Tag Archives: concert

Best Coast had another free concert this month at a chapel in the Mission. The event was hosted by Converse Rubber Tracks. (Photo by Nichole Rosanova)

Best Coast Rocks the West Coast

Best Coast put on a special free concert last week at Amoeba’s record store on Haight Street. With minimal advertising of the event, those that came into the store were surprised to also be attending a small concert. Not long after the performance started, people began flooding into the shop.

The duo Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno took no time to introduce themselves. They immediately started off their performance with heavy guitars strumming to the crowd’s delight, seguing into material from their new album, “Fade Away.” Cosentino’s beautiful voice permeated the store throughout the show.

Maintaining the trends of its past work, Best Coast’s new songs are full of smooth guitar riffs and female vocals. Finally speaking to the crowd, the group introduced its title track song, “Fade Away.” The song is full of melancholic undertones, with slow-paced drumming and vocals. The band seemed to toy with the audience’s emotions, intertwining past songs that are usually fast-paced with heart-wrenching new material.  Nearing the close of the show, Cosentino introduced “I Don’t Know How,” a charming song from “Fade Away.” For the first minute or so, it seemed as though everyone was swaying sadly in unison, humming along to themselves.

The band’s entire performance lasted only thirty minutes, consisting of both old and new material. Best Coast closed the show by proclaiming its love of California and San Francisco. Cosentino and Bruno met with fans who lined up to get a copy of “Fade Away” and autographed merchandise. You can see them again live with the Pixies in February at the Fox Theater in Oakland.

D. Mode

Depeche Mode Breaks the Silence

Throwback Thursday! This 80′s band is going strong in 2013 promoting their thirteenth album. 

     I first came across Depeche Mode during one of my many late Friday night rides home from work during sophomore year of high school.  Mindlessly driving through the backroads of my town, “Enjoy the Silence” began to play on the radio, and Dave Gahan’s smooth melodic voice enveloped my rusty pickup.  The soft bass and trance-inducing melody cocooned me in a way.  Since then, Depeche Mode has been my go-to band whenever I want to feel overly self-indulgent.

Naturally, when I found out that Depeche Mode would be touring in the Bay Area, I made it my goal to kick off my college concert-going years with their show at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View.  At first I was skeptical about the show since I had some intense qualms with their latest album, “Delta Machine.”

After listening to it for the first time, I reasoned that Depeche Mode would simply never create another song that would reach the same level as “Personal Jesus” or “Just Can’t Get Enough,” and that was that.  In addition, the album’s songs—with the exception of “Soothe my Soul”— are far too slow; and while their previous slow songs have usually made me want to sway in content, there are serious undertones of melancholy in the new material.  When I listened to them, I couldn’t help but feel as though I was being engulfed by an ominous shadow I wasn’t ready to face.

Despite that, I went to their concert cognizant of my irrevocable love for them and with an open mind.  Fortunately, I was quick to learn that Depeche Mode on CD and Depeche Mode live may as well be two different groups all together.  There was an indescribable energy about them, and—while I would say that much of the audience’s enthusiasm at the concert was in part due the spectacular lights and visuals of the stage—much of it was due to Dave Gahan’s performance as front man.

Gahan commanded the audience’s attention without a word.  He walked on stage adorned in black eye makeup dressed in a simple gold and black vest, and seemed to effortlessly encompass sex, Goth, punk, and glamour all in one.  As he belted out “Welcome to my World,” a love affair with the audience began.  He succeeds in what most front men cannot, and that is to make a connection with everyone.  Despite how near or far you were to the stage, Gahan pulled you in, whether it be through intense eye contact or through his signature twirls and the shaking of his hips.

Throughout the show, my previous hesitations regarding Delta Machine ceased.  While I had viewed Depeche Mode’s slow and sad songs as their tool to personally torment me and tempt me into a state of self-indulgence, I felt far more connected.  I wasn’t being sung at; I was being sung to.

In short, Depeche Mode has still got it. I believe them to be a “cult classic” of the music world, pulling in everybody to indulge and dance and sway with them.

Macklemore Rocks USF

The Seattle based rapper Macklemore, born Ben Haggerty, and music producer Ryan Lewis rocked the crowd at USF Friday night in their last US concert before continuing their tour in Japan.

USF student Royce Anies, aka Dj Devarock, got the intimate crowd of concert goers pumped before the lead act took the stage, blasting all things bass infused, ranging from Nicki Minaj to Swedish House Mafia. However, not even the bone rattling bass could have rivaled the chants of “Mack-le-more! Mack-le-more!” and screams of elation that filled Koret’s Swig Gym as they took the stage. Macklemore jumped around stage, grabbing the audience’s hands and shouted every word of his rhymes in unison, nearly drowning out the rapper himself at times. However, the crowd listened attentively when Macklemore took a moment to talk about the city by the bay. “You know, I like my things a little older, worn out…I love San Francisco. Do you know which part I like best? The tenderloin…The other side of Union Square.” He said, continuing, “I like my cities with grit, gum on the sidewalks. San Francisco has grit.”

At that point, Macklemore noted that many members of the audience were wearing apparently thifted fur coats, a shout out to his two time platinum song “Thrift Shop,” which has also claimed the number one spot on the Billboard top 100 charts for three weeks, in addition to topping the charts in Denmark, UK, Canada, France, Australia and New Zealand. He asked to borrow one concert goers coat, which felt “a little small” according to the rapper who then launched into “Thrift Shop”, accompanied by Michael Wansley, better known as Wanz. The song was well received by the electrified audience, feeding off of

Macklemore’s enthusiastic performance, who jumped around the stage and bumped shoulders with his fellow musicians. At the end of the song, Macklemore asked the audience to “crowd surf the bear”, or get the borrowed coat back to the person who gave it to him in the first place.
The relatively small crowd gave the performance a feeling of intimacy, and Macklemore’s penchant for talking to the audience made the experience personal. It’s not a concert anyone in the audience will soon forget.

 

*For more pictures, check out the Foghorn’s Flickr account, which has an entire photo collection of Friday’s concert

Mason Jennings Softly Rocks the Fillmore

The audience seems less like an audience than a congregation. There are many smiling faces, an enormous range of ages, fathers and daughters, couples arm in arm, modest outfits, lots of swaying back and forth, and seemingly not a single drunk person.

Mason Jennings isn’t a rock n’ roller. His songs are mellow, his lyrics uplifting. But who’s ever heard of a concert with zero catcalling and not a single whiff of marijuana smoke? The audience sings along, but quietly. They bob their heads. There are signs of moderate foot-tapping. Occasionally they’ll uncross their arms to clap, and then re-cross.

The Jennings fans reveal their capacity for excitement early into the show when an earthquake rumbles through the Fillmore, turning legs to jelly and inciting a cacophony of nervous chatter. The opening band plays on, and the audience quickly returns to looking mildly interested and picking at their cuticles. Overall, they’re about as energetic as Jennings himself.

Jennings shares the stage with just one other performer, a charming musician named Jake Hansen. They rotate instruments, alternating between drum, bass, keyboard, harpsichord, and cucumber-shaped maraca. Jennings is the singer and supposedly the star of the show, but I feel far more compelled to watch his counterpart, whose lanky body’s spastic beat-keeping is both fascinating and endearing.
The duo’s musicianship is great—the groove is tight and danceable, the guitar-playing is intricate, but the vocals don’t measure up to the instrumentals. This is partly because Jenning’s stage presence is muted and his voice falls just a little flat. It’s also because his lyrics are moronic.

“Sweetheart, this is my dream come true/ And god bless the babies,” Jennings croons. I scan the crowd for signs of nausea, but everyone else seems unaffected. In fact, they look happy. Maybe they don’t speak English.

Jennings’ style is reminiscent of Jack Johnson, a long-time friend and touring partner. However, a few of his songs include a notably-un-Johnson like kind of spoken-word that sounds straight out of a School House Rock recording. After this thought comes to me, I believe the comparison is affirmed when he starts the next song with a wide-eyed exclamation, “Goodness me!”

Mercifully, this is actually the beginning of a comedic song about a cheating girlfriend. This knowledge provides some relief, but Jennings’ sense of irony ultimately isn’t strong enough to stamp out the overall feeling that he’s an overgrown camp counselor, busting out his guitar to accompany the s’mores.

Similar to a camp counselor, Jennings is a likeable guy. In between songs he’s smiley and sincere as he talks about his wife and kids. I feel guilty as I obsessively check my watch, not wanting to offend this guy who clearly means so well. I’m mentally figuring how many more songs he’ll play before I can leave when Jennings breaks into a cover of the Ramones.

This changes everything. As Jennings and Hansen wail through “I Wanna Be Sedated, the duo takes on a new life. Whether it’s just better songwriting or renewed energy on stage, there is now real dancing and audible vocals from the audience. I’m no longer sure what time it is.

After his foray into punk rock, Jennings calls the Pines, his opening band, to the stage. Jennings and Hansen accompany the Iowa-bred trio through one of their beautifully ethereal folk songs that had enchanted he through their set. The six men on the stage are clearly happy to be there playing with each other, and the feeling is infectious.

Jennings closes out the show with a Woodie Guthrie song, only returning to his own catalog for the encore, which he plays with an excitement and earnestness that had been completely absent in the first three quarters of his set.

Despite the show’s turnaround, I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for the ticket, but most of the concert-goers around me feel differently. “That was great! Didn’t you think that was great!?” one man yells excitedly at what looks like his teenage daughter. I’m not Jennings’ target audience.

I’ll never understand the appeal of soft rock, much like I’ll never really understand the appeal of going to church or being a member of any congregation.

In truth, the excitement of the earthquake that shook the stage during the opener’s set was the highlight of my night.

Tyler the Creator of Odd Future Stops in SF

Tyler, The Creator, a standout member in rap group Odd Future, has had one of the biggest breakthroughs in rap music this year. Known for his raw and sometimes offensive lyrics, Tyler has created a cult-like following of fans and haters alike. Tyler and the rest of Odd Future took the stage at the Warfield Friday night, and the Foghorn got a chance to catch up with him after the show.

F: You won your VMA, what’s next?
T: I don’t know
F: Do you want a Grammy?
T: Oh yeah, I’ll get that eventually, I don’t know when though. I don’t want it right now, well I mean I want it now but I’ll get it.
F: Are you afraid of not doing everything you want?
T: No, I’ll do everything I say I will. I’m a believer. In that interview a year ago I said I was gonna get a VMA one day and I f- got it. Um, like I’ll do a song with Justin Bieber one day, I really wanna produce it. And what else do I want to do, I don’t know.
F: do you like SF?
T: (long pause) yes… but… nah you thought I’d say no… I love San Fran…
F: Not San Fran!
F: Do not call it San Fran!!!
T: What?
F: You lose so much cred when you say that. SF, the city, the bay, San Francisco, never San Fran.
T: Dude thank you so much for telling me. Well I f- love SF cause it’s like, half and half. It’s four….four different sections: its people that’s f- up already, its people looking to get f- up amongst people that are already f- up, its people that get people f- up amongst people looking to get f- up around people that’s already f- up. Then there’s normal people like us.
F: We’re a small subgroup.
T: Yeah and its cool out here.
F: Can you skate outside anymore without being chased?
T: Um I do at L.A in my hometown but we just went to New York like two weeks ago and like me, I walk to the store I don’t want anyone to go do it for me. They’re like “Tyler do you need anything want to me to walk to the store?” Like no I’ll do it. I realized after the VMA’s I was on a whole different level of fame. Like I can’t walk anymore.
F: And it’s not going to change now.
F: It’s only going to get worse.
T: My friends, I was like hey you wanna go get food and they were no I don’t wanna go no where with you, f- cant even walk anywhere. That s- actually hurt. And it’s my fault so I couldn’t be mad. So I just sit and watch Adventure Time. I think everyone thinks they’re Finn at heart that watches that show. F- Finn.
F: Do friends from high school ever hit you up now that you’re famous?
T: Like Jasper and Travis we never went to school together and I never really had friends at school. All the kids thought I was weird. Like they’ll hit me up and be like congratulations. Some kid hit me up the other day actually and was like “you’re still weird as f-, but it worked out”.
F: Did you graduate with good grades?
T: Actually I did, people think I’m a f- dumbass. Like f- freshman year I was honors English and remedial math. I’m pretty smart, I had AP English and shit, and honors chem sophomore year. I failed math cause I didn’t really care. I kept the classes’ I cared about grades up.
(girl crying and yelling outside: this whole odd future thing was my idea!)
F: How do you deal with groupies?
T: They are the most annoying s- ever…oh my gosh…the thought of it’s cool as s-…you would think it’d be fun to have a 1,000 girls chase you. When I do meet girls that are fans, but not throwing themselves, it is cool.
F: Is “hip hop dead”?
T: I f- hate like, sayings like that. It’s just music to me. Like I hate people “hip hop’s dead I only listen to underground hip hop no one knows about oh you listen to mainstream I f- hate mainstream.” Like I hate that s- so much, so no, hip hop isn’t dead, music isn’t dead, it’s just music. On my next album I’m gonna make the music I listen to. Like you go to my recently added, no rap. Like it’s weird. I just like to rap I don’t listen to it. I listen to f- Kenny G. My next album is gonna be, like I might lose f- fans. Not die hard fans they will love that s-.

After exchanging music taste and making some recommendations to each other, we left as Tyler was greeted by screaming fans that had been waiting outside over an hour. After the show, T and his friends headed off to skate, then wake up early for their next show in Portland, Oregon.

Foghorn Interviews Fall Fest Headliner Mike Posner

Mike Interview_1

Foghorn/ USFtv: Who was your biggest musical inspiration growing up?
Mike Posner: Man, I had so many, so many influences growing up. A few that stick out are Nirvana, I had a big sister that listened to nirvana like all day so everything she did I thought was really awesome; I remember the day Kurt Cobain died. Beyond that I listened to mostly hip-hop when I was a kid so like things like The Roots and J Dilla, Nas, like that.

F/ USFtv: If you had to pick one song that was your favorite, your own or any other artist, what would you say it is?
MP: My favorite song is by The Killers, it called “Human.” Its like an absolute anthem- you’re nodding like you’ve absolutely not heard that before- no one really knows what it’s about, that’s kinda what makes it powerful. People can have their own interpretations so to people it can mean different things

F/ USFtv: How would you describe your own musical style? If you had one word to describe it how would you say it is?
MP: I’m kinda like a rapper trapped in a singer’s body so I sing about things that rappers would rap about.

F/ USFtv: How as your life changed since you’ve gotten really big? What’s the number one thing that has been different in your life?
MP: I don’t really feel any different; that’s why I really love doing shows at schools, like I just graduated like a year and a half ago so I really feel like the kids when I come here. Like I try to play basketball at the gym every time I go to a school. I don’t feel better than anybody here, I just feel like the same- my friends still give me more shit than they ever did, so…

F/ USFtv: Do you have a crazy fan story?
MP: Um, none that are really appropriate for your programming (smiles).

F/ USFtv: Whats your favorite place to tour?
MP: I hate that question, no offense, because I feel like whatever I say it’s gonna offend like, all the other places I did shows, but going back home to Michigan is always really special. Of the places overseas- I just did a show in Indonesia that was like really crazy, there was like way too many people there, I don’t really know how they knew who I was. Indonesia and Amsterdam and Australia, were the craziest.

F/ USFtv: Who have you been star struck the most by- any celebrities or musicians?
MP: Aw man. I met Nas… that was really, really nerve-wracking for me. I was really nervous when I met Jay-Z. I met Jay-Z when I was still at duke- I was in finals week of my junior year, I made my first mix tape, and my manager called and said “Yo, Jay-Z wants to meet you” and I was like “shut up dud, Jay-Z doesn’t wanna meet me” and then I went to new york and had a meeting with him for like 2 and a half hours and he talked to me for 2 and half hours and I was just kinda like (drops jaw) the whole time, and uh, I came back the next day, I was in the library finishing a paper, and I opened my email and he [had] offered me a record deal.

F/ USFtv: Who’s your favorite person that you worked with in the music industry so far?
MP: I mean I’ve been really blessed, some really, really talented people that I know I’m gonna tell my grandkids about some day- like Bruno Mars, been in the studio with like Wiz Khalifa, Boyz 2 Men, but I think like my favorite, favorite has to be Big Sean still because we just knew each other before like either of us were signed and there’s a dynamic to our relationship when we’re in the studio that cant really be duplicated because we’ve known each other so long

F/ USFtv: What’s the best thing you asked to have backstage in your dressing room?
MP: I get like the schools gym shorts, so I have like a crazy gym short collection that like I wear at home when I play basketball and my friends are just like ‘where did you get all those?”