It was an emotional night at 1650 N. Schrader in Hollywood as LA’s gothic community came to bid farewell to Human Drama, a band that’s been part of our scene so long they’ve become an institution. Fellow locals Faith and the Muse opened, and that was an event in and of itself; this was to be the band’s only southern California appearance of the year, so they made sure not to disappoint, playing for over an hour and including such rare old favorites as “Mercyground” in the set alongside newer material like “Relic Song.”
The crowd was really there to show support to Human Drama’s Johnny Indovina, though; after twenty-five years, he’s decided to call it quits. Playing for over two hours, the band took us through a complete career retrospective, starting with material from their hopelessly out-of-print major-label releases and working their way through the half-dozen albums released on Triple X and Projekt. It was an exhaustive history of Indovina’s work, and an exhausting one, too, by the look of it; by the halfway point, the entire band was looking a bit bedraggled and Johnny’s mascara had started to run. The mood was more exhilaration and gratitude than bitterness, though, and the fans gave back as much as they took, cheering relentlessly as they recognized the opening chords of “Death of an Angel” or “Fading Away.” Instead of an encore, Johnny surprised the crowd by bringing out the drummer of his original band, the Models, to play the first song he’d ever recorded – a cover of “These Boots Are Made for Walking” – before closing with another cover, this time of the Beatles’ “Let It Be.” This, he told the crowd, was the last Human Drama song that will ever be recorded, and everyone in the audience would receive a copy of the single as a special souvenir of the evening. Los Angeles is going to miss Human Drama for sure, but if that’s how it has to be, it’s harder to imagine them leaving on a higher note.
Visit www.mercyground.com and www.humandrama.net for more information on the bands.
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