Last night was the Los Angeles debut of the unlikely supergroup Tinted Windows, featuring Smashing Pumpkins' James Iha, Cheap Trick's Bun E. Carlos, Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger and Hanson's Taylor Hanson. Tickets to the show at the Troubadour, Hollywood's best sounding venue, sold out quickly -- fortunately I got my $30 in early (what, you think I get on the guest list for these things?!)
First up was opening band The Broken West. The Los Angeles sextet played a competent but largely unmemorable indie-pop/Americana set to polite reception from fans awaiting and eye and earful of Taylor Hanson.
That, they got. Tinted Windows came out looking like four dudes who ordinarily wouldn't be hanging out with each other (actually, five if you count the non-member second guitarist) and played a loud, driving set for the sold-out crowd of 80% Hanson fans and 20% rock nerds.
Being a new band with one album forced to fill a headline spot, they played every song on the album, one song that didn't make the final sequence (a great tune called "The Dirt") and "I Don't Know What I Want to Do With My Life" by the Buzzcocks. The most shocking moment came early in the set when Taylor Hanson broke out of G-rated mode and said "James Fu**in Iha on guitar." It's rare to find shock in a swear word these days, but from a Hanson it still packs a punch.
Highlights included Adam Schlesinger showing the 2nd guitarar player how to play "The Dirt" as they were playing it, Bun E. Carlos hitting hard and not missing a note at 57 years old, the album's best song, "Dead Serious", and the insanely catchy single "King of a Girl", which you can watch above. Lowlights include the fact that they have really lame T-shirts.
The best supergroup since the Traveling Wilburys? They're certainly the best one I've seen.