The L.A. story's a bit more detailed/involved, so this may be longer.
Early to L.A.
So the wife, mom-in-law, and I make the long trek down to L.A., get some lunch, pick up a rental car (so they can go shopping separately), and I go straight to Sunset Blvd, and Amoeba again. If I ever get more time, I'm going to hit up other records stores, but I had to go for what I know, y'know? After I get a few choice items, I drive down the Strip, past all the comedy clubs and strip clubs and such, get a Subway sammich and some chips, and get to the Roxy. Again, I'm like ~2 hours early. A young guy is already there, looking really bummed out, and we start talking, and he basically went to Loyola (like Thes) and saw PUTS do some LACMA stuff a year or two back, and he really likes the group, but he learned to late about the show, and he gets even more disappointed when I tell him that I think it's sold out. (I'll be back to this cat in a minute...) Meanwhile, Roxy staff start changing the marquee.
Just like SF, I see Thes and Double drive up. This time, though, through the dashboard, I see Thes' face go a little sour and see him say "F***!", and I'm trying to figure out what happened. I find out later that it was the marquee change... Basically, a rep for Villain Park (who acted independently of VP and pretty much everyone... probably thinking he was helping the group out) almost had Roxy staff believing that VP were direct support to PUTS, not Casual, so they were about to change it on the showfront marquee. Thes talked to the Roxy people, and by showtime, Cas's name was back up where it was supposed to be. As an aside: I'm not trying to give anyone a bad impression or rat people out; just showing you how crazy show biz is (too many cooks really can spoil the broth, yo!)
Back to the sad cat in front of the Roxy: when I get inside the venue, Thes actually gives me an all-access wristband, and I strike up a conversation with a Roxy guy, who tells me that the wristband actually frees up my ticket, so I can give it to the guy out front if I want... and I did. Totally made the guy's day. Glad to see people stoked for the PUTS, right? Not sure if the cat got vinyl, but at least he saw the show.
Again, I help Thes get the records behind the merch area comfortably, grab #10/500 and stow it in my car, and see what else I can do to help. In the meantime, Double K's older brother shows up really early (this is the one that Double talks about in "Stay Home": "locked me up inside his room, fourteen years later, I'm straight!"), and Mike tells me that this is the first PUTS show he's ever come to. CRAZY. In fact, a large portion of Double's family came out that night: his mom and his sister were there too (and obviously, the brother that's in Villain Park). Also, Thes mentions that his Uncle Jailer (spelling?) is coming (this is the one mentioned in "Rattlesnake" on American Men).
R2, VP, and Cas all roll in eventually, and everyone does their soundchecking. I do little bits here and there to help people out, then I head up to the green room again. When I get in there, Double K is showing his bro Smokey V (the one in VP) and one of the other VP guys a picture on the wall of Bob Marley, who is standing in the exact same room we're all in with a HUGE sack of weed. The VP guys are completely stoked now to be playing the show (feels better when you see you're playing the same venue as a legend), and they are all amped as h*ll.
Meanwhile, Roxy staff bring in an ice tub with Imperial beer, which Thes says is a Costa Rican beer that tastes like "leftover bath water", so I hold off... (he offered me one of his private stash of Magic Hat brews later, so I'm glad I waited, haha). Between all the opening acts, a lot still gets drunk anyway. After that, we're just sitting around, hanging out and laughing and chatting again until the doors open and the place packs in. I think this show was a little more personal for PUTS, partly because the family was in the audience and partly because it's L.A. SF brought the love (I've never heard a crowd sing louder than SF did for SF Knights), but you could tell that in L.A. Chris and Mike are just home and comfortable getting wild.
I have to admit, I missed a lot of R2 set this time because I was helping out in the green room, but I caught a little bit (I brought some water to the girl working the merch table), and they rocked it just as hard as SF. Villain Park went OFF, and they had a lot of energy. The L.A. crowd was a little more reserved, but the people who were feeling it were really giving the groups love. The place filled in way faster than SF though, and the records went A LOT quicker. I brought the merchbooth girl some water at one point, and I saw her hand out the very last vinyl. I could see the other people in line were disappointed, which sucked... the merch booth had some "consolation prizes" for people who missed out: OM repressings of Youth Explosion and The Cat, Stepfather CDs/DVDs, the El Rey DVD, and some 12SP CDs.
I caught a lot of Casual's set this time. Still feel the same way: lots of energy, good rhyming and things, but I wasn't a fan of the beats. I was out there because Thes had given me some golden, after-party wristbands to hand out to some of the more fervent PUTS supporters that I knew about in the crowd (again, I like to make people happy). I ran into funksquad again (he'd seen both shows too), and I also saw two more people I'd met on Instagram, jdankworth and shaine_d (also both stand-up homies). Also saw a couple I'd met at the 1 Up Til Sun Up video shoot.
The Roxy was just purchased by AEG, a large venue owner, and the staff who work AEG concerts are REALLY strict. They kept the weed smoke to a minimum, they forcibly moved people away from through-fare aisles, and they kept all the sets to a strict time schedule. Kinda sucked, because I like having to get through a crowd, and I like it when shows run overtime, but... I guess it was orderly...
PUTS live, on-stage
So the curtains go down around the stage, and I help PUTS prepare, then Thes turns to me, and says "You wanna kick this set off?"... I'm silent for a minute, sorta stunned, and then I'm like... "Uh, yeah! What do you need?!" Basically, they wanted to bring the house lights down, open the curtain, and then come onto the stage after the Roundabouts intro. So I just had to start the Roundabouts trigger pad and then walk off the stage in the semi-darkness. Nothing major, but it was cool to be standing there and catching sight of all the people cheering like crazy just as the curtain came up.
During the show, PUTS had WILD energy, and me and the Villain Park cats were in this side doorway the whole show going crazy. Thes was jumping off the turntable riser a bit, and they were both right down next to the crowd the whole time. In both SF and LA, Thes played the beat pads off someone head, but in L.A., the guy who Thes was doing it on (I actually know the guy a bit from Instagram) was acting right along with him, it was great. Here are some pics I took, though:
I can't really think of any horribly negative things that happened... There was a minor argument in the crowd that Double and Thes had to break up at one point (it got settled quickly, and Thes played it off with some humor). There was also this other oddball dude next to us that kept texting during the songs and then yelling "Take off your shirt!!" at Thes in between every song, and it was funny at first, but he got a little annoying. The cats from Villain Park looked like they wanted to kick his *ss.
VP and R2 joined PUTS on the stage for SF Knights as the closer (again, because they were being strict about time, PUTS couldn't even do an encore), and the place went NUTS. All in all, in was an amazing show.
So, after the set, a lot of people hung around for autographs, and Double and Thes had a lot of family to visit, so I just made sure that the stage and merch areas were cleaned up a bit and hung out with the people from VP and R2 that weren't occupied with the crowd. Afterward, I headed up to the afterparty, and honestly, it was really quiet and tame. I could tell that it was really a family affair for Thes and Double, and I didn't want to be a pest, so I actually bowed out early. I'd had a good time, and I still had an hour drive to the hotel in Costa Mesa.
One last funny point, and then I'm bowing out: some of the fans from Instagram actually knew who I was, so one or two of them took a picture with me (woah.), and as I'm leaving the afterparty, one of them says to me: "P Money!! Dude, I just saw Ron Jeremy in the Rainbow Room next door!! He's coming out!" (If you don't know who Ron Jeremy is, go look it up right now.... hahahahahahaha). So as the valet brings up my car, and I'm driving off, I totally see Ron out the window of my car, walking around outside the venue. Wonder if he caught any of the PUTS show.