Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Live review: The Weeknd brings sex music for party people to Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Courtesy of Howie Chan

The Weeknd perform at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Cinco de Mayo.

Courtesy of Howie Chan

Drake appeared at the Weeknd concert at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Cinco de Mayo.

“Hey, man. Do you like the Weeknd?”

It seemed like the most rhetorical question imaginable, considering I’d been among the few hundred people lined up early at the gate of the Hollywood Forever waiting to get into the hottest show of the L.A. 2012 spring concert season.

The guy asking the question was in his early twenties at best, clutching a half-empty case of beer and visibly drunk. With an equally inebriated friend in tow, they’d just crashed to the front of the mob when the gate opened. He looked at me in earnest, waiting for my reply. When I just nodded, he smiled broadly.

“Then let’s go!” He yelled as he joined a clutch of people making their way through the gate and sprinting towards the stage on the other side of the cemetery. An exasperated security guard was left yelling at the people flying past her to please stop running in a cemetery already.


Val Kilmer as Mark Twain — real genius?

val kilmer mark twain

Photo by Lisa Brenner

A limited run of Val Kilmer's one-man-play, "Citizen Twain," comes to an end Wednesday, leaving audiences to wonder a while about hair glue, racial slurs, mouth sounds and the curiosity of Churchillian drift.

Kilmer's Masonic Lodge series at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery was designed for feedback, and a post-show Q & A included a viewing of the actor becoming unglued, literally, as he was taken out of hair and makeup.

But even with the public unmasking, the show itself remained a mystery. Kilmer clearly knows more about Twain than we do, yet he chose not to share it in the dialogue, waiting instead to create a compelling character portrait after the main event spectacle.

With a perplexing storyline, stand-up comedy awkwardness, lo-fi imagery and jarring contemporary references, the teleprompter-guided Twainfest did just about everything thinkable to hide the actual show from the audience.