09 January 2012

Coachella 2012... and infinite sadness

Who I desperately want to see: M83 (times a million because all SF tour dates are sold out), The Shins (who I might at least get a chance of seeing on tour elsewhere), Radiohead, Miike Snow

Who I have seen but want to see again: The Horrors, Beirut, The Hives (they were opening for Maroon 5, and I was forced to pay $60 just to see an opening act, and it was only 30 minutes, and it hardly counts, and if you can't tell I'm still bitter about the whole situation), Nero, Kaskade

Who I want to see for fun: Neon Indian, Andrew Bird, Childish Gambino, Justice, Girl Talk, Arctic Monkeys, Bon Iver, and pretty much everyone else. 

I saw this today and for a split second thought I might try to postpone a trip to Europe to go. But it's completely impractical in regards to work and money and life. Thankfully my close friends aren't going, so I don't have to be completely jealous and sad about being left behind. Still... sigh... this is one of the best lineups I've seen in a long time.

06 November 2011

The Horrors, 19 May 2009, The Fillmore

My last post was lackluster, I'll admit. I just couldn't bring myself to write down the fact that the show wasn't entirely enjoyable. I love The Horrors. Apparently their fans can be assholes, though. This crowd had a handful of the weirdest and most obnoxious people I've ever shared a dance floor with, and it just about ruined it for me.

To make up for this I want to remember the good times I had when I saw the band live for the first time, back in 2009. The Horrors were opening for The Kills and it was one of the best times of my life.

First, I must say that I rather enjoy attending a show where I like the opening band better than the headliner. The crowd may not be as worked up as I am, but there's something wonderful in having people give you breathing room while watching the performance.

The songs on "Primary Colors" are the perfect mix of atmosphere and rock, making it a true experience to witness live. "Scarlett Fields" is one of my favorite tracks because of this show. I will always remember seeing Faris Badwan stuffing the strobe light under his shirt, holding it to his body while the rest of the room was in darkness as he sang, "See yourself, an image in the eyes of someone else." The fleeting light paired with the music was beautifully haunting.

This is the image of The Horrors that I want to remember. The last show was a good performance, but the atmosphere of that night in The Fillmore couldn't be matched.

*Here are some grainy as hell photos from the show, which are actually just stills from some grainy as hell video. Obviously, I lacked a decent camera at the time.

Grabbing the strobe light

12 September 2011

The Horrors, 10 Sept. 2011, Bimbo's 365

Poor lighting made it difficult to get a decent non-flash photo, and the quality of the uploads make them seem darker than when I look at the originals. Oh well! Hope you enjoy them anyway.


19 April 2011

Cut Copy, 17 April 2011, Regency Ballroom in San Francisco

The house lights went down and the guy next to me slid on his Rayban Wayfarers. "How hipster can you be?" I thought.

The band appeared on stage by walking through an illuminated doorway. They took their places, and with the first note, a bright, white light flashed straight into the face of the audience.

As I blinked and squinted at the stage I realized: that guy wasn't being pretentious—he was prepared.

Quickly the blinding light subsided and as soon as the crowd was able to regain its senses, everyone was dancing. This wasn't one of those shows where a few people self-consciously bob their heads along to the beat; every single person was in constant motion. The bright flashes of light would return at just the right times during the apex of a song to take that energy even further until the crowd was literally jumping.

The energy from the stage was just as hot. Three songs in and the band member's shirts were already soaked through with sweat.

Lead singer Dan Whitford enchanted the crowd with his awkward/cool dancing and chitchat. He would make interpretive motions with his arms and hands to the lyrics, which I found amusing. He frequently thanked the audience, his voice carrying a slight similarity to Mr. G of Summer Heights High.

With that voice, he crooned the best from the band's most recent two albums, as well as "Saturdays" from their debut.

About halfway through the set he told the audience that the show was going to be turned up a notch. The dancing in the audience became more frenetic and carefree at the same time. I haven't sweat that much since P.E.

Still, my sweat-level was nothing compared to that of guitarist Tim Hoey. He played with his teeth, he played by jamming a drumstick through the strings, he played by mashing the face of the guitar against any surface he could find. He also played the maracas rather enthusiastically. At the end of the set he dove into the crowd with his tambourine in hand and surfed as he played the little chimes that no one could actually hear. At the end of it all I shook his slimy, sweaty hand—the evidence of a good night.

This was the third night in a row the band had played. Friday night was Coachella, Saturday was also at The Regency. It's amazing to me that night after night these guys can deliver. Whitford, however, was humble and attributed the success to the audience.

"When we said we wanted to play Sunday night too, they said it couldn't be done. They said we couldn't get people to come out on a Sunday night and get them to dance," he said. "Well, you proved them wrong."

**I was too busy dancing to get photos, so check some out here

05 February 2011

Cut Copy

In San Francisco April 17 with my awesome sister. Dancing shall ensue.

22 January 2011


Ignore previous mentions of Ra Ra Riot. For a variety of reasons, which I will not bore you with, I was unable to attend their show tonight. I hope they put on a lovely show and all in attendance have a good time.

I'm not sure what the next concert will be, but I hope something crops up soon! I can't wait to see a live act again.

01 January 2011

Year in review

It's been a bit quiet around these parts lately, so I figured I'd write a quick recap of my impressions of this year's shows.

When I first saw the lineup of shows to attend I was excited and overwhelmed at the same time. For some reason it seems as though the shows I want to see are always bunched around the same time of year. Can't they be spread out a little? Oh well, it made for lots of excitement in the fall.

My favorite show of the year was Jónsi, hands down. The stage setting and effects were incredible, almost beyond description. The whole room transformed convincingly into his own world, and every note resonated with me. It was the best overall "package" that I think I have ever seen at a show.

Going into this year, I would have guessed that Sufjan would have been my favorite, but I was hoping for the theatricality of his shows prior to this new album. It was still a treat to finally see this prolific artist--and especially to hear him talk so intimately about his creative process--but it wasn't the musical experience I was hoping for.

Another solid show was The Walkmen. They never fail to impress me, and their opening acts were thoroughly enjoyable. This was one of the best setlists I have seen them perform, and the high energy made for a fun night of dancing.

Panda Bear was fascinating and memorable because I had never seen a show like that before. Just a man on stage, almost ignoring the audience as he entertained us. I was intrigued by the projections and the way he segued from one song to the next, but after seeing Jonsi, this seemed like kids play. This is the guy you would want to DJ a party, whereas Jónsi should be writing the soundtrack to your life.

Sadly, the most disappointing show had to be Gogol Bordello. It had nothing to do with the performance of the band--their energy was infectious--but rather the obnoxious audience and overall atmosphere of the venue.

Another one that I am shocked to say is in the bottom is Cold War Kids. I loved being able to shoot photos and be so close to the band; the venue was small and intimate. Unfortunately the new songs failed to stir anything in me. I'm still waiting to see if I change my mind when I listen to them again, but even an otherwise perfect performance seemed a bit lackluster.

Well, here's to hoping that 2011 will have some wonderful new things in store. I'm looking forward to getting things started right away with Ra Ra Riot this month!