Udo’s Accepting Night At Slim’s – SF Sonic

Udo Dirkschneider may have recently said that he is ready to move on from playing songs from his former band, Accept, live, but not before he completes an extended tour, which recently brought him back to Slim’s in San Francisco for the second time in just over a year. Armed with the same band and a setlist full of Accept classics, Udo delivered the goods and then some.

Click HERE for the rest of SF Sonic's review!

Review + Photos: The Damn Fanatics bring PianoFight to Great American Music Hall – The Bay Bridged

I don’t know about you, but I did not enjoy going to my senior prom. A friend of mine had to remind me of the theme: “A Night on the Nile.” Camels and palm trees were involved somehow. I remember walking in and seeing a brown poster paper triangle that read, “Welcome Pharoes and Cleopatras!” The “P” in “Pharoes” had clearly started its life as a “F” with an itty bitty “h” squeezed in next to it after the correction. It beat the theme the year before, which was “The principal embezzled all our money and so we’re having this thing in a hospital auditorium — you’ll need to leave by 10.”

Proms suck for myriad reasons, but the reason I was most unprepared for was that it was mind-numbingly dull. Nothing happened. I paid a lot of money for a ticket to sit in an uncomfortable dress, listen to music I didn’t enjoy, and make small talk with people who didn’t really want to talk to me.

Last Thursday night at Great American Music Hall, I felt like I got to have a do-over prom. The members of the creative collective at PianoFight took over the stage for a fantastic party that swelled with enthusiasm. Even though everyone in the room looked old enough to worry about things like proper fiber consumption, the place was undulating with youthfulness.

Click HERE for the rest of The Bay Bridged's review!

Mac Sabbath Satiate Slim’s: SF Sonic Review

Mac Sabbath came to Slim’s on Monday night to feed an audience hungry for drive-thru metal with an epic setlist of fast-food themed versions of classic Black Sabbath songs. It was apparent from the opening moments of the set that the band had their schtick down to a science: rabid frontman Ronald Osbourne cavorted around the stage flipping burgers and singing about the evils of the fast-food industry while guitarist Slayer MacCheeze dished out some tasty takes on classic Tony Iommi riffs. All of this as the wild-looking Grimalice and the aptly named Cat Burglar keep the rhythms smooth and snappy.

Click HERE for the rest of SF Sonic's review!

Photos: John Oates & Good Road Band at the Great American Music Hall

John Oates (of awesome '80s band awesome Hall & Oates) brought Americana-blues-roots music to the Great American Music Hall Sunday night for a country showdown of excellence. Sharing the stage with the cream of the crop from Nashville, the GAMH had the pure delight of listening to some incredible musicians playing together. Living legend Sam Bush shredded the mandolin, bringing the energy up with his choice of sweet songs and remarkable, distinct playing. Guthrie Trapp performed stellar solo shakedowns with fire-fingers melting his guitar into a righteous howl, while Paul Franklin played the pedal steel guitar like a champ — never imposing, but always arousing.

Jam-packed with old-school songs of yesteryear, the show varied in tempo with country-crooner-swaying tunes to jump up and move-grooves. John Oates shared stories along the way and dropped a classic from the '80s, revealing "Maneater's" beginnings, before playing a rendition of how he first envisioned it.

John Oates with the Good Road Band's album, Arkansas, dropped earlier this year. Go give it a whirl and get lost in a time before Elvis.

Click HERE for The Bay Bridged's photos!

Photos: The Lovemakers at the Great American Music Hall (The Bay Bridged)

Valentine's Day was made extra special in San Francisco as the Lovemakers, vverevvolf, and Breakdown Valentine spread the love at the Great American Music Hall. The concert was a celebration of Bay Area music which even Cupid would've been proud of.

Breakdown Valentine created a beautiful distraction by searching for paradise. vverevvolf, on the other hand, concluded that love is simply murder, after having played some cruel games. The Lovemakers invited us all to shake that ass, because everyone's fighting the same damn fight!

Wednesday night was an evening of great music, lots of dancing and plenty of music to fall in love with. Check out the gallery HERE and see if you can find your next musical infatuation!

PHOTO CREDIT: Robert Alleyne

Jawbreaker at the Great American Music Hall Jan. 14, 2018 – Photos by Matthew Kadi / SF Weekly

Jawbreaker brought the latest chapter in its reunion to The Great American Music Hall. They have added at least one song to each set of this string of shows. That night it was ‘Housesitter’. San Francisco can be a very uptight music scene but the band cracked that and the audience were screaming the lyrics to every song, the highlight being ‘Condition Oakland.’  Blake broke a string and the crowd kept the song going by singing. Photos by Matthew Kadi

Click HERE for the SF Weekly's photos!

Fu Manchu at Slim’s Proves the Action is Still Go! (11/7 at Slim’s)

The only thing that would have made the recent Fu Manchu show at Slim’s more of a spectacle would be if a half pipe were to have popped up out of the middle of the floor. The veteran Orange County band of stoner/skater/surf punks rolled a nearly two-hour set of hard driving rock designed to be blared from the car stereos of muscle cars and surf vans.

Click HERE for the rest of SF Sonic's review!

The Lumineers Light Up Slim’s (Mon. 5/22)

45 minutes into The Lumineers’ set at Slim’s on Monday night, the trio walked off stage knowing they’d be coming right back. That’s because, even in the intimate venue, the cheers for an encore were near-deafening. Not that the band is any stranger to the attention. Just days before playing the KFOG Special Acoustic Performance, they were opening for U2 at the Rose Bowl in LA for more than 95,000 music lovers. Humbly, lead vocalist/guitarist Wesley Schultz conceded the horde wasn’t necessarily for them, but they hoped they had some converts – to which the amped Slim’s-crowd responded “yeah you did!”

Wesley, Jeremiah Fraites (drums), and Neyla Pekarek (cello, piano) took the stage Monday night for the slightly smaller, yet completely enthralled audience. The folk-Americana bandmates were treated more like rock stars, with shouts from women and men throughout the show and interviews (“we love you!”) flying ubiquitously. Every song was a hit, almost evenly split between tracks from their debut record The Lumineers and sophomore album Cleopatra, which just went No. 1 on Billboard 200 chart.

Click HERE for the rest of the review!

SF Weekly Live Review: Dreamcar Turned On The Ignition At Great American Music Hall – The AFI-No Doubt Supergroup Played Its Third Show Ever For A Ravenous Crowd On Sunday, April 9

How do you write about bands that don’t exist?

To be fair, Dreamcar — the recently announced joint venture of AFI lead singer Davey Havok and No Doubt members Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, and Adrian Young — does exist, but barely. Their first single, the upbeat rocker “Kill for Candy,” premiered on Los Angeles radio station KROQ in early March. They’ve since released another single, “Born to Lie” — and that’s it.

The band’s eponymous studio debut drops on May 12, which meant that when I entered Great American Music Hall on Sunday night, I had roughly six minutes’ worth of music to use as context.

In some ways, this scenario is a welcome departure from the normal routine, wherein fans go see a band they love hoping they play their favorite songs. Radiohead and Green Day don’t have to sell me on their music with their performances – I’ve already bought in a long time ago. With Dreamcar, the stakes were somewhat different, even if the results were ultimately the same.

Lead singer Davey Havok seemed charmed to be playing a space as small as Great American, a contrast from the larger venues necessary to house fans of AFI, the dark pop-punk outfit he’s been fronting for nearly 20 years. At one point, he scaled an amp to grab the hand of a fan reaching down from the balcony. His charisma was infectious as he paraded through a series of new songs.

The No Doubt section of the group seemed equally enthused. Bassist Tony Kanal wore a genuine smile for much of the evening as he laid down the rhythm for songs that often found their kindred spirit in the ether between Duran Duran and Tears for Fears. If forced to decide, the music was closer to AFI’s brand of emotionally saturated punk than the bouncy ska of No Doubt, but in all honesty, Havok wasn’t bluffing when he told Billboard last year that this music “doesn’t sound like AFI or No Doubt.”

Instead, what echoed through Great American for a scant 45 minutes (that includes the encore) was something more in-line with New Wave by way of Live 105. It’s the kind of music fans of Fitz and the Tantrums will likely love, a brash but friendly melding of genres that invokes the ’80s without alienating the Hot Topic set.

Hopefully those younger listeners have spent the past year getting reacquainted with the late David Bowie, because one of the short evening’s highlights was a cover of the Thin White Duke’s “Moonage Daydream.”

“How about a song by a guy who made everything cool?” Havok asked at one point. Given the rapturous response of fans who had clearly grabbed tickets for their chance to get up-close-and-personal with the AFI frontman, it wasn’t immediately apparent whom Havok was referring to.

Credit should also be paid to the two backup singers and the saxophone player, who were all female and did a phenomenal job. You know Dreamcar is down with the 1980s when the sax solos start flying, and if Sunday night was any indication of what to expect from their album, it might be time to get your DeLorean out of storage.

Still, the question remains: How do we judge that which is still beginning to form?

After all, Dreamcar’s San Francisco show marked only their third live performance ever, part of a six concert warm-up run to their performance at Coachella later this month.

The answer, it seems, is to be forgiving and to exercise patience, but in truth, those efforts were entirely unnecessary.

Dreamcar took the stage like a band that has been at this for a long while, and in truth, they have. Sure, the name may have changed, but the players are all familiar. This is still the bassist with a Mohawk who wields his dexterity with furious abandon. This is still the lead singer who can seemingly touch the heart of every fan he sees, even if only for a moment, even when that moment is soaked in sweat and reverb.

They’re called Dreamcar now, but you know them. Or at least you will soon. - Zack Ruskin / SF Weekly