Such a treat to have Minus the Bear and SilverSun Pickups share the same stage last Saturday at the Fox Theater Oakland. Two INCREDIBLE BANDS with two very different sound/style, and I’m glad to have been following them both since 2009. I love that Minus the bear played all of my favorites (especially the first!): Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse, My Time, Into the Mirror, and Last Kiss. Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse is one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITES! It’s a perfect anthem for the wondrous wanderlust, and it always makes my heart flutter as it jogs my memories of past adventures. Dave Knudson (lead guitar) was sitting in a chair for most of the set because he recently broke his leg, and Alex Rose (keys, backing vocals) laughed and said they — Jake Snider (vocals, guitar), Cory Murchy (bass guitar), and Joshua Sparks (drums) — prefer it this way because it it reminds them of a casual jam session in someone’s living room. A short but tasty set by these highly seasoned musicians!
Silversun Pickups PICKED ALL OF US UP at the Fox Theater Oakland last weekend! They made us laugh, weep, rage (the trifecta of emotions) will killer tracks like Royal We, Latchkey Kids, Friendly Fire, Wild Kind, and Lazy Eye (of course!). Not only is Brian Aubert is not only a phenomenal musician, pushing the limits with different soundscapes and emotion, but he is FREAKING HILARIOUS and super animated (always has his hands up in the air when telling stories). He also pays so much close attention to his fans through the entire show (more than most musicians I’ve seen), and will often point out people in the audience that he knows. Towards the end, he even bentr over the stage to fist pump my music buddy Nori Nakayama (#1 fan) who has been following Silversun Pickups since 2007 and has seen them >25 times. I have so much respect for Brian coming out to say hi (despite having probably been exhausted) and taking time to chat about tour life and music in general. I was laughing so hard when he and I were finishing each others sentences while geeking out on bands that we both love: The War On Drugs, Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile, Future Islands, Arcade Fire, and The National . He has a particular appreciation for Arcade Fire and their ability to consistently recreate themselves in new albums that bring forth new elements/ingenuity not present in their older material. I nearly DIED when we both cried out that ‘Creature Comfort‘ is by far the best song on their new album and proceeded to sing “God, make me famous, if you can’t, just make it painless” in unison. He also was excited to hear that Courtney and Kurt just played at the Fox a week prior and he told me stories of how he first met them both. He even had a CRAZY COOL story about how Courtney made his wife’s water break (a story she won’t let him live down, haha); Turns out Brian and his very pregnant wife saw Courtney for the first time 2 1/2 years ago and then his wife went into labor that same night. NUTS! He also said how Osheaga was his favorite North American festival and that he would love to keep going back there. We ended up on that topics cause I mentioned having seen them both at Sasquatch (2012) and BottleRock Napa (2017). WHAT A NIGHT picking the brain of this SILVERSUN PICKUP! I will always look back on this with such a big goofy smile. 😀
The amazing Sylvan Esso making sure that we PLAY IT RIGHT before leaving the Fox Theater – Oakland after their stacked set, including hits from their new album, ‘What Now‘: Die Young, Radio, Glow, Kick Jump Twist, Just Dancing, and Signal. Their epic encore triggered a massive dance party after the closing of the show. First time I’ve ever witnessed such a phenomenon at that venue (and I go there ALOT). Amelia and her fluid, infectious moves had us all wishing we could “just dance,” for not many people can GLIDE ON STAGE the way that she does (not even close!). It was cool to also meet two videographers beforehand that were filming footage for a Sylvan Esso documentary. What an awesome idea! It was also cool to learn that Amelia’s family was originally from the SF Bay Area. Towards the end of the set, she mentioned that the Fox Theater was “her grandfather’s favorite,” and that many of her cousins (he had 11 grandchildren!) were in the audience that night. The unique lighting design on stage (<< >>) is tattoo that Amelia, Nick, and Jen (of Flock of Dimes and Wye Oak) all have. Speaking of Jen, it was such a treat to have her on tour with them. In fact, I first discovered Sylvan Esso when they opened her her as Wye Oak in March 2014 at the Lexington (tiny venue!) in London. I guess things really do come full circle!