Oh, man. Rocktober continues! This weekend in the Bay Area is completely crazy. Fleet week, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, a 49ers game, the Giants and A’s in the playoffs, Oracle Open World, Castro Street Fair … and all the shows and concerts I’m about to suggest that you do otherwise. This is the absolute best time of year to live here, so enjoy it all!
Thursday, October 4th
Helio Sequence with Slowdance at The Independent
Benjamin Weikel is a fantastic drummer, and that used to be the reason to see this band, but as time has gone by, Brandon Summers has become a very strong songwriter, and the band’s development has been a sight to see. Here’s a great example of a band’s potential being reached, then exceeded.
Jason Mraz with Christina Perri at The Greek Theater
I remember seeing this guy solo in small rooms, and thinking he was a really, really good performer. I guess other people agreed.
Friday, October 5th
New Order with RUN RUN RUN at The Fox Oakland (SOLD OUT)
There may be no Peter Hook, but the hooks are still here. It’ll be weird seeing this band without its most sonically unique member, but we’re all older now and can’t see the stage as well, so we’ll just dance around and enjoy ourselves. Does Peter Hook have green eyes, blue eyes, grey eyes? Who even remembers?
Joe Jackson at Nob Hill Masonic Center
I’ll be at New Order, but man, talk about your tough decisions. Joe Jackson always finds a new and interesting way to make his old songs sound fresh. Although like New Order, he’s missing his most renowned band member, killer bassist Graham Maby.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Steve Earle and Allison Moorer at The Chapel at Preservation Hall West
New venue alert!!! New venue alert!!!
Saturday, October 6th
Glen Hansard with The Lost Brothers at The Fillmore
He says, “if you’ve got something to say, say it to me now.” I say, “I miss The Frames. That was a great band.” But he’s a pretty freaking dynamic solo performer, so there’s that.
Jenny Lewis with Heartless Bastards at Great American Music Hall
How big is this show? The Heartless Bastards are opening.
Justin Bieber with Carly Rae Jepsen and Cody Simpson at The Oracle Arena
How big is this show? The artist with the biggest song of the year is opening! OK, so truthfully, the only reason I’m mentioning this show is so that the Beliebers who have a Google alert for Justin Bieber will click on our site. And because I love the movie Anchorman.
Sunday, October 7th
Steve Vai with Beverly McLellan at The Napa Uptown
Trying to explain to people that Steve Vai is a songwriter and not a “guitar wanker” is like trying to explain about Obama being born in Hawaii. Some people just don’t want to understand. But I understand — Vai has been one of the most inventive guitarists anywhere for several decades, and I can’t wait to see what he does here. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be like this:
But more like this …
But both will be awesome.
Martin Solveig with Trevor Simpson at Ruby Skye
You could see him open for Madonna, and maybe she’ll say something crazy, but personally I’d prefer to see this late night Sunday show, where you can just dance the night away, and no one will do anything crazy, except maybe on the tennis court.
Monday, October 8th
Imagine Dragons with The Dandelion War at Great American Music Hall
I really like I Fight Dragons, and my fiancee kept asking me to get her their album, and I was like “I got you their album!” But she was actually asking for me for Imagine Dragons. They should tour together, then they can fight imaginary dragons. The bands couldn’t be much different, though.
John Legend, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and President Barack Obama at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
The $100 tickets are called “Muni,” the $250 tickets “Cable Car,” the $1,000 tickets “Ferry” and finally for $2,500, you get “Bay,” which I guess means you’re just swimming around? Do they even know that Muni runs the cable cars? And what’s a BART ticket cost? More than last year, that’s for sure. (Transit humor!)
Tuesday, October 9th
Grizzly Bear with Lower Dens at The Fox Oakland
There’s an article making the rounds these days where Grizzly Bear talks about how much money they don’t make for being a front line indie band. In other words, they need your money, so go to this show and buy merchandise. Grizzly Bear is way too good to dismiss as “another Brooklyn hipster band,” as people do in YouTube comments. This group is at the top of the class.
IO Echo with Gliss and Cruel Summer at The Rickshaw Stop
Wednesday, October 10th
Deftones with Scars on Broadway at The Warfield
The Deftones are approaching 25 years as a band. 25! Holy crap, we’re all getting old. But because we are, we can really appreciate bands like this that manage to stay going strong for so long, consistently innovating without worrying about what other people think of them. Plus, they’re local boys. Also, they understand the power of putting owls in their videos to appeal to hipster girls.
The Corin Tucker Band with Mecca Normal at Cafe Du Nord