Live Shots

Live Shots: Hightower, Walken, and Black Cobra at YBCA

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It was all head banging and high-flying guitar yesterday evening in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' outdoor sculpture garden. With the wailing thrash of Hightower, the electric doom of Walken, and two-man hardcore power of Black Cobra, the event, dubbed Metal Mania, was a success. Read more »

Live Shots: Ke$ha, Fox Theater, 9/14/11

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Neon lights, glitter, and balloon drops certainly made for a bedazzled set, as Ke$ha took the stage, wearing the most glitz of all.

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Live Shots: White Hills, Carlton Melton, and Dirty Ghosts

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What if god – note lowercase emphasis – was a drummer? Assume that this god is the mythical male being you’ve come to know through Renaissance-era oil paintings, clutching lightning bolts, triumphant with lengthy white locks and foreboding upward gazes. What would this particular god do behind a drum kit? Read more »

Live Shots: Religious Girls, Part Time, and Born Gold

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Last night at the Knockout, Religious Girls killed it. It was a homecoming show of sorts for the local band after its late summer tour, and the feeling was all warm and fuzzy -- minus a drunken birthday boy fight in the crowd. The Knockout itself was crowded, but not that unbearable, sweat-running-down-the-walls packed it has been known to incur. The boys of Religious Girls, who we profiled earlier this week, played hard and tight; especially the drummer, who we're giving MVP for the night.

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Live Shots: Stepology at Herbst Theater, 8/21/2011

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At most performance rehearsals, there isn't the need to do a sound-check with the drummer and the dancers. At a tap show, it's a must. The beats are coming from both parties, so those amps better be set to pitch perfect.

This past weekend, metal-soled kicks took the stage, for a performance by the very talented Stepology, a local tap dance organization who is trying to preserve those classic tip-tappity steps through its annual Bay Area Tap Fest program. I stopped by the Stepologists' final rehearsal to get a taste of what they were up to, and was very glad I did. 

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Live Shots: GAPA Runway 23, 08/13/2011

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Fantasy Land was out in full force on the Herbst Theater stage this past weekend, for the 23rd annual Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) Runway show and 2011 Mr. & Miss GAPA pageant. The contestants were dressed to impress and pulled out all the stops (and pulled off a few pairs of pants too), in hopes of winning over a panel of judges that included everyone from socialites like Holy McGrail and politician Fiona Ma. Everyone was bedazzled, especially by the host Tita Aida.

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Live Shots: Emily Wells and the Blank Tapes, Cafe du Nord, 7/24/11

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No one seemed to mind that it was a Sunday night and that we were probably all going to be up far past our bedtime on a work night. That's because it's worth staying up late to hear some darn good music, truly starting the week off right. Emily Wells and The Blank Tapes were at Cafe du Nord and they kept the tunes coming late into the evening.

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Live Shots: Soundgarden at the Civic Auditorium, 7/21/11

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After capping off a monstrous 20-plus song set yesterday, on Thursday, July 21, with the tortured grind of “Slaves & Bulldozers,” Soundgarden put an exclamation point on their performance with a six minute shake-the-building-foundations, horses-of-the-apocalypse audio assault.

Amid waves of controlled feedback and blaring Seattle Sonic resonance, I thought my dental fillings were shaking loose. I was worried the Civic Auditorium balcony would soon collapse. I suspected that teenagers might start exploding throughout the audience. Read more »

Post:Ballet aims to refresh dance at the Herbst

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Like "okra" or "golf," the word "ballet" can elicit a very strong reaction. Either its two syllables make you giddy, the same way a perfectly sauteed pan of okra can make you salivate, or make you instantly nod off, like the thought of 18 holes of golf. (No offense to golf lovers … I personally just don't really get it). Fortunately for everyone on both sides of the ballet divide, there's Post:Ballet, a relatively young dance company that is breathing new life into the dance form -- and which brings something that almost anyone will find quite likable indeed.

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Live Shots: Eddie Vedder and Glen Hansard, Paramount Theatre, 7/11/11

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He sat surrounded by dozens of instruments, all of which were lovingly named in the playbill for the show. As Eddie Vedder made his way through an extensive repertoire of new and old songs, a fresh ukulele or guitar was switched out with each piece, giving the whole evening an ever changing sound and flavor.

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