San Fermin – “Oh I wish I kept myself a little better company… oh I try ot put a good face on … someone better come for me”: The Independent in SF (April 24 & 25, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Having first discovered San Fermin last year at BottleRock Napa, I was eager to check them again at The Independent with Low Roar , who I was already a big fan (and whom they met at Iceland Airwaves Music Festival in 2013). I learned that their tour circuits led to play alongside some of my favorite artists (courtney barnett, alt-J, Sylvan Esso, Lewis Del Mar), and their close ties with Alt-J could possibly explain the sax/trumpet in their new track, ‘In Cold Blood.’ On tour to promote their new album, Belong, San Fermin’s previously dubbed “chamber pop” has exploded into looser, livelier full-force operation of 8 incredibly talented musicians OWNING their instruments and having THE TIME OF THEIR LIFE doing so. It is rare to see a collection of keys, guitar, drums, trumpet, sax, base, violin, and vocals complementing each other so perfectly in deliriously infectious arrangement that keeps your head bopping all night long. San Fermin’s energy and charisma were simply magnetic, and you couldn’t help but notice the entire audience sharing the same music buzz. It was refreshing to see the comfort and chemistry of all 8 musicians together on stage (as if best friends playing in their living room), and the dueling duets of vocals (Charlene Kaye and Allen Tate) and brass (John Brandon and Stephen Chen) had you grinning ear-to-ear. Also, the swirling strings and expressive of violinist/vocalist Claire Wellin (former Broadway actress) had me in awe. Allen’s baritone voice simply SLAYS, and I can’t help but be reminded of The National‘s Matt Berninger in his cadence, pitch, and smooth stage presence. After the show I learned that Allen (from Philly as well!) writes his own music and recently joined Kyle Morton of Typhoon (big fan). I also learned that Ellis Ludwig-Leone (creator of San Fermin) got his start by composing various projects with Nico Muhly (Sufjan Stevens, Dirty Projectors). Makes perfect sense! From BottleRock to Outside Lands, I cannot WAIT to see this Brooklyn-based band again. I hope that John Brandon, who surprised SF with his first ever crowd surf while playing trumpet, will pull crazier stunts in August. NOT TO BE MISSED! There is a REASON I saw them TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW!! 😀

*Check out full videos from the night on my YouTube:


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Penguin Prison- “Just a little more, cause it never gets old”: Mezzanine (Feb 10, 2016)

Mezzanine, San Francisco
Written by Erica Andreozzi



Penguin Prison, formerly recognized as a solo act by the Brooklyn-based DJ, producer and electronic artist, Chris Glover, had us all in shock when he graced stage the stage last Wednesday with a FULL ROCK BAND. In fact, I initially wasn’t even planning to go, as I typically don’t seek out electronic music (unless strictly instrumental), and I often shy away from the DJ/club scene. However, I had a strong feeling deep in my gut that I needed to go to this show, and THANK GOD I DID. I was lucky to have snagged a last minute ticket from Craigslist, as the show was completely SOLD OUT – and now I see why. Kicking off the set with the radio hit and obvious album standout, Calling Out, Chris had the ENTIRE CROWD moving with crazy cadence, losing complete control and bobbing up an down like bobble-heads. I recall sharing a huge grin with the woman standing next to me, as if we had a mutual understanding that the rest of the show was gonna be pure ecstasy (and it WAS). The funky guitar riffs and drum beats from the new album (Lost in New York) were suddenly BROUGHT TO LIFE and AMPLIFIED by the three musicians (drummer, bassist, and keyboardist) that accompanied Chris on stage that night, and the sound was HUGE (think MGMT and Passion Pit). It was almost as if this backing musicianship liberated Chris to shred more of his guitar and challenge more of his vocals. His impressive howls, yelps, and high-pitched pipes (we’re talking Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie level) were mad impressive, and I definitely dropped jaws as I got “lost in New York” and in the Funkytown of 80’s synth-pop. 🙂

(See below for more details and videos from the show)

Show Me the Way is my CURRENT THEME SONG. Hands down favorite.


Try to Lose was nice gem to follow the crowd-pleasing opener, Calling Out, which I did not get on video because I was too busy bouncing up and down like a bobble-head.

Next up was Never Gets Old, one of my Penguin Prison favorites! “Gimme just a little more cause it (this song) never gets old!” (I also love that the music video for this one showcases Chris’ 80-year-old grandfather spinning some beats. A must see!)

“Caught in a daze…I can’t escape.”


Loved his howls in this one! Such an unexpected treat!
Siiiiiiiick mashup of Lionel Richie‘s sexy single. Surely kept us dancing ALL NIGHT LONG.
Show Me the Way is definitely new THEME SONG and go-to energy boost. This Penguin Prison hit is bound to spur on endless DANCING ECSTASY and a “NEVER GONNA END” mentality. My screams and yelps in the background definitely indicate the mood. It’s gonna be the title track of my next playlist for sure!
A f*cking KILLER encore!