This article has been over 2 weeks in the making, but I've finally gotten around to finishing it. Enjoy!
The hectic nature of my day began to lessen when Angel pulled up in the Wal- Mart parking lot. Everything up to that point had been meant to be part of a relaxing day, but had instead evolved into a hectic mess. I had the distinct feeling that things were about to get quite a bit better. The drive to L.A. wasn't too bad, lots of good conversation, not too much traffic, and of course, the accompaniment of good music. The next major step was finding parking at less than $20, which we managed to do (although i felt a bit sketchy when I saw the homeless people with their carts about 100 feet from the car.) We made the short walk down Figueroa in search of Club Nokia having just about no idea where we were really supposed to go. The club itself was nestled on the third floor of a building just down the street from the staples center, above the wolfgang puck restaraunt and Lucky lanes bowling. I and the Angel at my side arrived at the venue at about 6:15 and claimed our spots in line.
We waited for about an hour and fifteen for the doors to open, and the line moved quickly once they had. The venue itself was a large amphitheater type room with 3 tiers, 2 floors, a bar, and a rather large stage. After entry, we got our drinking wristbands and bought drinks (beer for me, and a midori sour for Angel.) I highly recommend against buying drinks at this venue unless you like the feeling of being raped for money, it cost $18 for the 2! We finished our drinks in about 20 minutes or so and decided it was time to head down to the pit area directly in front of the stage. We waited for about another 10 minutes or so before i decided to try to get to the merch tables. I think I was in line for a total of about 2 minutes before the first band took the stage, and i went running back inside to go and watch. The band, Ayria, consisted of a female vocalist, a synth and sample player, and a percussionist who pounded away on electric drums. They played a decent set, although it was not the best set of the night, mostly due to her vocals which sounded just wispy throughout most of their set.
The next band up was a much different style of music than I had expected to see that night, but they played an awesome set. Their name was War Tapes and they had an alternative type sound that seemed out of place for the industrial crowd that they were playing to. It was later explained that Ronan from VNV Nation had played a show with them and Tiger Army a while back, and liked getting to play for a different crowd so much, that they decided to take war tapes on tour with them to give them the same oppurtunity. Their style was not unlike Placebo, but very unique at the same time. The one downside to their set was the prescence of a Love and Rockets song, "Love." Overall though, their set was very well polished and high energy from start to finish. If this were our small battle of the bands, they'd have had my pick of the night.
VNV Nation took the stage next. As the set started, the very air in the room seemed to electrify like people had saved every last bit of energy for their set (I know i had.) The set began with an introduction set to the opening track of their new album, and was quickly followed up by Honor. Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson walked onto the stage and the floor suddenly came alive. Although Ronan did what he normally does at a show, which consists of him working the crowd like a preacher during the music, and being a kind of funny, charismatic character in between songs, he didn't have to do much to get the crowd moving. The group played a wide variety of music from just about every album they had released up to date, and played for two solid hours. VNV nation played the best of any show i'd ever seen them play that night (jet lagged and tired as they were.) They ended their night with perpetual, telling the crowd that they had been the light that kept them going for as long as they had, and many of their fans, myself included, feel the same way about them.
Let there be, let there always be a never ending light.