Darren Criss

A-D Darren Criss Gigs

Venue: The Troubadour

City: West Hollywood, CA

Set length: About 40 minutes

Tonight’s Lineup:

Pre-show banter…
I picked up an LA Weekly, scanned through the live music section and mapped out the shows I wanted to see for the next month. I then proceeded to contact most of the bands I was planning on seeing via their official website and/or their MySpace and Facebook pages asking if it would be okay to photograph their show. I contacted the likes of High On Fire, The Bronx, 30 Seconds to Mars, some country festivals and a few others. I kept getting drawn to the ad for Serena Ryder at The Troubadour, whom I had never heard of. I looked up her website and found it to be full of great content with an easy-to-navigate layout. I listened to a few songs and watched some of the videos and thought this would be a fun show to photograph so I sent off an email… To my surprise, the manager for Serena was the ONLY person to reply back out of the multitudes of emails I sent out. Not only did he agreed to let me in with a camera but was extremely polite as well and for that, I am extremely grateful! I was (and still am) pretty bummed that I didn’t even get a “no thanks” or a “fuck off” from High On Fire or The Bronx, as they are at the top of my list but the Serena show made it all worthwhile. I’ll chalk up the lack of responses from the other bands to just being too busy and/or they receive way too many similar emails. Maybe next time…

Venue Review…
Still, one of my favorite venues to catch bands in the Hollywood/LA area. Easy parking, friendly staff, decent drink prices, good burgers, great sound, and the bands are pretty much on time according to the schedule. The staff was and has always been very friendly and there is a minimum of attitude coming from them. The only thing they tend to hassle folks on is gum chewing… I get it but it is kind of an odd thing to focus on – maybe the owner sat in gum one night and made it a rule. Oh, the other good thing about this venue is that they no longer use TicketMaster and their over-inflated fees. Thanks, Troub!

Reviews, comments, and possible putdowns for Darren Criss…
A three-piece that focused mostly on the acoustic guitar and vocals. I got a heavy Jack Johnson and Sondre Lerche vibe from this gig. If you like either of those two artists then I would suggest checking out Darren Criss as his music will slide on in nicely with their stylings. I know, I know… Every artist HATES being compared to other musicians, and so do I, but I find it is the fastest way to describe what a band sounds like. As you can tell, I am not a writer by any means so the fewer ramblings from me about all the bands I photograph, the better – trust me on that one.

Also, I met the manager of the band this evening, who was a really nice guy and appeared to me like he was genuinely into the band and cared for their well-being, which was good to see. The only reason I bring this up is because soooo many artists out there get gobbled up in the machine and don’t have real people backing them unless they have a top 10 single, at which point they get all the attention they need. Remember kids, you are only as good as your last hit once you get signed. Do as much as you can on your own, make sure to pay your taxes, don’t get caught up in the advance-money game, and no band girlfriends (or boyfriends) on stage! Again, I digress… Check out his Instagram.


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