Saturday, November 14, 2015

Rock-tober Shows

I was raised by music enthusiasts: one parent being what I came to be known as a "Dead-Head" the other blaring everything from The Stones, to David Bowie, Ice - T to Frank Zappa and the B-52's, so it's not surprising that I've grown to like all different genres of music. I have my go-to's but I'm open to and enjoy all types of music and if you read my blog on a regular basis you've probably already gathered that. I'm also always down to go to a show, any show, even if it's a band I've never heard of.

 The Summer  Music Fest Season has officially been done-zo for a few weeks and it's safe to say that Summer and our infamous Indian Summer in San Francisco are (finally) over. Now that the Holiday Season and all of it's festivities are ramping up let's take a look back at October which is better known as Rock-tober in the wide realm of music. The shows I went to last month really ran the gamut: from venue to stage design, lighting and genera to the show-goers, each show stood on it's own on a few different levels. I know these aren't uncommon concert occurrences, especially with the mix of music I saw but still!

Tove Lo at The Fox Theater 10/3/2015
Photo by Nikki DeMartini

Tove Lo 
October 3rd at The Fox Theater: 
Girls with boyfriends in tow, groups of girlfriends, cute gay boys and young-ins flocked to the sold-out Tove Lo Show at The Fox Theater in Oakland. The raceySwedish pop-starlette had an exuberant, gracious stage presence and a bright, sleek stage production complete with her (stage)  name lit up in Marquee lights. Personally, I'm only familiar with her hit singles that are played on the radio but everyone at the show sang along to every single song! 

Diego's Umbrella @ Social Hall SF 10/16/2015
Photo by Marc Fong 
Diego's Umbrella 
October 16th at Social Hall SF:
San Francisco natives, Diego's Umbrella played a celebratory show for the release of their Songs for the Juerga EP  at the newest concert venue in the city, Social Hall SF
Loyal fans danced to the signature sounds of polka/ska inspired jams with a Spanish flamenco flava from the 5 piece, Gypsy Punk-Rock band. Regardless of the fact that tickets didn't sell as well as I would have thought for a Friday night, hometown record release show, Diego's Umbrella generated lively fun on and off stage. 

A Silent Film 
October 19th at The Independent
A Silent Film @ The Independent 10/19/2015
Photo by Nikki DeMartini
On tour in support of their self-titled 3rd album, A Silent Film drew a small crowd at The Independent. The English Alternative Rock band has a brooding indie sound, reminiscent of bands who were wildly popular in the late 90's, early 2000's like Interpol, The Vines and The Strokes they confidently delivered a wholehearted performance. In a black leather jacket and loose pompadour singer/pianist/guitarist Robert Stevenson looked a lot like Arctic Monkey's front-man and the band as a  whole fit the rock role well on the club's dimly lit stage. Visibly giving it his all throughout the show he intermittently engaged with fans, vigorously trying get them pumped up. A Silent Film delivered a solid show but with the flush popularity of retro-punk-grunge- blues-rock like Elle King, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Gary Clark Jr. and so on, it seems as though their sound may have missed the mark by a few years.

FKA Twigs 
October 17th at Treasure Island Music Fest

FKA Twigs @ Treasure Island Music Fest 10/17/2015
Photo by Marc Fong 
FKA Twigs was arguably the most anticipated artist at Treasure Island Music Fest this year and the experimental trip-hop singer, songwriter, producer, former back-up dancer definitely did not disappoint. The British beauty hit the dark, smokey Bridge Stage  fashionably late wearing a revealing lace pant suit paired with a dominatrix style Bustier. She silently sauntered to her mic with a sultry demeanor which was a big part of her stage presence throughout the set.
The meticulous choreography and body contorting dance moves were utterly amazing and flowed with her evocative R&B tunes so well all you could do was watch in awe. She awkwardly thanked the crowd a couple of times during what was the last set she'd perform on her 2015 Festival run.

The War on Drugs 
October 18th at Treasure Island Music Fest
The War on Drugs @ Treasure Island Music Festival 10/18/2015
Photo by Marc Fong 

What a difference a day makes! The War on Drugs played the same stage that FKA Twigs played the previous day at Treasure Island Music Festival . Adam Granduciel's voice was smooth and soothing and the band's acoustics were some of the best I've ever heard at a Music Festival. Their shoegazing indie-rock appeal allowed you to just chillax and enjoy the brisk Sunday evening. 

Marina and the Diamonds 
October 20th at The Fox Theater
Marina and the Diamonds @ The Fox Theater 10/20/2015
Photo by Marc Fong

The first Marina and the Diamonds show on Wednesday October 21st at The Fox Theater sold-out super quick so a second show was added by popular demand on Tuesday October 20th. Tuesday night's show wasn't at capacity but the venue was pretty packed with a whirlwind of excited fans. The Welch hottie with a body hit the road in support if her 3rd album, Froot on the Neon Nature Tour which turned out to be an appropriate name seeing as she had such a bright and colorful stage design!

A huge wall from which her band played a top of flashed quirky cartoonish visuals behind her as she energetically performed melodic ballads and electro-pop favorites from all three of her albums.
Her three costume changes throughout the night reflected the theme of each album and this arena worthy show element, which is seldom seen at The FoxTheater, added even more fun to her set!

Emily Wells @ The Chapel 10/21/2015
Photo by Nikki DeMartini

Emily Wells 
October 21st at The Chapel
The young and very talented Emily Wells quite literally carried her show at The Chapel in the heart of San Francisco's Mission districted on October 21st.  The multi-instrumentalist violin virtuoso single-handedly set up all of her instruments and equipment before starting her one-woman show. She captivated show-goers with her humble performance of emotion evoking eccentric indie-folk.  

As you can see from the variety of shows I went to last month alone (and that's not even all of them) I am not close minded when it comes to music or going to shows. I highly recommend approaching show going the same way! Not only will it expose you to something you might not have ever dialed into or thought you would like  but it exposes you to how different bands utilize the pieces that make a show stand out or seem the same as the last indie band you saw (for example). 

Being open minded to all types of music will open your eyes to a new appreciation of live music and musicians. Plus you'll end up going out and having more fun if you don't close yourself off to new experiences. 
Rock-tober is over but there's still a couple weeks left of Show-vember, so get out there and enjoy some shows! 

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