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.
A Buddha statue sits serenely against one wall inside Lotus, a spot that's part art venue, part restaurant, and part indoor hookah garden. Stalks of bamboo support the bar and the tables where diners grasp sushi with chopsticks or submerge thinly sliced steak, seasonal vegetables, and other morsels into Japanese Shabu-Shabu filled with boiling kelp water.
Fruity smoke drifts through the open space of the hookah garden, melding with fragrant steam from cups of hot tea. Egyptian rugs and massive cushions create an opulent, relaxing vibe for puffing away or sipping a cocktail.
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.
Though the sign at Brewdog Pub brings to mind frothy mugs of traditional domestic lagers, the tap list is anything but ordinary. Among the row of handles, enthusiasts can spy representatives from craft breweries including Lost Abbey, Ballast Point, Eagle Rock, and Black Market, whose beers are traditionally served in the interior pocket of a trench coat. These qualities brews pair well with the pub's hearty food, mingling with favorites including the salmon and ahi tuna burger, shrimp tacos piled high with slaw, and spicy Thai chicken pizza.
At ACME Comedy Hollywood, professional funny folk bust through the spotlight of an intimate, 99-seat venue to bust audiences' guts during improv- and sketch-comedy performances. Often dubbed the "West Coast SNL," Hollywood Saturday Night broadcasts live as a celebrity host attempts to crack funny bones through new sketches from top comedy writers and ACME performers. Each show also includes a musical guest with the ability to make whoopee cushion sounds with their lips as they play. In Hollywood Dream Role, an improvised movie unfolds onstage as a celebrity guest is forced to act out the part of a lifetime with no script, set, or makeup artist to cover their vestigial tentacles. Audiences can also opt to ogle top comedians in the Hollywood Stands Up show or risk laughing themselves to death during the mystery improv Murder by ACME! As performers create and move the plot along, the audience follows, ready to correctly identify the killer or frame their date at the drop of the final curtain. Before the show begins, Groupon customers can venture over to neighboring Amalfi Restaurant for a $1 discount on beverages, which, unlike a clawfoot tub full of moonshine, can be taken inside the theater.