All posts filed under: Shows

Broken Social Scene give Oakland a sonic masterpiece

Unlike its name, Broken Social Scene in concert is an experience that leaves you feeling the opposite of broken. You leave feeling whole, and your heart, full. The Canadian collective played at the Fox Theater in Oakland last Thursday. Their set included a handful of new songs from Hug of Thunder, along with the group’s many hits. Opening with the high-spirited “KC Accidental,” the band took the stage to endless cheers from the crowd. They followed with another classic, “7/4 (Shoreline),” which turns the crazy time signature into a majestic, danceable frenzy. For “Protest Song,” they brought out a local brass quartet, who had to rush off stage after to get to its own gig. In between tunes, Kevin Drew would converse with the audience about topics from the band’s travels to things they’ve seen around the Bay. On trying to recall if the group has ever played in Oakland, Drew asked “Is the Greek Theater in Berkeley or Oakland?” “Berkeley!” the crowd unanimously answered. With both venues located in the East Bay, it’s understandably …

The Used kicks off fall tour at The Masonic

It’s always a treat to hear new material from artists you grew up listening to. This is just the case for The Used fans. The Utah-based rockers just put out a new record, The Canyon, their first (of fresh content) since 2014. To celebrate, The Used set off on a fall tour with its first stop at The Masonic in San Francisco last Friday. And while spirits were high from The Canyon’s release, The Used put on a show that not only celebrated its new album, but also its fanbase. The band frequently broke the wall between artist and audience to provide a space where fans could fully immerse themselves in the music. They opened with “Take It Away,” a fast-paced and erratic screamer that had the crowd instantly rocking out. Following was “The Bird and the Worm,” whose sinister tones were accentuated by crimson lights. Frontman Bert McCracken showed off some gnarly onstage moves, from high kicks and jumps to taking total command of the floor. Guitarist Justin Shekoski, bassist Jeph Howard, and drummer …

City and Colour serenades San Francisco -The Masonic, 9/23

It’s officially fall, and although it’s still sweltering in the Bay Area, City and Colour sure made it feel like autumn in San Francisco. Dallas Green, the creative force behind the alias, brought his renowned folk sound to The Masonic last Saturday, transforming the venue into a cozy night in. Green took the stage with just a shaker in hand and began “Sensible Heart.” With the band playing hush, a spotlight hit Green as his vocals resonated throughout the venue. Despite his signature serene singing, Green’s voice had a kind of power that held the entire crowd’s undivided attention. He later grabbed his guitar and broke into “Killing Time,” a bluesy track off If I Should Go Before You. City and Colour covered all parts of his catalog, playing songs from “Runaway” and “Thirst” to “Northern Blues” and “If I Should Go Before You.” Before starting “We Found Each Other in the Dark,” Green introduced the tender track as a song about being nicer to one another. “We’re all human beings, and we’re all fucked …

Deerhoof at Great American Music Hall, 9/21

From flowers, to basketball, to the very specific trumpet musical notation “con sordino,” Deerhoof can make a song about anything and have it sound out-of-this-world good. The San Francisco experimental rock group played a hometown show at Great American Music Hall last Thursday, and it was high energy all-around. This was my first time catching Deerhoof live, but I know that they mix up their setlist every tour, now having 14 studio albums to choose from (their latest album Mountain Moves released just earlier this month). They kicked the night off with the banging two-minute track, “Flower,” which features call-and-response successions between spunky bassist-vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki and grungy breakdowns by guitarists John Dietrich and Ed Rodriguez and drummer Greg Saunier. They then broke into “I Will Spite Survive,” which starts with a new wave-esque guitar lick. Deerhoof’s upbeat, craftily chaotic sound transcends powerfully live, even with just one amp on stage. Their fans have no problem keeping up with the energy either, as depicted by permanent smiles and head nods that didn’t miss a beat. …

Manchester Orchestra at The Regency, SF, 9/16

Manchester Orchestra sold out The Regency Ballroom last Saturday as they continued their A Black Mile to the Surface tour. You could feel the immense presence of the crowd, not just from everyone’s body heat insulated by the venue, but also from each fan’s audible excitement. Despite Manchester Orchestra’s current run to celebrate their fifth studio album, the Atlanta-based indie rockers performed tracks from all parts of their catalog, keeping the audience head over heels. Manchester Orchestra opened up with three tracks off ABMTTS: “ The Maze,” “The Gold,” and “The Moth.” Mellow and folk-inspired, the stage glowed with orange and yellow lighting that really set a nostalgic mood. They followed with some older favorites like “Shake it Out,” “Pensacola,” “I’ve Got Friends,” and “Simple Math,” which instantly transformed the venue into a full-blown rock show. Occasionally, Ben Walsh from opening band Tigers Jaw would take the stage, sometimes on guitar, sometimes on shakers. For the encore, Manchester Orchestra capped off the night with “I Can Feel a Hot One” and “The Silence.” Supporting Manchester …

Mew brings comforting sounds to The Fillmore, SF, 8/22

Mew fans know that listening to the music is an experience in itself. Mew’s sound is multi-faceted with layers of polyrhythmic and powerful instrumentals, juxtaposed by steady but sweet falsetto vocals. The myriad sounds are captivating and catchy, though sometimes unpredictable. Often, they boast unexpected song structures, all the more adding to their allure. And just when you thought you were mentally prepared to witness this all live, Mew throws in a streaming display of abstract graphics, all by lead singer and creative mastermind Jonas Bjerre. As a line began to wrap around The Fillmore on Tuesday, many discussed their favorite albums, their last time seeing the band, and stories of how they became a “frenger” (the unofficial title for Mew fans, meaning “not quite a friend, but not quite a stranger”). When the dimmed stage lights cued for Mew to start, cheers permeated throughout the venue and the band assumed position one by one. First came drummer Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen. Then guitarist Mads Wegner and keyboardist Nick Watts. You could feel the anticipation …

Dashboard Confessional, The All-American Rejects, and The Social Animals at The Masonic, 7/14

Things got emotional at The Masonic on July 14, but not necessarily in a sad way. Dashboard Confessional and The All-American Rejects played the second night of their co-headlining tour, both bringing out old favorites and some new songs too. Both acts riled up the crowd through their own unique energy, with Dashboard Confessional frontman Chris Carrabba taking full command of the stage, and AAR lead singer Tyson Ritter using a charming kind of sass. Not that it would have been a challenge to rock out to nostalgic jams like Dashboard’s “Screaming Infidelities” and “Hands Down,” plus AAR’s “Swing, Swing” and “Gives You Hell.” Dashboard even threw in surprise covers of “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber and “Today” by The Smashing Pumpkins. I don’t think I can ever get tired of hearing a huge crowd drown out an entire venue with Dashboard Confessional lyrics, and being a part of it all. It was also a thrill experiencing that with The All-American Rejects, especially since it was the band’s first time in San Francisco in five …