I had never been to Costa Mesa, California before this past weekend. So why did I make the hour trek out from Los Angeles? I had to be at Loehmann’s to see Band from TV! Like any obsessive House fan, I knew that they would be playing. Who’s Band from TV, you ask?
Band from TV is a band with TV actors that play solely for the charities of their choice. So why did they decide to play at a department store? Well, as it turns out, it’s not that weird. According to one of the band’s founding members, Greg Grunberg of Heroes, playing at Loehmann’s makes perfect sense because Grunberg’s iPhone app “Yowza” offers coupons to the discount department store.
Listen to the exclusive interview with Greg Grunberg
By playing at Loehmann’s for the grand opening, the store gets great press and the band gets to donate all the proceeds to charities. Mutually beneficial.
So who’s in this band? Besides the two people I went for (Jesse Spencer and Hugh Laurie), there is Greg Grunberg (Heroes), Bob Guiney of The Bachelor fame, Adrian Pasdar (Heroes), Scott Grimes (ER), and James Denton (Desperate Housewives) who couldn’t be in Costa Mesa that night.
I was hoping to find a way to chat with the men before show time, but even in Costa Mesa, miles from Los Angeles, you still need a golden VIP ticket, and I was without. Regardless, I chatted with a few concert goers, asking them how they found out about the show. A number of people I spoke to had some kind of connection to Loehmann’s, but a few others either followed Greg Grunberg’s twitter account, heard about it on KEarth, the radio station, or found out about it the same way I did. They were fans of House!
Now we are all aware of Hugh Laurie’s musical talents since they’re used so well on the show (although not lately). So his performance on Saturday being great was no surprise. He played the piano and sang and Jesse Spencer played the violin. The band plays all covers, counting on the idea that the crowd will want familiar songs with familiar faces playing them.
The band was good-natured and fun to listen to because they had so many instruments and voices. Bob Guiney took the lead on most of the songs, and Hugh Laurie sang a couple, but Scott Grimes was the crowd favorite. I had no idea he was a singer, and I was blown away by his renditions of “Oh, Darling” by the Beatles and “Walking in Memphis” originally by Marc Cohn.
Jesse Spencer and Adrian Pasdar played “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” where Jesse Spencer gave us some of his good ol’ fashioned southern drawl. I was impressed with his violin skills!
The band played songs like “Baba O’Riley” by The Who, “We Go ‘Round in Circles” by Billy Preston, “Try a Little Tenderness” made famous by Otis Redding, and a couple of slower songs. I personally liked it when the band played faster songs, as I was more interested in seeing everyone do something on stage.
At the end of “Baba O’Riley” Jesse Spencer said something about going too slowly on his violin and everyone laughed. The audience was highly supportive of the band not being professional musicians, but it didn’t really matter because it was an enjoyable show.
To spice up the set, audience members were brought on stage. In a mock rose ceremony, two children (who I think were Scott Grimes’) were given roses by Bob Guiney. One of the band members quipped that Bob had to give the rose to one of the children or to Greg Grunberg. Grunberg summed it up nicely when he said, “Either way, it’s creepy.”
During another faster song, about ten random audience members were invited on stage to dance. I almost lost it when this one woman, of the cougar age bracket, started doing all these seductive dance moves that didn’t quite fit the song. Jesse Spencer’s face was priceless. This woman took off her jacket and started whipping it around her head and took the stage front and center. Call in the guards! Laurie wasn’t on stage at this point, although I’m guessing if he were, he would have been wearing the same facial expression Spencer was.
I would have loved to see Hugh Laurie come front and center to sing, but he didn’t. Jesse Spencer was one of the funniest on stage and it was great to see the whole band come together for such great causes.
For more information on Band from TV, their charities, and to see if they might be touring in a city near you, you can check out their website: www.bandfromtv.org/. Or you can follow them and a few members of the band on twitter: @greggrunberg, @Jesse_Spencer, and @TheBandFromTV
Check out photos from the event below!
-Lisa B. Palmer, BuddyTV Fan Columnist
(Image courtesy of FOX)