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Need a break from the amazing wine? No problem: grab a cocktail instead! (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

Need a break from the amazing wine? No problem: grab a cocktail instead! (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

You’re reading Day 3. Have you checked out Day 1 and Day 2 as well?

Tye Trujillo follows in dad Robert's (of Metallica) footsteps. (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

Tye Trujillo follows in dad Robert’s (of Metallica) footsteps. (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

I don’t know why, but Day 3 always seems to be the day all my friends attend BottleRock. This year was no exception. Two friends came up from the South Bay, not wanting to miss a moment. While I waited for my bestie and her boyfriend to arrive, I heard the festival begin through my bedroom window. Before we left the house, I realized that the band on the main stage (the one I can hear) was killing a cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” so I texted one of my friends to find out who they were. She didn’t know, except to say that they were kids, and they were crushing it. I made a mental note to find out who they were and check them out. It turned out they were The Helmets, a band that includes Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo’s son Tye and three other kids, all currently aged 12 or under. I’m disappointed to have missed them, because from what I heard (literally from afar, as well as from those who were already present), they are an excellent band, kids or not! [read the whole post]

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BottleRock Napa Valley 2016: a not-to-be-missed love-fest! (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

BottleRock Napa Valley 2016: a not-to-be-missed love-fest! (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

You’re reading this year’s Day 2. Don’t forget to check out Day 1 too!

Wine isn't the only thing we enjoy drinking here! (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

Wine isn’t the only thing we enjoy drinking here! (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

Day 2 got a bit of a late start, but once inside, I wasted no time at all stopping by Lagunitas for a cold Aunt Sally, which is easily my favorite beer they make, since it’s the least hop-driven! I went directly to the JaM Cellars stage to catch Walk the Moon who were due to begin momentarily. I admit, I only know the band from a friend who loves them and their gigantic smash “Shut Up and Dance” that’s so popular even my two-year-old niece asks for it by name. As I expected, they put on a fun, energetic set, particularly with “Different Colors” (which frontman Nicholas Petricca said was about the “beauty of being different), “Tiger Teeth,” “I Can Lift a Car,” and past single “Anna Sun.” As many had taken to doing over the festival, Petricca reminded the crowd to take time to vote: “Figure it out, and then go vote. Go fucking vote! It’s up to us to figure out the future!” He went on to say that the performance marked the very last one of the band’s tour in support of their Talking is Hard record. As expected, “Shut Up and Dance” was a fun, wild ride with the entire crowd dancing and singing along. [read the whole post]

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The first taste of summer: BottleRock Napa Valley, the 2016 edition. (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

The first taste of summer: BottleRock Napa Valley, the 2016 edition. (Photo credit: BottleRock Napa Valley / Latitude 38 Entertainment)

Before I get into all the details of the gloriousness that was this year’s BottleRock Napa Valley, please allow me a moment, not just to digress but to explain why this festival is so important to me. I was born in Napa. As many Napa kids do, I moved away in my early 20s seeking something more exciting (hard to imagine now, but at the time Napa was still a relatively small town without a lot to do). I had some oats to sow, and was gone for 5-6 years, but returned about a decade ago to go back to school. Since then, I often say that “this town and I grew up together,” as we’ve both evolved into something more worth enjoying. While once I was a kid from a small town most had never heard of (and because of which I often claimed SF or the Bay Area to those unfamiliar), I have since become a “townie,” and that’s okay with me. This place is something special, and I can’t imagine ever leaving. True, it was once far quieter (and okay, far more dull), but these days it’s really something to behold, and has earned its reputation as a world-famous, world-class destination on bucket lists the world over. So, add to that a phenomenal music festival that showcases not just the mind-blowing wines and taste-bud-tantalizing food for which we’re known, but consistently impressive musical lineups that offer something for everyone, year after year? How could I not love BottleRock? I’m happy to say that I’ve been BottleRocking since the very beginning, and I can’t imagine what it might take to keep me away. As you can imagine, I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival!

Okay, onward…this year, BottleRock was scheduled to fall on Memorial Day weekend. While I personally heard the frustration of local business owners (for many of whom the beloved festival pulls away business all weekend long), I didn’t have any reason to lament spending a long, beautiful-weathered weekend wandering the Napa Valley Expo grounds last weekend more or less than any other.

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GW4

To be honest, I don’t think anything has made me feel older than waiting in line to get into a Gerard Way show, all alone, on a chilly San Francisco night. So many teenage girls with their moms who are closer to my age than they are. All pumped up with teenager energy and hormones. It was overwhelming and energy sucking. I can’t even imagine how Gerard Way must feel, looking at this crowd, when he is a year older than me, married and a Dad himself. It must be weird to say the least. I will say though that at least a lot of them looked like the disaffected youth that would have been the original fans of his former band My Chemical Romance. But now that being weird is normal, who knows if they have the same insecurities and pain that the original “emo” fans of his would have had, like myself. So, what kind of night would it be? Would all that teenage energy turn into something beautiful? Something destructive? Or just throb into something else completely? [read the whole post]

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IMG_1549

I have a bit of a weird history with The Antlers. Not, like, personally. It’s just that one of their (arguably) best albums, Hospice, was something I found when I was in the depths of a deep depression. I won’t ever forget how much it tore up my heart to listen to “Bear” for the first time and how heartbreaking those lyrics were. Tonight, I entered Great American Music Hall, but found myself back in that darkened apartment, whiskey in hand, tears soaking my face.

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tove lo edited (13 of 18)

Before that show, I had no idea why I enjoyed Tove Lo so much. On the surface, she looks just like another Ke$ha-inspired glitter party clone. But standing in the middle of Rickshaw Stop, somewhere between the whiskey, vaporizer smoke, and bendy straws, it hit me. Somewhere in that crowd, in all those eyes glittering in the lights coming from the stage, it all became so painfully obvious: we are all hurt. And that’s why we were there.

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Show Review: Empire of the Sun with Vin Sol at The Fox Theater, 04/17/2014

April 23, 2014

Empire of the Sun are simply a band that somehow defies explanation and supersedes any real definition, and their live show at The Fox in Oakland on Thursday certainly follows suit. With an intro that rivals most Las Vegas shows, a light package that is worthy of any pure EDM set, and a lead singer that […]

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Show Review: Howie Day with Tyler Hilton and Anna Rose at Yoshi’s Oakland, 12/10/2013

December 13, 2013

Tyler Hilton rarely gets himself to Northern California. I know, because every time he does, I’m there with bells on. I first met Tyler nearly a decade ago, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, of all places. Some friends and I had driven (!!) from LA to see a band we love play their hometown for back-to-back nights, […]

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Show Review: KMFDM, Chant at The Independent, 11/14/13

November 20, 2013

“KMFDM SUCKS!” How could it have begun any other way?

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Show Review: Cody ChesnuTT with Siddhartha at The Independent, 1/29/2013

January 31, 2013

If you combined equal parts James Brown and Otis Redding, a splash of Hendrix and a dash of old time swagger, you might come close to figuring out just what Cody ChesnuTT is made of. In his own way, he’s found out how to blend hip-hop beats, soulful jazz stylings, silky smooth vocals and a […]

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