We all met up a bit before 4pm at my work and carpooled up to West Hollywood, grabbed some food, and then found the theater and some parking. (Garmin/GPS kept telling us to go in the wrong direction - odd - but we had the address, so we looked for the street number and eventually found it :).
Only downside to the parking we found for the evening - found a 'public parking' area, but no guy in booth (all closed up), and no signs up anywhere saying whether or not it was free or paid for the evening. HOWEVER, when we got back to our car, there was an attendant, NEW signs were up saying a parking rate - which were NOT there when we parked - and a note was on my car saying that we had to pay the Max. Rate of $15.00 for the parking lot. What?!?! We argued with the guy about it. Said that when we arrived it was 7pm, there was no one around, and there most definitely were No signs up saying there was a fee for parking. He argued back that HE go there at 7pm and there were signs around/at the driveways and you had to pay for overnight parking past 7pm. Considering we walked out of the driveway/entrance where one of these New signs were standing (upright sign holder out on the side walk) - the three of us all agreed it certainly wasn't there when we walked by at 7pm. UGH!! Dude!! What a rip-off! We would have paid for our few hours of parking when we got there IF there were signs posted and a guy around. We looked! But we got into a stalemate argument, and there was no 'supervisor' to complain to or anyone to take the issue up with over his head...and we wanted to go home...so we finally gave in and paid the $15 cause it was like 1am and we all needed to get on the road for our hour drive back to the OC.
Back to the FUN part of the evening. :)
Both on Twitter and Facebook, Ludo had posted that the doors to the Troubadour would open at 7pm that there might be 'free stuff' available.
Facebook: "LUDO Is rocking the troubador in Hollywood tonight. Come early for free stuff and Without a Face. Doors open at 7. Tickets still available!"
Twitter: "In Hollywood tonight at the troubador. Doors open at 7. Tix avail at the door. Come early for free ludo crap and @waftweets !!!"
So we (and a bunch of others who read the messages) all got there early...only to find out the Troubadour WASN'T opening early...and their staff was pretty annoyed with all of us fans showing up early and keep walking up to the (unlocked) door and inquiring about them being open. They had a line queue up a bit down the street (and there was no signage or anything to say "stand here to wait for concert" so you walk by w/o knowing what the line is actually for...since its a decent distance away from the Troubadour). Basically, the line started at an abandoned building at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd & Doheny, on Santa Monica, and wrapped around the corner back along the sidewalk on Doheny. Eventually (like almost 8pm), they opened the doors and started checking tickets and IDs.
Got my nifty little orange wristband that says "Troubadour" (proving you had a ticket and could go in and wander around, I guess. Hmm....perhaps they were color coded for those over/under 21?...though I didn't look to see if there was another color. The Troubadour has a bar, so its possible).
We checked out the front bar area, where they had some merchandise set up, but they had a bunch of stuff for the other bands/acts that I didn't recognize and and who were apparently the groups leading in to Ludo's act....and I didn't spot (at that time) much Ludo stuff out. (A couple of T-Shirts and posters, mostly). Maybe they had more Ludo stuff there...just not out. They people working the area were all trying to quickly eat some food - not focused on hawking merchandise, really. ;-)
So we headed into the main area. Checked out the bleacher style seating in the upper area, but eventually just kicked it in the main standing-room-only section near the stage. Of course, considering who I was hanging with, the three of us were great at entertaining ourselves and cracking ourselves up. (We broke out into spontaneous movie quotes often throughout the night - even in line outside - and even the occasional Song.
1st act finally started and it was some guy who called himself "Man without a Face".
Um...we were not impressed. I got a Guinness and drank it while we waited. He kinda got his target audience with his first couple of songs. Some of which had some potential, but he needs more work/help/pointers.
2nd Act was a group called "Ha Ha Tonka". I actually liked this group. Better than the 1st act by far, though they were not to Liz and Gretchen's taste. (Too country-ish for them...even if it was a *Rock* Country influence). They said they were from the Ozarks, so a bit of a Country influence makes sense (to me). I loved the A Capella song the guys did. Their voices blended well together. These guys were drinking beer while performing (had beer bottles instead of water bottles to take swigs of between songs :), and its influence definitely showed on at least 1 of the guys soon enough. And wow!, the guitarist was REALLY talented! Liz thought so too - and mentioned that no matter what happens with this band, that guy could probably make it with probably any band. Oh, and overall, this band had good stage presence. (Kudos to them :).
The very last song they performed they were joined by members of the next Act, Meese. It was a rip-roaring good time. They were all having a blast on stage, which the audience loved. Fun.
3rd Act, "Meese", got set up after a bit and started in on their set of songs. They're from Denver, CO, and the reason they're called Meese is cause their two main band members are brothers with that last name (lead singer/guitarist/keyboards and a guitarist/signer...or was he base...I forget now). I enjoyed the songs (the beat mostly, cause with the sound as it was, it was sometimes hard to understand the actual lyrics :) Liz mentioned that they were a bit too monotoned for her taste. (Playing style). And we both agreed that they're stage presence could use a bit of work. :)
And funny enough, some of Ha Ha Tonka members came back on stage for Meese's last song to play with them. (Ha Ha Tonka lead singer & guitar player joined Meese's drummer in the back...helping out on drums ;). It was fun to watch.
When they were done, it was a flurry of activity as the stage was fixed up for LUDO! (Last 2 bands had to get their gear off-stage, and Ludo's gear had to get on and set up how they wanted/needed it for their performance). As each Act had performed, the Troubadour was getting more and more Crowded. Now, as Ludo was just about ready to go on, it was pretty packed! Definitely standing room only in this downstairs section between stage and bar. :)
Eventually, everything was set up how they wanted it (the band members were down there working away with the stage hands, making sure guitars were tuned, levels were ok on mics, etc.). The band members left the stage for one last gathering (up in a box office area, stage right up a flight of stairs along the wall leading from the stage/corner of the room) and then made their grand entrance.
Woo-hoo! Everyone was ecstatic! Opening song for the night - "Go Getter Greg".
This guy recorded some pieces from few of the songs (from his cell phone) at last night's concert and posted them on his youtube account
Go Getter Greg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udqF6PKqqKg
Hum Along: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_h_kDMEkXU
Saturday Night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkU01p_gicw
While the first songs were great to sing to, and they played to the crowd (the energy of the crowd was really high!), the Band REALLY kicked it into gear once they started playing Broken Bride. (Entire album!)
That was AWESOME. If you don't know about Broken Bride, the entire CD is one long story. Its a Rock Opera about this guy (known as The Traveler) who's wife died in May of 1989, so he builds a time machine to go back and save her. Only he shoots too far and ends up in pre-historic times, is attacked by Pterodactyls and ends up hiding in a cave. Next song on the album is "Save Our City" where we go back to the 'present/future' and where the world is in chaos due to a zombie apocalypse and we follow the story of a young boy trying to get people to rise up and help fight the zombies (and their evil leader, known as the Dragon). Then we head back into pre-historic times with the next song to catch up with the Traveler. He makes a run for the Time Travel Machine and manages to reclaim his machine (narrowly avoiding a pack of pterodactyls). He then activates the machine and tries again to get to 1989 to save his wife...only this time the machine malfunctions again and he shoots too far forward and lands in the zombie apocalypse. The Traveler, faced with a decision to help save mankind or to go back and rescue his wife....and I'll stop there. (But I will tell you there's a twist in the end :).
It was really fun when the band would stop singing on some of the songs throughout the evening and let us just sing for a bit while they played. (Testing us to see if we would continue/know the lyrics).
One of the last song of the night: Goodwill Hunting by Myself. (Yay! Crowd loved it)
AND final song of the night: Love Me Dead!
YES!!! Definitely one the crowd was waiting for. Such Fun! :)
After the concert, most of the people headed in to the front are to buy merchandise, and Ludo's band members came out to meet the fans, autograph stuff, take pics with fans. It was great. I got 4 signatures, and got one pic with Andrew Volpe (and got to say to each of those guys how much I enjoyed the concert - totally fun seeing them live).
Members of Ludo:
Links for Ludo:
Overall - Wonderful, Wonderful time. I'm SO glad I went. Totally recommend them live. If you Like Ludo's stuff - Go see them in concert!
(p.s. - I'll upload my pics in a few minutes...and will post again to here when they're all up on Flickr...and I'll add at least some on facebook too :)