Live Shots

Giants sweep the World Series, city goes buck

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Praise Scutaro, the Giants swept the World Series last night. And San Franciscans, loose after a brilliant sunny day in the city, with ample practice from the Giants' victory two years ago, and half dressed in their Halloween costumes, acted accordingly. Photographer Charles Russo was on hand to capture everything from the cheers in Civic Center Plaza to the fires that were lit on Mission Street late last night. Read more »

Live Shots: Crystal Castles at the Fox

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Arriving early to the Crystal Castles show Monday at the Fox Theater, discovering that one opener, HEALTH, had canceled its performance, and that the photo pit would be off limits for the other, Kontravoid, I was left with some unexpected time on my hands. Time that I spent trying to recall where I had seen the eerily familiar image hung over the stage, of a veiled figure cradling a fragile, vulnerable looking man in their arms.

Presented without context, it could be potentially tenderly romantic or gothically morbid, an ambiguity which seemed to typically invite the sort of let-me-Google-that mystery that recent bands have found so chic.* Read more »

Live Shots: David Byrne and St. Vincent at the Orpheum

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David Byrne opened his show with St. Vincent on Monday night by thanking the Orpheum for breaking its run of The Lion King for their performance. The David Byrne-St. Vincent show wasn't too far off from the theater’s regular selection though. The eight piece brass band doing choreographed marching behind the duo had a theatrical effect, feeling somewhere between a Stop Making Sense-themed halftime show and an instrument-bearing ensemble in West Side Story.

The 60-year-old musical giant and 30-year-old indie star brought out a diverse crowd. Byrne was carrying on the legacy of art-school punk-turned-pop band, the Talking Heads, but some in the crowd seemed to be wondering “who is this pretty young talent helping espouse his eccentric philosophies?” The scalpers outside were only selling Byrne’s name on the tickets and there was an overabundant amount of “we love you David” cries from the audience.

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Live Shots: ABADA-Capoeira's "The Spirit of Brazil"

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Sparking machetes. Lots of them, clanking against each other, as the dancers holding them ran in circles.

I'll be honest, sitting in the front row was slightly intimidating, and also rather exhilarating! The ABADÁ-Capoeira dance troupe, plus special guests from as far Switzerland, filled the stage with pure energy, in rehearsal for the troupe's "Spirit of Brazil" show, running Thu/18-Sun/20. Read more »

Live Shots: Treasure Island Music Festival 2012

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Music nerds talk lineups the way sports fans manage fantasy teams, particularly with festivals, where suddenly strategy becomes a part of catching a show. Treasure Island Music Festival, is sort of an exception, since in theory you can catch every single act, given the two alternating stages. At the same time, this means that unless you head to the silent disco or take a nap, one of those geeks will be standing behind you during a set, obsessively talking about how the lineup should be slotted differently. Read more »

Live Shots: Peter Gabriel at HP Pavilion

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Peter Gabriel strolled onto the stage at HP Pavilion on Tuesday with the house lights still glaring and the upper tier of the arena empty save for a scant few concertgoers sprinkled throughout the vast space.

Standing at the center stage microphone, Gabriel matter-of-factly began to explain to the audience how the concert would be structured for the rest of the evening. For an ever artistically-minded musician known for the theatrical nature of his live performances, it was a strangely stilted beginning to the start of his concert, exuding all the excitement of a CPR certification course. Read more »

Amanda (Fucking) Palmer unites the freaks at the Fillmore

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Theatrics! Camp! Bravado! Glitter! Body hair! Going to an Amanda Palmer concert is like taking a trip to the island of misfit toys. Standing in the crowd, I was surrounded by top hats, tutus, tuxedos, pink mohawks, steampunk creations, and many more accessories that I can’t begin to identify. 

The audience at the Fillmore last Wednesday was incredibly diverse in age, gender, and style, seemingly united only by their love for the many artistic eccentricities of Amanda Fucking Palmer, as her fans call her. Read more »

Beach House lets its music do the talking

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Do you remember the museum scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) where Sloane and Ferris kiss, while Cameron is off by himself, getting lost in a Seurat painting? There’s no dialogue. Just a particularly contemplative Dream Academy cover of a Smiths song, the museum awash in blue light. It’s a quiet, slow spot in the movie, but it had a big impact – partly because it was so simply done.

There was a moment like that at Beach House’s sold-out show at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Friday. Maybe a few moments. Read more »

Live Shots: Aesop Rock at the Fillmore

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The anticipation was killing me. After waiting through 10 weeks of postponement and three openers, I just wanted to see Aesop Rock. Well over two hours past showtime on a Sunday night at the Fillmore, the audience was getting restless. Read more »

Live Shots: Rock Make Festival

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Crafting DIY-style is already pretty punk rock -- but combine it with actual live tunes, and you've got yourself the Rock Make Street Festival, a street celebration of music and art.

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