OnlineRock Blog

18 February 2009

Live Show Round-Up

It’s been a busy few months here at OnlineRock with a number of shows under our belt.  Late last year and early this year we got out to a few music event.  Below is a short recap of the highlights.

Brightblack Morning Bright - Out on the road in support of their second full-length release entitled Motion to Rejoin (read OnlineRock’s review), BMB played about five shows in the San Francisco Bay area including the one I saw at the CafĂ©’ Du Nord.  I’ve enjoyed both of their releases as mellow, stoner-rock, Sunday morning coffee mood enhancer however their live performance brought much more energy and volume to the music.  This was a welcoming aspect on a "school-night".

Neil Young – If anyone reads my blogs they will know that I’m a fan of Neil Young.  He and Lou Reed are about the only musicians that I will see in larger venues.  I feel that both of them, after over 40 years of making music, are still vital in both the music they produce and the projects that they are involved with.  Neil proved this point once again with his show at the Reno Event Center.  While most of his set consisted of older guitar driven songs (Cortez the Killer, Powderfinger, Cowgirl in the Sand), he did a few new songs including "Just Singing A Song Won't Change The World".   This was a few days before the election and at first I didn’t get it.   After all, a lot of his songs had to have some impact on the world.  Ohio, Keep on Rockin’ In The Free World and The Needle and The Damage Done have all made people think and probably change their actions.  Then I got it.  Just singing a song won't change the world but what you do with it and in addition to it can.  For his encore he did a cover of the Beatles's “A Day In The Life”.

Loquat – I went to their CD release show at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco.  (read OnlineRock's Review) They are a local band that I’ve seen a few times over that past year including a day party at SXSW.  They remind me of Ivy with a little bit of Bettie Serveert thrown in.  The three shows were similar as far as their set-lists and I was hoping to hear more tunes from their new release but they delivered.  If they could get on a few tours with larger acts and solidify their identity, I honestly feel that they could have a shot on a national level.  I may even see them again in December when they play with Built for the Sea, another SF band that I've been meaning to check out.

Annuals - We did a review of their latest release called "Such Fun" (read OnlineRock's review) and had their EP playing in the office as well so why not go see them live?  I actually saw them at SXSW last year however they didn't make much of an impression.  This was mainly due to the venue.  It was mainly a sound stage with audience cues and the likes.  Bimbo's in San Francisco, arguably my most favorite venue anywhere, would certainly make up for that.  And that it did, the six piece band took the stage and held the crowd in its hand the entire show.  With diversity (band members switching instruments almost each song) and powerful songwriting, I saw a different band than I did in Austin. Minus the Bear were the headliner at Bimbo's that night and, while I've heard their name, I didn't know the music.  I was pleasantly surprised by their power and diversity.  They even did an acoustic set. 

Willie Nelson - What can I say?  I've been wanting to see Willie for a long time and finally had the chance to catch a show during his five night run at the Fillmore.  I knew it would be a partying crowd but I didn't know that I'd have to air out my clothes for a week after.  It was a great time.  The songs were familiar, they playing was adequate and I got to see a few friends that I haven't seen for a long time.  It had a reunion feeling about it and made me miss the camaraderie of the good old days when you used to know a lot of people attending shows.

Dean and Britta - After reading Dean Wareham's book "Black Postcards: A Rock and Roll Romance", I sort of missed seeing Luna perform.  I was happy to hear that Dean and Britta would be coming to San Francisco and playing at the Palace of Fine Arts, a fine venue thet I've been enjoying more and more.  The first time I saw live music there was for the Eels last year.  To top off Dean and Britta's show, they performed 13 Most Beautiful... Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests which were projcted behind the band during the performance.  These included Paul America, Edie Sedgwick, Richard Rheem, Ingrid Superstar, Lou Reed, Jane Holzer, Billy Name, Mary Woronov, Freddy Herko, Ann Buchanan, Susan Bottomly, Nico, Dennis Hopper.  It was truely a beutiful piece of performance art.    

Upcoming shows include Antony and the Johnsons, Built for the Sea and other Noisepop acts.  Let me know if you have any suggestions :)