Show Reviews

METALLICA! And nothing else matters…

Photo by Ben Irwin

Day 2 of any festival is a little rough. Your energy is a little bit zapped from the day before. You can’t seem to drink enough water or coffee. Your legs are sore. So when you finally get there, you need something to kick yourself into gear. And I managed to stumble across that band at 12:00 on the dot. [read the whole post]

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Celebrating 10 years of walking through the park

My 10th Outside Lands began by listening to Hundred Waters close out their set on the Lands End stage. For a set at noon on Friday, the crowd was massive. They were warm and bright, perfect for getting warmed up for a day of music. These folks also curate the FORM festival in Acrosanti, AZ, one of the most intimate music festivals in America. So intimate that, historically, you needed to be invited to attend. [read the whole post]

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Photo by Tom Tomkinson

This year marks the 10th year of the Outside Lands Music Festival. It feels like the first one was just yesterday, and it also feels like it’s been happening since the beginning of time. It’s been a fantastic August tradition that I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy nearly every year. (I did miss the one that Kings Of Leon headlined. I’m sure other people wish they missed that one.) I think it’s time to look back on this recent San Francisco tradition. [read the whole post]

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“Rock this bitch!” Ben Folds had just finished his second song in the set after the intermission, when an audience member screamed out from the balcony, “Already?  We just started!” Ben Folds turned around to face his backing band for the evening, the venerable San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and said, “I should probably explain this.” In Chicago, years ago, at a live show, a fan screamed this out and Ben Folds wrote a song on the spot. Now, “Rock This Bitch” is a Folds tradition. He plunked out a concept, muttering something about jazz to himself, and then gave each section of the orchestra a different assigned part. With about three minutes of preparation, Folds had a melody composed, and assigned parts to sections of the orchestra. The cellos, violas, violins, bassoons, and percussionists all had their own parts to play, over which Folds improvised a jazz melody and lyrics that were part pontifications about rocking this bitch, part lyrics to the Beverly Hillbillies theme song, all backed by a world class orchestra.

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Photo by Breanne Bowland

I used to go to a lot of shows. I spent most of my twenties in Chicago, which, oh man, the music scene. Ten bucks could get you a Huber Bock and what felt like constant access to [The] Gossip. Gingerman, Elbo Room, Delilah’s, the Metro, Empty Bottle, the Vic, and countless little dank bars.

I’m older and more tired now, but that isn’t why I almost never go to shows. On about a 1:1 ratio, for every show I attended in Chicago, there was one I called off at the last minute, one I spent huddled in a corner, one I missed most of because I “stepped out for air” and never went back in. A couple years ago, I stopped fighting the fact that I rarely, if ever, feel safe at shows. I had to start saying it in words when I started dating my husband, who goes to an average of two shows a week, and who can predict with almost 100% accuracy which bands I will like. I’d watch him bop easily around a room hugging friends, and realize we’d never have a relationship if I kept trying to go to shows and standing stiffly in the least crowded part of the space with my arms locked around my chest until enough time had passed that I felt justified shouting “I’M READY TO GO NOW” in his ear. [read the whole post]

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Papa Emeritus of Ghost

Papa Emeritus of Ghost

Swedish band Ghost has returned to the US and is currently on a 7 week tour as the sole support act for the mighty Iron Maiden!  In addition to those 26 shows, Ghost booked 14 headliner theater shows, including The Warfield in San Francisco.

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Festival Review: Punk Rock Bowling – Day 3 (Las Vegas, NV)

June 10, 2017

“No one can take away our memory!” If Day One was about old school and hardcore and Day Two was about politics, then Day Three was about unadulterated partying and England. Admittedly, I am not much of an “oi/streetpunk” fan. It’s not that I am opposed to it, mind you, it’s just that very few […]

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Festival Review: Punk Rock Bowling – Day 2 (Las Vegas, NV)

June 8, 2017

“Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction!” Despite, or maybe in spite, of the heat I woke up for day two feeling refreshed and ready to go. The usual first day kinks had been worked out and entrance into the venue was faster, although I heard some rumor about ISIS threatening to bomb Las Vegas was […]

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BottleRock Napa Valley 2017 Festival Journal, Day 3

June 4, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=__yIeXwwrJk”>listen

Where had the time gone? Somehow it was already Sunday, and Day 1 and Day 2 were already behind us! Sunday promised to have the best weather of all, as well as some acts I’d been really looking forward to. Because I’d missed The Helmets last year – but heard them from my house and was […]

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BottleRock Napa Valley 2017 Festival Journal, Day 2

June 4, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWB0AHhtjUE”>Sweet

This year’s Saturday at BottleRock Napa Valley promised to be a beautiful warm and breezy 75 degrees, the perfect weather for a festival full of good music, great food and all the beer, wine, and cocktails you can handle! Once again, there were more acts scheduled than was possible to see all at once, so […]

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