Los Lobos: October 11, 1997
Los Angeles, CA - The Greek Theatre
support: The Tragically Hip, Ozomatli

Tragically Hip Set:
Grace, Too
Save The Planet
Gift Shop
Ahead By A Century
Escape Is At Hand For The Travellin' Man
At The Hundredth Meridian
Fully Completely
Springtime In Vienna

Notes: Here's what I wrote about the show for a Tragically Hip mailing list I was on at the time:

Well, in case anyone didn't know, the Hip had this contest on their webpage a couple weeks back. You had to answer a question and the first 10 people with the correct answers mailed to the Hip won a pair of tickets for the Los Lobos show on Oct 11 at the Greek Theatre in LA. So my sister, Julia, participated, since I was at work while it all happened. She didn't know the answer right away but it was found on the webpage. We waited for word that we'd won but none came.

Until this last Thursday, --yes two days before the show. Evidently one of the winners would not be able to make it and so they offered Julia the tickets. Of course she accepted them. On Friday we got official confirmation that they would hold a pair of tickets at the box office under her name. We were highly excited.

We live in Fresno, which is a good 4 hour drive from LA, but my dad agreed to drive us there. We rented a car because my mom needed to use the family car for engagements she had on Saturday. Budget gave us a bright turquoise Ford Taurus. Not my #1 choice but it had a decent cassette stereo, which was my main requirement; plus cruise control, which came in very handy for my dad.

We left home around 1 and got to the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park shortly after 5. It was here that we met Diane, a 'net friend of mine and Amit's, who had a ticket for the show --originally purchased for Amit-- that she sold to us for my Dad. It was very cool getting to meet her for the first time and we chatted briefly and then she had to leave. They had a seating chart of the venue outside and we saw where my dad's seat was. It was great! They have 4 rows of seats directly in front of the stage and that's blocked off and then there's the main seating which begins after that, and my dad's seat was in the first row of that and on the left side of the theatre --or on Paul's side if you're thinking in terms of where the band members stand. Julia picked up her tickets and we compared our seats. heh, definitely no comparison.. Check out this GIF I doctored up.

We were *way* off to the side and on an upper level, our view of the stage was not the best, we couldn't see Rob at all and we knew Johnny was there only because we heard him. Oh, and we saw him watch the band before them, Ozomatli, from backstage. =)

The doors opened at 6 but they didn't let people to their seats until 6:30. Strange.. Guess it makes people more apt to buy the overpriced food. My dad got this tiny bottle of water for $2.75. yikes! Security was very relaxed, as was the crowd. Los Angeles is Los Lobos' hometown and they attract everyone from young kids to older couples. They are extremely community-oriented, have been around for 25 years, and people adore them. It's all very peaceful and jolly. Nothing like big rock shows I've been to before. Nice change! We all really liked it and my dad is up to doing this sort of thing again when bands we want to see play at the Greek.

We finally split up and went to our seats. The other webpage contest winners were seated in our area, so we had a little Hip cheering section going on and that was cool. Two guys in front of us had driven from Las Vegas and two others behind us had driven 14 hours from *OREGON.* Any thoughts we had of being big fans for driving from Fresno went out the window. heh.

Ozomatli started a bit after 7. They were a group of maybe 8 young guys and their music was a mix of traditional Mexican mariachi, a small dash of rap, and maybe a pinch of reggae. Very lively and energetic and even though the house was less than half full, they got people into the music. I was feeling very nervous for the Hip. I mean I hate to have any doubt in their performance abilities but Ozomatli fit perfectly with Los Lobos, and the Hip... well, not so much. It was a predominantly Hispanic crowd who had no idea who this band from "The North" was. ah well..

After Ozo we sat for a bit and I decided I better go to the bathroom before the Hip came on. I wasn't even 1/4 the way there (the women's bathroom was on the other side of the theatre from where we were) when the lights went down and that beloved and familiar simple drum-beat started up. "So much for going pee" I thought as I spun around and ran back to my seat. No way was I going to miss "Grace, too" as it is my favorite song.

Naturally, everyone in our section was up and singing and dancing along, and it was great. I wouldn't call it the best version of Grace, too I've ever heard, but for me, any GT is good GT. hehe... They played a few new songs which I was completely unfamiliar with. The setlist as my sister wrote it:

Grace, too
*new song -- something about man crossed the street and didn't move a muscle
Gift Shop
Ahead by a Century
*new song -- my favorite shirt?? lines about New York.. my heart..??
At the 100th Meridian
*new song -- "Membership" I think
Fully Completely
Springtime in Vienna

And that was that. I wish we had better notes about Gord's ramblings and obscure dedications and explanations. He had an orange and a banana that he played with. I figured they'd play Grace, too and Gift Shop, so I was happy to hear them but not overly surprised. Meridian was the surprise of the evening for my sister and I. We'd listened to it on a bootleg earlier in the day and both hoped they'd play it but I really didn't think they would. So I was very happy when they did. :) I always like to see if I can keep up with Gord and the correct lyrics during that part, "If I die of vanity..."

When it was over and the lights came up we all wanted more and chanted "Hip! Hip! Hip!" but to no avail. Ah well, for free, how can you complain?

Los Lobos were the best that night of course. I enjoyed them but it's hard to get really into something when you're not familiar with it. My bladder finally needed to be emptied and when I came back from that chore my sister met me on the steps leading up to our seats and said "Rob is down there!" My first thought was Rob Bertrand! hahaha... what a dork I am. But no, it was Mr Baker. He was down by the entrance and concession stands chatting with fans. Gord Sinclair and Paul Langlois were also in the vicinity. Julia wanted to talk to them or get something signed. I was too chicken. I never know what to say in those kinds of situations. So we stood around like dumbf**ks. I went back to our seats but she stayed down there. She never went up to any of them, Rob was surrounded by a throng of glowing male Hip fans, but he did peek in between the heads and smiled and waved at her. That made her happy since she's got the hots for him I think. hahaa. We stood right in front of him when we saw them in San Luis Obispo last year. (go here for a picture of the performance hall and a link to my lame show review) I have to say it was quite weird to see them from "far away" after our previous TTH experience of being close enough to touch them if we were so inclined.

Los Lobos finished at 11 after 2 encores (last song being "La Bamba") and we got out of Griffith Park at 11:30 and got home at 3:30am. It was a brutal drive but I think everything was worth it. Even though my dad had the best seat, my sister and I liked being up with all the rabid fans. Nice to know we're not the only ones in the area who's heard of them AND like them as well.

(October 1997)


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