Oakland is a blessed city for music. We have some of the best venues and best crowds on Earth. For far too long we were treated as the ugly stepsister to San Francisco. However, San Francisco seems to do a great job of attracting the type of concert goer that attends because they feel obligated, and simply hangs on in the back of the room with their arms folded across their chest. In Oakland, the room explodes. Case in point: Vancouver, BC’s Japandroids played a sold out show at The Independent last year. It was shortly after the release of Celebration Rock, an album that hit with near universal acclaim. And, of course, the whole room stood still throughout the entire set. However, this warm Wednesday night in Oakland was a completely different story.
From the first notes of “Adrenaline Nightshift,” the crowd immediately erupted into the the kind of enthused, spastic dancing that is implied within the song’s title. Throughout the bands’ hour long set, things stayed at 11. After spending a year straight on the road, the duo of Brian King on guitar and David Prowse on drums have become so tight that they are practically an extension of each other. There was no setlist in stage. They seemed to only communicate through knowing glances at each other. That’s all they seemed to need. I have never seen two people more in tune with each other. Neither The White Stripes, nor The Black Keys ever had this type of synchronicity. In fact, the band + the audience together all felt like a unified whole. Everyone knew every lyric to every song, including the handful of songs they played from 2009’s Post Nothing. Words can barely tackle how wonderful this experience was. It was simply great fun. Every song by this band is an testament to the glorious power of rock n roll and how it can make one feel simply wonderful
The Nights of Wine and Roses
The House That Heaven Built
For the Love of Ivy
Cloud Nothings, despite closing the show, don’t have the same hype that Japandroids have going for them. Despite the lack of press, very few people left for their hour long closing set. It seemed that the only person missing for their closing set was Cloud Nothing’s lead guitarist Joe Boyer. They pummeled head first into their own hour long set, playing the lion’s share of last year’s drastically underrated Attack On Memory. When they first popped onto the scene, they were doing melodic pop punk. This show, however, was a pure assault of fuzzy, Seattle grunge inspired goodness. Lead singer, Dylan Baldi, has developed a bratty growl that landed himself somewhere between Kurt Cobain and The Vines’ Craig Nichols. It took a little longer for the crowd to get moving again, but when it did, it became a sweaty, bouncy mess. The groovy, sloppy rock and roll goodness was hard to ignore, and made for a great set.
No Future/No Past
In summation, The New Parish totally killed it tonight. It was a exquisite evening of rock. The kind of night where you are still feeling every muscle in your body for days later, but in a good way. If I could go to this kind of show every night, and be in amazing shape.