Posted by xneverwherex on February 22, 2014
Public Service Broadcasting
February 20, 2014
Inform – Educate – Entertain is not only the name of the first album from Public Service Broadcasting, but also seems to be the mission of the London-based duo. And that they did. The band’s backdrop/screen is a continuous reel of archival news clips and some “educational” information which was probably shown in schools forever ago – which is really propaganda. Those were the days. But the band takes this material and adds their own music to the pieces. While it might seem that it wouldn’t or shouldn’t work, it does. And I did learn (thanks to a guy from England standing next to me), that the first image is what the Public Broadcasting Service used to use before their announcements.
Public Service Broadcasting – J. Willgoose, Esq.
The duo consists of Wrigglesworth on drums and the ever dapper J. Willgoose, Esq. on everything else (as is pointed out very cheekily). Willgoose dresses in a bowtie and horn-rimmed glasses and looks like a lawyer of yesteryears. He seems to be the educator of the band while Wrigglesworth keeps it very entertaining with on-going drum beats — sometimes speeding it up and creating a more dance-friendly song.
Some of the images that seemed to stick out were soldiers during wartime marching down the streets with crowds out to cheer them on (reminding me of Hitler’s Nazi Germany). The band seemed to have the perfect song to accompany it, keeping it more down-beat. Willgoose tends to use a lot of banjos and guitars in the mix of the songs and the blends work out just perfectly. The ending of Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Mt. Everest was perfect with a more dance-y track that had some of the audience really breaking a sweat. It was upbeat and seemed to signify a victory to the end of the show.
This was nothing but pure original brilliance. I cannot recommend seeing this band enough as they will delightfully surprise you for an hour or so taking you on an informative musical journey through English history. While the band never utters a word on stage, the band does have their computer ‘voice’ (not siri, mind you) who does add quips throughout the show and one of the total highlights to hear him say ‘thank you. (long pause) San Francisco’. And just like that, the crowd bursts out in cheers and applause.
The opener, Kiev
, played their first show ever in San Francisco. It was rather hard to believe as they’re just our ‘neighbors’ down in the O.C. (Orange County). They were surprised to not get boos from saying that, but then again, half the crowd was probably their family/friends. So much for the SF/LA rivalry.
The band was surprisingly insanely loud. It was hard to figure out where the reverberations were coming from (as theyre far from a solid guitar band), but it seems that from the dueling keyboards and the guitars in between it made for a lot of sound (or else the mix was really bad). The stage was shaking and you had to step back as you could feel it pulsate through your body.
It was a bit too loud, as would have loved to hear the saxophone in several of their songs which got drowned out. The band was quite good and as it got towards the end, their music had more of a dance-electronic feel to it. They definitely ended the show on a high note and are worth checking out again.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: concert, electronic, Esq, indie-rock, Inform - Educate - Entertain, J Willgoose, Kiev, live, London, music, noisepop, Orange County, Public Service Broadcasting, San Francisco, Slims, Wrigglesworth | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on December 20, 2013
Its hard to believe that 2013 is nearly over. But Wild Cub made it clear that they would end out the year with a bang! It was their final concert of the tour and year and the band was beyond excited to be back in San Francisco. They had only played one other time in SF (back in July – when I missed their show but ended up in Austin) and had an awesome time. I had heard others on the street outside talking about how awesome that first show was. So, of course, my expectations were now set a bit higher.
It was a late show night with doors at 10pm. I was told it would definitely not be a late night, but it turned out that the band didnt hit the stage until around 11:15pm. Indeed another late night at Popscene. Thankfully, Aaron Axelsen was spinning some great tunes and the new War on Drugs song is f’ing brilliant. I cannot wait to hear the new album.
March also brings the release of Wild Cub’s debut album, Youth
, which is INCREDIBLE. Ive been listening to it on repeat the day-after and am seriously not disappointed at all. The band formed after Keegan left Brooklyn (the rents too damn high!) for the greener pastures of Nashville. He is an endearing front-man who just exudes energy and still looks like he probably did in the 90s. Pegged pants, nice shoes, a slightly shaved head with long hair in front.
The band has a Prince vibe on some of their songs. Check out ‘Wild Light’. Their music is fun, catchy, indie-pop thats quite dance-y and will have you clapping in no time. Add some great melodies and infectious keys and some great hooks on their bass and voila! The band wasted no time getting the crowd moving with the ever-catchy ‘Jonti’ early in their set.
‘Wishing Well’ with its hook of a bassline and a sound that will take you back to the 80s, is one awesome song. Seeing it live is even better as Keegan tears up the stage. He dances all over the stage while playing guitar exuding fun and pleasure. The band then slowed it down with ‘Drive’ which is probably one of my favorite songs. With gorgeous guitars and Keegan’s smooth vocals the song feels like blissed out summer joy.
The band definitely ended their tour on a high note. They talked about the great Chinese food they consumed (for about 7 people) and just their love of the city. They changed their set list a bit from their usual set. Keegan wanted to play his favorite song of 2013 and did a great rendition of Lykke Li’s ‘I Follow Rivers’. It was really awesome. They added a couple new songs and just did not want the night to end. So they pushed it out as long as possible. Instead of vanishing for an encore, they just remained on stage – announced their last song and broke out ‘When Doves Cry’ from Prince. While its hard for anyone to hit Prince’s notes – this was a pretty awesome cover.
One hell of a way to end 2013. Wild Cub delivered and made it an awesome last show of the year!
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 12/19/13, 80's, concert, covers, indiepop, Keegan, Live Music, Lykke Li, music, Nashville, Prince, Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco, Wild Cub | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on November 8, 2013
Brick & Mortar Music Hall
November 5, 2013
Wood Shoppe is a free night of music that’s held monthly at the Brick & Mortar Music Hall. I had wanted to go another night, but of course, I had a show that night and as it turned out the band I had wanted to see had to cancel. But I will be returning as it was awesome – and they had a really great line-up.
The headliner, Strange Talk
from Australia, was a band that I had been wanting to see for ages. And one, that I would have gladly paid money to see. I somehow kept missing them at CMJ. The band did not disappoint. They came out, introduced themselves by mentioning their Aussie accents (hence the band name) and then quickly proceeded into the ever-catchy ‘Cast Away’. The crowd quickly got into their music and soon there was lots of dancing.
The band which mostly uses keyboards/synths, did use guitar on some of their songs. Their music is very similar to fellow Aussies The Presets/Cut Copy with even more dance-y electro pop songs and their ultra-bright sneakers. As the night progressed, their music started to have more of an edge as more guitars came out and they started sounding like they could be the new version of Innerpartysystem. The lead singer sounded really great and has a smooth sound to his voice.
As they ended the set there was a pretty decent sized dance pit for this small club. The crowd really got worked up during ‘Falling in Love’ and ‘Sexual Lifestyle’ which also included a couple getting a little too into it. They ended their set with their first single ‘Another Day’ and even had a crowd sing-along. It was fun indeed and I’m sure in no time they will be playing the larger venues. Definitely a band worth seeing if you enjoy their music.
My favorite band of the night was Battleme from Portland. I had listened to a few songs and they tended to have more of an acoustic folk sound on some of their songs, but live —- its a whole different story. They killed the set with tight, hard-fast rock-n-roll with a bluesy/psych rock sound. The band, which primarily uses guitars, looks like 2 bands in one. The drummer and keyboardist, who were more clean-cut, looked like members of Strange Talk while the other guys (the guitarists) had tattoo sleeves and long hair. It didn’t matter – they sounded like one tight kick-ass band.
Lead singer, Matt Drenik, has amazing vocals with a sultriness to his voice. The band really reminded me of the 90s bands like The Replacements, yet also had the melodies of the power-pop bands (Fountains of Wayne/Matthew Sweet). ‘Just Weight’, the single off the new album, is my favorite song with a very catchy sound and when the gritty guitars sink it, its just the perfect blend.
The band really got into songs with Matt really working every inch of the small stage. While their songs can be loud, thrashy and heavy they were also quite melodic. Their music really had the crowd rocking out. They ended the set way too early (or so it seemed) and had the crowd wanting more and calling for an encore. They finished out their last song asking the crowd if they’d want a slow or fast song … we went with fast and it was fast, loud and powerful and was one hell of a way to end their set. Definitely a band that needs to be seen again!
Aan, another Portland band, started out the night. Their sound tended to be a bit here and there with some songs sounding very emo and some being more pop. It was kind of all over the place and its hard to pin-point them with their musical style.
While some of their songs were catchy and fun, a lot just didnt seem to fit in with the others. At least the band seemed to be having a great time on stage and they were pretty decent (just hard to live up to the other 2 bands). And their name as they said is ‘on – spelled aan’.
Set List – Strange Talk:
Take Me As I Am
Is It Real
We can pretend
Falling in Love
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 11/5/13, Aan, Australia, Battleme, Brick and Mortar Music Hall, concert, electropop, guitar-rock, indie-rock, live, music, Portland, power-pop, San Francisco, Strange Talk, Wood Shoppe | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on November 1, 2013
Mise En Scene
Bears for Sharks
Hotel Utah Saloon
Wed. night featured bands from Canada at the Hotel Utah. The venue was an interesting space with a pole in the center and couch like seats around it. It made for a very odd playing space. It even had an upstairs. To make matters worse, the crowd was sparse at best with most people there other band members.
Bears for Sharks
The line-up was solid. The bands got exceedingly better as the night progressed. Each band a little better than the one before them. The first band, Bears for Sharks was playing their THIRD show ever. So they’re quite new to the scene – can’t find much on them online. I did like how they seamlessly blended styles. The 3 piece band managed to switch up instruments and singing on most songs. There was a lot of guitar/drums switch-ups going on, with the occasional singer switch up. It was kind of all over the place with all the movement but it somehow worked.
The lead singer (for the most part) had very low vocals reminiscent of Ian Curtis (Joy Division). The drummer/guitarist livened things up with his bear mask. He was definitely the spark of the band bringing them a lightness. Their music ranged from an alt-folk sound to more pop songs. They did hae some catchy songs and for only their third show they proved to be a fun band. Oddly enough, they also brought the biggest crowd with them consisting of lots of family and friends.
Mise En Scene
Next up were the ladies from Winnipeg, Mise En Scene
. A two-some (think White Stripes) who wore matching sparkly jackets, brought lots of noise. A noise-pop/guitar driven band, they made the place feel alive and VERY loud. They have a garage-rock meet 60′s girl band sound. And it actually works quite well. Sadly, it was just me and one other girl in the audience aside from other bands. It was like a 30 minute serenade and it was awesome for me. But, Im sure it was more than awkward for the band who seemed to be having lots of sound issues from insanely loud guitars, to feedback, to other things.
Stefanie, lead singer, has amazing powerful, sultry vocals. She is a kick-ass guitarist and sounded amazing. She told some Canadian joke that had the others laughing and was trying to have fun on stage. The drummer, Jodi, was also good but seemed to stay more in the background and didnt say much. Regardless, the band was fun to watch and sounded great despite the problems. Plus, Stefanie is nice as hell which is always a plus. They’ll be at SXSW and with a better venue/better acoustics, etc they should be a band that is NOT to miss.
Fast Romantics, from Toronto now (prior they were in Alberta), was the third band (somehow not the last of their headlining set) and I had been waiting years to see them again. I had remembered enjoying them a lot when I had seen them at CMJ a good 3-4 years back. The members had changed some, but they still had the great pop songs. Their songs are still jangly, fun, catchy, pop(py) songs. Indie-pop goodness!
Matthew, lead singer, reminded me of a cross between Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker, wearing a lovely blue/green (the crowd was torn on what color it was) cardigan. Oh yes, he could have been in one of those 90s brit-pop bands. His voice screams Elvis Costello and if you didnt know it, you might even think it was him singing. He’s a great front-man and for our crowd of 12 (at most), he really tried to get us engaged. There was hand-clapping, a slow song that he tried to encourage a make out session (the bassist suggested masturbation for the single people) and trying to get us to dance. I guess someone did oblige him with the make-out session. The rest of the band is really great, from the woman playing keyboards and the other guys that were in the band prior to their new incarnation. They’ve also added a new bassist from Australia. They all have really strong vocals and are great together.
They ended the main set with the ever-catchy ‘Funeral Song’ off their new album Afterlife Blues. They played most the songs off the album, and its great. It’s gotta be one of the catchiest albums Ive heard in a long time. It will have you singing along in no time. The final song was Pulp’s ‘Common People’. Possibly the best cover Ive heard. We were all singing along and dancing and it was truly a great way to end the night. Oh yeah… Im hook, line, SUNK!
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 10/30/13, Bears for Sharks, Canada Night, concert, Fast Romantics, garage rock, Hotel Utah Saloon, indie-pop, live, Mise En Scene, music, San Francisco, Toronto, Winnipeg | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on October 24, 2013
October 23, 2013
Nonono played their first show in San Francisco last night on their first tour of the States. Luckily for them, they’re playing Live 105′s Not So Silent Night, because I would have pegged them to become a one-hit wonder. How badly I wanted to like them, but the band for the most part was just boring and the words most people hate to hear – forgettable.
Stina Wäppling, lead singer, chatted it up about how excited she was to be in San Francisco. She looked like she had just run from somewhere else and suddenly remembered she had a show to perform. After coming to the stage late (bathroom or so people muttered), and continuing to keep people wait, she finally arrived in a little black dress with her sweater wrapped around her waist and sneakers. I had actually thought I had stepped into the movie ‘Working Girl’ as she wore her sneakers with her nylons.
The band was a tight-knit 3some, with a really talented bassist. Astma & Rocwell were the other 2 members. While I didn’t think Stina sounded great on all of the songs, she did kill the single ‘Pumpkin Blood’ which was easily the highlight. The set was quite short and had a range of upbeat dance songs as well as much more subdued sad songs. Overall, it was just a bit lackluster.
On the other hand, I had forgotten about Helado Negro (couldnt remember if I had even liked him or not). Helado Negro
, Roberto Lange, now calls Crown Heights (Brooklyn) home but grew up in South Florida. His music has a very Florida feel. Everything that might emanate from living in Florida is channeled into his music. He sings in Spanish, and even if you don’t understand all the lyrics (or any) you can feel his music.
It has this gorgeous feel of tropical weather, humidity, heat. It makes you just want to close your eyes and move with the music. Its just him on the stage, with his computer, and its such a heart-felt performance. Everything about the music is almost dream-like. It just takes you somewhere and you get lost in it. Its definitely no surprise that he remixed Bear in Heaven’s album. Check out ‘Dance Ghost’ — a great name for a song and describes it perfectly.
He talks to the crowd, trying to engage them, but clearly San Franciscans are too cool for school. A major disappointment that the front of the room, would just not shut up. Its not even that – no one seemed to care. He tried to have fun with it saying something like ‘just add some hips in addition to your lips’. And of course, a cute joke about getting a taste of black ice cream (helado negro).
Roberto was very friendly. After the set, he seemed quite happy that at least some of us enjoyed it. I definitely feel his music has grown since seeing him 4 years ago. And I would definitely see him again – perhaps next time he will get a crowd who appreciates what he’s doing.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 10/23/13, Brooklyn, concert, dreampop, experimental, Florida, Helado Negro, indiepop, live, music, Nonono, Pumpkin Blood, Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco, Stockholm, Sweden, tropical beats | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on October 12, 2013
The Wind + The Wave
October 8, 2013
It felt like it had been forever since the Welsh band Stereophonics graced the shores on this side of the pond. They were in town for their 8th studio album, Graffiti on the Train. I was incredibly tired after having come home from DC – and the place that should be known as hell on earth (Atlanta airport) – and wasnt sure I’d be able to last the entire night. But I should have remembered the energy that the band brings to all their shows.
The band was at the end of their tour with just 1 more date left after the SF show. The band had so much energy and clearly loved being in San Francisco. They started off with ‘Catacomb’ off the new album which was the perfect intro on a fairly dark stage and gritty guitars and Kelly’s incredible gruff vocals. It had a hint of BRMC and was so fitting for an intro. The band then went into ‘Superman’ which had the crowd dancing and singing along.
Kelly Jones, lead singer, wrote this album and is one of the greatest storytellers in his songs. Its easy to get lost in the lyrics. So it was really great when he started talking about the song he wrote in the San Francisco bay (obv Have a Nice Day). He reminisced about writing the song and the cab ride. It was great as everyone sang along to that song.
The band played nearly the entire new album and played a lot off their prior albums. Kelly sounds as great as ever with the most powerful lush vocals Ive ever heard. Ive always said he had one of the greatest voices live – and its really hard to compare most to him. He sounds as great live as he does on album and thats a rarity these days. Adam Zindani, lead guitarist, is just an amazing guitarist. He was really into it and would occasionally grace the middle of the stage with some insane playing. The crowd would go nuts. He is such a charmer, smiling at everyone and just having an awesome time. He even made sure to give the kid in the front his guitar pick (as well as the drummer).
Some of the highlights of the night for me was my favorite song “Local Boy in the Photograph” — which has always been such a beautiful, sad song. “Vegas 2 Times” is always a great song to hear and Im glad that this was played. I’ve always loved the album Just Enough Education To Perform so its great to still hear so many songs from that album.
The show itself was just awesome. So many great moments in the show from Kelly talking about the fan in the shirt that stood out (prob red?) – and then playing Dakota for him at the end was quite awesome. Talking about the great times in San Francisco — it was all just so great. He even took a moment out to thank the openers.
The Wind + The Wave
The Wind + The Wave
from Austin were really great. A duo, who commented on their lack of drummer (some sorta ‘inside’ joke about twins and death), were really entertaining. The band had lots of personality and the guy had some zingers! The woman, Patti? maybe, had a really great voice. They had a bluesy, alt-country, sound and were so easy to fall in love with and just really enjoy. Theyre on my ‘must-see’ list to check out whenever they come around again. And how awesome that it was their first show in SF ever and the crowd seemed to love them – even if it was only drunk guys ogling over the singer. At least they made noise and were enthusiastic.
If you havent heard them, let alone see them, theyre VERY worth checking out. Their first album will be out this January (or maybe February), but it is definitely worth giving them a listen.
Graffiti on the Train
We Share The Same Sun
Have A Nice Day
Vegas 2 Times
In A Moment
Same Size Feet
Nothing Precious At All
Roll the Dice
Violin & Tambourines
Been Caught Cheating
Local Boy in the Photograph
I Stopped To Fill My Car Up
The Bartender & The Thief
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 10/8/13, Austin, concert, indie-rock, live, music, San Francisco, Stereophonics, The Fillmore, The Wind + The Wave, Wales | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on September 24, 2013
Trails and Ways
Stars is like a cup of hot tea and always makes you feel better. It was a rough night for too many reasons, but everyone encouraged me to see them. Ive seen Stars countless times, and they never disappoint. Stars, from Montreal, had been in SF for a few days and had played a show the night prior at Great American Music Hall. Some bands might look weathered, or sound jaded, but Stars is far from that.
Torq, bandleader, was in a talkative mood and talked about spending time in SF. He also mentioned that the band would be headed back to the studio after the tour to work on their NEXT album. The band just does not stop. He talked about not forgetting the band, and it seems that theyre a band that would be hard-pressed to forget.
Amy, who shares vocals with Torq, looked and sounded great as she worked the stage — joining the other guitarist on the other side of the stage. She seemed super cheerful and was bouncing all over the stage. Of course, she sounded incredible on “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”.
Stars – Amy
The band was in town supporting their newest album The North
. Ive really liked the songs that I heard from it. Their set was a nice mix showcasing all their music from early on till now. It was a nice love-letter to SF and the audience really loved it, with a good chunk of the crowd at the prior nights show. ‘Take Me To The Riot’ had the audience singing along and hopping with the band. It was pure joy. ‘We Don’t Want Your Body’ is always a fun song and sing-along. Its also great that the band has their violinist on tour with them. She is absolutely amazing and sounds gorgeous playing alongside them, giving them a fuller sound.
The band ended with a 4 set-encore that was really awesome. Their final song ‘The 400′ consisted of the band sitting on the edge of the drummer Pat McGee’s platform just singing along together in perfect harmony. And it should be noted – Pat McGee – obviously best dressed man!
I cant recall a time that the band seemed more excited. I had seen them in NYC quite a bit but this show had a different feel. It was like the band was made to play in San Francisco.
Trails and Ways from Oakland opened the set. They must have said a bajillion times they were from Oakland. The band started off a bit bland, but as the set picked up, so did their music. They had some great catchy pop tunes which were off the new EP (prob worth checking out). I’d definitely want to see them again and see how I feel about them.
The Night Starts Here
A Song is a Weapon
Death to Death
One More Night
Your Ex-Lover is Dead
We Don’t Want Your Body
Take me to the Riot
Hold One When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It
The Theory of Relativity
Elevator Love Letter
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 9/18/13, concert, indiepop, live, Montreal, music, Oakland, San Francisco, Slims, Stars, The North, Trails and Ways | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on September 21, 2013
Nightmare & The Cat
Great American Music Hall
Dan Smith, lead singer of Bastille, might not be the greatest dancer (as he said so himself), but does he know how to get a crowd moving and dancing and jumping. Their cover of Snap!’s ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’ and Corona’s ‘Rhythm of the Night’ was pretty impressive and definitely changed it up just a bit. But it was fun and the crowd loved it.
The band, hailing from London, was excited to be back in San Francisco yet again. They made their first US appearance over the sumer at Rickshaw Stop (Popscene); sold out instantaneously. Their music has some fun catchy pop tunes, but also a number of songs which is mostly Dan on the keyboards singing alone. He has a powerful voice and exudes emotion. The band (or at least Dan) is also a huge film lover. With the song title ‘Laura Palmer’ – he definitely likes David Lynch. And their music sounds like it could be in one of his movies.
One thing is for sure – Dan’s energy is infectious. He jumps around all over the stage and makes use of every space. He climbed everywhere he could and did a walk through the crowd. The ever catchy and oh so popular ‘Pompeii’ ended the set and the chanting was just as powerful live. The entire band seems to have a lot of fun and everyone is quite versatile with the instruments.
Definitely a band not to miss – theyre pretty much sold out everywhere on their tour, but if you can snag a ticket its worth it.
Now — not to make the other bands seem inconsequential — but they are also SO worth seeing. I was told that I needed to check out Little Daylight, from Brooklyn, as my friend Jordan’s wife Nikki is in the band. I had her prior band Xylos and thought they were quite good, but never had a chance to see them. The only real complaint is their set was impossibly short at maybe 20 minutes long. She told me later they only had 5 songs. They must be the most catchy fun songs ever. In a way their music reminded me of The Go-Go’s (and Im a huge fan!) but really I think it was Nikki’s voice that reminded me of Belinda Carlisle. She has strong vocals amidst the keyboard playing that are definitely reminiscent of the 80s. They were lots of fun and she has energy. Lots of dancing on the stage and lots of songs with hand claps and of course a catchy sing-songy chorus. If John Hughes were still alive, their music would definitely appear in one of his movies. I have to say — I had more fun during their set than Bastille. It was just so my type of music – that I cant wait for more.
LA–based Nightmare & The Cat, consisting of 2 British ex-pat brothers, must be one of the most stylish bands. Django, the lead singer, is captivating and just draws you in. The way he moves his hands and expressions reminds me of Tom Smith (from the Editors). The music has a soulful sound with a hint of a folkiness to it. They have some beautiful harmonies, and I constantly felt like I was drawn into the art world – part of a gorgeous painting that is just expanding with lush sounds (as if that makes any sense).
Definitely dont miss any of these bands if youre going to be seeing them. Its an awesome lineup.
Bastille Set List:
Things We Lost In The Fire
What Would You Do
Weight of the Living Pt II
Rhythm is a Dancer/Rhythm of the Night (cover)
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 80's, 9/19/13, Bastille, Brooklyn, concert, Dan Smith, Great American Music Hall, indie, LA, Little Daylight, live, London, music, Nightmare & The Cat, Rhythm is a Dancer, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on September 10, 2013
September 3, 2013
It had been 12 far too long years since Superchunk had played in San Francisco. Thankfully, they had been playing quite a bit in NYC over the past couple of years so I’ve had my share of Superchunk shows most recently. The show was definitely not the same with the absence of Laura who bowed out of touring due to a hearing loss type condition. The band would replace her (on tour) with Jason Narducy who has toured with other bands. I missed seeing Laura jumping around and really having fun, but as she mentioned in an article – she doesn’t hate music, and shes not too old. Its just one of those things.
The crowd was a great mix of people — a lot of older (ie 60s) type folks along with the 40+/late 30 year olds who grew up listening to them. I met a few people who didn’t go to many shows, but would definitely not miss Superchunk. As a few said, well its not quite the same and their music had changed. Im not sure I totally agree with that, but I hadn’t seen them in the 90s – so of course maybe theres no longer mosh pits but it did still have the same energy.
The band opened their set with the popular new song ‘Foh’. Its quite catchy and soon they were off into ‘Me & You & Jackie Mittoo’ which was even more catchy. The band played nearly every song off their new album I Hate Music . The album is fun, catchy and so fast-paced with the great spirit of punk music still alive. Pop-punk at its finest. The first part of the set seemed to fly by at a record pace with 15 songs lasting about an hour and 15 minutes. ‘Digging For Something’ sounded as great as usual and had the crowd singing along.
The band came out for 2 encores which was quite awesome. Jon, the drummer, swapped spots with Mac for the encore and turned it into a high energy punk show with a few guys forming a small pit towards the stage. ‘Slack Motherfucker’ had everyone singing along and pogo-ing along to the music. As Mac said – he might just lose his day job. The band ended the set with a 2nd encore to ‘Brand New Love’ from Sebadoh. A few covers, and lots of songs – old and new – and what a show!
As always – Jim was super fun and chatty. Talking about his pants falling down and random other things about playing. And of course, making fun of Mac here and there. Mac relegated us with a great story about his first trip to SF when he was about 15. He went to a punk show at some random warehouse downtown and couldn’t find his friends, but ended up having a blast!
Superchunk never disappoints. They brought fellow artist Mikal Cronin
(from their own label Merge Records) on tour with them. He was great and had some really great songs. It started off a bit slow but had a slow steady build and had some awesome songs. The crowd was pretty respectful with some talking, but not terribly into it. Im not sure Mikal Cronin even said who he was as he just tore through a 45 minute opening set with nearly no stopping. He’s definitely worth seeing again.
Me & You and Jackie Mittoo
Skip Steps 1 & 3
Out of the Sun
Digging for Something
Trees of Barcelona
Learned to Surf
Landshark (Fang cover)
Brand New Love (Sebadoh cover)
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 9/3/13, concert, indie, live, Merge Records, Mikal Cronin, music, NC, punk, Raleigh, San Francisco, Superchunk, The Fillmore | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on September 2, 2013
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience
America’s Cup Pavilion
Ann & Nancy Wilson, the sisters of Heart, will always take me back to the 80s. I first remember listening to them on tape after hearing one of their songs on the radio. I must have played the hell out of it, as the tape was a bit crunchy, and the tape would get stuck all the time and you’d have to manually rewind it. Sure I’m dating myself, but that was the time.
It was hard to believe that it would take this many years later for me to finally see them live. And the wait was so worth it! The powerhouse vocals that Ann has are simply amazing after all these years. You hear their songs performed on TV all the time, but none could ever get the angst and power to their vocals to come even close to hers. Her voice comes across as gritty, strong, filled with angst and so much emotion.
The band opened the set with ‘Barracuda’. What a great song to open with and the crowd was up and dancing and singing and clapping. The acoustics were amazing and from where ever I was standing (including outside the venue during the opener) it was crystal clear. America’s Cup Pavilion – on Piers 23 and 27 – is an amazing place to see a show. Youre right there on the waterfront – with a cool breeze coming in and the Bay Bridge behind you with their nice new light work. Its definitely worth the price to check out a show there.
Ann said she’d be playing songs that she said called to her to be played. It was a really great set with a good mix of songs from the 70s and 80s (and perhaps even later than that). ‘These Dreams’ and ‘Alone’ sounded amazing. Nancy’s guitar work was superb and she killed it on the songs. ‘Crazy On You’ which closed out the set was perfect. At first the show seemed a bit short – clocking in at 70mins or so just for the set – but the encore itself was balls out one of the best shows Ive ever seen.
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience opened the show. I missed most of their set – but heard a good chunk of it from either outside the venue or waiting in line. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ was so impressive it was hard to believe it wasn’t the original band. The guitar work from Tony Catania, is pretty amazing. It’d be hard to compete with Jimmy Page, but honestly – this is on par with it. Jason Bonham is impressive, carrying on in his father’s footsteps.
The show’s encore was the real highlight of the night. Ann called for Jason and his band to perform with them and it was SICK!! Two amazing bands on stage together performing some of the greatest songs ever. The guitar work from Nancy was incredible and showed how talented she is. Ann’s vocals were amazing on these tracks and of course the guys from Jason Bonham’s band were insane!’Misty Mountain Hop’ and then ‘Immigrant Song’ … honestly I think my mind was blown. And of course, Kashmir – what an amazing song to hear live. The band closed out with ‘Stairway to Heaven’ which was so beautiful that you really did not want the night to end.
Easily – one of my favorite shows quite possibly ever. The bands were so talented and the combination of them was pretty unreal. I cant imagine ever seeing something like this again – unless Led Zeppelin somehow reunites with the remaining band members.
This show reminded me of quite possibly my favorite quote ever uttered on tv courtesy of Freaks and Geeks: “I believe in God, man. I’ve seen him, I’ve felt his power. He plays drums for Led Zeppelin and his name is John Bonham, baby!”
Heart set list:
What About Love
Kick It Out
Even it Up
Dog & Butterfly
I Need You To Turn To (Elton John cover)
Dear Old America
Crazy On You
Encore: w/Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience performing Led Zeppelin songs
Battle of Evermore
Misty Mountain Hop
The Rain Song
Stairway to Heaven
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience Set List:
Over the Hills and Far Away
House of the Holy
Nobody’s Fault But Mine
When the Levee Breaks
Whole Lotta Love
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 70s, 8/28/13, 80's, America's Cup Pavilion, Ann Wilson, concert, covers, Heart, Jason Bonham, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, live, music, Nancy Wilson, San Francisco | Leave a Comment »