Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’
Posted by xneverwherex on May 2, 2013
The Sporting Life
April 24, 2013
The Veils always put on a great show. I had seen them in NYC a few times and they never disappoint. So, of course I was excited to see how it would be on the other coast. I spoke with their merch girl (from New Zealand, naturally) who I had actually met before. We talked about prior shows, their love of Prince (who was also playing that night) and how another friend of mine from New Zealand had to see them in NYC.
It was starting out a great night. I was surprised to see that when the opener came on – The Sporting Life – there was only me and one other girl in the area standing and giving support. While I know people were not there for them, it never ceases to amaze me how people act oblivious and not at all interested. At least by the time the Veils showed up on stage, the crowd had come forward a bit and the venue filled up.
The band, originally hailing from New Zealand and now based out of the UK, seems to be ever changing in their line up. Last time they had a wonderful female drummer from Germany (if I recall correctly) and now they have added a brass section (Americans), and a new drummer (possibly from Germany, maybe from the UK?) and a few other guys to round out their sound (also from European countries). This addition is great and the brass really adds to their songs.
Finn Andrews, lead singer, has such an impressive voice. You can feel the raw emotion as he sings and his face is entirely expressive – the look of a tortured soul/artist. Everything is shown on his face and its hauntingly beautiful. This is just one of the many thigns I like about him/the band. He didn’t have much to say, but a few thanks for the liking of his hat and he seemed cheery enough to be in SF. Sophia, bassist, always comes across as shy and more often than not, plays with her back to the audience. When a woman commented on her awesome boots, she got super excited and more talkative. As always, she sounded awesome on bass.
The band played quite a bit of new songs off their album ‘Time Stays We Go’. After hearing it online a bit, I was impressed with the songs live. They sounded amazing. It was great to hear ‘Calliope’ which always sounds amazing. And their final song of the night ‘Jesus For the Jugular’ sounded as great as ever. It was gut wrenching with one hell of a guitar solo that probably normally ends with a guitar on the ground (at least in the past it has). It was so intense and it was one hell of a way to end the show. It left you wanting more but completely happy with what you got.
If you havent yet seen them (theyre headed to NYC any day now), you really should. The band never disappoints and with this new album sounding incredible and with rave reviews, this might just push them over the edge into major star quality. Not that Finn doesnt already have that quality!
Oh and as far as the merch – Finn designed the shirts. So its worth it to get one (or two).
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 4/24/13, band, concert, Finn Andrews, indie, live, rock, San Francisco, SF, The Independent, The Sporting Life, The Veils | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 22, 2013
The Call (featuring Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)
DJ Dan Mancini
April 11, 2013
Its not often that a show touches your heart and is so endearing. But this show was just that. It took a year and a half for the show to be put together. It appeared that The Call’s music was not the easiest to learn, but Robert did one hell of a job to follow in his father’s foot steps.
Robert Been, bassist and singer of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, came together with his father’s band The Call to perform their music. It was one of two shows that the band will be playing. His father, Michael Been, died a few years back on tour with his son’s band. It was sudden and way too soon. So this was a perfect tribute to his father, bassist and singer, of The Call.
The band seemed very excited to be playing. Their music still sounded incredible and they definitely still knew how to rock. Their 80s alternative U2-esque sound was amazing as they opened up the set with ‘Everywhere I Go’. The crowd was enthusiastic with lots of cheers. Tom (Dickie), the guitarist, was right in front of me clad in a BRMC shirt. It was fitting and he was full of smiles. He smiled at me a few times, easily one of the younger people in the audience. The guys next to me were pumped up as they yelled out songs and talked about their first time seeing the band. Scott, the drummer, was on top of it, pushing the band through the music. Jim was great on keyboards, having a really fun time.
The band seemed to be racing through songs and they all sounded incredible. While I only recognized a handful of songs, it was easy for me to want to be there to support this special night. Their songs are easy to get into and their music still has a current sound to it. The gents next to me gave Robert a hard time about messing up a few of the songs. Robert was cute and nervous and some of the songs were clearly more difficult than others.
One of my favorite bits of the night was the crowd heckling him for not quite getting the songs right. He commented on how hard they were to learn and why it took so long for them to have this night. He told a heart warming story about his dad’s bass being stolen. Then one day he gets a call from a pawnshop in Santa Cruz with the owner being a huge fan of the Call and realizing that it was Michael’s bass. It landed back in Robert’s hand and he’s been playing it. He comments about it being very hard to stay tuned, but that it was special.
I was beyond excited to hear ‘Let The Day Begin’. I had recently heard it when BRMC had played it, but it was just incredible to hear the band play it. The crowd sang along and clearly was having a great time. The lyrics still seem so relevant. The set ended with ‘Walls Came Down’ and it sounded even better live. With everything that had been going on, the song just seemed so fitting. They ended the set with Uncovered which was just Robert singing and it was just hauntingly beautiful. It was great that they kept playing and didnt leave the stage right at 11. They pushed on and said to hell with last calls/closing times. Its a joke anyway – I sure dont remember this when I last lived here. (Apparently its a new thing – with some place moving in and wanting to change it up – thank you gentrification).
Robert definitely tried his hardest and wanted to please the band and his fans. A guy commented next to me, ‘well he’s definitely not his father, but he’s holding his own’. Robert sounded great and albeit a bit nervous, he was clearly having fun. The guys were all good natured and poking fun at him. His father definitely had to be smiling down at him. The band clearly missed Michael but this was the best tribute anyone could have asked for. It was just heartwarming and endearing and Im glad that I got to be there to be a part of it.
Jeffertitti’s Nile, the opener, is a 4 piece band from LA and a friend of Roberts. The lead singer came out clad in skin tight jeans, that looked like they were painted onto him. He had a mop of blonde hair hanging in his face reminding me of a surfer. But a surfer band they were not. The other guys came out in long shirt/dresses and pants and longish hair stepping out of the 60s. It was fitting that they played psychedelic-garage-bluesy-glam rock. They kind of flowed all over the stage. The real awesomeness was the drummer and his hair which exceeded Brent (fathead of The Dandy Warhols). This guy had the most awesome head of hair, only sadded by the fact that the drums hid it. People seemed to really enjoy them. They were pretty quiet with not much to say, and when they did say something it was all distorted through the mics. This is one band that I cannot wait to see again.
Setlist (from LA – and prob the same in SF)
Everywhere I go
I Still believe
I dont wanna
Into the woods
Turn a blind eye
you were there
tore the old place down
swim in the ocean
let the day begin
whats happened to you
…same old story
you run (acoustic)
walls came down
I feel alone lyrics
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 80's, alternative, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, BRMC, concert, indie, Jeffertitti's Nile, LA, live, Michael Been, music, psychedelic, Robert Been, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, SF, The Call, U2 | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 10, 2013
Esben and The Witch
Brick & Mortar Music Hall
April 4, 2013
The Brick & Mortar Music Hall is one of those venues that is barely noticeable. I had walked and driven by it too many times and didn’t even know it existed. Right down the street from a gas station, it just blends into the block. With that being said, the venue is quite cool. Its a pretty small spot with a bar directly in front of you as you walk in and a stage off to the left. Lots of seating available and a very low-key crowd.
Esben & The Witch
Hailing from Brighton (UK), Esben and the Witch
are a 3 piece band that puts on a great subdued show. I had seen them open up for Foals and was curious about their show on its own. The band hardly spoke to the audience but did have a few ‘thank yous’ after the songs. They introduced themselves oh so quietly and then just tore into their set. Rachel Davies, who has a striking resemblance to Keira Knightley, has an amazing voice. Her vocals are reminiscent of Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance) or even Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins). While their sound can be described as gothic, the band definitely has some of the shoegaze influence.
During much of the show, it felt like you were transported to somewhere else. Stuck in a movie that just keeps on going, youre swept away. The music is hauntingly beautiful with guitars that soar. The band had hardly any interaction with each other and played the 45 minute set with hardly any breaks between songs. The band was on tour in support of their awesomely named album, ‘Wash The Sins Not Only The Face’.
Simply put – the show was wonderful.
The semi-local, but mostly Brooklyn, Heliotropes opened up the show. It was their San Francisco debut. At least one of the girls was from Foster City and possibly others. The lead singer seemed excited to be performing for the first time for her mom and sister and friends. The band was very excitable and were having a really great time.
In contrast to the headliners, this girl band was the exact opposite. They were very talkative about their songs, their new album (coming out in June) and just how excited they were to be on tour. Their short set was fast and punchy and balls out rocking. While I wasnt totally into them, it was easy to become swept up in their excitement.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 4/4/13, Brick and Mortar Music Hall, Brighton, Brooklyn, concert, Esben and the Witch, Heliotropes, indie, live, music, rock, San Francisco, shoegaze, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on December 26, 2012
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
December 19, 2012
The Bay Area is lucky to call BRMC their own. The band announced a few West Coast shows to prepare for their upcoming tour in support of their new album. San Francisco was the first of these one-off shows and what an awesome night it turned out to be.
The band started the show out with Santa Cruz’s The Call’s ‘Let the Day Begin’. Robert sang that song and what an awesome way to start out the show as Robert’s father was the singer. Apparently Santa Cruz was treated to the song with a former band member. The band continued on into a new song ‘Funny Games’ and then the crowd pleasing dirty gritty jangly ‘Beat the Devil’s Tattoo’. It sounded great and the crowd was energized and singing along.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Some of the other stand-outs were the guitar-heavy and oh so catchy ‘Berlin’ which had everyone singing along to the chorus. ‘Aint No Easy Way’ off of Howl stood out with the awesome harmonica sounds of Peter. The alt-folk jangly pop song is always a toe-tapper.
The songs off their new album had the bluesy/garage neo-psychedelia rock sound of their last album. The songs sounded tight with lots of great guitar work from Robert (who was in front of me). It was always a delight to see Peter whip out his harmonica and start tapping his feet and playing along in some of the more folkier sounding songs. It was harder to see Peter but he always sounds great and his guitar work always sounds impressive. The addition of Leah, drummer of The Raveonettes, is a great add-on. She fits right in with the guys and always seemed to be having a really great time. Her drumming is top-notch.
Their show was a good 90 minute set if not longer. The setlist contained everything that one might expect/want to hear. The band seemed very excited to be playing Slims and such a small club as they tend to play bigger venues these days. They wasted no time with getting through their music and didn’t even bother with an encore just playing all the way right through it.
The set ended with ‘Lose Yourself’ and everyone seemed to be dancing to it, with heads bobbing, moving back and forth and singing along. The crowd was really into it and the band couldn’t have ended on a higher note.
The opener Cellar Doors
from San Francisco was discovered on their last tour when BRMC needed an opener. They had only played one show (maybe?) and were asked to join them. The band quickly learned all their songs for the tour and joined them in San Diego. Its great to see that the band is still around and sounding strong.
The band has a similar sound to BRMC with their heavy garage rock sound mixed with a bluesy influence. Their songs were infectious and I found myself easily getting into their music. The lyrics were catchy and they had some great hooks. The 3 piece pulled out an awesome 45 minute set that you just didn’t want to end.
I’ll definitely be checking them out at their show at Bottom of the Hill next month and so should you! If you missed BRMC and love their sound, for now this is the best thing to get your fix!
Let The Day Begin
Funny Games (new)
Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
Aint No Easy Way
Red Eyes and Tears
Six Barrel Shotgun
Spread Your Love
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 12/19/12, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, bluesy rock, BRMC, Cellar Doors, concert, garage rock, indie, Lafayette, live, music, neo-psychedlic, San Francisco, Slims, SOMA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on October 16, 2012
David Byrne & St. Vincent
(Love This Giant)
October 15, 2012
Somewhere between The Lion King, The King and I and anything else with King (according to David Byrne) is this show. The Orpheum Theater was nice enough to squeeze in a non-show between it all. And I could only be so lucky to see more shows performed there.
The Orpheum Theatre is a really beautiful theater with exquisite views. I have a feeling that whereever you are seated, you will have a great sightline. I was in the mezzanine and for once I was happy I wasnt in the orchestra. To watch all of the moves and see every last thing was worth it.
David announced from the beginning that the use of cell phones, cameras, videos, etc were definitely ok. He didn’t seem to mind anything, but said we might want to enjoy it without a black box in front of us. He was definitely right. The crowd, for the most part, rarely used their phones/cameras – sneaking it out once in a while to get a picture or two. And what a crowd it was. A respectful crowd that was beyond appreciative and beyond excited.
Finally, around 8:15 David Byrne comes out with St. Vincent (Annie Clark). Him sporting a white/black suit and her in a blue dress that might have been 2 separate pieces. They both looked great. The band, a 10 piece brass orchestra, also was sporting black/white attire. The band is more or less led by Kelly Pratt of Bright Moments, a Brooklyn band. He has also played with Beirut, Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem. The entire orchestra was comprised of members of other Brooklyn bands. Most notably was a trumpet player from Yellow Ostrich.
David Byrne/St Vincent
The show itself was simply awesome and beautiful. The songs off of ‘Love This Giant’ sounded great, even better than what I had heard streaming. The stark dance moves mostly seemed robotic. It was clearly choreographed and most times the band members were nearly stalking their prey (David and Annie). They would move around them, the horns blaring into their faces, as they circled them and taunted them. It was like being in the jungle as the performers all had their own moves. At times, Annie would lean against one of the guys and go to work like a mad scientist on her guitar. It was raw and it was passionate.
A lot of the songs were performed with either Annie or David at the mic. The other almost disappearing into the background, but then they’d join the other, and as quickly retreat. This really got to showcase all of their talents. He is the perfect frontman and great leader. He took the band from song to song. The highlight (not speaking of all the covers!), was ‘Cheerleader’. The band, save for Annie and Rachel (another band member), was lying on the floor and soon were playing their instruments lying on their backs. It was pretty incredible watching these trumpeters play on their back. They slowly got up and the whole piece was extraordinary. Annie’s vocals were nothing short of impressive. ‘The Forest Awakes’ also showcased Annie’s talents and her smoky, raw vocals sounding almost like she should be in a burlesque bar. Its hard to not be captivated by her.
I was never a huge St Vincent fan, and I had seen her a bunch of times, but in this she was perfect. She was robotic, spastic, her moves not quite polished. She was shaky, with a nervous energy the way she moved and it worked out perfectly. Her own songs had never sounded better with the backing band. Her guitar playing not as overly aggressive as can be.
And of course, David Byrne. Having never seen him perform before, I wasnt sure what to expect. But he delivers. With his shocking head of white hair, he is an entertainer. He’s talkative, funny and clearly having a great time. And it was great that there were some Talking Heads songs sprinkled in. ‘This Must be the Place’ is a really catchy Talking Heads song and got the crowd singing along. A girl in front of me started dancing with reckless abandonment. It started something, because when St Vincent played her solo songs, 2 guys started dancing clearly enjoying every moment of Annie’s voice.
All in all it was a great set. It was great to hear Annie talk about first hearing The Talking Heads in ‘Revenge of the Nerds’. As she said ‘the best song placement ever’, when referring to ‘Burning Down the House’. She also talked about an aunt/uncle in the audience who helped her become who she is and getting her into music. You could see the show meant a lot to her.
The band had 2 encores and the crowd never let up. Enthusiastic till the very end. Dancing throughout the theater and everyone having a good time. And a congo line for ‘Road to Nowhere’… seemed way too fitting as they closed out the set.
Weekend in the Dust
Save Me from What I Want (St Vincent)
Strange Overtones (David Byrne)
I Am an Ape
Marrow (St Vincent)
This Must be the Place (Naive Melody) (Talking Heads)
The Forest Awakes
Like Humans Do (David Byrne)
Cheerleader (St Vincent)
Lazy (David Byrne)
I Should Watch TV
Northern Lights (St Vincent)
The One Who Broke Your Heart
Outside of Space and Time
Cruel (St Vincent)
Burning Down the House (Talking Heads)
The Party (St Vincent)
Road to Nowhere (Talking Heads)
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 10/15/12, alternative, Annie Clark, David Byrne, indie, live, Love This Giant, music, Orpheum Theater, San Francisco, St Vincent, Talking Heads | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on October 8, 2012
Monday night women rocked the house. Shirley Manson and “the boys” brought along Marissa Paternoster and Co. (aka Screaming Females). What a fearsome two bands it turned out to be.
It had been over 10 years since I had last seen Garbage. Somehow I had forgotten what a show it would be. Shirley came out in a long black cape like top and some awesome heeled boots. She walked around in big circles taking over the stage. She was ferocious, commanding attention.
She started out the set with a charged up ‘Supervixen’ and then went straight to ‘I Think Im Paranoid’. It was an awesome start to the show and Shirley’s dance moves to Paranoid were spot on. The crowd was excited with lots of fists pumping in the air, lots of ridiculous bright red hair wigs and the like. About 30 mins into the set, Shirley stops by Butch Vig to change her shoes and put on way more comfy flats. She ran around, did even more funky dance moves – robot moves were just awesome – and was having a great time.
It was even a more special night for Shirley as the last time her mom saw Garbage perform live was at The Warfield. There were also a few more tributes for other people that had passed away and a really heartfelt one to Christopher, whose daughters were at the show. It was definitely moving and she played ‘Special’ for them, which had never sounded better. You could see that it meant a lot to her and and the band.
The band played a solid 2 hour set that just flew by. I had forgotten how many hit songs they had. #1 Crush, Only Happy When it Rains, Queer, Stupid Girl, etc. Eric Avery (Of Janes Addiction), who looks to be having a great time on tour with the band, veoted Shirley’s idea of a crowd picking the song. It was a competition of a ‘favorite’ or a ‘new’ song. Shirley went on about how some like risks and it was quite cute till Eric decided theyd play the new song. It worked out well, I think most appreciated hearing a new song. Shirley also mentioned a story about how one of the songs was about losing her virginity, but it was always assumed to be about something else. For what its worth, it wasnt good.
As mentioned earlier, Screaming Females
of Trenton, NJ opened the set. Many people had never heard of them and didn’t know what to expect. Marissa, in a dark dress, played the hell out of her guitar. The songs were tight, fast and short reminiscent of Nirvana. Grunge has never sounded better. The band, as always, had few words to say and made the most out of their 30 minute set. And from where I was standing, she definitely impressed a few of the guys with her amazing guitar-playing skills. She thanked Shirley and Garbage a lot and you could tell she was genuinely happy to be opening for them.
This was definitely one of the best shows of the year.
Time Will Destroy Everything
2. I Think I’m Paranoid
3. Shut Your Mouth
4. Why Do You Love Me
6. Stupid Girl
7. Hammering in My Head
9. #1 Crush
10. Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
11. Blood For Poppies
14. Battle In Me
15. Push It
16. Only Happy When It Rains
18. Bad Boyfriend
19. The One
20. You Look So Fine
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: alternative, CA, Garbage, grunge, live, Madison, Marissa, music, NJ, San Francisco, Screaming Females, Shirley Manson, The Warfield, Trenton, Wisconsin | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on September 28, 2012
It seemed forever that I had last seen Maximo Park. Their last tour somehow didnt end up coming to NYC, so it was about time they finally came back. And the band seemed to really enjoy being in San Francisco and playing Slims. Paul had so much energy that you could feel it bouncing off the walls. He posed lots and had lots of great movements and his dancing has definitely improved and increased. I definitely miss the scissor kicks, but theres still lots of jumping. Lukas is still as insane as ever on the keyboards. He kept pulling them towards him as he’d jump around and even jump on them. Very awesome.
The songs off their new album, ‘The National Health’ are quite catchy. ‘Take Me Home’ should be a total hit. They started their show off with the always fun and energetic ‘Graffiti’ and then jumped into the title track which was also really catchy. But it was really their older songs that got the crowd super excited and jumping and singing along. While their other albums have been quite good, nothing has compared to ‘A Certain Trigger’. Although, the guitar riff from ‘Girls who Play Guitars’ has never sounded better.
It was awesome when Paul said he had a song to sing about where we were. People screamed out songs, but I knew it had to be ‘The Coast is Always Changing’. What an awesome song and what a perfect San Francisco song. ‘Graffiti’, ‘Limassol’ and ‘Kiss You Better’ still sound amazing live. It was great to hear Paul sing part of ‘The Acrobat’ which he had to stop singing due to the lack of anyone remembering it
Paul & The Park
The band played nonstop for about 90 minutes before announcing it was down to their last songs. He mentioned how Americans love encores (really?), but that on this tour there wouldnt be any. They put their heart into the set and left it all on the floor. Naturally, some people (who I guess didnt believe the band), yelled for an encore. A 20 song set was hard to be disappointed with and for the most part they played nearly everything I would have wanted to hear.
Paul talked about how he had a few days off from the tour and how they went to Coit Tower and visited other sites. Paul was pretty talkative and wanted to tell stories, but for some reason many people in the audience just yelled out songs and wanted them to play. A pity as he’s a great storyteller.
LA’s The Neighbourhood
were surprisingly quite awesome. The guys looked quite young and were very excitable. There are definitely some hardcore influences along with hip hop. Its a great combo and makes for a great show. The lead singer, who is covered with tattoos, is hard to take your eyes from. Even if the music is not your scene, just stare at his arms/neck for awhile and youll be entranced.
NYC’s Zambri played a quite short set. They tried to do something unique with a lot of microphones that didn’t quite work. It definitely had an electronic feel and reminds me of School of Seven Bells. I still find them a bit forgettable but they’re fine to watch. Im not quite sure how they ended on this lineup but it made for a quirky interesting night.
The National Health
Girls Who Play Guitars
Hips and Lips
Questing, Not Coasting
The Coast Is Always Changing
Write This Down
Books From Boxes
The Kids Are Sick Again
Take Me Home
Now I’m All Over the Shop
This Is What Becomes of the Broken Hearted
I Want You to Stay
By the Monument
Waves of Fear
Apply Some Pressure
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: britpop, indie, LA, live, Lukas, Maximo Park, music, Newcastle, NYC, Paul, San Francisco, Slims, The Neighbourhood, UK, Zambri | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on September 7, 2012
Great American Music Hall
I guess the summer holiday is officially coming to an end, so it seemed fitting that it ended with Wild Nothing. Wild Nothing had finally made it back to the West Coast according to Jack. It sounded like it had been quite awhile and the way Jack told how San Francisco was his favorite city, reminded me of the way I had felt about NYC.
The band, by way of NYC (Brooklyn for Jack — and Athens for a few others — as well as one guy still in VA?), are on tour for their second album, Nocturne. I wasnt sure how the album would hold up compared to Gemini (one of my fav albums quite possibly ever), and it does. And quite nicely. Maybe with a few more spins it’ll end up in that same category.
From what I had learned from their new lighting guy – the band is kind of all over the place when it comes to where they live. Im not sure how it works as it seems that Jack isn’t fully in control over every part of the music, but it does work. And dare I add, quite well.
Their music just takes you away to a dreamy far away land with swirling guitars, lush vocals and darkened lights that just add to the visual. For an hour or so, it feels like youre off in your own land dancing to infectious indie pop hooks. It still has the hint of shoegaze but its like the Cocteau Twins of the 80s and the pop sounds of The Sundays.
The guys all moved around aimlessly with the bassist jumping up and down for a lot of the songs and the guitarist moving back and forth in his own world. Jack, who doesnt say much, had some interactions with the guys but mostly he just played his heart out. He was definitely excited to be there and you could feel the energy from the crowd. As the first guitar chords begin on ‘Chinatown’ an excitement builds in the crowd. ‘Live In Dreams’, which has always been a favorite, has never sounded better. Everyone sang and danced and moved in a hazy dreamlike nature.
In contrast to the Pains show, this was a different experience where people were there just wanting to hear the music. The only real complaint was the sound itself. At times the guitars were just too loud and muddy and took away from the vocals, but for the most part it worked itself out.
And just because Im selfish – how about bringing back one of the best Kate Bush covers ever. Cloudbusting is such an amazing song; its rare that a band can do her music justice. But its one of the best covers Ive ever heard. And this coming from a music snob
DIIV (pronounced Dive and formerly known as Dive), another band from NYC, were one of 2 openers. The guys looked impossibly young and it was hard to believe they were even 16. The crowd were so into them and that was quite awesome. Some of their music reminded me of Explosions in the Sky but not as big as a sound. Lots of heavy guitars and a few songs with minimal vocals.
I remember liking Holy Shit and at the same time thinking what a horrible band name or thinking when is Holy Shit Fuck going to be a band. The band, which used to have Ariel Pink in it on the first album, is now a few guys from San Francisco. They play lo-fi experimental-ish jams and put on a great, really tight set. It was over so quickly that by the time you were into it, that was it.
Overall — one hell of a night with 3 great bands!
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: Athens, Brooklyn, concert, DIIV, dreampop, GAMH, Great American Music Hall, Holy Shit, indie, live, music, NYC, San Francisco, shoegaze, Virginia, Wild Nothing | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on September 6, 2012
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
A B & the Sea
Perhaps age and more than likely perhaps living in NYC has made me somewhat jaded about shows. Or perhaps I have been spoiled with seeing many of these bands earlier in their career that sometimes it just doesnt pay to see a show.
A B & The Sea
Arrived at Popscene, (which is not the popscene I had remembered from the 90s — oh the people and times have changed) long gone from the very cool warehouse like 330 Ritch and now over at Rickshaw Stop – a smallish tightly packed club, to a long long long line. It was a bit confusing at first as no one seemed to know where to go. Then of more things crazy – they let the ticket buyers (not holders) into the show first. So we had to wait an additional 30 mins or so just to move an inch. Of course, Popscene is now filled with a very young high school crowd who were more excited about seeing each other late at night and high fiving each other for being in the very front. The whole thing just was weird. Id like to take this moment to say I really hope I was not that obnoxious in high school at shows (then again everywhere was 21+), so it was usually The Warfield and Shoreline.
The club was pretty packed by the time friends and I arrived. The Popscene DJs were spinning the same stuff youd hear on Live 105. No one danced and it was just a tad sad. As we had waited outside so long, at least it wasnt too long a wait for A B & the Sea to come on. Plus, random videos on the screens made it go by a bit quicker.
San Francisco’s A B & the Sea put on a pretty awesome performance. Some of the songs were beyond catchy and had a sunny California pop sound. It just made you want to dance and sing along. Songs like ‘California Feeling’ are guaranteed to be a pop hit. Its fun and light. ‘Constant Vacation’ is another very catchy dance-y song. They make you feel like summer is in the air and its going to be a great night. The only problem with their music is that they are all over the place. There are the total pop songs that are light and fun and then a lot of their music is in a totally different direction. It was like the band wasnt sure which way to go. A pity. The crowd was really into their lighter feeling songs.
Either way – Id see them again if theyre playing in SF.
Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Brooklyn’s Pains of Being Pure at Heart
had finally come back to SF after about 5 years. The crowd was beyond tightly packed inside and even at the beginning everyone was pushing against each other. Their fun dream pop sound that I had come to love from their first self-titled album was somewhat gone. With another guitarist added to their stage performance, it became a lot more loud and a lot more guitar driven. I somehow missed hearing their earlier stuff and the dream pop sound that had made them popular. And mostly I missed more of Peggy singing. Perhaps she was just overshadowed by the loud guitars?
Their new album ‘Belong’ has some great numbers and it was great to hear it live. The band was excited to be there. It seemed that Weekend (the band) was around and that the 2 bands had decided to switch coasts. Well actually, only Weekend is moving to NY. As the band mostly played tracks off their new album, the crowd got more insane. First the moshing began with people getting shoved to the ground, guys grabbing girls and just pushing them into the pit, and then the crowd surfing. Ive certainly been to plenty of shows with all that, but its rare for a guy to repeatedly try and grab me and push me into a pit.
Overall, it was a bit of a disappointment — but at least the opener gave me something to look forward to. And the cheap ticket… oh yeah that made it all the better.
So the question is, would I see the Pains again? Im not sure if it was the crowd, the music, their new direction. But, at this point, Im not sure I feel a real need to. I loved the first album when it came out and couldnt get enough of it. Ive listened to Belong a number of times, and it lacks something for me. Everything I loved seemed to be gone.
Thankfully I had Wild Nothing to look forward to.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, San Francisco | Tagged: 8/30/12, A B & The Sea, Brooklyn, California-pop, concert, indie, indiepop, live, music, NYC, Popscene, Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco, The Pains, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on July 24, 2012
Fountains of Wayne
Great American Music Hall
It seems like every time I see Fountains of Wayne its the summer. They are the perfect summer band, so it works out quite nice. The band came here via Japan and were still jet-lagged from the plane ride. They joked about the questions the Japanese asked them and clearly they had a great time. While maybe a bit tired, you never once got that feeling from them during the set.
The band played with so much energy. The crowd just loved Adam – who doesnt – and throughout the show you could hear various people yelling out his name. The crowd was beyond energetic and everyone around me was singing and dancing. There was just so much love for the band.
The band, who seems to have not stopped touring since summer of last year, was here promoting the new album Sky Full of Holes. Its great that the band manages to play songs from all of their albums. My favorite album has always been Utopia Parkway – so its always good to hear “Denise” and “Red Dragon Tattoo” (perhaps my favorite song).
The night seemed to go by at record speed. Their catchy power-pop songs felt like they were played at a frenetic 3 minute speed (they might have, actually). The guitars as always really add to the show. Im pretty sure the entire crowd was rocking out. I couldnt wait for the ‘Radiation Vibe’ medley which seems to always occur now. The real surprise is what songs will they mix it up. The guy behind me was nearly going into cardiac arrest yelling ‘Billy f’ing Squier’. Hah! Its hard to argue with the following mix tho – Radiation Vibe/White Wedding (Billy Idol)/Everybody Wants You (Billy Squier), Rock’n Me (Steve Miller Band)/Jet (Paul McCartney & Wings)/Sister Golden Hair (America)/Radiation Vibe. Im a huge fan of America (I make no apologies) and this was just insane. The crowd is driven to insanity and then bam – band leaves the stage.
Thankfully the band came back out with a 5 song encore. Of course, Stacy’s Mom (has got it going on) and Sink to the bottom was on it. Its hard to imagine a show without either of them (not sure it can happen).
Always great to see a NY local band along with FoW. I think it must be a staple for them. Mike Viola was an opener not to be missed. He had really catchy pop songs – so it wasnt a surprise to google him and find out that he composed songs for movies “That Thing You Do”. The 2 other guys accompanying him were a great addition, but he alone would have been fabulous. He’s definitely an artist worth checking out.
Bought for a Song
It Must Be Summer
Someone to Love
Red Dragon Tattoo
The Summer Place
Richie and Ruben
Valley Winter Song
A Dip in the Ocean
Bright Future in Sales
Radiation Vibe Medley: Radiation Vibe/White Wedding (Billy Idol)/Everybody Wants You (Billy Squier)/Rock’n Me (Steve Miller Band)/Jet (Paul McCartney/Wings)/Sister Golden Hair (America)/Radiation Vibe
Sink to the Bottom
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 7/19/12, CA, concert, Fountains of Wayne, Great American Music Hall, indie, live, Mike Viola, music, NYC, pop, powerpop, San Francisco | Leave a Comment »