Jane Reaction's LA Viper Room Recap

I want to initally apologize for my beer-soaked ramblings from last night. Not because I think I said anything offensive, per se, but because I feel like my report bordered on the line of incomprehension. So, sorry about that. :)

Anyway, I didn't go to the Idols concert because, well, my main interest lies in one man and one man only--Mr. Taylor Hicks. My friend B and I are both similarly inclined, so we decided to buy the tickets online take Sunset up to the venue. I live really close, so it was basically like going to see a show in my backyard. Thanks for picking an a Jane-friendly venue, guys! :lol:

The first band was a snoozer, although the bassist (who looked about 19 or so) donned a Big Bird costume for the last couple of shows. It was kinda funny, but yawn-worthy. Pretty much everyone was bored by them. The crowd was interesting. Mostly female, but there were some foreigners who were around because of a pub crawl that was visiting venues all around LA via bus. Announcements came on the overhead once or twice to let us know that the bus was leaving and that if they wanted to go, they should go. I was being hit on by this British guy who had told me that they got in for only $15 due to the fact that they said they were there for the first act. And they didn't exactly kick anyone out. Which was slightly infuriating, but whatever.

I can't pretend to know when stuff happened on each song; I was just so overwhelmed by the experience that it all blended together into one giant mushy ball of excitement and emotion. We waited around for awhile and finally the lights dimmed and the spotlight focused on the curtain. If you've ever been to the Viper Room, you'll know there is no backstage area. It's a super small venue, so the band members have to actually walk through the audience in order to get up to the stage. In this case, they came up on stage right. I was positioned pretty much in the middle, with a slight lean to the entrance.

When the curtains were drawn back, we saw the glorious members of LMBO. They were great, they really were. The saxophonist wiggled his glitter necklace that I noticed a bunch of the women in front of me were also wearing. I was absolutely impressed by their obvious passion for the music. But the one blog guy that that said that LMBO is a great band that actually gets better by having their frontman with them? Was absolutely accurate. As soon as they introduced Taylor and he came on stage, the place was absolutely on fire. I have to admit that I'm not the world's biggest live music fan--probably because it never actually sounds that good to me in a live setting. So many factors are often out of whack that I just can't get into it. But, I gotta say, this was probably one of the best live music performances in my life. If not the best. And I mean that sincerely, without hyperbole.

Eventually Taylor called his friend Ephraim up to the stage and all of a sudden a petite guy with a backwards baseball cap and a designer shirt romped through the crowd. They jammed for awhile and sang and I was very impressed with E's voice. It was awesome.

Honestly, I wish I could be more detailed and specific with the song choices, but I think those were basically covered by the pbp, no?

I can just report back that the mood and the energy of the show was fantastic. Raucous. Exuberant. Joyful. It seemed as if they were definitely celebrating something. Taylor kept ordering drinks from onstage and little shot glasses full of red liquid kept being delivered to the boys. Taylor raised his glass not just once, but TWICE!--and invited everybody to toast with him. About what, I'm not precisely sure. ;) But there were little clues that were delivered as part of his lyrics. At one point he sang about "the difference between agents and managers" and something about making sure his album is good. At least, that's what I think he said. Everything sort of got lost in the shuffle, pretty much. But those words, at least, stood out.

At one point during the set, my friend tapped me on the shoulder and motioned to the back of the room. "There's Bucky!" she said, and I whipped my head around and, yep, sure enough, there was Bucky, smiling and just acting like he was happy to be alive. Eventually he, too, made his way on stage, but he didn't sing much. Taylor made an early exit before the break between the two sets, so Elliott and Bucky just kind of held court for a few minutes.

During intermisison, I went back to go to the bathroom. When I exited, I had to send a text message so I positioned myself against the wall so I wouldn't be knocked down by people flying every which way. It was also next to the VIP lounge that had a one-way mirror that didn't work that well when the lights were down. Anyway, it turned out that Bucky and Elliott were back there with their respective girlfriends. Even though I was literally two inches away from Bucky, I didn't want to impose so I never really went up to him. I saw Elliott get extra friendly with the girlfriend (another bout of arm-licking ensued, albeit very briefly) and they seemed like they were very happy and quite in love. She cheered for him during the whole performance, which was great to see.

I also got a beer during intermission and saw the waitress ordering drinks for Taylor Hicks. It, erm, was a pretty long order.

Funniest moment of the night was when Taylor gave up a song to Elliott and/or Bucky, and neither of them were paying any attention whatsoever. So there was this long pause in the playing until Elliott waited for the song to start back up again. Ehh I guess you'd have had to be there. :) But I laughed for awhile.

Basically, the entire night was surreal. But the MUSIC was absolutely phenomenal. The passion and the energy astounded me. I am still gushing to my friends and I'm getting teased mercilessly for it, but oh well. ;) Taylor's got that It factor you keep hearing about. I'm still blown away. And the fact that he does this appearances consistently, night by night, is awesome.

There has been some talk of the people who rushed him on the side of the stage. I can attest to that. Hands and arms were flying every which way just to get a piece of him, which is why it's understandable, I think, that he doesn't stay around to hold court with fans. My friend said that he should be grateful--after all, the Soul Patrol did vote him into the Idol office--but I think it would honestly be overwhelming. At once point I was once again trying to get into the bathroom (I have a small bladder and had been drinking, :lol:) and Bucky was literally in front of me as I was trying to maneuever around everyone just to get back inside. Basically about 10 people went up to him in the meantime. And, no offense to Bucky, but his fanbase is nowhere near as large as Taylor's. I can only imagine the pandemonium that would ensue if he hung out with the masses.

But I think my favorite part about the night was just getting to rock out to some great tunes. And, I'm not gonna lie, I loved seeing Taylor party. To me, it showed him to be a real person. And, dare I say it? A rock star. He just seemed like he was having the best time in the world. It felt like his exuberance and passion just rubbed off on the whole room.