Live Review: Sea Wolf & Patrick Park – The Gene Autry Museum, Los Angeles
Mon, 17 May 2010 19:50:15
I would never think of the Gene Autry Museum as a place to catch a rock 'n' roll show.
Nestled in the middle of Griffith Park, across from the LA Zoo, you'd almost expect to see Alex Church and Sea Wolf riding in on horseback. The house music outside the venue was classic Americana, and we entered to Willie Nelson's stirring rendition of 'Fly me to the Moon'. It was a strange start to a Sea Wolf show to say the least, but then again nothing was "normal" about the entire experience.
I've been to the Autry before, and have walked by the 215-seat Wells Fargo Theater, which usually hosts classic movies and westerns. I expected to see the audience filing into that venue. Instead, this was all going down in the museum itself, and Ben Stiller wasn't playing a security guard! People lined around the balcony looking down onto the floor below. A small crowd of people milled around in front of, for lack of better words, the stage in the foyer on the bottom floor.
It was an intimate setting with a small riser for the drumkit and microphones at audience level a few feet in front. The crowd stood back with no need for security personnel, ropes or a gate, not more than 6 inches in front of where the singers were to perform.
Singer / Songwriter, Patrick Park started the evening out, backed by a drummer and a bassist / backup singer. For any fan of Patrick Park, he is at his best doing live shows solo. You can really tell the quality of a song when it's stripped down to its very basics, and Patrick never disappoints. But listening to him with accompanying musicians, takes his sound to a whole new level. It was a beautiful set culled from songs off of his newest album 'Come What Will'.
After a short intermission, Alex Church and crew took the floor. A few songs into the set, the power of his performance showed to be too much for the measly house lights and electric grid for the Autry. His techs ran around with flashlights, pulling on cords, and shrugging shoulders at each other saying, "I have absolutely no idea who works here." Luckily for the fans, his tech proved worthy, and managed to get the sound and lighting working again. After a short discussion amongst themselves, they picked up mid-song to complete the first half of the show. Alex apologized to his fans, saying, "We've never practiced for a power outage before."
Highlights from the Sea Wolf performance came from all three of his albums, with "Turn the Dirt Over" off his latest album, White Water, White Bloom, "Mid Distance Runner" from the Leaves in the River LP, and "You're a Wolf" from the EP Get to the River Before it Runs too Low getting the most accolades from the crowd.
It was a great night, and it all ended at 10:30. I wish they both would have played more; they've got the power.