Iron & Wine and John Legend have played the 20,000 seat Hollywood Bowl. During those same tours they have also played a 200 seat venue in Downtown LA at a fraction of the cost for the Bowl shows. The venue is the Clive Davis Theater and it is part of the Grammy Museum. Tickets are available to the public and as you might expect from the size of the venue, it is indeed a special and intimate event.
The program is called The Drop and the artist first come out for a 30-40 minute interview conducted by Grammy Museum executive director Bob Santelli. I went to see Annie Clark aka St. Vincent last week and in the short span of time you really got to know her personality and creative process as Santelli questioned her about the whole of her career. It actually got even more interesting when he opened up the floor for questions and we saw true fans (fanatics actually) ask very pointed questions. The questions came from fans that had already attended her show in San Diego so they were pertinent to her performance that we were about to witness (i.e. fuzzy bass sounds, choreography, her fashion sense). Annie seemed truly impressed. Questions were so personal that the final question from a fan was what her plans were for after the show. She coyly avoided an answer.
Then it got to the rockin’ with her full band and light show as she delivered an 8-song set devoted to her new self-titled album. She opened with a fuzzy bass sound to her song “Rattlesnakes” and she worked her limited (as she had described it) choreography to the song. Earlier she had explained the song as literally about her running away from a rattlesnake in the Texas desert. A knowing smile came on my face as I felt instant intimacy with the song for having learned the facts on the tune’s creation.
I plan to attend more of these shows. And Bob Santelli’s last request to the audience worked as I signed up as a member to the Grammy Museum.