Two weeks ago, my friend Kim and I went to the British Sea Power/Killers concert in Long Beach. Over the past few months, I’ve been corresponding via e-mail with Mark, BSP’s (now former) tour manager. He contacted me one day to let me know he used my site to get some info for the band’s upcoming tour to Russia, and we’ve been e-mailing ever since. In September, he told me that BSP would be touring with The Killers out here and asked if I’d like some tickets, so of course I had to take him up on the offer, as I love both bands.
After a long drive on the traffic-laden freeways of Southern California, we arrived at the Long Beach Convention Center. You know what’s odd? I don’t think I’ve ever been to Long Beach. Well, maybe I have a long time ago, I just can’t remember ever being there. Let’s be honest, though, there isn’t much in Long Beach except the Queen Mary, so I don’t feel as if I have a huge void in my life because I haven’t spent a significant amount of time in Snoop Dogg’s hometown.
I picked up the tickets from will call at the window with the “KILLERS GUEST LIST” sign. The employee handed me two pairs of these:
She told us to put the bracelets on right away, as they were our “ticket” but didn’t say anything about the green passes so I asked her what we were supposed to do with them. She looks at me like I’m an idiot, and says “Uhhh…they are your backstage passes.”
“Ohhhh….right, of course.”
Wow, definitely wasn’t expecting that! I’ve never had backstage passes before, so it was pretty exciting.
We got in line, went through the security check…they were confiscating cameras but luckily didn’t come across Kim’s. Actually, they did a rather poor job of finding cameras, as it seemed like everyone and their mom had smuggled them into the venue. When we got in, we checked out the merchandise and food stands. I wanted to get a beer, but paying $10 for a plastic cup of watered down domestic draft seemed incredibly ridiculous. The beer at Angel Stadium seems like a downright bargain compared to that. The opening band, Lemon Sun, had just started playing so we went to go check them out. They were good! (You can listen to some of their songs here). After Lemon Sun, there was a pretty large gap in between them and BSP, so we decided to check out the magical area known as backstage, where they have wonderful things such as free cans of Coke. We went back out to the arena area, and BSP came on shortly afterwards. Here’s the setlist, which I took from another site because my memory is not THAT good:
Men Together Today
It Ended On An Oily Stage
Oh Larsen B
Apologies To Insect Life
How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?
Please Stand Up
Rock In A
This was my first time seeing BSP in concert, and I must say that they are very entertaining because they do the most RANDOM stuff! We were on the floor, near the right end of the stage, pretty close up, so we had a good view of everything going on. Eamon got off the stage and started wandering around, banging his drum with a palm frond. The Killers fans were clearly puzzled. During the performance of “Lately” (a track which is a bit under 14 minutes), the band members started jumping on each other’s backs and pretty much just acting crazy. Noble started climbing the ladder which led up to the rigging for the lights, and then came down and jumped off some equipment in the center of the stage, spilling beer everywhere. It was quite a site to behold.
After BSP finished, there was a bit of a delay while the stage was readied for The Killers. They turned on all the lights in the arena and started playing Frank Sinatra over the loudspeakers. Now, Frank Sinatra has some good music, but Kim and were still like “WTF?”
The Killers came on and played:
Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
Somebody Told Me
Believe Me Natalie
Change Your Mind
Under the Gun
Smile Like You Mean It
Andy, You’re a Star
Indie Rock n Roll
Everything Will Be Alright
All These Things That I’ve Done
After they played Mr. Brightside, Brandon Flowers, the lead singer said “We’ll be right back” and the band left the stage for a few minutes. Then they came back on and he said “OK, encore!” which was kinda random. During one of the last songs (forgot which one) he told everyone “Let’s see those cellphones” (or something like that) and the crowd got out their phones and started waving them around. I remember thinking “Oh, wow, this is soooo ridiculously southern Californian” but at the same time it looked pretty cool, since the entire arena was dark and filled to capacity (it was a sold-out concert, so duh). And safer than swaying lighters, right?
After the concert, Kim and I headed to the backstage area, where there was already a crowd waiting to get in. Of course, it didn’t help that there were a lot of people in the crowd who didn’t have passes and were trying to talk their way in. You know that part in Wayne’s World where Wayne and Garth have backstage passes to Alice Cooper and have to work their way through the crowd to actually get there? It was kinda like that. There was a group of teenage girls behind us who asked us why we had pink bracelets instead of the yellow ones that signified floor tickets. Before I could mumble an answer that I wasn’t quite sure why they were pink, they saw our passes and started screaming “Oh my God! You get to go backstage!”
“Oh my God, do you get to meet Brandon?!”
“Uh, well if he is there I suppose we will see him.”
“Oh my God, tell Brandon that we love him!!”
“OK, will do.”
We finally got backstage and walked around a bit to check it out. We saw Yan and Hamilton from BSP, and said hello to them, but they seemed pretty tired, and wandered off somewhere shortly thereafter. We went into another room where everyone was congregating, and there was a huge steel container filled with ice and bottles of Corona (nice!). The problem was, someone had neglected to bring along a bottle opener, and not one person in the room had one on them. How odd is that? There was a very talented lady, though, who did a neat little trick to get the caps off, so beer was finally enjoyed by all present. Brandon Flowers came in, followed by a guy who I am almost positive was Ryan Reynolds. Ryan (or whoever this fellow was) was holding a mini box of Raisin Bran cereal over his head, and violently shaking it back and forth, so that raisins and bran flakes were flying everywhere. Everyone was shaking hands with Brandon, congratulating him on the show, and taking pictures with him. He finally came up to a group of girls, one of which had to pur her heart and soul out to him and tell him all about her internship at MAC cosmetics company (uhh, maybe he uses MAC, I’m not quite sure). Kim and I snagged a picture with him…forgive the fact that I look like a total idiot, I wasn’t even drunk!
The poor guy was so busy talking to everybody that he didn’t even get to finish his beer. Kim and I decided to hit the road for the long drive ahead, and when we were leaving the backstage area, came across Noble from BSP. He was sitting there, strumming on his guitar, with two huge bottles of Blackthorn nearby (the man has good taste in drinks, apparently). We told him we enjoyed his acrobatics with the rigging and he said he would have liked to do more but we are a bit lawsuit happy in America. Yeah, he sure got that right.
Before leaving, we managed to catch the t-shirt people as they were packing up, and purchased some BSP shirts. They have a polar bear on them (some people who went on the DC trip senior year of high school might get a kick out of that) and said “Now go and show the world what the valleys already know” (hence, where the title of this post comes from).
We managed to get back to the desert around 3:30…stopped at Del Taco on the way back…highly recommend their new fish tacos.
It was a great concert, and overall awesome experience, and THANK YOU MARK for making it all happen!