Call it soul music for soulless times: Gillian Welch and David Rawlings dazzled a devoted crowd on Thursday July 7 with a beautiful bluegrass showcase carried out with hefty Nashville flair. With songs of love and loss, murder and redemption, the duo created evocative atmosphere in the Warfield Theater despite their minimalist setup at center stage. Read more »
Ace Guardian shutterbug Charles Russo reveled in the otherworldly Miss Florence Welch at Berkeley's al fresco amphitheatre last night. Sheathed in a drape-y chartreuse toga, the lead singer of Florence and the Machine filled the classic venue with her goddess light. For proof, check this slideshow.
Playing small quarters for their immeasurably large sound, TV on the Radio enthralled a sold out Independent audience for the second of two nights on Tuesday, May 10. Hard to define and even harder to resist, the band dipped heavily into the material from their latest release Nine Types of Light, while also letting loose with stirring versions of old favorites such as "Satellite," "The Wrong Way," and "Staring at the Sun."
PJ Harvey has taken the Warfield stage at numerous points and in many forms during her career over the past two decades – never predictable, always engaging. Her performance on Thursday night, a pre-Coachella warm-up gig, was the sort of wonderfully unexpected showing you’d come to expect from Polly Jean. Read more »
Racing up and down the pavement on Telegraph Avenue, the scalpers were grinding hard outside the Fox Theater on Monday night, perhaps with an inkling that the venue might not be standing by the time the Queens of the Stone Age left the stage in a few hours. True to form, Josh Homme and crew all but blew the Fox to pieces with a monstrous rendering of their debut album, as well as two hefty encores that showcased the stoner age rock royalty in all of their primal glory.
In the minutes before Pink Floyd mastermind Roger Waters took to the stage at HP Pavilion earlier this week to perform the band's epic 1979 double album The Wall, the playlist coming through the house speakers gave way to Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit," a song that seemed well-matched for the impending performance. For an artist that is commonly known for romantic jazz ballads, Holiday's "Strange Fruit" was a defining moment in her career, a point in which she ascended beyond the simplest manifestations of her identity and delved into the darkest corners of her times.
In a similar sense, there is no easy way around The Wall. Pink Floyd's last album during their monumental run in the '70s -- Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals -- was not only their most artistically ambitious, but a lingering challenge to the nature of the band's legacy. Longview attempts to define Pink Floyd in the realm of blacklight posters, spacey sounds, or a Dazed and Confused mindset, will inevitably get stuck at The Wall: a dark and confrontational album that is ultimately the most emblematic of Pink Floyd's greatest characteristics.
So, with Waters (at age 67) suggesting that this will be his last tour, it is appropriate that he would finish with his masterpiece. And make no mistake - this was a concert for the ages.
OK somewhere between Giants madness and the election frenzy, this happened: one of our favorite, uniquely SF civic holidays went down in the Mission. Photographer Charlie Russo was there to capture all the morbid beauty, serene remembrance, and ghoulish fun.