Jounce with us, if you will, through the Guardian staff's frenzied weekend. Here's our live reviews, hot raging, random sightings.
**Sunday's Warfield crowd was by and large shorts-clad and shirtless, as hundreds of thrash-metal devotees smushed together in collective worship of Anthrax, celebrating its 30th year as a band with a set stuffed with classics and newer songs (Joey Belladonna's vocals and Scott Ian's extended chin-beard were both in fine form). Also on the bill were local darlings Testament (who got shared-headliner status on the Warfield's marquee) and Death Angel, who might've gotten the wildest cheers of the night ("Death An-gel! Death An-gel!") New Yorkers Anthrax nodded to the Bay Area's thrash roots with a special guest during the encore (Kirk Hammett; Ian's Twitter followers also got a glimpse of some other all-stars who were apparently enjoying the show backstage). A sweaty, ear-shattering night overall, in more ways than one: the less said about metalcore openers Chimaira, the better. (Cheryl Eddy)
**As I debated which cocktail would best match my order of spicy red sauce tofu burrito on Friday night, the cashier at Green Chile Kitchen in the Panhandle conspiratorially whispered "you should really try the new beet margarita." How can you refuse an ad like that? Okay, so it wasn't a "margarita" in the most traditional sense, meaning it was made of beets and sake, but damn if that salt-rimmed cocktail didn't hit the spot. I was fearful and wrong in assuming the drink would taste like rich, raw beet -- a root vegetable I most often enjoy in sliced, vinaigrette-dripped doses. No, the mouthfeel ran sweet, almost tart, which matched well with the tongue-tingling meal. Delicious. And fueling. The combo kept my tummy warm through a night of chasing down sold-out and long-lined concerts in the Tenderloin. (Emily Savage)
**I feel absolutely awful for you if you weren't at the beach this weekend. It was hot as blazes, which had the nudeles at Baker Beach on Saturday in a Frisbee-tossing, badminton-pumping frenzy. They made an excellent backdrop for the wedding that was taking place on the sand. If you're getting married at Baker Beach, you know there's going to be penis and American flag fanny packs in the background of your 'I do' shot, right? (Caitlin Donohue)
**I don’t recommend spending three of four nights selling merchandise as the best way of catching a show, (especially when you’re vending from a different room) but I did manage to break away and catch some Budget Rock highlights at Bottom of the Hill this weekend. Rockers milled about the packed venue before and after their stage performances, including the graying Jeff Conolly, of Lyres. Once on stage though, age was hardly a factor as Lyres turned out some of the best organ grooves that seemed soul inspired by way of British mod rock. The encore lasted longer than its first batch of songs and towards the end, Conolly got in his drummer’s face and pantomimed fills as if instructing him on how to get the job done. By the end of these night shows, I had become a Budget Rock zombie, greasing my fingers with BOTH's delicious B.L.T., chatting with a sluggish Clay from Subsonics, who seemed to come alive after he rocked out on stage, and trying to decide which band talks more trash—the Rip Offs or Personal and the Pizzas. Alas, this fest will be no more. (Andre Torrez)
***Often lifting the balls of his feet to the music, forever in a calf stretch, the War on Drugs' shaggy-haired frontperson Adam Granduciel looked and sounded the classic American rocker last night at the Independent. The sound is vintage-modern, paying tribute to the giants while mixing in sweeping synth and keyboard beats, along with a no-frills solo vocals approach (there was no backing chanter). Kicking off the set with a track off Wagonwheel Blues, the band then pressed into "Baby Missiles," off both last year's EP and the recently released Slave Ambient. It has a Springsteen-esque "Dancing in the Dark" feel, something critics have seemed to either embrace or dismiss (I obviously embrace), but the direct correlation is there; the curved pipeline, the vein of good old fashioned, sticky hot rock'n'roll Americana was present at the Indy, and remained throughout the unusually warm night -- and the unusually tall crowd seemed impressed, many pushing on to the tiptoes of their paws as well.
**Having caught a spellbinding opening set by NewVillager at the Metronomy show on Oct. 14, I was in need of another fix. Luckily for me, the Brooklyn, NY, based avant-garde pop trio returned to San Francisco on Friday for a free show at the swanky Clift Hotel in the Tenderloin. Colorful fabrics hanging across the stage added an element of coziness to the hotel’s luxurious, high-ceilinged Velvet Room. As the set progressed, a group of black hoodie-clad dancers rose from the floor and totally freaked some people out when they weaved their way into the crowd. NewVillager closed with its infectious anthem, “Rich Doors,” which had been stuck in my head all week. (Frances Capell)
**Dave Grohl presided over a marathon two and a half hour, adrenaline-fueled, sweat-drenched sing along at the Foo Fighters’ show at the Oracle Arena on Wednesday night, leading his band mates in a charge through the groups’ entire catalog, ranging from “This Is A Call” from their debut record to selections off the Foos’ latest effort, Wasting Light. When he wasn’t screaming out his vocals or wildly headbanging while playing guitar on the main portion of the stage, Grohl ran back and forth along a path through the crowd to a smaller stage at the back of the floor, reaching out to audience members in “the former shitty seats” as he put it, seemingly making sure he connected with as many frenzied fans as possible. Judging from the deafeningly enthusiastic response throughout the set, Grohl and company’s efforts were highly successful, and most thoroughly enjoyable. (Sean McCourt)