Gnarls Barkley @ The Avalon…

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Last night, Gnarls Barkley (MySpace), with opener Peeping Tom (MySpace), performed the second of two shows at The Avalon in Hollywood (see The LA Timesreview of Sunday’s show, which was published today).

With Gnarls’ costume theme being 1950s-era Grease, Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse sported black leather jackets and shades. Cee-Lo also wore a wavy black wig that he referred to as his “nappy hair,” which became a running gag as the show progressed because it kept coming out-of-place. He jokingly told the crowd that Gnarls couldn’t make it to the show, that his name was “Fun Travolta,” and that his band were going to play some Gnarls cover tunes. Here was their setlist, in which all of the songs from their debut album St. Elsewhere were performed except one (“Online”):

  1. “Go-Go Gadget Gospel”
  2. “Who Cares?”
  3. “The Boogie Monster”
  4. “Just A Thought”
  5. “St. Elsewhere”
  6. “Gone Daddy Gone”
  7. “The Last Time”
  8. “Feng Shui”
  9. “Necromancer”
  10. “Who Scared You” (covering a previously unreleased track by The Doors)
  11. “Smiley Faces”
  12. “Crazy”
  13. “Transformer” (encore)
  14. “Storm Coming” (encore)

More after the jump.

While Danger Mouse was silently working his magic behind his consoles, Cee-Lo was every bit his partner-in-crime as the charismatic and energetic frontman, flashing the devil horns, and taking time between every song to engage the crowd with his wit, sass, and sense of humor.

Before “St. Elsewhere,” Cee-Lo polled the crowd, asking how many of them were from the West Coast, and telling them to “Represent yo’ shit” by making some noise. And before “The Last Time,” he addressed the women with, “What’s up, ladies? So L.A.’s a party town, am I correct? Be liberated, be spontaneous, be impulsive, [and] feel free to whip those titties out.” Must be that Southern hospitality, as I could never get away with a line like that, at least without throwing down some Jacksons at a strip club.

And as the set progressed, the crowd was clamouring for “Crazy,” so Cee-Lo teased it with, “Well, I don’t know, what could we do next?” He then declared, “Okay, I’ve got an idea: Can I get a spotlight to the G-Strings,” asked the crowd to raise their hands and wave their “support fingers” towards the L.A.-based Sonus Quartet (MySpace) onstage, and let them play an extended introduction (not heard on the album) to the song that Jax @ Rockinsider referred to as “the new ‘Heya.'”

For Gnarls’ encore, before “Transformer,” Cee-Lo said, “Thank you for letting me be myself,” which considering his outfit and personality, was perfect for Hollywood. He then asked, “Give it up one time for the City of L.A.,” and dissatisfied with the results, joked, “I’m singing my fuckin’ ass off, make some noise!” And before the final song of the night, “Storm Coming,” he stated, “Let me run down the loneliest of my attributes: I can rap… I can sing… I can dance… I could be a model if I wanted to… And I can transform.”

Some other notes:

  • The majority of the audience was white, as echoed by another fan about Sunday’s show: “…they sure have tapped into one hell of a vanilla fan base.”
  • I was surprised at the number of Peeping Tom fans who didn’t stay for Gnarls after the Mike Patton-fronted band ended their set.
  • There was no merch table.
  • It was funny yet appropo watching puffs of smoke emerging from different areas of crowd in front of me during Gnarls’ set.

5 Replies to “Gnarls Barkley @ The Avalon…”

  1. I was surprised at the number of Peeping Tom fans who didn’t stay for Gnarls after the Mike Patton-fronted band ended their set.

    I think Gnarls is pretty rad, but this fact is far, far, far from surprising to me. Come on, Mike Patton has the kind of cult following that folks wouldn’t blink at buying a ticket even twice as expensive to just see the MP band and then go to Denny’s and hang out.

  2. “I was surprised at the number of Peeping Tom fans who didn’t stay for Gnarls after the Mike Patton-fronted band ended their set.”

    That’s because its MIKE PATTON! Anything that man does is genius :)

    Im very burnt out on Gnarls Barkley.

  3. Haven’t heard Peeping Tom, but I wasn’t a big fan of Faith No More. (To quote Anthrax: “All you new jacks, what is it?/You’re kidding me, get off our dicks”) Mr. Bungle rocks though.

    Doesn’t surprise me at all that people would go just to see MP. Between the two, I’d probably rather see MP as well. Although I’d rather see the Sonus Quartet than either MP or GB. :)

  4. Great review.

    I was at Sunday’s show, where he used all those same quips and comments. Not that that’s a bad thing, I’m just saying.

    And at Sunday’s show they were dressed like doctors and nurses.

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