Warfield

Steven Wilson

Steven Wilson

There’s never been any debate over the fact that English new-prog, Pink-Floyd-meets-metal band Porcupine Tree is Steven Wilson, in both part and in whole. While comprised of a core set of musicians that have contributed to the writing, recording, and touring of the many records forged over its career, Porcupine Tree started as a project for Wilson alone to craft music; in fact, at its very beginning, it was a made-up legendary rock band with its own fake history and discography that Wilson had penned with a colleague back in the late 1980s. Twenty years later, Wilson has put his primary project on a shelf (Porcupine Tree has been on hiatus since 2010) and shifted the attention to his own “solo work”. Lest the reader shy away from the often-wary prospect of a frontman deciding to carve out his own path, Wilson’s output has been nothing short of spectacular, now spanning the length of four albums which demonstrate a remarkable leap in creativity, songwriting, and production with each successive release. Hot off the heels of his recently-released Hand. Cannot. Erase., Wilson returned to the Bay Area on Sunday night for a live performance with his new touring band, and the result was a gorgeous, stunning display of musicianship and sonic texture that shook the walls of the Warfield for over two hours.

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Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog

Moses Sumney was a sentimental surprise as he kicked off the evening.  His emotional acoustic and soulful balladry lifted everyone to the smiling, smooth side of  R&B.   His performance gave an opening emotional dynamic to the show by allowing a vulnerable, emotional connection to what was yet to come.

Just prior to Dr. Dog was Saint Rich.     Saint Rich, a New Jersey skateboarding enthusiast, had an eccentric life stage performance.  Complimented with the musical harmony but not to duplicate Dr.Dog.

Closing the exciting Noise Pop Festival was – Dr. Dog.    When their fans packed the Warfield,  Dr. Dog knew exactly how to respond with current favorites  “The Truth” and “Lonesome” while blending in a favorites from the past such as “These Days” and “Oh No”.

Dr. Dog certainly has a loyal fan club in the Bay Area.  The simple reason is, each of their albums sequentially build on the one before while remaining true to the original unique sound.   Each performance enhances an appreciation of their vintage harmonizing sound.  Still true to the east coast vibe; yet, unique enough to remain unclassified from the common pop and indie trend.  Just one of many reasons Dr. Dog will remain a Bay Area favorite.

Moses Sumney

Moses Sumney

Saint Rich

Saint Rich

 

 

 

 

Saint Rich

Saint Rich

Saint Rich

Saint Rich

 

Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog

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If you think he's adorable in pictures, you should see him live...

If you think he’s adorable in pictures, you should see him live…

Tonight I was the victim of a crime, and I never saw it coming. Okay, neither of those statements is entirely true. I did lose my socks tonight, but only because the iconic Bryan Adams rocked them right off.* And yes, I should have seen it coming, given that for as long as I can literally remember, I’ve been rocking out to this man’s music. When I saw that he was coming to town (much earlier this evening at San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre, for those that missed it), I quickly made a note on my calendar. I knew this was one I wouldn’t want to skip, and I was excited for it. But it wasn’t until he began to play hit after hit that I started to realize just how talented this guy is. One thing, specifically, that I love about Adams’ tunes is that he can write a killer ballad/love song without it being syrupy sweet or cheesy. They’re romantic as hell, but they don’t make me want to vomit (or change the radio station). In my book, there isn’t much better than that. [read the whole post]

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IMG_2989-1 (dragged)

It’s been a rough three years for Paramore. In that time, they’ve gone through almost as many drummers as Spinal Tap, and had to deal with one of the most public and bitter band break ups in recent memory. However, they have returned with a self titled album that is a collection of tracks that bring to mind their early forays into emo and hardcore, as well as some of the most positive songs they’ve released in years. Since it’s been a while, they are warming themselves up with small venue tour. However, since they like a challenge, they brought Kitten along for the ride- a live experience so dizzying that only the most confident band should try to play afterwards.

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"PTX" takes the stage

“PTX” takes the stage (L to R: Kirstie, Avi, Kevin, Scott & Mitch)

Never heard of Pentatonix? That’s okay, you’re not alone: neither had our editor-in-chief until I mentioned my excitement at covering their sold-out show at the Warfield this past Sunday. While he feared he may be losing his touch (“getting old I am,” said his text), I reassured him that if a cappella groups aren’t his thing and/or he’s never seen a recent episode of NBC’s The Sing-Off, it makes sense that season 3 winners Pentatonix haven’t yet crossed his radar…until now.

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Thanks to Jason Miller for this awesome pic of Tom Chaplin killin' it!

Thanks to Jason Miller for this awesome pic of Tom Chaplin killin’ it!

Have you ever seen something advertising a band playing in your city, and thought, “I’d really like to see them, even though I only know one or two of their songs”? That was the extent of my relationship with Keane until recently. I’ve certainly heard several of their songs on the radio over the years, and especially love their biggest hit, “Somewhere Only We Know,” but until I found out I had access to check them out with opener Youngblood Hawke this weekend at San Francisco’s Warfield, I hadn’t actually sat down to give their tunes a thorough listen. [read the whole post]

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Show Review: Deftones with Scars On Broadway at The Warfield, 10/10/2012

October 16, 2012

The late 90s and early 2000s were an interesting time for popular metal music, when an often-bemoaned genre known as “nü-metal” clawed its way into existence, its rap-infused tendrils hot on the heels of bands like Rage Against The Machine and Faith No More, with its core still deeply rooted in groove-filled pop sensibilities that […]

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Show Review: Sleigh Bells with Javelin and Elite Gymnastics at The Warfield, 4/5/12

April 8, 2012

The life span of a band under the current hype machine can be rather short. Often times, the hype is so intense that people are sick of you before your first single is released. By the time the second record comes out, all of the ironically facial haired masses will have you filed away under […]

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Show Review: Switchfoot with Anberlin and Atomic Tom at the Warfield, 10/10/2011

October 12, 2011

It’s been almost ten years since I was first introduced to the music of Switchfoot. At the time, I was living in San Diego and they were a local band on the brink of making it. Somewhere between frontman Jon Foreman’s distinctive voice and lyrics that inspired me to live fully, (“this is your life […]

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Show Review: Echo & the Bunnymen with Kelley Stoltz at The Warfield, 5/19/2011

May 20, 2011

Roughly a year and a half ago, British post-punk dreamers Echo & the Bunnymen came to American shores for just a few stops to host a darkly gorgeous, orchestra-accompanied performance of their classic album Ocean Rain. No doubt inspired by the success of their tour and the continuing trend of artists who perform full-album sets […]

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