Aside from visits to Disneyland, I normally don't take trips to Orange County. However, ever since I found out that one of my most favorite musicians ever, Mr. Devendra Banhart, would be making an appearance at The Observatory in Santa Ana, I knew I had to make an exception. I hadn't seen a show there in years; in fact, I believe I was 13 the last time I stepped foot inside. I even tend to still call it by its old name, The Galaxy Theater, so I wasn't certain what to expect. Though they should probably double check the correct spellings for their guests' names...
First up.. Hecuba from Los Angeles. Also Devendra's "favorite band in the world". I'd known about them, but my interest was never piqued enough for me to actually give them a listen. But wowza, they played one hell of an opening set. Yes, they're very sexual. Yes, some were freaked out. And yes, most of the audience just didn't seem to get it. Had the show been in L.A., I'm pretty sure they would have been welcomed by a more appreciative audience. But they made me and Hailey boogie and kept me watching closely the entire time, so I definitely dug it. While their style and music may not be for everybody, I gained massive respect for this band simply from witnessing that set.
As for the man of the evening (along with The Grogs' Noah Georgeson and Josiah Steinbrick), I'm not sure I'm capable of properly explaining how beautiful his set was. Though he had two of the Grogs with him onstage, they delivered a very stripped down set. It was very intimate and so lovely. It was a real treat getting to hear his songs performed the way they were. I loved every second of it. He also shared a number of his new tunes, which I'm already itching to hear on record as well. Without a doubt, he's incredibly talented, and last night's performance further confirmed why his music means enormously to me. In fact, now it means much more.
I don't think I want to return to The Observatory for many shows in the future (except for one next month that would be atrocious to miss), but I genuinely had a fantastic time. I can't think of a more perfect way to kick off the summer. Next week? I'll be off on a road trip to San Francisco.