Free shows in Los Angeles are a double-edged sword. From a financial standpoint, it's absolutely lovely that on almost any given night in Los Angeles, you can usually find a place to see free live music that's actually good. Nothing to complain about there. However, anyone who showed up after 9:00 to see Editors' free show at Spaceland last month, only to encounter a line 200 people deep - none of whom would actually get into the club - will understand my conundrum. Without a ticket, you never know whether to show up at 6pm and risk sitting around for 3 hours chatting with the guy selling t-shirts in an empty bar, or to arrive at a more reasonable hour and possibly be denied entry because every hipster with a Myspace account managed to get there earlier.
So I, hoping to avoid another Editors' debacle, arrived to last night's free show at the Troubadour at 7:30, only to see Black Wire - a band with arguably enough buzz as Editors and even a touted connection to Kroq staple The Kaiser Chiefs - play to a half-empty LA crowd with nary a hipster among the lot.
I DID see the Editors the night after their Spaceland show. And to be honest, Black Wire was better.