Live Shots

Live Shots: Stag Dining "Speakeasy" Clandestine Dinner, 01/29/2011

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These days, it's hip to be in the know of well-kept secrets. OK, maybe that's confusing, but what I'm trying to say is there's an ever-growing list of underground events going on in San Francisco, but if you don't know about them, well, than you better start getting on it. Now. I'll give you a hint. Secret restaurants are popping up everywhere and it's the kind of eating experience you don't want to miss out on.

Case in point: this past weekend, Stag Dining Group hosted a clandestine dinner at a mysterious locale, which included a myriad interesting dishes, from Japanese lobster custard to skewered duck hearts in mole sauce.

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Live Shots: Edwardian Ball, Regency Ballroom, 01/22/2011

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Photos by Erik Anderson

Edwardian Ball 2011: a journey into the abyss, the unknown, the festering macabre just inches from the surface of everyday society. You know what it is to which we refer -- where the hell are these people getting their costumes? The truly creative -- the guy whose head was encased in a glass globe filled with swimming goldfish counts and DJ Miz Margo's eye-gouged baby doll stunner among them -- surely made their own, but a trek beneath the ball's crowded main floor revealed the secrets behind the mystery behind the enigma. Read more »

Live Shots: Circus Center's New Pickle Circus, JCCSF, 01/22/2011

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It seems that whenever I go to the circus, I leave the show wanting to join the circus. And I'm not talking about the desire to perfect my juggling skills or become an expert in improvised clowning. My circus ambitions lie in the urge to become a trapeze artist. That should be pretty easy, right?

If you happened to see the Circus Center's New Pickle Circus this past weekend at the Jewish Community Center, you probably left the show with the same feeling.

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Live Shots: Chaka Khan, The Warfield, 01/14/2011

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Sometimes going to a show is not just about the artist, but also about the audience. Fans have the ability to bring so much energy and excitement to a performance, and that's exactly what went down this past Friday night at the Warfield, when super diva extraordinaire Chaka Khan took the stage.

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Live Shots: Willie Nelson, The Fillmore, 01/11/2011

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Sam Love and I rented a camper van and decided it would be our home for the next three weeks, as we made our way loop-dee-loop around the south island of New Zealand. A few hours in, we realized that there aren't that many people in New Zealand (but tons of sheep!) and townships are quite spread out, resulting in very few radio stations.

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Live Shots: Badly Drawn Boy, Swedish American Hall, 12/14/10

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“How long do you plan on sitting down there?” said Damon Gough of Badly Drawn Boy as I stared up at him through my fifty millimeter lens perched on the steps of the stage. “Three songs,” I replied, holding up the appropriate number of digits. Our conversation ended there. It was the first time a musician had interacted with me at a concert, and to be honest, it was slightly awkward.

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Live Shots: Roger Waters' epic "The Wall," HP Pavilion, 12/08/2010

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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.

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Live Shots: 'Pilot Light' at ODC Theater, 12/05/10

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The hardest part for me about watching dance is that if it's really good, I want to start dancing too -- and it bothers me that I have to stay cemented to my seat or risk embarrassment. This happened this weekend when I went to see Pilot Light at ODC Theater, a program 20 years in the making, that gives blossoming choreographers the chance to showcase their work in a professional theater. The evening's program consisted of eight dance performances by six talented choreographers. I was awed by the variety of movement, costumes, and emotion, from utterly comical to positively serious.

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Live Shots: The Books, Palace of Fine Arts, 11/30/2010

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How do I describe the music of The Books? When I'm listening to it, there seems to be no beginning or end, I'm just immersed in it, floating in some exotic place and it's hard to know how I even got there. Seriously, sometimes I wonder, "What is going on?" (Even they sometimes feel that way.)

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Live Shots: Yard Dogs Road Show, The Independent, 11/27/10

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All photos by Allen David

Note to self: stuff pockets with glitter. The concept was out in full force for Yard Dogs Road Show's "Glitter and Gold" Thanksgiving weekend show at The Independent (on Saturday, the second of a two-night run). And those prancing, bejeweled pony girls sure didn't disappoint -- neither did the dancing, singing marionette girls, or the multi-cannon explosions of confetti with which the show climaxed. Great visuals, them. The music ranged from Broadway D-Liscious' rubber-ankled lounge rendition of "The Life of the Party," to head bangers, to sexy, warbled somethings -- which sounded sexier (like they always do) when sung by a woman on an accordian. Here's hoping we don't have to wait another two years for the Dogs to get let out in the Bay once more. 

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