Artists in Aid Benefit with DELTA SPIRIT, AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT, AND RED CORTEZ members#DTLA
December 19, 2009
Last night, I attended an Artists in Aid Benefit at Edgar Varela Fine Arts & Cultural Events.
It was in the neighborhood, and I knew it would be a cool event. The suggested Benefit donations was $10 and any non-perishable goods you had for a homeless shelter. There was an open bar, featuring organic wines provided by Magnanimus Wines and Frey Wines, and live music featuring VERY SPECIAL live guests. On top of everything, it was in a very cool space with interesting (very dirty) art.
I missed the first few bands. When I got there, Red Cortez was playing. I really liked their sound. The band was composed of a bunch of instruments–including a xylophone and accordion.
Just before Mikel Jollet, the lead singer of The Airborne Toxic Event started singing, another special guest was announced. I was so ecstatic to find out Matt Vasquez, the lead singer of one of my favorite new bands, Delta Sprit, was going to play a few songs. If you have not heard of Delta Spirit, you MUST check them out. I love their Americana/Soul sound. You might have heard their singles; “Trashcan” or “People C’mon”.
“The band released their debut EP, I Think I’ve Found It, on Monarchy Music in 2006, after which they toured alongside Cold War Kids, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Dr. Dog. The band decided to self-produce and record their debut full length album, Ode to Sunshine, in a cabin in the San Diego mountains.” *
Matt Vasquez was without the rest of his band at the benefit, but his soulful voice filled the stage. He’s so very talented.
Mikel took the stage right after Matt. It was the first time I’d ever seen him live. The second I heard The Airborne Toxic Event, I was in love with the music. A little more info on the band:
The Airborne Toxic Event played its first show in Echo Park in the fall of 2006, less than a month after it was fully formed. Since then, the band has performed extensively in L.A. and become well-known throughout the greater Los Angeles area. In December 2006, Rolling Stone named them one of the “Top 25 Bands on MySpace.” They went on to receive positive responses from music blogs and press, notably L.A. Weekly and Los Angeles Times, which named the group one of the top three L.A. bands to watch in 2008. Previous bands to receive this distinction include Cold War Kids and Silversun Pickups….
On March 10, 2009 U2 played some of their favorite songs on a radio program hosted by Shirley Manson of Garbage. Bass player Adam Clayton chose “Sometime Around Midnight” as his choice, commenting that he felt he would be listening to their album the rest of the year.”*
When Mikel took the stage, he had the audience switch places with him. Suddenly, we were in the light, and he was in the dark. We huddled around him, as he sang about five of his own songs. Mikel’s lyrics are moving, funny, and beautiful. He is extremely charismatic, and he plays the guitar so effortlessly. His interaction with the crowd was perfect. I love that he can be serious and funny at the same time….and man, that voice. He was a perfect way to end the benefit.
After the concert, I had the opportunity to listen to Delta Spirit’s new album (it doesn’t come out until til May). Matt invited a few of us to listen to the new songs in his car. What an experience?! The new album rocks!! It’s so good. You heard it here first.
See more photos from the event below: