show review

All Photos by Rob DeMartin.

Several months ago, I first read that Bruce Springsteen was setting out to do a one-man show on Broadway. My immediate thought was, “I would really like to go to that, but I doubt I’m going to make it to New York anytime soon.” There was a period where you could sign up for the “Ticketmaster Verified Fans” program, which, somehow, determined who was an actual fan and who was a reseller (not entirely sure how this works, and not really sure it does, but that’s for another article). I almost signed up for that, but didn’t. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. [read the whole post]

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Phillip Phillips at the Fillmore.

Let’s face it: fame found as a result of an appearance on American Idol can be a mixed bag. On one hand, there’s the bad (William Hung, that guy who sang that “Pants on the Ground” song, Nikki McKibbin). On the other hand, without Idol none of us might ever have been exposed to Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson… While I haven’t seen the ABC reboot of this show, I have been known to follow the show in the past. Ever since Phillip Phillips‘s audition with a brilliant cover of “Thriller,” I’ve been a big fan. Over the years, I’ve seen him go from a no-name hopeful on a reality TV singing competition to winning the whole shebang, to opening for John Mayer, to headlining a Napa music festival. Now he’s released his third album, Collateral, which he played San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore this week to promote. [read the whole post]

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Color me impressed, Mr. Gutt.

Gather round, children, it’s story time. (Well, okay, it’s really just more of a long-winded introduction, but bear with me here…) My brother is, by far, one of my favorite people on the planet. He’s a few years older than me, so he was a senior in high school when I was a freshman, and I was fortunate that he was nice to me in front of his peers. This meant that all the older, cooler kids accepted me rather than finding me annoying. This was also the time in our lives when we first started to agree on (and bond over) music. In particular, we loved Aerosmith (because who wasn’t obsessed with Get a Grip in the early/mid 90s?) and Stone Temple Pilots. So fast forward nearly 25 years, and you’d better believe we were both dying to catch the band at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore. [read the whole post]

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This show had all of the essentials needed for a great metal show. Andrew WK, the patron saint of partying, leading his six piece backup band of very loud and technically adept musicians. Two members of his backup band were women, which made the party even better, as did the pizza guitar he played mid-set. AWK is a live wire with big, metal voice, but at the show, he seemed a little dampened. It happens – a lot of us have had the crud, and if he did I hope he feels better. This didn’t lower show’s wattage though, or cause anyone to party any less hard. A great metal show also has a fist pumping crowd in the back,  and mosh pit up by the stage. Here, at an AWK show, all of these are accounted for. AWK writes great hooks that keep you moving and joyful, and his touring band brings them to a higher level of musicianship than the original recorded version. [read the whole post]

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o.a.r. headlines Live in the Vineyard 2016 Night 1

o.a.r. headlines Live in the Vineyard 2016 Night 1

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time again: Live in the Vineyard. For those unfamiliar, this is a biannual celebration of food, wine, and music, featuring a mix of hit artists and those that are up-and-coming. Events take place in locations all over the Napa Valley, typically culminating each (weekend) day in a concert at Napa’s Uptown Theatre. The event is exclusive in the sense that essentially the only way to attend is to win tickets via one of many contests available via the internet or the radio. This year’s fall event took place last weekend, with Friday night’s show a representative mix of the new and the tried-and-true: Britain’s Got Talent star Calum Scott, bluesy soul married duo JOHNNYSWIM, up-and-coming singer/songwriter Wrabel, American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, and celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band, o.a.r.. [read the whole post]

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Mortified-Logo-Handwritten

Makes me wish I’d kept journals & the like.

That Mortified has been selling out shows for the past decade shouldn’t surprise me. What should is that this year was my first time getting to find out why. It was Sketchfest 2016’s final weekend (Saturday, 1/23, to be exact), and while I had booked myself back-to-back shows for the evening, I wasn’t concerned since both were taking place in the same venue (Swedish American Hall). The only minor caveat was that I got so excited about this fact (and that I have been to the former venue next door so many times I know the area well), that I forgot to take what a bitch it is to find parking in the neighborhood. Making matters worse, I stood in a line of people wanting to buy tickets for at least five minutes before I realized I could bypass them all and go find a spot in what was now standing-room-only. And yet, it was absolutely worth it! (The only thing I’d do differently is give myself an exorbitant amount of time for parking next time…) [read the whole post]

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SF Sketchfest Review: Bring the Rock with Greg Behrendt and guests Dana Gould, Andy Kindler, Kate Micucci and Janet Varney, 1/23/16 at Swedish American Hall

February 2, 2016

Sketchfest is always fun. It’s even better, though, when I get to see Greg Behrendt, and most of all when it’s for Bring the Rock, as was the case for the final weekend of Sketchfest 2016 at Swedish American Hall. It’s even sweeter than usual, though, because it marks my fifth anniversary with Spinning Platters: […]

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SF Sketchfest Review: Tribute to Sally Field, ‘Hello, My Name is Doris’ Screening and Q&A with Sally Field and Michael Showalter, 1/22/16 at Alamo Drafthouse

January 28, 2016

Okay, it’s taken me almost a week and I still haven’t been able to decide: do I want to call Sally Field “radiant,” or is “luminous” the right word? I swear, that’s a big part of the reason it’s taken me five days to publish my review. (It also doesn’t help that I’ve been as […]

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SF Sketchfest Review: Workjuice Theatre with Paget Brewster, Craig Cackowski, Mark Gagliardi, Marc Evan Jackson, Hal Lublin, Busy Philipps, Paul F. Tompkins and more, 1/9/2016 at Brava Theater Center

January 11, 2016

This year would have been my fifth consecutive year watching The Thrilling Adventure Hour at SF Sketchfest. Sadly, it seems I must finally admit that I’m a terrible podcast fan. I adore this show, but I’m a little behind. Ok, a lot behind: what I mean is, I never listen to podcasts. Like, ever. So […]

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BottleRock Napa Valley 2015 Festival Journal, Day 3

July 7, 2015

I think Shakespeare might have been seeing into the future of BottleRock when he said “parting is such sweet sorrow.”  True story: on the last day of the inaugural festival in 2013, I remember thinking that I was like a kid at summer camp; I wanted to just keep coming back, but I knew that […]

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