"I recently saw Morrissey perform live at Staples Center in Los Angeles and, though I'm not the most rabid of fans, his live show blew me away. My boyfriend is the bigger Morrissey fan; while I do enjoy The Smiths quite a bit, I mostly agreed to tag along mostly because the indubitable Patti Smith was opening his show. Patti's powerhouse performance was stellar, but Morrissey's set stole the show completely.
The overall stage production had incredible musicality! Morrissey performed under a single small, white spotlight for almost the entirety of his set while his backup band (a touring ensemble) was bathed in color. The song selection was accessible - even to a pseudo fan - and each driving melody seemed to pull on the audience's emotions in a tangible way.
Seeing Morrissey's FANS live is an experience in and of itself. Even though my boyfriend, Jake, sang each word of each song (too) loudly, and directly into my left ear, I could still pick out what sounded like hundreds of other individual voices crooning along with the king of poetic angst himself. The love in the room was absolutely palpable. When Morrissey took a break late in the show to hand his mic into the audience crowded near the stage, nearly all of them began their Staples shoutout with an "I love you" addressed to the star. He was genuinely warm and truly charming.
Also interesting was Staples Center's choice to "go meatless" for the entirety of the concert. Honoring Morrissey's wishes as a vegetarian and adamant animal rights activist, certain restaurants closed all together (McDonald's) while others remained open and served partial or novel, entirely vegetarian menus. Morrissey did choose to perform the infamous "Meat is Murder" and while the sentiment was deeply felt, I enjoyed each cacophonous minute of the drawn-out rendition less and less.
All together a fantastic show, I'll certainly be looking to catch Morrissey again sometime - solo OR with the old band (fingers double crossed)."
Live Music Venue / Restaurant / Bar / Concert Venue
Mar 6, 2013Great place for local, live performances."My Take: WitZend is a bar, restaurant, and performance space deeply steeped in Venice culture. I’ve only had the pleasure of visiting a few times, but each time has been uniquely enjoyable. The close, intimate interior makes WitZend feel a bit like a speakeasy, with a big, wooden bar and crowded, antique-y tables and couches oriented to face a slightly raised stage. I’ve watched both poets and musicians perform at WitZend and both atmospheres were equally warm and laid-back. I suggest visiting next time you want a late-night Venice spot to truly relax and soak in some of the local atmosphere (along with a drink or two).
The Scene: WitZend can get really crowded when particularly anticipated performers are billed – but the bar never loses its fun atmosphere. Even when the place has standing room only, the bubbly, handsome bartenders and conversational atmosphere will keep you from feeling like you’re at a packed club venue downtown or in Hollywood. Lots of Venice locals come to WitZend, as well as visitors from other neighborhoods in LA. Some folks come in large groups of friends while others choose this spot for date night because of its warm, romantic vibe.
Cocktails and cuisine: The drinks are strong, so be forewarned – you’ll get what you pay for! As far as food, WitZend offers some classic bar food selections at only a bit higher than average bar food price – their baked crispy fries will run you $4.50. They also serve pizzas and sandwiches; I personally recommend their pizzas if you’re looking for an entire, filling meal. The pear and feta pizza is a delicious WitZend classic.
Prices: Menu items range between $5 and $12, with the gourmet pizzas being the priciest of the bunch. Draft beers are always between $6-$7; WitZend doesn’t offer a happy hour.
What to wear: You’ll see lots of bohemian flare at WitZend, particularly at open mic nights. Dress the Venice-local part if you wish, or simply come as you are; dress codes are somewhat hard to come by in this part of town.
Insider info: Open mic nights are open to all – send a submission to firstname.lastname@example.org and get over your stage fright! WitZend is just the place to do it."hide
Mar 1, 2013Artsy and homey local haunt."My Take: The Talking Stick embodies the spirit of Venice Beach. Whether you’re stopping by for a morning coffee or catching a live band in the evening, the ambiance at The Talking Stick is relaxed, artsy, and ultra comfortable. The mismatched tables and chairs give the interior a kitschy feel that instantly feels homey and also very Venice. I highly recommend giving this place a try any time of day and any day of the week.
The Scene: The crowd is largely Venice locals. Masses of artists and musicians flock to The Talking Stick for its showcasing of not only live music but also art. The paintings on the walls are typically the products of local artisans and are usually available for purchase. Wednesday nights are open mic nights, which are usually pretty great. Bring friends and come soak in the atmosphere.
Cocktails and cuisine: Most people come for the coffee, but The Talking Stick has a pretty great menu of sandwhiches and bagels as well. Great vegetarian choices make for a well-rounded set of options.
Prices: The Talking Stick is reasonably priced. You can easily get breakfast for less than $7.00 or so and lunch or dinner for $10-$15.
What to wear: All types of attire have their place at this café. Being located in Venice, the dress code is naturally a bit more relaxed; and The Talking Stick caters to all types of people. At breakfast and lunch, you’ll find the occasional business professional in a suit jacket and tie but most people will be rather casually dressed. At night, during musical performances, lots of folks come out in funkier dresses and t-shirts as well as button-ups.
Insider info: Amazing and infamous chai! Do not pass it up. There’s also an awesome room full of books towards the back of the café, near the restrooms, if you’re looking for some cool reading material to enjoy while you sip."hide