After five years away from American stages, the immutable hard-rock juggernaut of Guns N’ Roses reuses its illusions to whip crowds into a frenzy during notoriously raucous live shows. Enigmatic siren Axl Rose, beloved for his lack of hubris and punk-rock stance against prolificacy, leads his wrecking crew of Roses through a tour of greatest hits culled from their groundbreaking mainstream debut album, Appetite for Destruction, the long-awaited Chinese Democracy, and everything in between. The group soars and shines throughout a two-hour plus marathon performance, ranging from turbocharged rockers such as “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” through ballads including “November Rain.” With hatless new axeman Dj Ashba stepping into the shoes of Slash and The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson replacing Duff McKagan, Guns N’ Roses is recharged and ready to quench destructive appetites with pure organic rock wrung from handpicked bandanas.
The Lighthouse Cafe, recognized by the CityVoter Los Angeles HotList as Best Jazz Club in 2009, has captivated customers with sultry scores since the 1940s. Chefs complement crooning with impromptu harpsichord jam sessions and an eclectic menu of pub grub and breakfast offerings. The Heart Attack omelette, named after a classic B-movie featuring an onslaught of rampaging monster hearts, is a morning-time medley of ham, bacon, and smoked sausage ($8.95). Evening imbibers can mash molars on the buttermilk-battered chicken tenders with ranch dressing ($9.95) or the R.A.T. salad, a fresh federation of red onion, avocado, chopped tomatoes, garlic, lettuce, and white balsamic dressing ($8.95). Deploy the fire-fighting foam of a Purple Haze beer ($7.50/12 oz. bottle) to extinguish bicuspid blazes fostered by the spicy-cheese topped Bull Dog, a frankfurter bestrewn with mashed tater tots ($5.25).
Home to two stages and an art gallery, the Edgemar Center for the Arts more than meets the needs of the local visual and performing arts communities. The center places an emphasis on collaboration, uniting creative minds of all ages and persuasions both in the classroom and on stage. Hosting musical performances, question-and-answer sessions with Hollywood actors, and theatrical productions old and just sprouted, the space has attracted the likes of Don Cheadle, Christian Slater, Malcolm McDowell, and Jason Alexander.
The Bodega Wine Bar provides wine lovers a casual setting to share plates and try new wines with friends without requiring a deep grapey understanding. Fluff out your cheeks for a cheese plate's offering of the day's selections paired with crackers, nuts, and quince paste ($13) while sipping a glass of Ferreira tawny porto ($9) or one of Bodega's Private Label wines—a Paso Robles red and a Santa Ynez white ($8). While gargling bored doe merlot ($9/glass), snack on a smoked-turkey panini made with tomato, arugula, pesto mayo, and goat cheese ($10). Various pizzas are also available ($11–$13), and beer, cold sake, and soju cocktails await those who don't like wine but want to keep their tongues from shriveling up into a tongue-raisin.
Popular globetrotting pop collective Architecture in Helsinki transforms L.A.’s historic El Rey Theatre into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping. With hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “Contact High,” lead crooner Cameron Bird and his cakewalking team of tunesmiths tickle ear bones and rehabilitate ankles in support of its latest album, Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the band seduces grateful dance floors with smile-baiting 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs. Filling out the bill, girl-group garage rockers The Sandwitches enchant with sardonically lovelorn themes and harmonies, and pop enthusiasts Dom charm with stargazing Casios and hockey anthems about their cats.
Headliner Rick Ross, a Def Jam recording artist and skilled rapper, began his formidable career as a key player in Miami's underground rap scene before his hit single Hustlin' transformed him into a buzzworthy hip-hop heavyweight. Just before Ross takes the stage, Busta Rhymes primes the audience's beat receptors with an inventive style showcased both on his own records and in cameos with Janet Jackson and A Tribe Called Quest, impressing audiences with his complex flow and a dramatic revealing of his birth name, Buster Grimes. Up-and-coming R & B artist Eric Bellinger along with rappers Jayo Felony and YG will kick off the evening with smooth crooning, dance-demanding beats, and dramatic readings of the day's news.