Bill Callahan's fans revere his idyllic, strong, and genuine exchanges of humanity. Last night’s show at Bimbo’s was a perfect set list of favorites dating up to a decade back. Setting off the evening with the romantic “Anniversary,” Callahan’s intensity silenced the room. His audience was devout, truly captivated and not even whispering between songs. He’s a deadpan man proffering affective, stoic folk with a story and soul. Everything slightly heightened live, from his smooth, deep man’s voice to the strings being piercingly beautiful and impactful. And while the audience thought that they couldn’t be so fortunate, Callahan indulged his people with the humble yet consuming “Let Me See the Colts” closing his encore.
It’s hard to know what to expect at a Horrors show; they can be mellow, a band member might thrash at the crowd or rip the mirror ball from the ceiling, or you might be blown away by the spectacle of lights and loud everything. For this sold out Fillmore show, the UK band had clearly changed since their breakout in 2007. Lead singer Faris warned that they were not just a Tim Burton, aggressive rock gimmick. Still interesting, handsome looking fellows but with their hair toned down, and even calmer is their new music. Released May 4th, the atmospheric songs of Primary Colours compliment The Horrors set with haunting keys and buzzing guitars and a break from the adored punk, garage prowess of previous songs.
From the moment Eoin Harrington took the stage, his audience showered him with cheers. Celebrating the release of his new album “Story,” The Independent was sold out last Friday with fans happy to see the San Franciscan, Irish singer. The album may be his first full length, but he’s already developed an adoring fan base. Eoin’s friendly charm and performance made for an upbeat singer-songwriter set that felt fun and welcoming. From playful songs or heartbreaking lyrics, Eoin’s warm voice was captivating throughout.
The Murder City Devils have reunited for a West Coast tour, playing two sold out shows at the Great American Music Hall on Sunday, Feb 15th. Diehards bearing tattoos of the band’s logo shouted along to favorites and stood in a line (which at the end of the show had to be cut off by security) to buy all the merch they could. The tour's a big deal for the band's committed following who were crushed by their 2001 break up. While they’ve had a few festival shows in between, these were their first Bay Area shows in years. Rock, garage, punk all the way, from Moody’s commanding vocals to the familiar, ominous keys, the show was the R.I.P. experience fans have been fervently waiting for.
Romantic oddity Department of Eagles played sold-out back to back shows (two hours apart) last night at Café du Nord, proving that they've graduated from a budding hipster obsession to a full-blown sensation. Playing from last year's lauded album, In Ear Park, their performance was delightfully delicate and compellingly haunting. Daniel Rossen's vocals scatter but simultaneously remain immediate, sweet and eerie - the perfect compliment to a blustery San Francisco weekend.
Mezzanine hosted Live 105's sold out Pre-NSSN party for city-dwelling kids to revel in this year's buzz bands and local favorites.
From the opener, "Turn Me Off," the Audrye Sessions continuously blended arresting rock, Ryan Karazija's vocal range, and a welcome hint of 90s style.
Brooklyn-based Chairlift broke away to deliver the bouncy "Bruises," already featured in an iPod commercial. Their atmospheric, 80s thing takes on ominous and cute.