This time we saw the Fiery Furnaces at El Rey Theater, my absolute favorite place to see music. As a hight-challenged American, actually being able to see and not just hear bands is
very exciting to me. El Rey only holds about 700 people, has a lovely wooden dance floor, and risers all the way around the room. What this means to me is that I can actually see most of the stage!
Oh joy! I mean, just look at this picture of Eleanor Friedberger, taken from where we were standing near the front. I could even see her shoes!
The theater is quite beautiful too. It is art deco through and through, lovingly restored, yet also
quite functional as a live music venue. It was designed in 1936 as a single screen movie house by Clifford A. Balch. It continued to show films for the next 50 years until it became a dance club called Wall Street in the 80s. Yeah, it really was called Wall Street. I know, that just sounds so damn 80s, doesn't it?
Finally, in 1994, it became the El Rey that I know and love today. We've been there many times, seeing the White Stripes, Aimee Mann, the Walkmen, and lots of others. This time we not only arrived in time to see the opening acts, we actually liked them! Dent May went first, with his "magnificent ukulele", followed by Cryptacize, a band I had never heard of before which turned out to sing fabulously idiosyncratic yet endearing melodies. Of course the Fiery Furnaces did a fantastic job. Go see them if you get the chance!