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 18, 2013
The Airborne Toxic Event
April 11, 2013
I hadnt seen the Airborne Toxic Event in quite a few years and hadnt remembered their prior sets quite so lively. The band did not disappoint. They put on a really great rock show. Mikel Jollett, lead singer, wasted no time at all before climbing on the stacks on the far left side and singing to the audience all over there. He really worked the stage using every bit of it – making rounds to each side.
Airborne Toxic Event – Mikel
By the 2nd or 3rd song, he jumped into the audience and started playing from the crowd. The crowd was really into it and were singing along and dancing. There was so much energy from the entire band. The guys moved from different instruments throughout the set which was pretty cool. Mikel was often times on top of the drum kit and playing from there. The other band members each had their turn up there. There were some pretty incredible guitar solos as well as bass solos. Mikel gave each member a shout out and plenty of time to show off how talented they were.
The set just flew and before I knew it, they were onto the encore. Some of the highlights during the set were ‘Numb’, which it didn’t seem a lot of people knew or were into. Their cover of the Magnetic Fields ‘Book of Love’, was just beautiful and sounded really incredible and fresh. They ended the night with a raucous encore of a medley of songs that had the crowd going nuts and singing along. It started out with their own song “Missy” which then became Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ and then turned into Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl’ and then they did a quick pause. Mikel talked about the next song being a huge protest song and how most people in this country have no idea what the song is about. Of course, it was Bruce Springstreen’s ‘Born in the USA’. By the time it was done, they had taken it back to ‘Missy’. It was a real incredible way to end a really amazing set.
I definitely had missed seeing a balls-out rock show that just rocked! By the end of the night, everyone was a sweaty mess from dancing and singing. It was great fun and a band I will definitely be seeing again.
The opener Midnight Air, also from LA, were a harder edged rock band. While they were good, I wasnt blown away by them. One of the band members was in Film School which I had really liked but this was definitely not the same band. The band clearly had a great time and were excited to be playing in SF for the first time. They were talkative and friendly and fun! The band was also excited to be playing their last show with ATE and clearly had a great time on tour with them. Im guessing theyre playing Coachella about now.
If youre on the fence about seeing the ATE, and theyre heading East – Id definitely say not to miss them. You definitely will have a great time!
Happiness is Overrated
Does This Mean Youre Moving On?
Half of Something Else
Sometime Around Midnight
All I Ever Wanted
All at Once
The Book of Love (Magnetic Fields cover)
The Graveyard Near the House
Missy/Ring of Fire/American Girl/Born in the USA/Missy
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 4/11/13, Airborne Toxic Event, concert, indie, indie-rock, LA, live, Mikel Jollett, music, Nightmare Air, rock, SF, Warfield | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 4, 2012
The Polyphonic Spree
Sweet Lee Morrow
Great American Music Hall
My first show in awhile and my first show since moving back to SF. I couldn’t have chosen a better band for my first show here. The GAMH is a super awesome space. The ceiling is quite ornate in the shape of a woman’s body (thank you, foursquare). Its quite the intimate spot with tables wrapped around the venue making it a great place for dinner and a show.
Sweet Lee Morrow, keyboardist with the Spree, opened the show with a folk acoustic set. He sat down in the middle of the stage with just a lone chair and guitar. He sang a few songs, made some quips about songs not for the young ones (ah the ever great all ages shows) and finished the set in a fast 20 minutes or less. Next up, New Fumes. I was surprised that the audience didnt seem so into it, and for just one guy he had some great beats. An electronica set with interesting beats and Star Wars as a backdrop, not bad. Oh yeah, and danceable music. I was quite loving it.
A few minutes before 10pm and a red sheet/screen is covering the stage. Its a wonder how many members are in The Polyphonic Spree these days and how will they fit them all on the stage. Right away you could tell 2 players would be high up above the others. Soon, a heart is cut out and out pops Tim DeLaughter’s head. The rest of the sheet is then cut and pulled off and GAMH has turned into a stage filled with at least 13 members (although I swore there were more). Way high up above would be the cellist and guitarist. In the center are 2 rows of choir members that are beyond giddy. Of course, my favorites, the horns comprising a french horn, trombone and trumpet.
The Polyphonic Spree
Its a whirlwind pace of a show with white robes swooshing and a big red heart stitched into the middle. Who wouldn’t want to be a member of that
band. Musical director/lead singer Tim DeLaughter takes us on a tour of the Spree’s musical catalog. Directing the instruments and choir it begins to feel like a gospel baptist church. Its hard to not get caught up in the euphoria that the band brings. Everyone swaying and dancing with hands extended into the air. Plenty of peace signs flashed throughout the show along with heart-shaped hands.
Some of the highlights included ’2000 Places’ which early on got the crowd moving and dancing. The new single ‘Bulls Eye’ sounds quite great. The Who medley was pure brilliance as Tim leads the band through a nearly 10 minute performance that includes a rockin’ ‘Pinball Wizard’. The french horn and cello got lots of play during that. ‘What Would You Do’ had the choir doing some great harmonies and vocals.
So soon they’d be off the stage. Tim said how awesome it was to be in SF again and how they’d be back again real soon. As in one month, maybe one night, and then he said theyd play again today at 7:30am and asked if we’d be there. Obviously, if there was a 7:30am show we’d all be there regardless.
The band then left the stage for a few minutes before coming on and doing a march through the crowd. The band members kept on coming – high-fiving the crowd and waving hello. The encore consisted of ‘Together we’re Heavy’, crowd favorite ‘Light & Day’, ‘We Sound Amazed’ and ‘The Championship’. It is one hell of a one-two punch when oen of the last songs you’re singing is ‘Follow the day and reach for the SUN!’ – which should be an anthem for the band (and prob for most of us in general). The band finally left the stage (after a nearly 2 hour set) for good with each member walking off the stage and waving goodnight. As the band members left soon it was the cellist, who seemed to be having a hard time getting down from the riser and 2 singers and Tim. As each person left it got a little quieter, but the audience got louder. Soon it was just us and Tim singing ‘All in good time, we’ll come round, raise our voice, make another sound’. And then it was just us and the audience continued singing that line and simply put… it was beautiful.
Posted in Live Music, Random Ramblings, Uncategorized | Tagged: 4/3/12, Dallas, GAMH, Great American Music Hall, music, New Fumes, psychedelic, San Francisco, SF, Sweet Lee Morrow, Texas, The Polyphonic Spree | 1 Comment »