GUM aka Watson LA Solo Show Review

Monday September 12th, 2016 Tame Impala’s Jay Watson did a solo show at The Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, California.

To set the scene, arriving early had me standing in a line mixed with overly exemplified hipster trying to impress girls that were trying equally hard to impress them. In the background, the sounds of Evangelical music could be heard in the distance and the night was cold for LA. The crowd, though quirky, were overwhelmingly friendly when spoken too. I was instantly pleased how the crowd effortlessly mixes 1950s style with classic punk rock gear.

As you enter The Bootleg Theater, you notice immediately the inmate nature of the venue. With one bar featuring a selection of airplane bottle liquors and canned beer. It has the perfect beginnings to an incredibly low budget yet fantastic musical experience. As you make your way into the dimly lit main stage, you see a collection of seated chairs christening this venue as an actual theater and not one solely devoted to musical performances.

The opener for the show, Shiny Joe Ryan, has an indeterminable accent that almost immediately drops the moment he starts to sing. With a collection of hilarious and witty song lyrics, jokes, and anecdotes, Ryan is the perfect opener to gain the attention of the crowd.


One of Ryan’s most kicks off his set with the line:

Fellas, I’m going to fuck your girlfriends // Ladies I’m going to fuck your boyfriends

This is met with an uproar of laughter and cheers from the crowd and harkens to an aptly named song, Fuck The Milky Way Fuck Heartache I’m Gonna Fuck Your Girlfriend by Slug Christ. Ryan was a massive success and his talent and wit only leaves more for the audience to desire.


Unfortunately, the rest of the show did not carry on as strongly as the opening act. Though a strong performer, Watson’s showcase features mostly pre-recorded music of which he plays on top of. It would be a delight to see him showcase his wide array of musical talent. The show itself became entertaining without being moving, but was saved by the warmth and enjoyment of the crowd.

Photos taken by myself and by Eugena Neumann whose work you can see here.

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