Pleasant, to bland, to boring, to annoying, to horrible, to surreal, to oh-my-God-is-this-really-happening? Oh, what a night.
Los Angeles' current music scene was represented in a truly horrid way, starting with opening act Blondfire. Attempting some sort of fusion of early-'90s pop shoegaze and the early '90s "Madchester" sound (a short-lived Manchester, England-based phenomenon of indie-rock bands using rave beats), this quartet succeeded in a fusion of reunion-era Eagles and Fleetwood Mac—soft-rock groups who represented the self-absorbed and self-congratulatory vibe of certain L.A. bands. Blondfire was rock Muzak: a forgettable, inoffensive, cheery, grocery-shopping soundtrack that unfortunately was played by an actual in-the-flesh band. If they were trying to expand the boundaries of rock music with their electronic loops and such, they failed, badly. Sincerity, excitement, originality and energy are hallmarks of the genre, but Blondfire sailed by on clichéd, unimaginative lyrics ("Hide and seek," repeated ad nauseam, was the refrain of one song) and insipid, yawn-inducing music. Hey, at least they had rad thrift-store instruments.
Which is much, much more than can be said about Pacific Air. Two singing brothers and three other nonentities, Pacific Air describe themselves musically as "sounding like (their) name."
OK, deep breath: Pacific Air, what are you doing? Why did you hop onstage and promise great times when your music sounds as if it's played on Fisher-Price toys? Did your keyboardist strategically play one-handed parts so he could fix his Flock of Seagulls hair every five seconds? Did his guitar-playing brother have the same idea? Why, after every song, did you declare the next song to be "way more up-tempo" when it was exactly the same speed? Why did your music strongly resemble the music a fictitious band would play in a bad '80s sitcom? Why did you let your guitarist make stupid jokes about playing death-metal Blondfire covers? Why did you have a cringe-worthy whistling chorus in your song "Float"? Why was every other song the same as the last, minus the whistling? Why did you have some guy in a HOT DOG SUIT dance around onstage for your set-closing farce? And will you please never come to Tucson again?