Station To Station @ Union Station, LA 9/26/13
Artist Doug Aitken’s Station to Station project is a train-traveling art show, featuring art installations, music, film, and Levi’s, who helped sponsor the event. Thursday night marked its second-to-last stop at Los Angeles’ historic Union Station.
Patrons were introduced to the artist installations, featuring work by artists Liz Glynn, Ernesto Neto, and Urs Fischer. Folks were invited to enter each space and interact with the piece to however they see fit, which made it a different experience for those who were there for the music aspect. The crowd mainly consisted of major Los Angeles art figures (museum directors, gallery owners, artists) and casual music fans, which seemed like an awkward mix; you either knew EVERYBODY, or you didn’t.
The music portion began with a happening as whip-cracker Chris Camp led the percussionists from Sun Araw and the Congos from Track 13 through the entire station. No Age played a different set than most fans are used to, playing outside in the courtyard with a short 20-minute set consisting of instrumental tunes. Rather than a direct, noise-rock set, the duo played ambient songs with more guitar drones, light percussion hits, and longer build-ups, in front of their hometown crowd. The abstractness and distance reflected what the event was all about: communal, free-form, and subjectivity.
The collaboration between Sun Araw and the Congos played indoors on a traditional stage. Again, the theme of community is brought up through the collaborations of two different artists coming together to play reggae, a genre rooted in deep culture and history.
Sun Araw and the Congos
Dan Deacon’s set was along the lines of the familiar, except playing without his two percussionists and playing on the floor in the audience. Deacon is the epitome of artist-audience interaction. In a preacher-like manner he choreographed the crowd to dance, using the entire space. During “Crystal Cat,” he had people form a long tunnel-line where others can dance through, reminding everyone to not feel insecure and be expressive with your neighbor.
Hometown hero Beck capped off the night having only a percussionist and a full choir. Opener “Golden Age” and “Lonesome Tears” were intimate, yet transcendent because of the heavenly background melodies, while “Where It’s At” was the crowd-pleaser to send everyone home with a smile.
Station to Station was a different experience that emphasized the idea of community, connecting different ideas and media through the rails that it runs on.
Check out more awesome photos from the one-of-a-kind event HERE!