Live Review

Mini symphonies and Beach House: Treasure Island, day two

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Though Wild Beasts' brand of baroque, sensual dream-pop is better suited for a dark and smoky bar, I consider it an honor to catch the UK band in any setting. A sizable crowd gathered around the Tunnel stage at Treasure Island Music Festival to enjoy songs from this year’s Smother, along with older material like breakout hit “The Devil’s Crayon.” Hayden Thorpe’s heavenly falsetto rang out over chiming guitar provided by Ben Little. Read more »

Frothing group hugs at Metronomy's Rickshaw Stop show

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It’s safe to say that next time Metronomy comes to town, it will be playing a bigger venue. Friday’s show at the Rickshaw Stop was full, and had, to the surprise and dismay of at least a few, sold out a month before. Singer Joseph Mount graciously thanked the audience for snatching up tickets at the rate they did. It’s a sign of the growth Metronomy has had over the course  of three albums, a solo instrumental electronic project of Mount’s now grown into a tight, cool pop group. Read more »

Space Mayans and techno-African kuduro: Treasure Island, day one

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Treasure Island Music Festival rewards the stout of heart and non-possessive of blanket space. The way the island fest is set up, no two concerts overlap – if one feels up to it, one can traverse the 100-some meters between the Bridge and Tunnel (get it?)  stages to catch any given day's entire. Music. Lineup. Upshot? I spent a solid hour in the press tent with my feet on a card table, tapping away on my smart phone as though taking notes, incredibly unstout. Read more »

Live Shots: Prince Rama, Gang Gang Dance at the Independent

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A few things Prince Rama –  show openers at the Independent last night –  and Gang Gang Dance –  headliners – have in common: a whole lot of rhythm, standing tribal drumming (Gang Gang also has a more Western seated drummer), psychedelic visuals (damn, should have brought those drugs the kids take), and high, reverberating, Bollyhood-recalling vocals. Read more »

Lovefoxxx makes SF love her at the Fillmore

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By the end of last night at the Fillmore, CSS's dynamic lead vocalist-party rioter Lovefoxxx was stripped down to a black tank top and ripped up jean shorts over fishnets, her raccoon eye makeup smeared across her face, fluffed pink hair electrified out of its sockets. Read more »

Live Review: Warpaint at The Independent, 3/16

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The anticipation was brewing: even before the the ladies of Warpaint took the stage at the Independent, a guy standing at front and center passed out. His muscle failure could have been a product of over-intoxication, but I'm guessing it was an overdose of hard excitement. I admit, I too got the jimmy-legs during the show but I managed to keep them clenched until the encore came to a wow-worthy close. And then I hit the floor with a smirk. 

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Noise Pop Live Review: Dominant Legs and How to Dress Well

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Synth and bass, rock and roll, some combinations are easily matched, but when you put How to Dress Well on the roster, pairings aren't as obvious. Dominant Legs' mangy pop was an odd precursor to Saturday night's How to Dress Well performance at Cafe Du Nord, but then again, what flatters eerie falsetto and awkward emotions? 

San Francisco's Dominant Legs played like summer in a bottle. Happy guitars, lots of cowbell and rad bass made the winter weather outside melt. The only thing missing was sunshine, or lights in general. Half the band was hidden from the crowd due to a lack of lighting-- particularly the adorable Hannah Hunt. One disgruntled lady in the audience voiced her disapproval by shouting, "We can't see the pretty girl in the blue dress," to which Hunt meekly responded, "It's green." Case in point. 

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Live Review: Prince at the Oracle Arena

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At this point in his 35-year career, Prince is perhaps justified in expecting us humanoids to happily accept anything handed down to us from Mount Paisley Park. But at the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Mon./21 — the first of three last-minute concerts planned for the Bay (Thursday’s show was announced Monday night, after more than 30,000 tickets were sold for the first two performances in less than 72 hours), the mood was a curious mixture of intense, polished skill tinged with unexpected insecurity: Prince, in full 52-years-young prodigy mode, broke from the action in one instance with a surprising, “Are y’all having fun?” And heated anticipation and adulation gave way to a brief outbreak of boos -- the audience pressed hard to get into the show, and was loathe to give up its ground after the first encore, hollering with displeasure when the house lights came up. Read more »

Live review: Dr. Dog hit the retro road

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Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog is the kind of band that can’t seem to get enough of life on the road. Earlier this fall, during the first of two nights at the Fillmore on what is the band’s second full tour in support of April’s Shame, Shame (Anti), fans were treated to a lengthy, lively set of retro-minded indie-rock. Read more »

Live Review: Deerhunter turns up the volume at Great American

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Before our car ride home discussion of some of our favorite parts of the show, my friend and I had already agreed on something; holy shit that was loud. Playing to a sold-out crowd in its first of two back-to-back San Francisco shows (10/29), Deerhunter put on a raw, visceral, sometimes loose but often amazing set that pierced through the relatively small confines of the Great American Music Hall. Read more »