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A Night in Reznor’s World: Nine Inch Nails Rules the Night at Shoreline

08/28/2014

Sunday night less than 24 hours after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook the Bay Area, Nine Inch Nails sent shockwaves through the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View. Of course, this unreal show was just another day’s work for the iconic, genre bending rock band. But for us mere mortals who got the chance to spend a night in Reznor’s world, it brought us closer to God.

Around 9:28 PM, juggling all the over priced beer I could carry, I scrambled back to my seat to find that all the venue lighting had been flipped on. I turned to my friend, clearly concerned that the show might be in jeopardy and he just grinned at me and said, “Don’t worry, Trent’s got you covered.” I should have never doubted Trent. Moments later the familiar intro to “Copy of A” began pulsing through the amphitheater and the band played the first three minutes or so drenched in stadium light before it went dark, allowing rapid-fire spot lights to throw their silhouettes against massive white screens positioned at the rear of the stage.

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Entering the Slasher House: Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks at Great American Music Hall

08/26/2014

Animal Collective fans can rejoice. Though AC have fallen off in productivity and quality following their meteoric ascent (cresting at 2009′s Merriweather Post Pavilion), their creative visionaries remain hard at work. Panda Bear relocated to Lisbon, recorded two well-regarded solo albums and even appeared on a Daft Punk song. Avey Tare, meanwhile, has created….this.

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Jack White at Bill Graham Civic August 23, 2014

” .. and I’ve been Jack White.”

08/24/2014

Jack White covered two hours of ground on his second night at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. With a clean haircut, some new looking muscles and a bruised, rolled ankle from the night before, Jack came out in a flurry — hard, heavy and full of moxie. He rang off hits, from tracks off the new best-selling vinyl record since 1994, Lazaretto, to hitting the spots with White Stripes’ classics like “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground,” “Hardest Button to Button,” and “Fell in Love with a Girl.” He hit up The Dead Weather’s “Cut Like a Buffalo” and The Raconteurs “Steady as She Goes.” He performed what I’d call ‘shy’ covers of Jimi Hendrix and Sting, although making a point to say he was covering Stuart Copeland and not Sting. Urging people with sons, or future sons, to introduce them first to drummers such as Copeland, Mitch Mitchell, John Bonham and Keith Moon. Stating in essence, if their tastes start there, everything else will fall into the right place (i.e. they will have the pallet to distinguish the best players of all other instruments).

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Liam Finn Loses His Shirt and His Mind at The Chapel

08/20/2014

Tuesday night Kiwi rocker Liam Finn went outright insane on the stage, in an act that was anything but ordinary. This has to be the first (or at least the first weekday) show I have ever attended where an artist tore off their shirt mid-set and threw it out to the crowd. Whether anyone in the crowd really wanted his sweaty shirt is beyond the point, Liam Finn’s live set is definitely a unique experience.

If the surname Finn sounds familiar it might be because he is the son of Neil Finn, well known New Zealand recording artist and and frontman of Crowded House. Like his father, his lyrics often have a dreamy pop quality to them and he backs up the vocals with biting indie rock guitar riffs. Sometimes I hear elements of The Shins or even 60s British Invasion rock. Other times electronic elements enhance the pop qualities, much like Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr. Finn was joined by four other musicians and backup singers for his live performance, playing mostly new songs off his recently released album The Nihilist.

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Outside Lands 2014: The Craziest, Most Unique Things We Saw

08/14/2014

Outside Lands has become an unstoppable force here in SF. As the crowds continue to grow, the homegrown music festival has really started to come into its own identity. A crowd pleasing mixture of acts and formula that brings together at least one classic rock artists (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and EDM (Tiësto), as well a handful of artists who dominate the airwaves (Kanye West, Arctic Monkeys, Macklemore & The Killers).

Beyond great music, what really makes Outside Lands worth attending are some of the unique experiences and sights. Although you really ought to experience it for yourself, I will do my best to capture some of the best moments. You can check out our full Outside Lands coverage including photos and wrap up posts for each day here.

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Outside Lands and CHVRCHES Adding Make Up Show at The Fox Theater September 18th

08/12/2014

I know a ton of attendees were bummed out to hear Scotland’s CHVRCHES were forced to cancel their Sunday set at Outside Lands. I wanted to hug every poor soul wearing their CHVRCHES t-shirts.

Good news today however, as they are adding a make up date at The Fox Theater in Oakland September 18th. Details on how to buy discounted tickets will be emailed out to Sunday ticket holders tomorrow per the Outside Lands Twitter account. Check out our review of their last show at The Fox Theater Here.

 

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Outside Lands Day 3 – Sunny Skies, The Killers, Jenny Lewis and 20,000 People Singing Eurythmics

08/11/2014

Sunday brought us our first day at Outside Lands Music Festival with actual sun, rounding out another incredible festival of music, food, art and people-watching. There was a little something for everyone Sunday with The Killers and Tiësto closing out the festival to massive crowds. The only gloom over the day was the unexpected cancellation of CHVRCHES, who had trouble at the Vancouver airport. (Blame Canada?) Paolo Nutini played an excellent cover of their “Recover,” which helped ease the pain a bit.

The first show we saw Sunday was a raucous set by The Brothers Comatose. If you like the kind of all-out-punk-bluegrass vibe you get with acts like The Devil Makes Three, you should definitely check them out. A great moment came when the lads were joined on stage by another one of SF’s local talents Nikki Bluhm for their popular duet, “Morning Time.” Read More

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Photos: Outside Lands Day 2 – Local Acts Shine, Petty and Macklemore Thrill Fans

08/11/2014

Day two of this year’s Outside Lands Music Festival was headlined by fog, mist and gusts of freezing wind, aka August in San Francisco. SFCritic photographer Fabian Molina and I took a divide-and-conquer approach on Saturday’s schedule to try to catch both the big shows and some of the more unique OSL experiences.

The Lands End Stage provided an incredibly solid lineup of artists including The Kooks, HAIM, Death Cab for Cutie and finally the legendary Tom Petty. Hailing from the UK, The Kooks surprised me right off the bat with their in-your-face rock that feels like a throwback to the 60s British invasion. I think HAIM surprised a few people themselves with how hard they shred. To see the unassuming sisters transform onstage into dynamos is quite the treat.

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Top 5 Vegetarian Outside Lands Eats

08/09/2014

Figuring out my food lineup at Outside Lands is equally as exciting and important to me as mapping out when I’ll see my favorite performers. It’s the perfect place to “treat yo’ self,” but after paying that infamously steep San Francisco rent and handing over a chunk of money for a 3-day pass, I’m careful to put my dollars towards only the best, most deliciously satisfying food.

Here are my top five vegetarian eats worth every penny: Read More

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