Top 30 Songs for September 15-21, 2019

1. COMING UP FOR AIR – Mars Motel (2)
2. RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH THE DEVIL – Revolvers (3)
3. FALLING WITH STYLE – Heist At Five (1)
4. DOIN’ TIME – Lana Del Rey (4)
5. UNDER THE COLD LIGHT OF THE MOON – Crystal Cities (6)
6. 3 NIGHTS – Dominic Fike (7)
7. GO – The Black Keys (8)
8. CRINGE – Matt Maeson (9)
9. SOCIAL CUES – Cage the Elephant (10)
10. WHEN AM I GONNA LOSE YOU – Local Natives (5)
11. THE HYPE – twenty one pilots (11)
12. FOUR WINDS – Unquiet Nights (12)
13. RAGGED TOWN – Second Player Score (13)
14. THIS LIFE – Vampire Weekend (14)
15. HEAT OF THE SUMMER – Young the Giant (17)
16. GOOD THINGS FALL APART – ILLENIUM with Jon Bellion (18)
17. GOODBYES – Post Malone featuring Young Thug (19)
18. BAD GUY – Billie Eilish (15)
19. ALLIGATOR – Of Monsters and Men (16)
20. THE MIDDLE – Agency Panic (21)
21. SECRETS – The Million Reasons (22)
22. WHY DID YOU RUN? – Judah & the Lion (23)
23. DISSOLVE – Absofacto (25)
24. COMPLAINER – Cold War Kids (26)
25. WANNACRY – Darksoft (27)
26. UNDER THESE SCARS – Falling Into Red (28)
27. BROTHERS – Harroland (20)
28. LOVER – Taylor Swift (29)
29. DESERVING OF LOVE – Lyia Meta (30)
30. I SEE YOU – MISSIO (24)

Top 30 Songs for September 8-14, 2019

1. FALLING WITH STYLE – Heist At Five (2)
2. COMING UP FOR AIR – Mars Motel (3)
3. RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH THE DEVIL – Revolvers (4)
4. DOIN’ TIME – Lana Del Rey (1)
5. WHEN AM I GONNA LOSE YOU – Local Natives (5)
6. UNDER THE COLD LIGHT OF THE MOON – Crystal Cities (6)
7. 3 NIGHTS – Dominic Fike (7)
8. GO – The Black Keys (8)
9. CRINGE – Matt Maeson (9)
10. SOCIAL CUES – Cage the Elephant (10)
11. THE HYPE – twenty one pilots (13)
12. FOUR WINDS – Unquiet Nights (14)
13. RAGGED TOWN – Second Player Score (15)
14. THIS LIFE – Vampire Weekend (16)
15. BAD GUY – Billie Eilish (11)
16. ALLIGATOR – Of Monsters and Men (12)
17. HEAT OF THE SUMMER – Young the Giant (18)
18. GOOD THINGS FALL APART – ILLENIUM with Jon Bellion (20)
19. GOODBYES – Post Malone featuring Young Thug (21)
20. BROTHERS – Harroland (19)
21. THE MIDDLE – Agency Panic (23)
22. SECRETS – The Million Reasons (24)
23. WHY DID YOU RUN? – Judah & the Lion (25)
24. I SEE YOU – MISSIO (17)
25. DISSOLVE – Absofacto (28)
26. COMPLAINER – Cold War Kids (29)
27. WANNACRY – Darksoft (30)
28. UNDER THESE SCARS – Falling Into Red featuring Dev (N)
29. LOVER – Taylor Swift (N)
30. DESERVING OF LOVE – Lyia Meta (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 1-7, 2019

1. DOIN’ TIME – Lana Del Rey (1)
2. FALLING WITH STYLE – Heist At Five (2)
3. COMING UP FOR AIR – Mars Motel (3)
4. RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH THE DEVIL – Revolvers (4)
5. WHEN AM I GONNA LOSE YOU – Local Natives (5)
6. UNDER THE COLD LIGHT OF THE MOON – Crystal Cities (7)
7. 3 NIGHTS – Dominic Fike (9)
8. GO – The Black Keys (10)
9. CRINGE – Matt Maeson (11)
10. SOCIAL CUES – Cage the Elephant (12)
11. BAD GUY – Billie Eilish (6)
12. ALLIGATOR – Of Monsters and Men (8)
13. THE HYPE – twenty one pilots (14)
14. FOUR WINDS – Unquiet Nights (15)
15. RAGGED TOWN – Second Player Score (16)
16. THIS LIFE – Vampire Weekend (17)
17. I SEE YOU – MISSIO (13)
18. HEAT OF THE SUMMER – Young the Giant (21)
19. BROTHERS – Harroland (20)
20. GOOD THINGS FALL APART – ILLENIUM with Jon Bellion (24)
21. GOODBYES – Post Malone featuring Young Thug (25)
22. HERE WE GO – Ben Priory and Charlie Pereira (18)
23. THE MIDDLE – Agency Panic (26)
24. SECRETS – The Million Reasons (27)
25. WHY DID YOU RUN? – Judah & the Lion (30)
26. MISSED CONNECTION – The Head and the Heart (22)
27. ROOM TO BREATHE – Made of Eyes (23)
28. DISSOLVE – Absofacto (N)
29. COMPLAINER – Cold War Kids (N)
30. WANNACRY – Darksoft (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 25-31, 2019

1. DOIN’ TIME – Lana Del Rey (1)
2. FALLING WITH STYLE – Heist At Five (3)
3. COMING UP FOR AIR – Mars Motel (4)
4. RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH THE DEVIL – Revolvers (5)
5. WHEN AM I GONNA LOSE YOU – Local Natives (6)
6. BAD GUY – Billie Eilish (2)
7. UNDER THE COLD LIGHT OF THE MOON – Crystal Cities (9)
8. ALLIGATOR – Of Monsters and Men (8)
9. 3 NIGHTS – Dominic Fike (10)
10. GO – The Black Keys (11)
11. CRINGE – Matt Maeson (13)
12. SOCIAL CUES – Cage the Elephant (16)
13. I SEE YOU – MISSIO (7)
14. THE HYPE – twenty one pilots (20)
15. FOUR WINDS – Unquiet Nights (17)
16. RAGGED TOWN – Second Player Score (18)
17. THIS LIFE – Vampire Weekend (19)
18. HERE WE GO – Ben Priory & Charlie Pereira (12)
19. BLOW – Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars (21)
20. BROTHERS – Harroland (22)
21. HEAT OF THE SUMMER – Young the Giant (23)
22. MISSED CONNECTION – The Head and the Heart (14)
23. ROOM TO BREATHE – Made of Eyes (15)
24. GOOD THINGS FALL APART – ILLENIUM with John Bellion (26)
25. GOODBYES – Post Malone featuring Young Thug (27)
26. THE MIDDLE – Agency Panic (29)
27. SECRETS – The Million Reasons (30)
28. OLD MAN’S WAR – Roadkeeper (24)
29. HELP ME STRANGER – The Raconteurs (25)
30. WHY DID YOU RUN? – Judah & the Lion (N)

Concert Review – Young the Giant, Fitz and the Tantrums & COIN at the LA Forum

I don’t attend all that many concerts, as I live in a desert – both literally and culturally. Despite the fact I live in the Coachella Valley – home to one of the most important music festivals on the planet – in order to see most musical acts under the age of 60, I must travel to Los Angeles. So, when I do see a concert, it’s a pretty big deal for me. On Saturday, August 10, I made the two and a half hour drive to West Los Angeles to see a fantastic lineup of bands at the historic Forum. (Former home of the L.A. Lakers, the Forum opened in 1967 but is already listed on the National Register of Historic Places, due to its groundbreaking engineering and structural design.)

It was a great double bill consisting of Young the Giant and Fitz and the Tantrums, with COIN opening. I’d long wanted to see Fitz and the Tantrums in concert, but had never gotten around to it, so when I saw they were performing with another of my favorites Young the Giant, I wasted no time getting tickets. The Forum seats approximately 17,500, and this show appeared to be nearly sold out.

LA Forum
The Los Angeles Forum

The concert started promptly at 7:00 pm when COIN took to the stage and immediately got the audience revved up with their high-energy alternative pop/rock. I wasn’t very familiar with their music, but when I saw in advance they were the opening act, I checked out several of their songs and really liked their sound. Based in Nashville, COIN formed in 2012, and currently consists of Chase Lawrence on lead vocals & synthesizers, Ryan Winnen on drums, and Joe Memmel on lead guitar & backing vocals. Since 2018, they’ve been joined on their tours by bassist Matt Martin.

The stage was set up with a series of vertical panels upon which various graphics and light displays were projected for all three acts. COIN’s visuals were simple, consisting only of the word “@coin” that would appear one line at a time on five of the panels, as if repeatedly typed on a keyboard and displayed on a computer screen. Once all five panels were filled with @coin, the words would disappear, then the process was repeated over and over. It was kind of interesting at first, but eventually grew rather tiresome.

COIN-Forum
COIN

COIN’s music and performance, however, were anything but, as their catchy, upbeat music and lively on-stage personas were quite entertaining, especially their animated front man Chase Lawrence, who bounded about the stage as he sang. They started their set with their dance-pop hit “Growing Pains”, then followed with “Simple Romance”, “Boyfriend”, and their latest single “Crash My Car” – all terrific songs. Lawrence engaged the audience a bit between songs and they continued with “Cemetery”, “I Want it All” and their big hit “Talk Too Much”, finally ending with “Fingers Crossed”. Here’s their exuberant performance of “Boyfriend” that I managed to film most of:

After a brief intermission, Fitz and the Tantrums made their entrance onto the stage to thunderous applause, and quickly got the crowd’s blood pumping with the foot-stomping “Get Right Back”, one of the tracks from their third self-titled album Fitz and the Tantrums. Before I get into their performance, I’ll provide a bit of background and personal perspective.

Fitz & the Tantrums-Forum
Fitz and the Tantrums

The Los Angeles-based band consists of front man/vocalist Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick, the lovely and talented Noelle Scaggs (vocals & percussion), saxophonist extraordinaire James King, as well as Joseph Karnes (bass), Jeremy Ruzumna (keyboards), and John Wicks (drums). They formed in 2008, but the first time I learned about them was in late summer 2013, when I heard their fantastic synth-pop ear worm “Out of My League”. I quickly fell head over heels in love with it, becoming an instant fan of theirs, and caught myself up on their back catalog of songs that were included on their debut album Pickin’ Up the Pieces, as well as purchasing their second album More Than Just a Dream, which I played nearly to death for the next several months.

Their early songs were described as neo soul, somewhat of a modern twist on the classic Motown sound, but with indie and jazz overtones that gave their music a distinctive sound. A particularly noteworthy aspect of their music is that they have no guitarist! Their sound took on more of a pop sensibility on More Than Just a Dream, generating a little backlash from some of their earliest die-hard fans. But overall, it’s an outstanding album containing some great songs like “Out of My League” and “The Walker”, both of which reached #1 on the Billboard Alternative Chart, as well as some other standouts like the soulful “6am” and “Break the Walls”, both of which prominently feature Noelle’s wonderful vocals.

In early 2016, they released “Hand Clap”, the lead single from their self-titled third album, and I was immediately underwhelmed. The song was too poppy and formula for my taste, and I was somewhat disappointed in the new direction their sound was taking. Also, Noelle’s vocals were not being utilized nearly enough. My feelings about the third album are mixed, but there are a few gems like the aforementioned “Get Right Back” and “Burn It Down”. I’ve softened a bit on “Hand Clap”, as it’s so damned catchy, but I still think it’s a mediocre song. OK, now back to the show!

Fitz and the Tantrums kept the energy flowing as they launched into the hard-rocking “Spark” from More Than Just a Dream, then sang one of their earliest songs “Don’t Gotta Work it Out”, which they followed with “Out of My League”, still one of my personal favorites. In between songs, Fitz was very engaging, sharing his thoughts and providing tidbits of background about the band and the songs they performed. He’s now 49 years old, but exudes a more youthful demeanor on stage.

Fitz & the Tantrums
Fitz and the Tantrums

The vertical panels that previously displayed @coin during their set now displayed colorful, rapidly-changing imagery and graphics. Fitz and the Tantrums played for more than an hour, performing 18 songs, including crowd favorite “Moneygrabber”, five from More Than Just a Dream, five from Fitz and the Tantrums, and six from their upcoming fourth album All the Feels, due out in September. One of the tracks they performed from that album was the lead single “123456”, which I didn’t much care for when I first heard it, but it sounded better live. In fact, I found that many of their more recent songs sounded much better live, which is perhaps a testament to their engaging on-stage personalities and musicality. At the very least, those attributes certainly make for a highly entertaining and enjoyable live performance, and I loved every second of theirs!

They closed with a rousing performance of the deliriously catchy “The Walker”. I loved how the home town crowd cheered when Fitz sang the line “I wake up to the City of Angels“.

The intermission following Fitz and the Tantrums’ performance was longer, giving us ample time to use the restroom, get some obscenely overpriced adult beverages, and for our excitement to build in anticipation of seeing the headliners Young the Giant. When they finally appeared on stage, the crowd roared and cheered with delight. They opened their set with “Oblivion” from their fourth and most recent album Mirror Master, then performed one of my favorites “Something to Believe In”, from their critically acclaimed 2016 third album Home of the Strange. Next up was their current single “Heat of the Summer”, another terrific song from Mirror Master.

Young the Giant
Young the Giant

Young the Giant started out in 2004 as a band called The Jakes, with two of the current founding members guitarist Jacob Tilley and vocalist Sameer Gadhia, when they were high school students in Irvine, California. They changed their name in 2010 to Young the Giant while recording their debut album of the same name, and have never looked back. In addition to Tilley and Gadhia, the current lineup includes Eric Cannata (guitar), Payam Doostzadeh (bass), and Francois Comtois (drums). They’re an amazing and talented collective of musicians with a totally unique sound unlike no other, thanks to their exquisite instrumentation and also Gadhia’s gorgeous and distinctive vocal style.

He’s also a strikingly handsome man, with a charismatic on-stage persona. His athletic and sometimes even flamboyant body movements were at times quirky, but always riveting. He appeared on stage wearing a long saffron-colored jacket over dark trousers, and danced about the stage, his jacket flowing about him as he sang. They continued with the beautiful track “Apartment” from their first album Young the Giant, then followed with four tracks from Home of the Strange – “Amerika”, “Nothing’s Over”, “Home of the Strange” and “Titus Was Born”. Next up was the lovely “Firelight” from Mind Over Matter, followed by one of their signature songs and crowd favorite “Cough Syrup”.

They performed three more songs, then said ‘Goodnight’ and walked off stage. They still had not performed some of their biggest hits, so I knew (hoped) they’d return for an encore. They soon reappeared, Gadhia now wearing a sparkly dark blue cape as they sang the song I’d been dying to hear them perform, the beautiful “Superposition.” They followed with the bouncy dance number “Tightrope”, then the sexy “Silvertongue” before closing their set with an electrifying performance of their hard-hitting first single “My Body”, at which point the crowd went wild.

I found it interesting that they performed six songs from each of their two most recent albums, but only three from Young the Giant and two from Mind Over Matter. I was a little disappointed they didn’t perform one of my favorite songs of theirs, the hard-rocking “It’s About Time”. That said, I loved hearing all the songs they did perform, and enjoyed their set immensely. In fact, I love them and their music even more after seeing them live, which is something I think most, if not all, of us feel when seeing artists and bands we like in concert. It’s a special thing to see our favorite artists and bands play their music live, giving us a greater connection to them and their music.

Top 30 Songs for August 18-24, 2019

1. DOIN’ TIME – Lana Del Rey (2)
2. BAD GUY – Billie Eilish (1)
3. FALLING WITH STYLE – Heist At Five (6)
4. COMING UP FOR AIR – Mars Motel (7)
5. RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH THE DEVIL – Revolvers (8)
6. WHEN AM I GONNA LOSE YOU – Local Natives (9)
7. I SEE YOU – MISSIO (3)
8. ALLIGATOR – Of Monsters and Men (5)
9. UNDER THE COLD LIGHT OF THE MOON – Crystal Cities (12)
10. 3 NIGHTS – Dominic Fike (14)
11. GO – The Black Keys (15)
12. HERE WE GO – Ben Priory & Charlie Pereira (13)
13. CRINGE – Matt Maeson (16)
14. MISSED CONNECTION – The Head and the Heart (4)
15. ROOM TO BREATHE – Made of Eyes (10)
16. SOCIAL CUES – Cage the Elephant (22)
17. FOUR WINDS – Unquiet Nights (18)
18. RAGGED TOWN – Second Player Score (19)
19. THIS LIFE – Vampire Weekend (20)
20. THE HYPE – twenty one pilots (23)
21. BLOW – Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars (21)
22. BROTHERS – Harroland (25)
23. HEAT OF THE SUMMER – Young the Giant (26)
24. OLD MAN’S WAR – Roadkeeper (17)
25. HELP ME STRANGER – The Racounteurs (24)
26. GOOD THINGS FALL APART – ILLENIUM with Jon Bellion (30)
27. GOODBYES – Post Malone featuring Young Thug (N)
28. BOOM – X Ambassadors (27)
29. THE MIDDLE – Agency Panic (N)
30. SECRETS – The Million Reasons (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 11-17, 2019

1. BAD GUY – Billie Eilish (1)
2. DOIN’ TIME – Lana Del Rey (4)
3. I SEE YOU – MISSIO (2)
4. MISSED CONNECTION – The Head and the Heart (3)
5. ALLIGATOR – Of Monsters and Men (5)
6. FALLING WITH STYLE – Heist At Five (7)
7. COMING UP FOR AIR – Mars Motel (8)
8. RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH THE DEVIL – Revolvers (9)
9. WHEN AM I GONNA LOSE YOU – Local Natives (10)
10. ROOM TO BREATHE – Made of Eyes (6)
11. STRANGE KIND – Blair Dollery (12)
12. UNDER THE COLD LIGHT OF THE MOON – Crystal Cities (13)
13. HERE WE GO – Ben Priory & Charlie Pereira (14)
14. 3 NIGHTS – Dominic Fike (15)
15. GO – The Black Keys (16)
16. CRINGE – Matt Maeson (17)
17. OLD MAN’S WAR – Roadkeeper (11)
18. FOUR WINDS – Unquiet Nights (20)
19. RAGGED TOWN – Second Player Score (22)
20. THIS LIFE – Vampire Weekend (23)
21. BLOW – Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars (25)
22. SOCIAL CUES – Cage the Elephant (27)
23. THE HYPE – twenty one pilots (29)
24. HELP ME STRANGER – The Raconteurs (18)
25. BROTHERS – Harroland (26)
26. HEAT OF THE SUMMER – Young the Giant (30)
27. BOOM – X Ambassadors (24)
28. ESCAPE – Ships Have Sailed (19) 21st week on chart
29. I’LL BE AROUND – Morning Fuzz (21)
30. GOOD THINGS FALL APART – ILLENIUM with Jon Bellion (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 4-10, 2019

1. BAD GUY – Billie Eilish (2)
2. I SEE YOU – MISSIO (1)
3. MISSED CONNECTION – The Head and the Heart (3)
4. DOIN’ TIME – Lana Del Rey (5)
5. ALLIGATOR – Of Monsters and Men (4)
6. ROOM TO BREATHE – Made of Eyes (7)
7. FALLING WITH STYLE – Heist At Five (8)
8. COMING UP FOR AIR – Mars Motel (9)
9. RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH THE DEVIL – Revolvers (10)
10. WHEN AM I GONNA LOSE YOU – Local Natives (11)
11. OLD MAN’S WAR – Roadkeeper (6)
12. STRANGE KIND – Blair Dollery (13)
13. UNDER THE COLD LIGHT OF THE MOON – Crystal Cities (15)
14. HERE WE GO – Ben Priory & Charlie Pereira (16)
15. 3 NIGHTS – Dominic Fike (17)
16. GO – The Black Keys (20)
17. CRINGE – Matt Maeson (18)
18. HELP ME STRANGER – The Raconteurs (19)
19. ESCAPE – Ships Have Sailed (12) 20th week on chart
20. FOUR WINDS – Unquiet Nights (22)
21. I’LL BE AROUND – Morning Fuzz (14)
22. RAGGED TOWN – Second Player Score (23)
23. THIS LIFE – Vampire Weekend (24)
24. BOOM – X Ambassadors (25)
25. BLOW – Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars (26)
26. BROTHERS – Harroland (27)
27. SOCIAL CUES – Cage the Elephant (28)
28. DARK PLACES – The Frontier (21) 22nd week on chart
29. THE HYPE – twenty one pilots (N)
30. HEAT OF THE SUMMER – Young the Giant (N)

Top 30 Songs for April 28-May 4, 2019

1. SIGUE CON EL AMOR – John Defeo (3)
2. CHLORINE – twenty one pilots (5)
3. TRAMPOLINE – SHAED (1)
4. READY TO LET GO – Cage the Elephant (2)
5. VOLCANO – Feather Weight (4)
6. LONGSHOT – Catfish and the Bottlemen (8)
7. DISAPPEAR – Western Jaguar (9)
8. BURY A FRIEND – Billie Eilish (14)
9. HARMONY HALL – Vampire Weekend (10)
10. FEAR THE FUTURE – IAMWARFACE (11)
11. DARK PLACES – The Frontier (13)
12. ASSUME FORM – James Blake (6)
13. POWER OVER ME – Dermot Kennedy (7)
14. TIME – Morosity (16)
15. ESCAPE – Ships Have Sailed (17)
16. HURT – Oliver Tree (18)
17. LOVE CRAZY – Karolina Rose (19)
18. LO/HI – The Black Keys (20)
19. STILL FEEL – half alive (23)
20. GENERATION Y – Guide Dog (24)
21. SUPERPOSITION – Young the Giant (12) 19th week on chart
22. BELOVED – Mumford and Sons (26)
23. SEVENTEEN – Sharon Van Etten (27)
24. EXITS – Foals (15)
25. PATIENCE – Tame Impala (28)
26. BAD LIAR – Imagine Dragons (N)
27. I’LL BE AROUND – Morning Fuzz (N)
28. MISSED CONNECTION – The Head and the Heart (N)
29. NOT WORTH IT – The Only Route (N)
30. OLD MAN’S WAR – Roadkeeper (N)

Top 30 Songs for April 21-27, 2019

1. TRAMPOLINE – SHAED (3)
2. READY TO LET GO – Cage the Elephant (1)
3. SIGUE CON EL AMOR – John Defeo (4)
4. VOLCANO – Feather Weight (5)
5. CHLORINE – twenty one pilots (7)
6. ASSUME FORM – James Blake (6)
7. POWER OVER ME – Dermot Kennedy (2)
8. LONGSHOT – Catfish and the Bottlemen (9)
9. DISAPPEAR – Western Jaguar (10)
10. HARMONY HALL – Vampire Weekend (12)
11. FEAR THE FUTURE – IAMWARFACE (15)
12. SUPERPOSITION – Young the Giant (8)
13. DARK PLACES – The Frontier (16)
14. BURY A FRIEND – Billie Eilish (17)
15. EXITS – Foals (11)
16. TIME – Morosity (19)
17. ESCAPE – Ships Have Sailed (20)
18. HURT – Oliver Tree (23)
19. LOVE CRAZY – Karolina Rose (21)
20. LO/HI – The Black Keys (22)
21. S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun) – The Glorious Sons (13)
22. HOME – morgxn featuring WALK THE MOON (14)
23. STILL FEEL – half alive (25)
24. GENERATION Y – Guide Dog (26)
25. MOVEMENT – Hozier (18)
26. BELOVED – Mumford & Sons (29)
27. SEVENTEEN – Sharon Van Etten (30)
28. PATIENCE – Tame Impala (N)
29. SECRET THAT LIES BEHIND – The Gear (27)
30. CHANGE – The Revivalists (24)