Best Bets This Week in Live Bay Area Music


It’s officially the heart of outdoor concert season, regardless of what our summer weather has to say about it. The Greek, Stern Grove, Candlestick Park (!), America’s Cup Pavilion, Golden Gate Park with Outside Lands on the horizon…each venue hosts super hotly anticipated shows here in the coming weeks. Let’s get out there and dance ‘til we’re warm. 


Black Flag, Oakland Metro Opera House, Tuesday
Well this is awkward. Hardcore punk institution Black Flag currently has two different incarnations of the band touring: one led by Black Flag founder and guitarist Greg Ginn and the other featuring former Black Flag members, known simply as Flag. The former (and arguably more legit version due to Ginn’s status as the only constant member since Black Flag started in 1976) comes to Oakland this week for a rare punk show at the Metro Opera House.

Weezer, Americas Cup Pavilion, Thursday
As we approach the 20th anniversary of Weezer’s landmark self-titled debut album, let’s take a moment to reflect on the significance of this band in modern pop rock. A generation of music fans have formed a taste for quirky, hyper-self aware songwriting, and the emo genre might've never been, were it not for Weezer’s mainstream success. Saves the Day, The Get Up Kids, Taking Back Sunday…all of them count Weezer as a primary influence. Of course, Pinkerton came along two years later and changed everything again. Plenty of folks still cite that as the most underappreciated album of the '90s. And then…Raditude. Let’s just agree to pretend that didn’t happen.

Speedy Ortiz, Bottom of the Hill, Thursday
The blog world’s latest indie rock darling takes her cues from a less omnipotent ‘90s subgenre than a band like Weezer. Perhaps Pavement fans will recognize the low-fi spaz of Speedy Ortiz’s “Tiger Tank.” Built to Spill devotees might indulge in the sprawling hooks of “No Below.”–which is to say frontwoman Sadie Dupuis’ points of reference go back a decade or two, but they’re updated with a zero-effs-given attitude.

Postal Service, Greek Theatre, Friday and Saturday
They did it! After a decade spent deflecting questions about a potential Postal Service reunion, Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard relented. His early 2000s side project Postal Service reconvened at Coachella earlier this year, throwing a bone to a generation of kids obsessed with the hushed laptop pop of 2002’s Give Up. If that set in Indio is any indication, the Greek Theatre will be a summer camp singalong therapy session for two straight days. Bring your angst, your nostalgia, and a date. And show up early for Divine Fits (Saturday only) and Baths (both days).


Jay Z/Justin Timberlake, Candlestick Park, Friday

Remember, that’s “Jay Z,” not Jay-Z. As of now. Or two years ago. Or whatever. Either way, the Jigga man and Justin Timberlake are teaming up for a hyphenated co-headliner megaconcert bill this summer. Each pop superstar dropped massively hyped albums this year — Jay Z with the massively disappointing Magna Carta Holy Grail, and Justin Timberlake with the massively imaginative and adored The 20/20 Experience. Of course, Jay Z is one of the rare artists around who actually can rest on his laurels every now and then. The list of Jay Z's hit songs and albums and collaborations is unending, so he gets a pass this time. 

Follow @ChrisTrenchard for more words like these. 

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