Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

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Posts Tagged ‘The Fillmore’

Toad the Wet Sprocket Has Something to Say

Posted by xneverwherex on May 18, 2019

Toad the Wet Sprocket

The Fillmore
August 3, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO — Toad The Wet Sprocket played an unforgettable show at The Fillmore. The Santa Barbara band, which formed in 1986 and came to great fame from the release of Fear in 1992, played an amazing set filled with lots of older songs that did not leave fans disappointed.

Glen Phillips, clad in a cowboy hat and bare feet, started the show with the mid-tempo rhythms of “The Moment” off of the album New Constellation which had great jangly guitars from Todd Nichols. Toad then went into the more popular song “Whatever I Fear” off the album Coil from 1997, which is now 20 years old. Phillips’ distinct vocals had never sounded better as he sang the lyrics “whatever I fear the most is whatever I see before me.” Toad played with a tightness and fearlessness to the band I had not seen before.

The band, who still is playing with their original members, save for Randy Guss who fractured his ribs, sounded as one as they played. The beautiful mixing of the guitars from lead guitarist Nichols and bassist Dean Dinning on “All Things in Time” blended seamlessly. Nichols and Dinning also added gorgeous harmonies to “All I Want” complementing Phillips’ vocals.

Glen Phillips who is so natural on stage offered up plenty of banter as well. From complimenting the crowd with how “attractive, intelligent and smart” following it up with the quip “the rent is so expensive, how do you do it?” to then discussing California cities like Jefferson and if we are North or South of it. He added a few more things that were left to blank stares to which he charmingly said about himself “I’m making an ass out of myself.”

Toad excitedly admitted that they would now finally have a song, “One Of Those Days” in the animated movie Animal Crackers, which has a catchy keyboard melody from Jonathan Kingham. Toad got the most cheers from their earlier songs. “Good Intentions” which has the memorable guitar riff from Nichols had fans singing along. Plus, Nichols also showed off his own vocal talents on “Crazy Life” with Phillips adding the harmonies. Toad even added a little Pink Floyd into the mix adding “Breathe” to the end of their song “Don’t Fade”. The psychedelic guitar sounds mixed with Phillips haunting, strong vocals was beautiful.

As the night came to an end, the crowd was treated to songs off of Fear for the album’s 25th year anniversary. “Nightingale Song” had Dinning and Phillips join drummer Josh Daubin (of opener Beta Play) as well as their tech Gavin on tambourines in a drum session. Of course, it would not be a Toad set if the band didn’t end with the crowd singing along to “Walk on the Ocean”, which they most certainly did.

Fellow Santa Barbara band Beta Play opened the set for Toad. The band had opened for them in their previous tour and had become friends. (Beta Play drummer Taubin also is filling in on drums for Toad). The band played pure infectious, dance-pop. Tom Cantillon, lead singer, plugged their new album incessantly between songs suggesting people buy it from “tinder and atari”. Songs like “Tug of War” was pure energy with catchy lyrics plus keyboards creating perfect dance tunes and had the crowd dancing along; “Fire to My Feet” had great harmonies between the brothers Tom and Michael Cantillon.





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The Music Revolution Has Begun… Again

Posted by xneverwherex on April 21, 2016

The Last Shadow Puppets
Alexandra Savior
The Fillmore/The Catalyst
4/17, 18/2016

It was only 8 years ago that I had last seen The Last Shadow Puppets. At the time, I was raving about how brilliant their album was. It was also a show that had stayed with me. I remembered seeing them upstairs in the Hammerstein Ballroom. Even then, I knew it had to be too small for them. So, I am still a bit dumbfounded that The Last Shadow Puppets aren’t huge and can still play venues like The Fillmore. It’s not a bad thing, at least as a fan. But they came back stronger than ever with their second album, Everything You’ve Come To Expect.

TLSP - Alex Turner

TLSP – Alex Turner

Long story short, Alex Turner and Miles Kane, should be that huge with this band. It’s a departure from the Arctic Monkeys, but this is by far the better band. The two of them are the ultimate crooners. The way they sing to you, as if you’re the only person in the crowd, is pretty amazing. With their suits and dapper look, I was instantly reminded of some of the best – an homage to the Rat Pack – straight with Alex Turner combing his hair back as he takes a rest while Miles Kane sings. Throw in a bit of the cool swagger of Tom Jones and the emotion of Morrissey and you get Alex Turner. He has charisma and charm in a way that only Morrissey exudes. I don’t think I had been to a show in that long of a time in which the girls were screaming like this was The Beatles. The girls were going crazy for Alex – including throwing things on the stage (please say it was a bra or panties). Their high pitched screams and giggles if Alex looked their way, was amusing. Sure, he’s attractive (he knows it), but my god – when he sings – he becomes even more attractive. And Miles, is the much louder, brasher of the two commanding attention. But the two of them together work perfectly. And when the two sing together – arms around each other – it really shows their fondness of one another.

I was telling a co-worker about last night’s show and his comment was “from the sounds of your description – they sound amazing and someone not to be missed”. And that is what I walked away with. I wasn’t even supposed to be at the show on Sunday night at The Fillmore (Lush had to cancel) and it worked out that I was there, and honestly, having 2 shows back-to-back made me fully appreciate the band even more.

Onto the music – TLSP added a strings section to their show. It was needed to add another element to the band. They begin the show with just the strings, violins and cellos which sounded so beautiful. Just a small group of performers really added to the show. The moment TLSP got on the stage, the whole floor of The Fillmore just lit up in billows of smoke. Im sure the band was stoned by the end of the show if they weren’t already. The band also seemed beyond excited to be playing in San Francisco. Miles and Alex must have yelled out something about SF every few minutes and incorporated SF into some of their songs. They were so incredibly tight and I felt their set in some ways was a bit better. The mix/order of the songs felt a bit more succinct at the Fillmore.

TLSP - Miles Kane

TLSP – Miles Kane

Most of the songs were the same, save for “Used to Be My Girl” – which is pure sexy, sultriness. The melodies from Miles and Alex in that song are just perfect. Their voices blend together so beautifully; it’s a song they should always play. “She Does The Woods” (with the intro from Arctic Monkeys “Joining the Dots” was also missing). Alex sounds so great on that song with Mile’s breathy vocals joining him.

Really, the one thing missing was the talkativeness of the band. They must have mentioned/asked ‘How you doing SF’ almost after every song and were just saying how excited they were. In retrospect, the Santa Cruz crowd was insane and way more into it. People were beyond excited for this show with a line wrapped around the block and down the street (this was over an hour prior to showtime). The crowds were polar opposites with the Santa Cruz show filled with a ton of college students and younger. Perhaps, SF has become the ‘cool scene’ where people just don’t show emotions. Regardless, both shows were incredible.

Some of the stand-outs from the evening were easily off the first album The Age of the Understatement with the ever catchy ‘My Mistakes Were Made For You‘ showing just how awesome of a vocalist Alex Turner really is; ‘Standing Next To Me‘ (easily one of my favorite songs) and having some of the best harmonies ever especially as they go into the chorus; ‘The Age of the Understatement‘ which was my first foray into the band – and has the best build-up of any song – always making me think of a bull fight as it just gets more and more intense – it’s pure brilliance; and possibly my favorite TLSP song ever ‘Meeting Place‘. With the strings opening the song and played throughout it just adds to the emotion of the song – coupled with Miles Kane softer vocals to Alex, who really works the song with all of his moves and hip shaking. The lyrics are just heartbreaking, but so beautiful.

The Last Shadow Puppets

The Last Shadow Puppets

It’s also pretty awesome that they still play pretty much everything off each of their 2 albums. They could have cut their shows short, but they really put on quite the show including a Beatles cover that is quite impressive ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)‘. ‘Dracula Teeth‘, which is Alex singing with Miles playing the hell out of the guitar is quite the pretty song. And the single ‘Bad Habits‘ is the ultimate in catchiness and has Miles doing one hell of a scream while Alex does more of his slides and dance moves as he plays the guitar. Just brilliant.

Alexandra Savior opened the set. She collaborated with Alex Turner on her album and he co-wrote most of the songs with her. I noticed at the Santa Cruz show, he stood by the side and watched her perform and seemed quite pleased. While she does have good vocals, she seemed a bit too precious/twee for me. She was almost too cute, but at times she did have a sultriness/sexiness to her and that made her quite appealing. If she toned down the preciousness and upped the sensuality, I think she’d made for one hell of a performer. Regardless, she still put on really captivating show and is definitely one to watch.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to see The Last Shadow Puppets, or can see them at one of the festivals this year, you really shouldn’t miss them.

Set List The Fillmore:
Everything You’ve Come to Expect (Extended string intro)
Sweet Dreams, TN
Meeting Place
Miracle Aligner
Dracula Teeth
Calm Like You
Used to Be My Girl
She Does the Woods (Arctic Monkeys’ “Joining the Dots” intro)
Bad Habits
Only The Truth
The Element of Surprise
The Age Of The Understatement
My Mistakes Were Made For You
In My Room

Standing Next To Me
The Dream Synopsis
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (The Beatles cover)

Set List The Catalyst Club:
Black Plant (Live string intro)
Calm Like You
Bad Habits
The Age Of The Understatement
The Element of Surprise
Separate And Ever Deadly
The Chamber
Miracle Aligner
My Mistakes Were Made For You
Only The Truth
Dracula Teeth
Everything You’ve Come to Expect
Meeting Place
Sweet Dreams, TN
In My Room

I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (The Beatles cover)
The Dream Synopsis
Standing Next To Me

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Bring on Brooklyn: Battles + Buke & Gase

Posted by xneverwherex on October 17, 2015

Buke & Gase
The Fillmore

I had avoided Battles for awhile just because they seemed like another experimental/art-rock outfit from Brooklyn doing something really out-there; which is not to say that they aren’t any of the above. The band might possibly be more weird/avant-garde than I thought, but perhaps people change (or as I get older, maybe I’m willing to think/listen outside the box). Putting that all aside, seriously, what on earth was I missing.



The trio from Brooklyn did not disappoint. While waiting for the band to come out, it was impossible not to notice the insane drums front and center of the stage with a crash cymbal that was beyond high for the average person, yet somehow was perfect for John Stanier. And then to his right (in front of me) the dueling upside down keyboards of Ian Williams and of course the band wouldn’t be complete without Dave Konopka‘s guitars/pedals.

Battles started out with the ridiculous sick ‘Dot Com‘ off of their new album La Di Da Di . Dave starts it out with repetitive loops that seem to carry on and on as the song has a slow build of just him until finally the guitars come in then throw down some synth beats. By the time a good solid 5 minutes have gone by the drums finally come into play. Have no doubt about Stanier — the guy is ridiculous. The way he seamlessly hit the insanely high cymbal while sitting down making it look so easy. He is quite possibly the best drummer I might ever see. He puts drummers to shame the way he went took to the drums. By the time the first song ended, the guy was dripping in sweat.

And then if you really wanted to dance, Battles went straight into ‘Ice Cream‘. One of the few songs that isn’t entirely instrumental featuring Matias Aguayo’s vocals. Its catchy and dance-y even if its all loops and blips and just makes you want to move. Guitars, synths, instruments all sounding like other instruments its one of the most brilliant songs.

Battles is like an aural symphony. The different, unique sounds and the way it comes together seems so organic like its happening fresh before your eyes. Even if they’ve done the same setlist night after night – it never felt old. There was so much sweat flying everywhere you could tell the band played their heart out. Even after they talked about San Francisco (“their favorite city to play in”), even as Dave kindly admitted they said the same thing the night prior in Portland – it was clear that they were having an awesome time. They even joked about how many cliche things they could say about San Fran, Cisco – and even asked what they should call it. But it was clear – they were at The Fillmore – and super excited to be playing there.

FF Bada‘ was beyond catchy and really showed how well the band played off of each other. Different time signatures and music all over the place – it somehow comes together and fits perfectly. The band was focusing mostly on their new album but did play ‘Atlas‘ which was definitely a crowd favorite. While not a lot of songs were played, the songs that were played seemed to go on forever and blended together like a beautiful symphony of sound. What more could one want.

Buke & Gase

Buke & Gase

Buke & Gase also of Brooklyn opened the set. If Battles was pretty out there, Buke & Gase held their own with also being pretty bizarre. I had seen them before in New York opening for The National and also with Ra Ra Riot and remember liking them but this time may have been more memorable. The duo Arone and Aron play hand-made instruments that are beyond creative. Arone plays the ‘toe-bourine’ which is exactly as it sounds (tambourines played as she click clacks across the stage) as well as the “buke” (six-string baritone ukulele) while Aron plays the “gase” (a guitar-bass hybrid).

Their music is definitely interesting and started off on the slow side until it really started to hit a stride. Arone has beautiful vocals that are strong and just flow with the sounds. Lots of solid repetitive beats and just a really unique experimental sound. Its pretty amazing that with just 2 people there are so many instruments that are heard. The band is beyond creative and definitely has their own style. If you’re into avant-garde/experimental music – these bands are both worth checking out!

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The Mountain Goats – the greatest music trade in craigslist history

Posted by xneverwherex on June 3, 2015

The Mountain Goats
Blank Range
The Fillmore
June 1, 2015

True story. If it wasnt for nameless and countless friends, Id probably still be wondering who this band was. Lets rephrase that. Years ago in NYC, a guy I was dating at one time but turned into an amazing friend, invited me to a Mountain Goats show. I have no clue why I didnt go, and the only reason I know this is because I was searching for Mountain Goats and found an email exchange. The more interesting thing was, he wasnt the first guy to invite me to the band. For whatever reason, I always associated them in a category I deemed ‘guy-rock’. Moral of the story – never underestimate the power of guys youve dated who end up becoming good friends. They probably have better taste in music than you.

Even truer story – Id be lying if I said I didnt know who John Darnielle was. Of course I knew who he was, who didnt. I lived in NY – we lived, talked, breathed music for years. Did I also ever mention how I was in love with Superchunk – one of the most awesome 90s ‘real’ indie bands operating a real indie label (Merge Records – home of one John Darnielle). So there I was in NYC at The Music Hall of Williamsburg seeing Superchunk yet again for another countless time and the band starts playing ‘Digging For Something’ and this guy in glasses is pogoing around the stage singing along and having a great time. Mac ends the song with ‘John Darnielle everyone’ and of course, crowd goes f’ing crazy!

John Darnielle - The Mountain GoatsBut I digress, here I am years later – a lot older – definitely less wiser – and again out with a guy I previously used to date – who is a good friend with way better taste in music than myself. And at this point — an even dearer friend in Asheville — is posting lyrics from The Mountain Goats and turns out has ‘Heretic Pride‘ tattooed on his arm. I knew this had to be a sign. Two very important people in my life were having these emotional experiences with the band. At this point, I was pretty sad that The Fillmore show had sold out, but turned out there’d be a second show at Great American Music Hall. So I wasted no time and bought tickets – and later lucked out to swap them for The Fillmore. Probably the greatest music trade in craigslist history.

I had started listening to their music religiously and was transfixed by the lyrics. The outpouring of his heart was something I could relate to all so well. I had cried one too many times listening to ‘Waving At You‘ that when he played it, it was impossible to not grab my friend. I could have turned into a ball of tears at that moment, but there was something so ridiculously beautiful and cathartic about hearing it performed live.

The band came out to the ever catchy ‘Blood Capsules‘ and in an instant the crowd was alive. Everyone seemed to be so into it — lots of dancing and moving around, lots of singing along, some hands in the air. It was a perfect crowd for a perfect show.

John was at his finest. He was oh so talkative with plenty of stories about pro wrestling and they were perfect introductions for the songs off of ‘Beat The Champ‘. At moments I felt I had gone back to the 70s and was about to watch a wrestling match on tv — there was always the villain and the good-guy. But as John said – in real life – there is no possible way to be the villain. I mean sure you can, but you cannot just hate people and feel no sympathy, lest you be labeled a sociopath. Such a perfect introduction for ‘Foreign Object‘ about a good guy going bad and a bad guy going good and eventually being stabbed in the eye with a foreign object. Honestly, I wasnt sure much could eclipse stories like that.

But then there was John Vanderslice and talk about Tiny Telephone Recording Studios in SF and of course SF’s own John Vanderslice was there to play on ‘Heel Turn 2‘. It was one of the most beautiful songs from the show last night. And John Vanderslice has got to be one of the coolest cats ever. It was too bad that they didnt do one of the songs that they recorded together, but who cares, this song was perfect.

And how can any show at The Fillmore not get some sorta mention of the Grateful Dead. And John did not disappoint. He talked about hating on the Dead while he was still into the black eyeliner goth scene (ala Bowie) – and sure everyone loves to hate on the Dead. But musically they are geniuses, perhaps not lyrical wise. So of course, a cover had to be played. It was pretty awesome as it was just John and his guitar (part of the 3 song solo part – which did include ‘Waving At You’) playing ‘Friend of the Devil‘ – which is actually quite a great song. He also played ‘Straight Six‘ for the first time ever and managed to do quite a bit of tuning before playing and joked about doing that to prolong playing the song.

The Mountain GoatsAmong stories galore, one of the best shows ever was played. John is an incredible frontman. He was so impressed with the crowd and amazed at how quiet we were during the slow songs (you could have heard a pin drop) and also how energetic it was at points. It was almost too perfect to have it all in one, that at moments I wanted to pinch myself to make sure it was real. Plus, his other band members are insanely awesome – Jon Wurster, drummer of Superchunk and tMG – bassist Peter Hughes, who is simply f’ing awesome and has some pretty sweet bass lines – and mostly the multi-talented Matt Douglas, who plays nearly every instrument but was pretty sweet on the sax and clarinet! (why oh why arent there more clarinets in bands!)

And naturally, he ended the show by talking about encores (which most people know I really detest). The silliness of them – and how if you come out – typically you perform 2 songs, and then maybe leave again and come back to do another 2 – and its this huge deal or the other way – you come out for an encore and just play and play another long set. So as he said he’d be playing a long set for the encore and we’d all appreciate it. And there is nothing ever wrong with that especially when you get to hear ‘This Year‘ which might be my mantra for the year. And it was quite an encore and I could have been happy with that. But the crowd never stopped and got louder and louder and surprise – he did a second encore. The second encore included the Gladiator songs performed back-to-back which is a rarity and was pretty amazing! And it was a perfect way to close out the night.

I have loved Beat The Champ from the moment I heard it. All of the songs are so beautiful and I love the stories about the wrestlers and hearing them performed live was perfect. Of course, throw in older songs, never before played songs, a cover, and John Vanderslice a second time (he played during the 2nd encore) and you get a perfect show. As a friend emailed me today, “I’m glad you are now a member of the church”.

“i am gonna make it through this year, if it kills me.” – john darnielle

Set List:
Blood Capsules
Cry for Judas
Animal Mask
Foreign Object
Get Lonely
Heel Turn 2 (with John Vanderslice)

John Solo
Straight Six (first time played live)
Waving at You
Friend of the Devil (Grateful Dead cover)

Full band
Fire Editorial
Stabbed to Death Outside San Juan
The Young Thousands
Love Love Love
Never Quite Free
Up the Wolves

Encore 1
Southwestern Territory
The Legend of Chavo Guerrero
The Diaz Brothers
Hast Thou Considered the Tetrapod
This Year

Encore 2
Amy AKA Spent Gladiator 1
Spent Gladiator 2
No Children

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Stereophonics Take on San Francisco Bay

Posted by xneverwherex on October 12, 2013

The Wind + The Wave
The Fillmore
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.

Thousand Trees
Graffiti on the Train
We Share The Same Sun
Indian Summer
Have A Nice Day
Vegas 2 Times
Mr Writer
In A Moment
Same Size Feet
Nothing Precious At All
Maybe Tomorrow
Roll the Dice
Violin & Tambourines
Been Caught Cheating
Just Looking
Local Boy in the Photograph

Caravan Holiday
I Stopped To Fill My Car Up
The Bartender & The Thief

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I Hate Music w/Superchunk

Posted by xneverwherex on September 10, 2013

Mikal Cronin
The Fillmore
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.

Mac and Jim


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!

Mikal Cronin

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.

Set List:
Me & You and Jackie Mittoo
Seed Toss
Skip Steps 1 & 3
Staying Home
Out of the Sun
Breaking Down
Iron On
Nu Bruises
Low F
Rope Light
Package Thief
Digging for Something
Trees of Barcelona

Learned to Surf
Hyper Enough
Slack Motherfucker
Landshark (Fang cover)

Encore 2:
Brand New Love (Sebadoh cover)

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Dandy Warhols – 13.13.13. (13 Tales)

Posted by xneverwherex on June 18, 2013

The Dandy Warhols
The Shivas
The Fillmore
June 15, 2013

Saturday was a complete day of all things Dandy Warhols. It started out on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Amoeba Records in the Haight. I had planned an earlier arrival, but it worked out just perfectly regardless. About 30 mins prior to showtime, the place was still fairly empty. The band still hadnt arrived and some random store employees were testing out equipment. Finally, Zia was there – her hair all done up in braids and started talking to friends and getting things ready. Then, unbeknownst to me, Pete was right in front of me looking very scruffy.

Dandy Warhols @ Amoeba

It was soon announced that Courtney was MIA – hadnt yet arrived and was still hung over from the prior night of partying in LA. Good times! About 20 mins later – theyre good to go (or as good as things will be). They do a short set with songs from 13 Tales. I remember ‘Horse Pills’ and ‘Shaking‘ but Im also quite sure ‘Godless‘ and/or ‘Mohammed‘ was also in there. And they ended the set with ‘Big Indian’. Hard to complain for a free show that was right before their show that night.

The plus in Courtney’s lateness — Zia, Pete and Brent — all were happy to sign whatever people had. Brent kindly told me ‘I took that pic on the cover. Its Pete’s shirt’.

Saturday night was a very different scene. Much more professional, the band was all there on time. They played 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia in its entirety. Im pretty biased as its my favorite album ever. So seeing it played from start to end was pretty awesome for me. From the first guitar notes of ‘Godless’ it sucks you in. The first 3 songs were just designed to play together. ‘Godless’, ‘Mohammed’ and ‘Nietzsche’ sound excellent when played back to back. They just blend together perfectly. And then it really starts going and picking up speed. ‘Country Leaver’ and ‘Solid’ are sounding as excellent as ever. People are singing along, dancing and everyone is having a good time.

I have to say I am mystified about the crowd. A lot of kids are there and they only want to hear ‘We Used to Be Friends’. Its annoying. Plus they want to mosh. Really – some of these songs are just not made for moshpits. Fights were breaking out – people were incredibly rude and honestly – I wished everyone had smoked a lot and chilled out. This was not the right crowd that one normally gets. Zia had to yell down to tell a girl to shut up who wouldnt stop screaming (she was punched in the breast). I guess if I were her, that guy wouldnt have been walking straight. The guy (at maybe 16/17?)’s argument ‘we’re at a rock concert’. Ive heard a lot of things – but there are things as personal space and groping people anywhere will likely get you arrested (esp if thats your lovely argument).

Other than that, Zia is as charming as ever. She was pretty polite even with people yelling her name every 5 seconds. Rocking out in her Guns n Roses shirt, she was having a great time dancing a bunch, playing guitar and tambourine. The band was in great spirits and after the initial 13 Tales set came back for a pretty awesome set of a few songs off DROK. Of course, now between sets we’re treated to the acoustic version of ‘Every Day Should Be A Holiday’ with just Courtney and a guitar and an excited crowd singing along. Some of the others included ‘Lou Weed’ and ‘Ride’. We also got to hear ‘Good Morning’, ‘Theyre Gone’ (off the last album), ‘Last High’ and a really great revved up version of ‘Boys Better’. Now that was just awesome. I cant remember if ‘Be-In’ actually was played, but theres a good chance that it was.

Courtney, Fathead and Pete @ The Fillmore

Of course, a Dandys set in SF is never complete until Zia sings a song on her own. I usually get to hear her ‘Daisy’ song, but this time it was even better. She wanted to give tribute to one Janis Joplin and how fitting it was that she ended the set with ‘Mercedes Benz’. A lot of people joined in and Zia looked super excited that the crowd was so into it.

Overall, the show was pretty awesome. It was great to finally hear my favorite album in its entirety. Over the time (97 was my first show of theirs), Ive seen some incredible shows (their 3 hour sets were insane), and some that werent so great. This was definitely one that prob won’t ever be repeated and for that reason alone it was pretty special.

The Shivas opened the set. I guess I had higher expectations. Not sure if I understood the need for 2 drummers (the female was insanely awesome). Some of their garage rock songs were pretty awesome and Ill prob try and check them out again sometime. They didnt say much but seemed excited to be on the set.

Set List:
13 Tales from Urban Bohemia
Country Leaver
Horse Pills
Get Off
Cool Scene
Bohemian Like You
big Indian
The Gospel

Every Day Should be A Holiday (Acoustic/Courtney solo)
Good Morning
Theyre Gone
Holding Me Up
Last High
Boys Better
Lou Weed (somewhere in the set)

Mercedes Benz (Janis Joplin cover) (Zia solo/acoustic)

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Johnny F’ing Marr & the Bad Ass Band

Posted by xneverwherex on April 14, 2013

Johnny Marr & The Healers
The Fillmore
April 13, 2013

Johnny F**kin Marr, as his tshirt states, is a force to be reckoned with. An already great show went over the greatness by the time the encore hit. So I’ll just start there as its too impossible to still not be reliving. Johnny starts telling a story of growing up in Manchester and at age 13 meeting some really amazing kids. And one kid, in particular, is in a band and had made it. The others, yeah not so much. This kid turned out to be Billy Duffy, guitarist of the Cult. These long-time friends had never played a stage together before tonight. And, honestly, they need to do it more often as this was melt your face off unf’ingbelievable.

The two of them (both guitar gods as far as Im concerned) performed one hell of a version of the Clash’s ‘I Fought the Law’. It was powerful and full of raw energy. Johnny let Billy take the spotlight and on his white guitar he tore it up. The two of them continued into a really rocked out version of ‘How Soon is Now’. The song has never sounded so amplified with so many guitars filling up the room. It was awesome and one hell of a way to close out the set.

And for those interested in their friendship – and random factoids – there is a great interview here.

Prior to that insane encore, the set itself was beyond great. Johnny Marr & The Healers are a great band. While its clear that this is Johnny’s band, he seems to really like working with his band. The guys looked quite young but all seemed to be having a great time. It would be hard not to. Johnny Marr is charismatic and charming. He thanked SF quite a bit, and spoke of the acupuncture he had done. He had lots of chi in him and apparently it really helped on his guitar solos.

The songs off his solo album sounded really great and fresh. And had a very current sound. They use a lot of guitars, but it never sounds too heavy. The Smiths songs received huge applause and everyone sang along. ‘Big Mouth Strikes Again’ sounded every bit as great as The Smiths. While at first it was a bit odd to hear Johnny sing these songs, (he doesnt have Morrissey’s moodiness nor vocals), he did sound quite great overall.

Johnny Marr is an unbelievably talented guy. He still has the boyish good looks so reminiscent of English bands. Its pretty amazing to watch him and remember how many bands he’s been in and how talented he truly is. I was fortunate to having seen him play with Modest Mouse. Its easy to forget that he was also in Electronic and The The and even toured with the Cribs. It makes sense then that NME gave him the godlike genius award.

One hell of an amazing show. Yeah, that sums it up!

Theres not many guitar gods out there anymore so if you can still see him, you owe it to yourself to not miss this show.

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Enjoy Yourself – The Dandy Warhols

Posted by xneverwherex on May 18, 2012

The Dandy Warhols
Sleepy Sun

The Fillmore

The Dandy Warhols started off the US tour in San Francisco on Wed night. Touring for their 8th studio album, This Machine, the band was in great spirits. Courtney Taylor-Taylor was as chatty as always and had quite a few stories to share with the SF audience. He reminisced about playing house parties in the 90s in the Mission and also how it took some 3 years for them to finally head up north to Seattle to play a show. SF was lucky to say the least with them playing all the time.

The show started with ‘Be-In’ which might just be the best intro song ever for a band to start a show with. From there it just went non-stop into ‘We Used to Be Friends’ and ‘Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth’. It would be hard to disappoint from that start. The crowd was singing along with lots of cheers for Zia throughout the show. Courtney talked about his shirt ‘Brian Jonestown Manager’ which Anton had asked him to wear for the show. The Brian Jonestown Massacre had just played SF a few nights before.

The Dandy Warhols

The band played hits from most of their catalogue. It was great that there is still an abundance off of 13 Tales that is still played. ‘Shakin’, ‘Mohammed’ and the crowd-pleasing ‘Godless’. The intro chords to ‘Godless’ had the crowd in a frenzy as the audience cheered them on.

About half way through the set Zia said all the vibrations made her need to use the bathroom. Soon enough Brent and Pete followed her off stage. Par for the course, Courtney had the crowd do an acoustic version of ‘Everyday Should Be A Holiday’. Stripped down to a guitar and the audience, the song always sounds great. The chorus really filled up the entire venue as everyone shouted and sang along.


Their new music fits in nicely with their older songs. 4 songs were played off the new album and they couldnt have sounded better. They had a nice blend of songs with their droning, shoegaze guitar sounds as well as their faster pop songs ‘Get Off’. ‘Lou Weed’ was played for someone in the audience and Courtney remarked that song had the most words of any of their songs and he was out of breath. As he put it, ‘guess I had a lot to say about Lou Reed’.

Other things: Pete always looks cool esp when he’s doing his wind up arms on guitar; Zia is now playing guitar on a song (or 2) off their new album; and Fatheads hair always looks so awesomely huge. Im pretty sure that this band just gets better with age.

After about 2 hours the band finally announced the last song. With their ‘fake’ encore (ie no one leaves the stage – mock cheers), they were back for one last song. They talked about the carnival scene in Amsterdam which would have been perfect for ‘Autumn Carnival’, but they had already played that. Instead we got a really great version of ‘Country Leaver’ which worked quite well. It was fun and quirky and one hell of a way to end the show.

Openers 1776 (who are on tour with them) looked like they had just stepped out of the 60s/70s with long shaggy hair sounding like The Byrds. They played about 20 minutes of loud rock music – not much talking to the point someone yelled at asking for the name of their band.

The other opener Sleepy Sun were quite catchy sounding a bit shoegaze-y indie pop. Their set dragged on a bit and the lead singer seemed to expect more crowd participation. He was really working the stage going back and forth with big arm movements that I felt like I was watching Snow Patrol. Maybe one day they will be big that they wont have to say their name.

Be in
I love u
ride? (did they play this?)
Last high
Holding me up
Enjoy yourself
You get me right down to the floor..sad vacation
Lou weed
And they’re gone. New song
Get off
pia/Boys better


Ill tell.you I.understand. country.leaver

Sent from my Android.

(the setlist might be a bit inaccurate – really couldnt remember if ride was played)

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