I once had an applicant describe Los Angeles as a “magical place” where one can do just about anything that meets their interest. With a plethora of entertainment options, USC students never fall short of something to do in the city of LA. One of my favorite things to do in Los Angeles is to go to concerts, so I will often highlight the eclectic music scene in LA in my USC presentations. I love being able to tell prospective students that if they have never had the opportunity to see some of their favorite performers live in concert, they will have that opportunity in Los Angeles. LA is almost always on a performer’s tour schedule and sometimes it’s the only stop!
USC has a number of concerts held on campus throughout the year. Early this year I had the opportunity to see Esperanza Spalding at Bovard Auditorium just days after she won the 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist. Last Tuesday, I saw Portishead at the Shrine Auditorium , which is located directly across the street from USC. The Shrine Auditorium historically was the home to the Academy Awards and still hosts a number of award shows, graduations, proms, musical performances, and other events.
Just three miles north of campus is the Nokia Theatre, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Staples Center. The Staples Center is where the NBA LA Lakers and Clippers, NHL Kings, and WNBA Sparks play. The Staples Center is also a large music venue for some of the biggest touring artists of the day. Last fall I saw Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd) perform “The Wall” at The Staples Center.
In Hollywood there are countless other historic venues such as The Wiltern, The Music Box, The Hollywood Palladium, and the grand daddy of them all the Hollywood Bowl . The Hollywood Bowl is a massive outdoor amphitheatre that holds nearly 18,000 people. I have personally seen John Mayer and Radiohead there. The Bowl also hosts a number of performances by the LA Philharmonic, musical sing-alongs, as well as an annual concert by film composer John Williams. Williams has composed some of Hollywood’s most memorable films, including Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Jaws, and Star Wars.
Ten miles north of campus is Griffith Park. Griffith Park is a very large municipal park and home to amazing hiking trails, the LA Zoo, Griffith Observatory, and my personal favorite, the Greek Theatre. The Greek Theatre is a rather intimate outdoor amphitheatre that is most active during the spring and summer months, but hosts concerts year round. I have had the pleasure of seeing Florence and the Machine, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lykke Li, and Adele at the Greek.
I am sure that I left out countless other musical venues in Los Angeles, but as I explained earlier, there is simply too much to cover about music in LA.