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.
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.
In the course of their four-decade-long journey of crossover musical innovation, Earth, Wind & Fire have garnered multiple Grammy awards and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A tuneful panoply of styles including funk, soul, jazz, R & B, and pop are poured into a sonic stew of rhythms and stirred by EWF’s powerful horn section and African-influenced, weather-altering rhythms. The band’s 40th-anniversary tour culls tunes from EWF’s expansive polyrhythmic repertoire of falsetto-laced Top 40 hits and era-defining classics including “Serpentine Fire” and “Getaway.” With a Grammy-winning voice of his own, special guest Aaron Neville will join the band to soothe troubled minds with songs about faith, love, and mortgage-backed securities.
Founded on the principle that movies work best as social experiences, The Cinefamily devotes itself to finding and sharing weird and wonderful films during limited-run screenings and one-off special events. Currently averaging 14 shows per week, the movie house enhances many screenings with celebrity appearances, live music performances, and social activities such as potlucks and snipe hunts. From the theater’s cushy seats and leather couches, guests can take in pristine views of horror films, cult classics, and even TV favorites. Past events have included a month-long film retrospective of Dennis Hopper’s illustrious acting career, a Czech film festival featuring a screening of the surrealist and ultimately banned Daisies, and a celebration of director John Cassavetes featuring appearances by his frequent collaborators Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara.
Vancouver hometown heroes Theory of a Deadman return to their roost in an exertive panorama of stadium-sized riffs and hard-rocking party anthems. Like the letter E at an optometrist’s office, the band has grown accustomed to the top of the charts, with mainstream rock hits such as “Lowlife” and “Bad Girlfriend” and the life-affirming sing-along “Hate My Life.” Stuffing kevlar crunch, post-grunge, and rockabilly into its sonic calzone, Theory of a Deadman dethaws January fans with seasoned classics and newborn cuts from its latest smash The Truth Is…. Locally acclaimed indie rockers Louder Than Love whet aural appetites in their opening performance as they juggle genres without falling off their tandem unicycle.