April 15, 2012 |
What looks like a giant, smoldering gap in the side of Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles is not the result of the latest disaster to befall the City of Angels. Instead, it is the latest over-the-top campaign stunt for a new attraction set to open May 25 at Universal Studios Hollywood. A giant laminate stuck to the side of the sports venue makes it look as if an 80-foot tall, 20-ton metal alien creature from the movie "Transformers" busted a hole through the building.
October 18, 2012 |
When Lamar Odom pulled up to Staples Center, he took a deep breath. He walked past the Lakers locker room, where he spent seven seasons and won two NBA championships. Then he walked into the Clippers locker room, where he began his career in 1999. It was a surreal experience for Odom who left Los Angeles in December after being dealt to Dallas. "I was having some moments of deja vu when I first got here," Odom said. "I was 19 years old, I'm 32, you know, it's an amazing place to play basketball.
May 28, 2013 |
With a decisive playoff Game 7 between the Kings and San Jose Sharks just a few hours away and the winner getting a spot in the Western Conference finals, talk after the morning skates Tuesday at Staples Center centered on the drama of the situation and how players had envisioned performing in those big games when they were kids. The lone dissenter was Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, who said none of the Game 7s he played in or coached had made strong impressions in his memory and that “either you win four games or you lose four games.” He added: “Game 7s are not that big a deal when you look at it. It's winning the fourth game” that matters.
December 11, 2009 |
In any arena, there are only two ways to truly live like royalty: down in the front row, rubbing elbows with VIPs and athletes, or up in the boxes, observing everything from a God's-eye view. The new Hyde Lounge at Staples Center was born on the court floor but is opting for ascension. Night-life impresario Sam Nazarian and Tim Leiweke, president and chief executive of AEG, the company that owns and operates Staples Center, were supposedly sitting court side at a Lakers game last May when they shook hands on the deal that would bring Hyde to downtown L.A. On a recent game night, the club's lofty ambitions were drifting into the stratosphere.
January 24, 2013 |
The English band Muse does everything on a grand scale: giant prog-rock riffs, elaborate laser-light displays, songs with titles such as “Supremacy” and “Exogenesis: Symphony Part 2 (Cross-Pollination).” When the International Olympic Committee required an anthem for last summer's London Games, it knew just where to look. “Survival,” Muse's heavily orchestrated treatise on athletic determination, could make a round of ping-pong feel epic. Yet despite the band's well-established commitment to hugeness -- it broke through to American audiences in 2006 with “Supermassive Black Hole” -- you had to register some kind of surprise at the way it packed Staples Center on Wednesday night, shortly after the group launched a North American tour this week in San Diego.
August 19, 2012 |
For the third consecutive year, one of WWE's "big four" pay-per-views, SummerSlam, was at Staples Center on Sunday. I was there, along with my wife, Diana and daughter, Hannah, and my new best friend: My Rey Mysterio Brawlin' Buddy . Now dads, if you want to get your kids the perfect gift, this is it. Because you can play with it yourself. And it will talk to you, as I discovered during the show. A recap: SANTINO MARELLA VS. ANTONIO CESARO FOR U.S TITLE This was the pre-show match, show live on YouTube.
January 21, 2013 |
The lowly work of self-affirmation ballooned to outrageous proportions in the goth-pop phantasmagoria that Lady Gaga brought to Staples Center on Sunday night. Playing the first of two concerts at the downtown arena, the singer appointed herself ambassador for the maligned and the misunderstood, promising liberation to those willing to flout orthodoxy -- or, as she put it not long into the 2 ½-hour show, “a freedom so magnificent we'll make all of California explode.” It was typically high-flown talk from an outspoken superstar who nonetheless finds herself a little closer to earth these days.
June 29, 2013 |
In the first North American date of a world tour dubbed the Mrs. Carter Show, Beyoncé was the main attraction at Staples Center on Friday night for Day 1 of the BET Experience, which will also bring acts such as Snoop Dogg, R. Kelly and Kendrick Lamar to downtown's L.A. Live complex. And although Mrs. Carter (the tour's name refers to her husband, the rapper Jay-Z) did a number of remarkable things, including belting out a verse of “I Will Always Love You” without accompaniment and zip-lining over her fans while wearing maybe the tightest, sparkliest cat suit ever made, the singer's most impressive feat wasn't her vocal power or the arena-sized set pieces that suggested she was born to perform in venues the size of small communities.
October 3, 2012 |
Mistakes: They're what kids - even the famous ones - do. When Justin Bieber rolled into Staples Center Tuesday night for the first of two shows, the Internet was still buzzing with video of his performance at Glendale, Ariz. For those who missed it, the teen idol got sick after a pre-show meal of spaghetti Bolognese washed down with whole milk. The unplanned spectacle, endlessly replayed on YouTube, provided a valuable peek behind the teen-pop curtain, and reminded us in vivid detail that Bieber isn't just a global brand with a vast multimedia dominion.
September 7, 2012 |
"Whatever happened to the days of Madonna and Britney Spears?" That's the question my date to the Video Music Awards asked me at the conclusion of the show with a shrug. It was a semi-nice way of saying this year's ceremony felt pointless (though maybe not for the performers who got solid album plugs). But no one was more shortchanged than the few thousand who filed into the Staples Center on Thursday afternoon hoping for a spectacle-filled show. Here are a few moments that stuck for this writer in his seat.