James in LaLa Land

The Blue Room Decor

Two years ago….pre-pandemic obviously….I flew down to Los Angelas for just a day. The reason was to see one of my favorite bands in concert at the Greek Theatre. Originally I thought I’d post about the trip over at the ranch website, but I changed my mind. So finally, here’s my documentation of that fun little excursion.

I flew into Burbank Airport, caught an Uber to the start of Ferndell trail. A short walk later I stopped for lunch at the Trails Cafe.

Then it was time for a hike and I made my way up to the Griffith Observatory. It was a pretty warm day, but as I had just a small bag with me (and I mean small) it wasn’t a difficult trek. It was however quite dusty.

After touring the Observatory and having a bag of crisps and a drink at the cafe, I wandered down the east trail towards the theatre. By the time I got down to the bottom my feet were pretty dusty as I was just wearing sandals. But a quick rinse at the public toilets alleviated that issue and then I made my way over to the entrance of the theatre.

I needed to be there early as my ticket included early admission to attend the sound check. The band played a handful of songs for the fifty or so other die-hard fans. Then we were ushered back out into the concession areas. I grabbed a snack and a glass of the house red and fairly soon after general admission opened up.

I had a delightfully up close seat: far left of the center front row. The band played a mix of stuff from their then-new album and some of their extensive back catalog.

The rather abbreviated set list (compared to past concerts I’ve attended) was because this one was actually a double bill. The second act was The Psychedelic Furs. Not a band I knew well, but they put on an equally great show.

The show finished up and I ordered an Uber which took me over to a friend’s fiancee’s empty apartment where I could crash for the night. Ears buzzing and mind spinning I passed out pretty quickly.

The next morning I was up early to shower and meet said friends for breakfast. A short while later they dropped me off at the airport. I had over two hours to kill prior to boarding, so I walked over to a nearby Fry’s. Little did I know that would be the last time I would set in foot in one as earlier this year the company shut down. I found a cute mini lego set and a tiny flexible tripod.

When I said I traveled light for this trip, I wasn’t kidding. That little blue bag in the left picture above was I took for the day. Inside was a change of clothing, my iPad, a few toiletries, hair brush, charging cables and wallet plus by this time some merch from the concert. I found that gorgeous bag the month before when we were in Zurich at a store near our hotel: Jo Brauer Mode. It is now my go-to carry on “personal item” as it’s very versatile: even when I’m lugging camera gear.

Anywho…that’s the story of day-trip down to see James in L.A. This wasn’t the first time I traveled to see them live–in fact I just recently unearthed the old HTML pages containing the 2001 trip to the UK to see them. That story once lived on purgatory.org but it was mothballed a decade ago. I think I will dust off that story next….