There was a chilly breeze wafting through the forest on the walk to the Sutro stage, but as soon as we arrived to see San Francisco's own Stone Foxes get underway, things heated up–really fast. It didn't matter that the afternoon was young and still gloomy or that most of the crowd could still count themselves as sober. Compsure was lost, and anyone with a working set of muscles found themselves writhing around like maniacs. It was the first time I'd seen bona fide headbanging and a ferocious mosh pit in the park. Just the way it's a meant to be.
Pedro Almodóvar takes over the Castro starting Wednesday, as Spain's most internationally acclaimed auteur (whose latest offering, The Skin I Live In, arrives in October) is honored with three double-features, featuring Bad Education, Talk to Her, All About My Mother and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Elsewhere:
1. Grease Sing-Along
Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Aug. 12-14
The sadism of Uday Hussein, Saddam’s estranged elder son who tortured Iraqi Olympians and served three months in a private prison for murdering his father’s closest confidante, is documented well enough without The Devil’s Double.
Yet Lee Tamahori’s adaptation of the tell-all by Latif Yahia, who reluctantly served as Uday’s body double before fleeing Iraq in 1991, isn’t merely the lurid chronicle of a lunatic son of privilege, but also of an escalating battle of wills between a madman and his disapproving sidekick.
Due to some computer glitch (it was tempting to yell out "is there an Apple Genius in the house?"), Big Boi didn't perform. The crowd waited nearly an hour for them to get it together, eliciting a sea of cringeworthy boos. To appease, Big Boi came out at one point, saying he'd been waiting back stage for two hours himself, having dinner with Dave Chappelle.
Away from the madness of Phish at the end of Outside Lands' first day, The Shins's music built a bubble of gorgeous, serene night music on the Twin Peaks stage. The massive hordes of audience members who had managed to wrangle themselves away from the noodling masses of Phish-world seemed in a revelatory mood, arms in the air and hitting all the highest "oohs" and "aahs" singer James Russell Mercer sent soaring into the night. For a band who hasn't made an album since 2007, it was astonishing how many people were pushing forward, singing every word. It was absolutely a welcome return to form.
The first huge name act to play Friday, MGMT started off their set as hordes of early-dashing 9-5ers sprinted off the N Judah to the Land's End stage. MGMT's gotten a rap for not bringing the heat as much to their live sets, which was the case here too (unless you were a part of the gyrating crowd pack during "Electric Feel"). They played a lot off of their latest album, Congratulations, an appropriate ethereal accompaniment to the fog pouring in off of Ocean Beach.
Photos by Misha Vladimirskiy, Video by Catapult Media
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