’t get it in for ages. Well, my best friend had a tape player in her VW bug (our favorite mode of travel those days) and I had one in an old stereo system at home, so, I purchased a used copy of the album on tape, along with a CD copy of Station to Station. Both were glorious, dark and so perfect. I never did buy the CD and I still have the tape…somewhere. –Diva
2) Bowie on Film
We all know that Bowie was a space alien, but his films confirm it. The Man Who Fell From Earth is so strange, and quiet and long, not an easy watch at all. Same goes for The Hunger, the go-to vampire movie before vampires were a thing. That being said, both are totally avant garde films that, if you’ve seen them, you know that these movies helped define Bowie’s otherness not only as a musician and an actor, but as an occupant of our planet. –Diva