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Concert preview: Past tracks, new hits come calling for fall performances

(Alston Kao/Daily Bruin)

By Leydi Cris Cobo Cordon, Natalie Agnew, Puja Anand, Nicolas Greamo, Victoria Munck, and Maya Parra

Oct. 10, 2023 6:06 p.m.

This post was updated Oct. 12 at 8:56 p.m.

This spooky season, past sonatas lurk behind the concert stage.

With a cloud of dust and doom, this autumn’s melodies are here to chill one’s bones. From anniversary tours to orchestrations of classics, there’s bound to be a concert to serenade every skeleton this fall.

Read on for the Daily Bruin’s picks to survive the haunt.

[Related: Theater preview: This season’s upcoming stage performances are sure to steal the show]

The Death Cab for Cutie bandmates gather together. Joined by the members of The Postal Service, the two bands will celebrate the 20th anniversaries of their respective debut albums on Oct. 13. (Courtesy of Jimmy Fontaine)
The Death Cab for Cutie bandmates gather together. Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service will celebrate the 20th anniversaries of their respective debut albums at the Hollywood Bowl starting Friday. (Courtesy of Jimmy Fontaine)

“Give Up & Transatlanticism 20th Anniversary Tour” (The Postal Service & Death Cab for Cutie)

It’s 2003 again, and indie frontman Ben Gibbard is ascending to “Such Great Heights.”

20 years ago, lightning struck twice when Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service – bands both led by Gibbad – ignited to release blistering breakout projects. To celebrate the albums’ 20th anniversaries, the co-headliners are performing “Transatlanticism” and “Give Up” in full. This nostalgic waltz, which is around two hours, arrives at the Hollywood Bowl for three nights beginning Friday, with tickets starting at around $74.

Distorted guitars will explosively harmonize with drum beats as “The New Year” marks the start of Death Cab for Cutie’s set, chronologically traversing the tracklist of “Transatlanticism.” Trading signature all-black attire for white, Gibbard will retake the stage alongside Jimmy Tamborello and Jenny Lewis to play “Give Up,” The Postal Service’s sole album, for the first time on tour since 2013. Beyond the dual headliners, concertgoers can discover contemporary favorites from openers including The Beths, Built to Spill and Iron & Wine, each performing on different nights.

Hop in the “Passenger Seat” with these indie icons and ride the riffs of reminiscing under the Hollywood Hills.

– Natalie Agnew

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located in Downtown Los Angeles. Home to the LA Phil, the music venue will host a screening of "The Phantom of the Opera" with live orchestration this Halloween. (Courtesy of LA Phil)
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located in Downtown Los Angeles. Home to the LA Philharmonic, the music venue will host a screening of “The Phantom of the Opera” with live orchestration this Halloween. (Courtesy of LA Phil)

“Halloween Organ, Film & Music: The Phantom of the Opera” (Los Angeles Philharmonic)

From the Paris Opera House to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lon Chaney’s masked phantasm has come to haunt concertgoers.

This Halloween night, the concert hall will host a special screening of the famous 1925 silent film adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s novel, with a soundtrack performed by pipe organist Clark Wilson. One of the horror masterpieces of the silent film era, “The Phantom of The Opera” follows Chaney’s Phantom, a mysterious masked figure lurking in the depths of the opera house. His obsession with a rising singer, Christine Daaé (Mary Philbin), leads him on a murderous rampage, during which he terrorizes the opera and the city of Paris.

The live organ accompaniment for the landmark film may give modern audiences some insight into the mindset of theatergoers during the 1920s. When the film was originally released, audiences were so shocked by the film’s infamous unmasking scene that many allegedly fainted in theaters across the country. For fans of more recent adaptations of Leroux’s work, including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 stage musical, the sinister and dramatic tones of the live organ performance will provide a distinct melodic interpretation of the classic story.

Regardless, “The Phantom of the Opera” will break through its original silence and make sure audiences know the “Angel of Music” they’re hearing isn’t just inside their mind.

– Nicolas Greamo

Declan McKenna poses stoically by an oversized window. The "Zeroes" musician will perform at The Novo on Nov. 3. (Courtesy of Declan McKenna)
Declan McKenna poses stoically by an oversized window. The “Zeros” musician will perform at The Novo on Nov. 3. (Courtesy of Declan McKenna)

“The Big Return” (Declan McKenna)

Declan McKenna is back and bigger than ever.

On Nov. 3, the English indie-rock musician will grace the stage of The Novo, marking the penultimate stop on “The Big Return” tour. Featuring an opening act from Allie Crow Buckley, the show celebrates McKenna’s re-entry to the music scene following the 2020 release of his sophomore album, “Zeros.” The project, which earned the No. 2 spot on the official United Kingdom album charts, received praise for its bold lyricism and immersive astronomy theme. Open to all ages, the concert has tickets ranging from around $30 to $217.

“The Big Return” setlist spans McKenna’s entire discography, featuring hits such as his soft, melodious debut single “Brazil” and the impassioned, anti-war anthem “British Bombs.” The concert also presents releases from his upcoming album, “What Happened to the Beach?” slated to release Feb. 9 and will introduce attendees to his boisterous new sound. Paired with vibrant, multi-colored lights and McKenna’s resplendent stage attire, the tour guarantees a spirited night for new and longtime fans alike.

With a fresh, dynamic return from McKenna, Los Angeles audiences will certainly not be feeling down this November.

– Victoria Munck

[Related: Q&A: Declan McKenna discusses confidence, ’70s influence in sophomore album ‘Zeros’]

grentperez balances on a chess table outdoors. The final night of the North American leg of the "Cherry Wine" singer&squot;s headling tour will take place at The Fonda Theater. (Courtesy of Theo Batterham)
grentperez balances on a chess table outdoors. The final night of the North American leg of the “Cherry Wine” singer’s headling tour will take place at The Fonda Theater. (Courtesy of Theo Batterham)

“growing up? tour 2023” (grentperez)

A certain “Op Shop Lover” will return to LA this November.

After setting out on tour in October, grentperez will conclude the North American leg of his 2023 “growing up?” tour Nov. 16 and 18 at The Fonda Theater. These two performances will be the Australian-Filipino artist’s third concert appearance in LA this year, following Cavetown’s “Bittersweet Daze” tour and Head in the Clouds 2023. Though the two performances are sold out on his website, platforms such as AXS and Vivid Seats still have tickets available starting at around $22.

With “growing up?” being grentperez’s first headlining tour of the year, fans can anticipate a more intimate performance compared to his previous LA shows. For this concert, audiences can expect to hear his most popular hits, including “Cherry Wine,” along with his most recent single “Op Shop Lover,” a feel-good song about thrift shopping with a romantic partner. Songs from his fourth EP “When We Were Younger,” which features a combination of upbeat love songs and soulful ballads of heartbreak, are also expected on the setlist.

“When The Day Is Done,” grentperez’s performance can help Bruins unwind after a busy week.

– Maya Parra

Derek Hough (above) leaps over dancers during the "Symphony of Dance." The blend of live music and varying dance styles will arrive in Los Angeles on Dec. 29. (Courtesy of Derek Hough)
Derek Hough (above) leaps over dancers during the “Symphony of Dance.” The blend of live music and varying dance styles will arrive in LA on Dec. 29. (Courtesy of Derek Hough)

“Symphony of Dance” (Derek Hough)

Derek Hough is creating his own symphony in LA this fall.

After four years, the “Dancing with the Stars” legend is taking the national stage by storm, finding his way to LA’s YouTube Theater on Dec. 29. A three-time Emmy Award-winner, Hough boasts the most nominations for male choreography in the Television Academy world and has also appeared in critically acclaimed stage productions such as “Footloose” and “Hairspray Live!” The tickets range from $20 to $799 for the Supreme package.

“Symphony of Dance” is a celebration of the diversity in art through a live band that soundtracks ballroom, contemporary and Latin dances among other styles. On “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” Hough explained the inspiration behind his show, stating that he believes the human body is itself an instrument. The fusion is an onslaught on the senses; audiences can expect versatile dance styles, theatrical illusions, glamorous costumes and Broadway-like sweeping music.

Channel your inner instrument as you sway with Hough this December.

– Puja Anand

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Leydi Cris Cobo Cordon
Cobo Cordon is the 2023-2024 music | fine arts editor. She was previously an Arts reporter. She is also a second-year student from northern Virginia.
Cobo Cordon is the 2023-2024 music | fine arts editor. She was previously an Arts reporter. She is also a second-year student from northern Virginia.
Nicolas Greamo | Assistant Opinion editor
Nicolas Greamo is a 2023-2024 assistant Opinion editor. He was previously a 2022-2023 assistant Opinion editor and a Photo contributor. He is also a third-year history student from Washington, D.C.
Nicolas Greamo is a 2023-2024 assistant Opinion editor. He was previously a 2022-2023 assistant Opinion editor and a Photo contributor. He is also a third-year history student from Washington, D.C.
Victoria Munck | Theater | film | television editor
Munck is the 2023-2024 theater | film | television editor. She was previously an Arts contributor from 2022-2023. She is a second-year communication student from Granada Hills, California.
Munck is the 2023-2024 theater | film | television editor. She was previously an Arts contributor from 2022-2023. She is a second-year communication student from Granada Hills, California.
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