A View To A Thrill – Grace Jones At The Hollywood Bowl

This is why Los Angeles rules. It’s a city where almighty disco dominatrix Grace Jones can perform at a classical/orchestral music venue like the Hollywood Bowl (her first L.A. concert in 20 long years), enlist indie space-glam eccentrics Of Montreal and Cambodian ’60s psych-pop revivalists Dengue Fever as the opening acts and punk legend-turned-local KCRW deejay Henry Rollins as the emcee…and sell out all 18,000 tickets on a Sunday night.

And on top of all that, last night’s Bowl extravaganza (a one-night-only performance in support of Hurricane, Grace’s first studio album since 1989) included a moonlit duet of David Bowie‘s “Moonage Daydream” between Of Montreal’s caped-crusader frontgod Kevin Barnes and surprise-guest baby diva Janelle Monae (accompanied by two local pug dogs on leashes) and an onstage marriage proposal between two Of Montreal band members that no woman could resist (she said YES!):

Only in L.A…

But the main attraction, of course, was the sista from another planet, the one and only Miz Jones. Her multiple costume changes–peekaboo zebra unitard (for new song “This Is”), Josephine Baker-on-particularly-strong-acid jungle priestess minidress (for “My Jamaican Guy”), enormous human mirrorball (for the Roxy Music cover “Love Is The Drug”), red devil woman (for the Police cover “Demolition Man”)–made the latest revues by Lady Gaga or Madonna seem like Phoebe warbling “Smelly Cat” from Friends at the local coffeehouse.

And all six costume switchups were seamlessly conducted backstage while Grace talked on her mic throughout, in her eerily accented purr, never once seeming out of breath. Even Madonna couldn’t do that.

This was a PRODUCTION, people. Just check out Grace’s grand entrance…everyone at the Bowl knew this was going to be a gobsmacking night when she started her show like this:

But of course, the best Grace getup of the night was for the Edith Piaf cover “La Vie En Rose,” when she rolled out (half)dressed as–what else?–a giant, thorny blossom:


Yes, that surprise flash of backside might have made her son–who was playing percussion behind her–just a little uncomfortable. But growing up as Grace Jones’ son in Paris probably made him immune to such shock-rock displays, and hey, this woman is FIFTY-SEVEN YEARS OLD (!) and still has a great ass, so who could blame her for wanting to flaunt it?


Grace, you are amazing indeed.