Posted by xneverwherex on April 14, 2015
20+ years later and The Replacements were back in San Francisco for the “Back By Unpopular Demand Tour”. The much-adored Minneapolis ‘Mats broke up all too soon in 1991 and it was hard to imagine that this day would come. It was even harder to come by with a ticket to this oh so sold-out show which seemed to have sold out in mere minutes of their onsale time. But pretty much any price would have been worth it to see them. I had pretty much given up on going to the show and opted for a ticket to another reunion show Ride over at The Warfield. But my heart was always in it to see The ‘Mats.
It was interesting to see them in a nice, polished club with ushers at the doors and ‘bartenders’ in their tuxes selling way overpriced drinks. But I will say the sound at The Masonic
was pretty amazing. While I cant say Im a huge fan of Nob Hill (is anyone really?), it was a pretty sweet venue and one Id gladly go back to. So it was amusing when Tommy Stinson
commented about how they used to play in the ‘lowlands’ (referring to the I-Beam in the Haight). And naturally Paul Westerberg
could barely remember it. And that was just the kind of show it was.
Some bantering about the songs, the area and how we needed to break the Portland curse. And if that wasnt broken after that, Im not sure what would have unbroke it. The band started out the night just right with ‘Takin a Ride‘. The crowd was jumping and bouncing and it was pure energy with lots of fists punching into the air. It was hard to go wrong when that was just the opening song. Of course, it was over all too soon with what felt like 2 minute songs of pure raw-punk energy. Headed right into ‘Favorite Thing‘ kept the audience moving and it seemed that energy would never stop.
The band sounded as great as ever. Sure, theyre a little older (or a lot!) as we all are. Forgotten lyrics, shortened songs, clips of songs that didn’t finish, and even Paul singing ‘Androgynous‘ from inside of a tent. It just would not get better than that, but of course it did. While the band didn’t necessarily have hits, they did manage to play a lot of their more popular songs along with their deeper cuts. It should have appealed to nearly everyone in some way, shape or form. They really mixed it up with playing songs from their early albums Hootenanny and Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash plus their later albums.
And best of all, the band still had that grittiness/dirt to them. They still had an edginess to them and Paul might be a little grayer but hell a lot of us are now and he still sounds as great as ever. The energy from Tommy on bass is still electrifying. Dave Minehan on guitars was f’ing brilliant. He had so much energy and was an awesome fit. (Original ‘Mats guitarist Slim Dunlap is recovering from a stroke; while original drummer Chris Mars ixnayed the reunion tour). On drums was Josh Freese who was pretty kick-ass having played in oh so many other bands. Its a great fit and they seem to have chemistry.
The show was one of those things where it was either going to be insanely awesome or it would just suck. Thankfully, it was f’ing brilliant. I couldnt have asked for a better time, better company and a most awesome crowd. Everyone singing to “Bastards of Young” is one of those moments that will be hard to forget. The excitement of finally hearing “Kiss Me on the Bus” live was beyond awesome. Plus, Paul playing “Skyway” acoustically was just gorgeous. And then you add in other popular songs like “Ill Be You“, “I Will Dare” and of course the final encore of “Alex Chilton” along with the entire crowd singing along and it might be one of the most perfect sets.
I may regret not taking more photos (really hardly any), but hell if it was way back when none of us would have even had them. It was nice to see for most the set that there werent a whole lot of people recording/filming every second of it. We were all caught up in a time and moment together, and fuck it, why bother trying to replicate it. It will never be better than that moment. With that being said, the photos on here are all from Ben Graham and theyre quite a fitting way to remember the show.
Opener John Doe (of X) opened up the show and like many a punk-rocker these days, he has gone the alt-country-folk route. And they were quite good and the woman in his band had amazing vocals. He changed the lyrics to a song to reflect a SF club and that was a nice touch. And he even played some X songs as well so that is a pretty cool thing. Plus, its f’ing John Doe opening and it seemed a very fitting opener.
Takin a Ride
I Don’t Know/Buck Hill/I Don’t Know
(Elvis “Little Sister” tease)
“Poetry Tent” (Paul reads in a tent to “Take Five,” Brubeck
([with Paul singing from inside a tent)
Kissin’ in Action
((with Tommy playing Black Sabbath Iron Man intro at the end))
I Will Dare
Kiss Me on the Bus
20th Century Boy / Bang a Gong (Get It On) / All Shook Down
Take Me Down to the Hospital
I’m in Trouble
I Hate Music
If Only You Were Lonely
I’ll Be You
Color Me Impressed
(Chuck Berry cover)
Anywhere’s Better Than Here
Can’t Hardly Wait
Bastards of Young
Within Your Reach
Seen Your Video
(Paul solo acoustic)
Left of the Dial
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 'Mats, alt-country, alternative, concert, John Doe, live, Masonic Auditorium, Minneapolis, Nob Hill, punk, San Francisco, SF, The Replacements, X | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 3, 2015
Ibeyi, the much-hyped SXSW band from Paris, had finally emerged in San Francisco. Ibeyi, meaning twins in Yoruba, had to be the most adorable twin sisters I had ever seen perform. I guess one word that kept coming to mind while watching them was ‘precious’. And their set was just that (which is not to take anything away from how brilliant they are).
The sisters came out to the stage to a crowd that was beyond excited to finally be seeing them perform. They kneeled down and picked up the candles on the stage and lit them before starting their first African chant. Add some traditional Cuban drums, and the beats came alive with Naomi keeping a consistent beat throughout the show. Coupled with sister, Lisa-Kaindé, singing in Yoruba (a bygone Nigerian and Santeria language) and the show was already that great.
The show felt at times voyeuristic as we watched the sisters perform chants and folk songs for the Yoruba gods. Lisa-Kaindé talked a lot about the gods and who they were and how they were a part of the songs. It felt like we were almost invading this sacred world, but the way they made the audience a part of it was nothing short of special.
The blend of Afro-Cuban, French music set to drum beats was a minimalist sound but simple and beautiful. With the piano playing of Lisa-Kaindé against Naomi’s drum beats and the strong vocals it was so easy to get lost in the music. The sultry dance moves as they glided across the stage just added to the ambience of their music. As the twins went into their single ‘River
‘, they dedicated it to the gods (possibly Oshun and Shango – one was definitely for the water and the other earth) and had the crowd sing along “wash my soul again” as they sang “I will come to you river”. The end result was just beautiful as the crowd became a part of their show.
The crowd, who was filled with lots of very polite women (someone even complimented Lisa-Kaindé’s dress), would apologize each time they bumped you or wanted to squeeze in and take a picture. And it felt all too fitting with the sisters on stage who had that same vibe to them. They were all too thankful to be playing and so excited that the crowd was so into them. The crowd was electric and sang along to most of the songs as well as continued with the clapping as instructed. Songs like “Oya” just stood out with the gorgeous piano playing and warm/strong vocals against the simple percussions keeping up the beat. And “Ghosts” is nothing short of spectacular. You can just feel the pain in their voices as they harmonize together and come together as one. The pianos and drums together with their chanting and vocals just makes for a beautiful song.
In short, this is a band to see. While their music itself is simplistic, when they perform together its really something beautiful and magical. The twins come together as one and take us into a world that rarely we get to see. Its usually hard to translate that into a live performance but theyve managed to do just that. In a nutshell, its just precious and will take you out of your own world/life for just a bit.
Opener Flo Morrissey came out to a very loud audience. She was soft-spoken and picked up her guitar and played a short acoustic set. She had some good songs and her vocals are nothing short of impressive – strong and powerful – but she just couldn’t compete with a crowd that was far louder than her. It seemed most the time you could barely hear her singing but Im sure in the right venue she would be pretty awesome to hear.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 4/2/15, Afro-cuban, beats, Cuban, drums, French, Ibeyi, Independent, live show, music, Paris, San Francisco, sisters, twins, Yoruba | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 1, 2015
Public Service Broadcasting
What Up Mang
Meet Me In Orbit
(Upstairs) @ DNA Lounge
Its been a year since Public Service Broadcasting had been around, but amazingly enough they’ve already released their 2nd album. Aptly titled The Race For Space, the band has now surpassed where they started from. This new album is pure genius and it feel like it could just take us up into space.
Public Service Broadcasting
London boys J. Willgoose, Esq.
(always looking lawyerly in a bowtie and corduroy) and Wrigglesworth
, the bad ass on the drums, always know how to put on an incredible show. While the band doesnt talk at all, their computer certainly makes for a 3rd person of the band. With lovely quips ‘thank you San Francisco’ or ‘We’re so glad that we are finally playing (majorly long pause) Upstairs the DNA’, the computer has a personality of its own. The two guys clearly have an awesome time playing together and it shows all over their face with lots of big smiles.
Mostly their show is all about the music. The Race for Space is just that. It felt like we had gone back in time to when JFK was in office – there was a need to get to space and see the unknown world, get to the moon – and hearing it all looped over their music was something pretty special. The band has managed to do one hell of an impressive feat with getting the astronauts and NASA’s original broadcasts and communications between each other. The band has some amazing footage from times lost and has incorporated it into one hell of a visual display. Between the visuals and the aural sensation, at points it felt like we were there.
Single ‘Gagarin‘ is a fun disco-infused electronic song that really got the crowd dancing. People were there for fun and the tiny little upstairs was a great place for everyone to get a bit hot and sweaty dancing to their music. ‘Signal 30‘ off their first album is still a catchy piece with much heavier guitars and drums as cars go flying down the road with the announcer talking about ‘driving too fast – no drinking and driving’. It just works and with all of their songs you feel like youre transported into this whole different world of theirs. I still get a bit misty eyed every time they play ‘Everest‘ just imagining being there — with the most gorgeous mountain ever. Its just hauntingly beautiful.
With that being said – their new music combined with some of their most awesome tracks off the other album – makes for one hell of a show. You just dont want it to end.
Meet Me In Orbit
Its only fitting that Meet Me In Orbit
(with perhaps one of the best names ever!) was one of the show’s openers. The San Francisco band played their first show ever last night and the crowd was so into them. The band is bringing their own dreamy, spacey electronic sound which is catchy and dance-y and like PSB, just takes you away. It was hard to not want more from the band, but with such few songs you take what you can get. Thankfully, their first EP gets released on April 7 – and if youve missed really good dream-space-pop that you can just close your eyes and dance to – then make sure to get this. They’re one of those bands that you expect to be big and to hear much more from because they are THAT good!
What Up Mang!
What Up Mang
managed to bring some pretty cool kaleidoscope disco psychedelic beats from the Lower Haight to SOMA. The band was definitely out there and were having a great time and I never would have thought Id say that disco and psychedelic music could go together, but it seemingly blended all too well together. Plus, they had some great blissed out harmonies. The lead singer was quite the dancing machine and she was enthralling to watch. Plus, they even managed to have a crazy cover of Billy Ray Cyrus’ ‘Achy Breaky Heart
‘ and they made it even better by slowing it down and adding some heavy Hawaiian luau beats. So if you ever just want a fun night out, this band will deliver, plus youll end up dancing the night away.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 3/31/15, disco, DNA Lounge, dream-pop, electronic, London, Meet Me In Orbit, psychedelic, Public Service Broadcasting, Race for Space, San Francisco, space rock, UK, Upstairs DNA, What Up Mang, Willgoose, Wrigglesworth | Leave a Comment »