There is no bigger music fan in fashion than John Varvatos, who’s turned that love into relationships with a number of rock stars, from Chris Cornell and Dave Matthews to Alice Cooper, all of whom have played outside of Varvatos’ West Hollywood store. Last night, his newest model, Paul Weller, came in to the WeHo spot to help Varvatos celebrate his 10-year anniversary at the location.
Before the show, Varvatos introduced Weller as one of his biggest influences, both musically and in fashion. In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year Varvatos said, “Paul has always been this super-cool, stylish guy, from the first time I saw him with the Jam in 1977 to today. He’s probably one of the best-dressed, best-looking guys in rock & roll.”
Perhaps fired up by Varvatos’ continuous praise, Weller, who plays L.A.’s Greek Theater this Friday in his last U.S. show in 2012, led his three-piece band through an hourlong set at maximum volume for a celebrity crowd that included Jakob Dylan, Twilight’s Jackson Rathbone and Matt Sorum and Dave Kushner of Velvet Revolver.
Opening with the Jam’s “Running on the Spot,” Weller worked in songs from all phases of his career, from the Jam and the Style Council to his solo work. The majority of the 17-song set came from his two most recent solo efforts, 2010’s Wake Up the Nation and the current Sonik Kicks, with some of those standouts being “The Attic,” “That Dangerous Age,” a raucous “Wake Up the Nation” and the closer “Around the Lake.”
For diehard Weller fans, there were some surprises, the most notable being the Jam’s “Carnation” and “STaRt!” as well as “The Cost of Loving,” the only selection from his Style Council days. Of course, for diehard Weller fans, the set list didn’t matter nearly as much as seeing such an influential figure in the intimate setting of a storefront.