Entertainment behind the scenes
Perez Hilton’s ambitious concert tour dogged by apathy
Gossip columnist Perez Hilton probably hoped for bigger crowds and better buzz for his inaugural North American tour of up-and-coming musical acts. But the three-and-a-half week trek ended on a high note on Saturday as upwards of a thousand people showed up at the Avalon Hollywood theater to check out the vibrant lineup of would-be superstars.
Numbers may have been boosted by the addition of a not-so-secret mystery headliner, indie rock band The Gossip, who are probably better known internationally. The other performers on the final stop of the “Perez Hilton Presents” club tour included the B-52s-like rock band Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, English singer/songwriter Julian Perretta, the glam-rock New York band Semi Precious Weapons, and usual headliner New Zealand dance-pop-rock starlet Ladyhawke (pictured at left).
And, of course, the excitable Hilton drew loud shrieks from his core demographic of young women packed into the front rows each time he took the stage to introduce the next act. “I have this little gossip site, but music is really my passion,” he said at one point. “This is a dream of mine.”
Whether the dream will yield a second tour is questionable. The trek drew modest crowds, and tickets for some of the all-ages gigs were given away. Tickets for the Hollywood show could be bought at the window for $25, down from the advertised day-of-sale rate of $31. Norwegian singer Ida Maria, one of the headliners, dropped out after a week claiming “total exhaustion.”
It also passed under the radar of the music industry, whose denizens are neither enamored of Hilton’s day job nor thrilled that he landed his own label at Warner Music Group. Hilton was aware that his stamp of approval could backfire on the artists, telling the Seattle Weekly that “if you love Ladyhawke, you shouldn’t let your dislike for me get in the way from coming to the show. Just get over it. It’s not about me.”
On the other hand, the promoters did seem to keep costs down, judging by the fact that many of the artists set up their own equipment. Ladyhawke (a.k.a. Pip Brown) recounted that she had driven 8,000 miles in a van with both her bandmates and with Semi Precious Weapons. Presumbly Ladyhawke and Semi Precious Weapons’ cross-dressing frontman Justin Tranter had plenty of time to swap makeup tips and pantyhose tricks.