The Best Los Angeles Concerts of 2011
5. Bon Iver
Shrine Auditorium, September 19th
In 2009, Justin Vernon and his band, Bon Iver, received glowing reviews for their beautiful performance at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, playing at dawn as the first rays of sunlight reached across the L.A. skyline. So when the band finally returned to play the Shrine this September, expectations were pretty high. They delivered.
Capitalizing off this year's Bon Iver, Vernon was able to take the act's live presence to new heights with the addition of nine vocalists, a horn section, and two drummers. With a virtual orchestra in tow, the Wisconsin native demonstrated the subtle arrangements that make his wistful and tender songwriting so poignant. Our critic Molly Bergen said, "It felt like Dorothy stepping into the Land of Oz in all of its Technicolor glory."
4. Odd Future
Hollywood Palladium, September 29th
Phallic-shaped bubble guns, violent mosh pits, and a dude puking blood into a sink. When Golf Wang returned to Los Angeles this September, their legion of young and intoxicated fans were ready to greet them. While the performers may have been tamer than in previous performances, the crowd was anything but - unleashing a wave of pent-up, adolescent aggression that generated multiple ambulance calls to the historic Hollywood theater. Too bad, but it's part of what made the show so fascinating. OFWGKTA isn't just a rap collective, it's a scene, and everyone at the Palladium got a glimpse of it.
3. Iggy and the Stooges, Le Bucherettes
Hollywood Palladium, December 1st
"A Stooges show is unlike any other," wrote Henry Rollins after their recent performance. "It's like the chase scene in an action film. It's like watching a boxing match that goes the distance. It is not just another night out -- it is a chapter of your life." Indeed, a Stooges show is not to be missed -- and not this one in particular At age 64, Iggy can still bring it as strongly as ever.
Also intriguing was the guest billing of up-and-coming noise rock trio Le Butcherettes. Showcasing the theatrics and blood-stained clothing of frontwoman Teri Gender Bender, the in-your-face group had no trouble in pumping up an older crowd, providing a well-received segue into Iggy's performance.