VIZA & The Dirty Diamond
On top of that, they had The Dirty Diamond opening for them, and I have had a chance to see them before and they are awesome.
The Dirty Diamond
This is a side project of VIZA’s phenomenal lead guitarist, Orbel Babayan. What I love about this band is that they play a wide variety of music, from old blues to modern punk, to danceable jams to loud rambling metal. And, in every genre they play, their sound is led by one of the premier rock and roll guitarists today, Orbel Babayan. He is so versatile, so talented and so fun to watch. He shaved his beard, which was a drag, but the new mustachioed look is pretty cool. The rest of the band is talented and great to listen to, but I went to hear Orbel and it was worth the drive.
Viza’s new album, ARIA, drops this week, and they played five of their new songs. Wow, are we in for a treat. VIZA is probably the most unique band in Southern California if not the US. Their intricate mix of sounds, from Armenian Oud players to the fantastic singing of Knoup Tomopoulos, this band is something you simply do not want to miss. Their albums are thematic and I cannot tell you which of the three I like best. They are all just a whole lot of fun.
They started with a couple of new songs. The first song of the night was also the first off the new album, Never Feel, which was amazing. They then played Midnight Hour before moving on to a couple of old classics, such as Magic Ladder and Trans-Siberian Standoff, probably their best known song. It is an epic tune, which is made ever better by a mind-blowing guitar solo by Orbel. Tonight, K’noup was at his very best of the five times I have seen VIZA. He was supported in his entertainment endeavor by copious amounts of PATRON, which seems to be his favorite on-stage beverage. For VIZA fans the good news is that the new album includes part 3 in the Viktor saga, Viktor’s Vanguard, another dynamic tune.
In the middle of the show they played what I think was the song Quicksand. The crowd created a giant Greek Dancing circle and enjoyed the international vibe of the music. Throughout the night VIZA kept the crowd dancing, headbanging and singing. This is the amazing aspect of this band that sets it apart from all other bands I have experienced; they bring multicultural Los Angeles to a new level.
I also gave up playing basketball to go to the show, but the liveliness of VIZA meant I actually got more exercise, and was even more deeply covered in sweat. This of course was greatly appreciated by my concert partner for the night, Eugenie, also known as Zoe’s mom. It was a date night for us, and a homework night for Zoe, and I think we definitely got the better end of the deal.
Another part of the night I was happy about was that I found the perfect place to park for the Troubadour, which is the West Hollywood library, which also had a Blink Charger for my Volt, which I love driving.
All in all, this was an incredible night. The only complaint I could ever make about VIZA is that their sets are just too short. 50 minutes is all they played, which is a drag since there are 2 and a half hours of driving involved to see them. C’mon K’noup, play three or four more songs. The crowd did force them to play an encore by yelling “Ten More Songs” incessantly. But we only got one, and not an original at that. VIZA has so much good music I would just love to see a full 90-minute set from them. I know I would never tire.
Dan Adler was raised in Southern California to a mom and dad, one of whom appreciated Creedence and left wing anti-war politics. By the teenage years, Dan became obsessed with Black Sabbath, listening to the same seven albums repeatedly for 5 years. During this time, his favorite concert experience was seeing Metallica open for a bunch of bands that no longer exist and winning the 1st ever Santa Cruz Air Guitar contest. After several years in Africa listening and dancing to Chimurenga music, Dan returned to have the two best children in the world, one of whom spends a lot of time at concerts with him. What a lucky dad!