It’s Saturday night at the Wiltern. I’m standing up front, all the way in the front, at the point where I can extend my hand and touch the speakers on the stage floor, I hear nothing but bass and subwoofers and drums. I feel my entire body shaking. It says something about the acoustics of the place. Walk to the back, go outside into the lobby or go upstairs to the balcony, and I can actually hear the words.
It’s getting closer to 9p.m. The venue is slowly starting to fill up. Give it another ten minutes and the opening band enters, takes center stage and starts rocking out.
Scotty Don’t is the non-tribute band that tours with Badfish, the band dedicated to performing nothing but Sublime songs. The band, Scotty Don’t, includes members of Badfish, so it’s kind of like their alter ego.
The band plays about four songs, and the lights go back on. The people start to fidget for a bit then walk back toward the doors, away from the stage, to get more drinks, possible bathrooms breaks and to mingle. About twenty minutes later, the band that everyone is here to see is on stage. The lights go back down and the show begins.
The songs were cool: great rhythm, good beat, good sound. However, the venue they chose to play at didn’t quite fit with their music and style. The Wiltern is a great place, but to be honest, Badfish could have had a livelier crowd and the feel of the show would have been much better if they performed at the Avalon.
Every venue has a certain, how shall we say, sense, to it. The Wiltern is probably better suited for bands like Switchfoot and Shinedown.Bands that are a little more widespread and better known that attract more audiences and fill the entire place up. Avalon is more for those bands who have either passed the Roxy stage and made themselves known, even if it isn’t that well known, or are for those bands like Badfish, who are known for the tribute they pay to a certain band.
All in all, the show was mediocre. It would have been much better with more people, who were actually interactive and moved around and showed their enthusiasm for being there, instead of just standing there bobbing their heads like those bobble-head toys.
The music was good, I must admit that. It had a little modern rock with a hint of reggae to it, which sounded interesting and catchy. If there’s anything that you can learn from this, it’s that even though you may be going to see a band you like perform, if the venue isn’t right for them and the crowd isn’t how it should be, then you’re not going to have that great a time.