Live Review

Live Shots: Jack White rocks so hard he sprains his ankle at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

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With the opening chords of “Fell in Love with a Girl,” Jack White took to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium stage on Friday night at what seemed like 100 miles per hour at staggering volume…with little interest in ever applying the brake. Read more »

Live Review: The Coup's provocative 'Shadowbox' marred by sound problems

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The Coup's new multimedia project Shadowbox was at least partially inspired by bandleader/MC Boots Riley's experience walking into a Theater Artaud performance as a child. The performance was a treatise on AIDS, but Riley was more frightened than enlightened by the giant sets and writhing actors around him. Read more »

Paul McCartney bids Candlestick a fiery goodbye

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My earliest memories of Candlestick are formative ones. Like any Bay Area kid who cut her baseball teeth on Giants games at the notoriously frigid stadium, I thought every family prepared for sporting events by piling on 17 strategic layers and stuffing their car full of sleeping bags and other accoutrements that could double as equipment for scaling Mount Kilimanjaro.  Read more »

Snarky Puppy brings sweet fusion to the SF Jazz Center

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By Paul Kenyon Krantz

While hordes of people were packed into Golden Gate Park for Outside Lands Aug. 9, the all-American quasi-collective known as Snarky Puppy made the walls of the SF Jazz Center made ring with their particular frequencies of jazzy, instrumental fusion.Read more »

Capitalism, performance art, and a whole lot of ass-shaking: Notes from a Beyoncé and Jay Z show

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First off: To review a Beyoncé and Jay Z show, in the traditional way that music writers generally review live music — assessing and critiquing the sonic experience, the songs performed, the technical skill and effort put into reimagining and translating studio albums into an engaging performer-audience interaction — is totally missing the point.Read more »

Jimmy Cliff high-kicks his way through 50 years of music at the Fillmore

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Jimmy Cliff is a goddamn maniac. It's about 45 minutes into his 90-minute set at the Fillmore on Saturday night [July 19], and while the sheer volume of ganja smoke in the packed room is making real movement — beyond the standard shuffle/sidestep, white reggae fan head-bob, and occasional 30-second pogo accompanied by the triumphant fist-in-the-air move — seem an insurmountable challenge for most everyone on the dancefloor, 66-year-old Jimmy Cliff is onstage in matching bright yellow-and-red pants, a robe, and a hat, quite literally running circles around everyone. Read more »

Live Shots: OK Go power through technical difficulties at The Independent

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Ok Go’s catalog is the sonic equivalent of Fruit Loops. Bright, fun, tasty, and far from satisfying or substantive. They are also one of our generation’s greatest bands. Because what Ok Go lacks in musical imagination and originality, they make up for tenfold with the way they have revolutionized and thoroughly dominated the art of the music video.Read more »

Live Shots: Phono del Sol 2014

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So, what did you get up to on Saturday?

From an abundance of flamingo decorations to the sight of skateboarders with a penchant for performing dangerous acrobatics off stage barricades, July 12's Phono del Sol — the hometown pride-filled music festival thrown with a new level of fervor each year by the Bay Bridged at Potrero del Sol Park — showcased a variety of genres and kept the musical midsummer blues at bay.

Here’s the best of Phono del Sol 2014. Read more »

Mac DeMarco underwhelms at Amoeba — until he busts out the covers

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Mac DeMarco has one of the most charismatic, clearly defined personas of anyone in indie rock. He chain-smokes, cross-dresses, makes out with interviewers, and -- in what might be the key piece of apocryphal Mac mythology -- once stuck his thumb up his ass at a gig. Read more »

Live Shots: Nick Cave hypnotizes the Warfield two nights in a row

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It took Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds all of two songs to whip the audience into a mighty frenzy at the Warfield Theater on Monday night [during the first of a pair of sold-out shows at the venue]. Not totally surprising, but all the more impressive when considering that Cave and company pulled it off by playing new material, a pair of tracks from their latest album, Push the Sky Away.Read more »