I’m always amazed at the spectacular shows my coworkers in the KCRW Events department put together. They do a great job at making every single event absolutely unique and memorable, but it looks like they may have outdone themselves with our upcoming Are Friends Eclectic? holiday show happening the first weekend of December.
Well, besides the killer line-up of artists performing each night and the spirit of the season that will surely be present, I believe the crowning achievement of the event is the fact that it will be held at the fabulous Orpheum Theatre in downtown LA!
I have had the pleasure of seeing a number of outstanding shows at the Orpheum through the years, and they have been made all the better by being held in what is undoubtedly the most beautiful of theatres in the city.
The venue certainly has history on its side, being one of the key vaudeville and movie palaces of LA’s busy downtown theatre district in the early part of the 20th century. Nearly a century later, the Orpheum has been carefully restored to become one of the most popular concert venues in town, fitting in perfectly with the general revitalization downtown LA has undergone in recent years.
In addition to the lovely Art Deco décor, the Orpheum is one of the rare LA venues where you can honestly say that there isn’t a bad seat in the house. I’ve sat in the balcony and I’ve sat in the 5th row and in both cases I had no problem seeing the show. And best of all, it has SEATS! Glorious, bum-caressing seats! Call me an old fogey, but there is nothing better than attending a show & being able to sit back, relax and let the tunes cascade over you in the comfort of a cushioned chair.
Standing room only venues certainly have their place, but with such a hallowed and visually appealing room, why wouldn’t you want to be able to chill out and enjoy the scenery from a seated position? (I’m looking at you, Wiltern!)
Last year, I had the chance to attend the Yoko Ono tribute shows there, with Lady Gaga and tUnE-yArDs both on the same stage. It’s also where I saw Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Ray Davies perform Kinks classics with a choral group. I’ve seen the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords keep the place in stitches and indie rockers Iron and Wine wow the crowd with their gorgeous melodies.
I take it as exceptional news that Iron and Wine will be returning to the Orpheum stage for our holiday show, so hopefully you’ll be able to join us for a celebration of the festive season with some truly great music, your pals from your favorite radio station and one of the most charming venues you’ll ever get to see a show at!!!
ERIC J. LAWRENCE