Week 17 of my 52 NEW Things takes me north to Los Angeles and the historic Wiltern Theater. My brother Ryan and I drove up on this Wednesday to see one of my favorite bands, Elbow, who were performing that night at a show sponsored by the equally amazing KCRW. We started with dinner at Cafe Gratitude in the nearby Larchmont neighborhood. A few friends have raved about CG and so I was excited to be able to try one of the top vegan restaurants in Southern California. I had a green juice, the Yo Soy Feliz tostadas, and we split desert. Both the food and overall vibe of Cafe Gratitude more than lived up to the billing; it was honestly one of the best veggie-based meals I've ever eaten!
Then we made our way to the Wiltern, a beautiful, art-deco theater built in 1930. It served as the perfect venue for a band whose music can alternate between the atmospheric and the epic. Their latest release, The Takeoff and Landing of Everything, is my favorite album of 2014 and they had been great the previous time that we saw them, a few years back at Coachella. So expectations where high! Thankfully Guy Garvey and company delivered a flawless set, concentrating mainly on songs from the past two albums and 2005's Seldom Seen Kid. Guy could sing the phone book and make it sound good plus he's the penultimate showman, while his bandmates were locked in tonight, sounding even better than I've heard them before.
We were able to get a great vantage point on the floor (GA) looking straight on to the stage. Unfortunately, I didn't have my DSLR, but captured a bunch of shots with my iPhone 5 (edited in the fantastic Camera+ app), which are included below. And I've posted a few iPhone video clips here as well, including an amazing sing-along version of their hit One Day LikeThis from their encore. It was the perfect ending to great night/road trip!