Even worse is the forced surrender to the fests where everyone seems like they're 18 years old and can easily dance to the Gorillaz, while you can't. No purpose, no drive, simply meaningless experiences.
It'd be so much easier to just sit back and envision a club that forgoes the mentality that full capacity is fun and leans more to being a creative hotbed where any number of performances can breathe in a healthy and intimate environment.
On Fairfax Avenue is a club that prides itself on just that notion. It's as much a music venue as it is a library, where club minimums are only $10 for drinks or $15 if you're using a credit card for the night. It's a small price to pay to enjoy the space, or lack thereof, at Largo.
The brainchild of owner Mark Flanagan, the club endured some hardships early on. It seemed that it would live in a life of eternity as a sports bar. Luckily that version of the venture failed, with the final stage of metamorphosis being the nightclub and cabaret Angelinos have all grown to love.
Sold-out shows occur on a regular basis and it's in due part to the confines of the area. Barely 40 seats line the performance area (full capacity is 112). The club is divided into a rear main bar, the central stage with lounge area and a dining room that offers such fare as baked honey chicken and a Largo salad complete with fresh spinach and artichoke hearts.
A visit to Largo is to experience the “packed sardine” syndrome. You might feel cramped reaching for your bowl of pasta, but again, it's a tiny price to pay for the lush performances by notable music and comedy artists that fill your eyes and ears.
Besides being a club entrepreneur, Flanagan is the business manger for notable musician/producer Jon Brion. Putting that managerial muscle to use, Flanagan convinced Brion to take up a residence every Friday night. This residency has become one of the key staples of Largo.
Brion's work ranges from film scores ( Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ) to producing singer-songwriter fare (Fiona Apple) and booming hip hop (Kanye West). Brion is an artist continually pushing the limits of music while shying way from formulaic drivel. The man's friendships have also led to Largo performances from Aimee Mann, Apple and the late Elliott Smith.
Even the “greatest rock band on earth,” Tenacious D (who got their start at Largo), has performed here. Though the club stresses the golden rule of no chit chat during any performances, it's safe to say that you can hoot and holler during the explosivo of the D or any of the hot comics that stroll in.
L.A.'s finest in the worlds of comedy and music collide within Largo's walls. On most nights, fans can see the often-nude antics of the Naked Trucker (Dave Allen) and his friend T-Bone (David Koechner). Heavyweights like Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman and Patton Oswalt have all brought their comic A-game to Largo's stage.
Even everyone's favorite TV grump Larry David had made an appearance. Pieces of his standup routine performed at Largo were used in his 1999 HBO special “Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Don't curb your enthusiasm however as you step through the Largo's doors. Laugh, smile and mildly chatter.
For more information, visit www.largo-la.com .