Everyone has a favorite music album that will always hold a special place in his or her heart. Just think back to that first time you heard yours. No, seriously. Think about the first time you heard that album. I will wait…
It was all new. Even if it was a band you were familiar with, there was something different that really struck a chord with you. Don’t you wish that you could reclaim that experience - even just once?
My personal favorite album happens to be Green Day’s American Idiot, and, recently, I was able to re-experience it in a whole new way. For those of you who are unaware of the album, it is a rock opera that tells the story of Jesus of Suburbia as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery.
When you pass by Largo on La Cienega just south of Melrose, it doesn’t look like much. A small, nondescript building on the corner of Oakwood, it definitely draws your attention less so than Trashy Lingerie, which is right across the street with all its lace and feathers, masks and garters, leather whips and long black boots, quietly defying you on the other side of those big glass windows [editor’s note: um . . . creepy]. But, right across the street without a hint of fetishistic appeal is an unassuming brick building that contains the Coronet Theatre and several other rooms that make up Largo. The entrance is a big iron gate under a brick archway and, once inside, you find yourself in a small, open-air, brick-paved courtyard with a few tables and chairs at the periphery. Off this courtyard there are at least two different bars and a large 750-seat theatre. I spent the hour before the show having a couple pints of Guinness in The Little Room Bar, which was set up like a small cabaret. The seats and tables were tightly packed and faced a tiny stage in the corner with a standing mic. The lights were dim and, though there wasn’t actually a sultry, velvet-clad songstress wearing pearls accompanied by an upright bassist in sunglasses and suit, the space simply begged for it. At fifteen minutes to show time, I finished my beer and set out across the courtyard to the theatre. On the way there, I encountered Ben Acker, a writer and half of the duo responsible for The Thrilling Adventure Hour. Upon telling him how much I was looking forward to the show, his response was promptly, “Well, let me build it for you even more then. Take however-good-you-think-it’s-going-to-be and double it. Then multiply that by 50. That’s how good this show is.” At last, with stratospheric expectations and a smile on my face, I went into the auditorium and waited for the lights to dim.