Venue: The Troubadour
City: West Hollywood, CA
Set length: A little over an hour
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…
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 Serena Ryder…
I have nothing but good things to say about Serena, the band, manager, and the road crew working the sound & merch booth. Not only was everyone extremely friendly and polite but they were also down to earth. It always makes it a much better experience when everyone is cool and pleasant. It reminds me of the “client care” some groups give their fans, like Andrew WK. Melodi and I saw him at an Ozzfest (2002) and we decided to stand in line to meet him. This was outdoors in an over-100-degree day in southern CA and he stayed until every last person was met. It was also right after his set, and if you’ve ever seen him live, you know that he must have been exhausted by the end of the gig. But, he still made time to meet with his fans. AND… he went the extra mile and spent 5-10 minutes with EACH person just chatting about the day and signing whatever you had. Very cool experience, which is how the Serena Ryder folks made one feel tonight at the Troubadour. Okay, enough praises – let’s move on to the show…
Again, all positive things to report here; Great energy, entertaining, zero pretentiousness, and some great music coming from the stage. My favorite moment from the show was the last song entitled Sing Sing – you can see a version of that song on her website under the Live videos. As I stated before, I’m really glad I reached out and contacted them, otherwise, I would have probably passed on this show and would have missed out. I purchased the Is It O.K CD at the show and was pleasantly surprised at how much I like it – good stuff! Go check her out and give some support to an artist who plays live.
Oh, in case you are interested, here is tonight’s setlist:
- Sweeping the Ashes
- Brand New Love
- Hiding Place (from this show – not my video)
- All for Love (official video)
- Is it O.K
- Little Bit of Red
- Blown like the Wind at Night
- No Air
- Stumbling Over You
- Weak in the Knees
- What I Wanna Know
- Dark as the Black
- Sing Sing (not from this show)
Check out her Instagram.