This Week in Live Music: Paul McCartney, Neon Indian, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and More


Are you guys alive? Last weekend was bonkers, and there’s no end in sight to the SF live music parade.

Tuesday: Portugal. The Man at The Regency Ballroom

ALASKA IN DA HOUSE. How often do you get to say that and mean it literally? You can do it on Tuesday at the Regency when Alaskan traditional-punctuation-hatin’ indie rockers Portugal. The Man take the stage for a benefit show. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the concert will go to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which will facilitate donations to Westlake Middle School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary, and Kipp Bridge Charter. So rock out and help out a worthy cause in one fell swoop. 

Thursday: Paul McCartney at Candlestick Park

How’s this for closure? Paul McCartney, who famously helped lead The Beatles' farewell show at Candlestick Park in 1966, returns this week to the same venue, the final event in the stadium’s life (the park will be demolished in 2015 to make way for a mixed-use housing and commercial development). This will be the public’s last chance to say goodbye to the ‘Stick in person — and we can't think of a more appropriate pall-bearer.

Friday: Neon Indian/Poolside (DJ sets) at Mezzanine

This should be interesting. Neon Indian bandleader Alan Palomo’s technical know-how makes his live sets utterly fascinating. He typically employs odd gadgets that any DJ would wave a stick at — sometimes literally. A few years ago at a show at The Independent, Palomo manipulated soundwaves with a mysterious wand-like instrument — magic, basically. WIth local daytime disco purveyors Poolside in the mix, Friday will be a rare jampacked double-star DJ billing.

Saturday: Lynyrd Skynyrd at The Warfield

No, this isn’t the original Lynyrd Skynyrd. Rock historians will remind you that key players in the first incarnation of the band tragically died in a plane crash in 1977, including original lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and singer Cassie Gaines. Since then, the band has lost other original bandmembers. Allen Collins died of pneumonia in January 1990 and Billy Powell died of heart failure in 2009. But the Lynyrd Skynyrd legacy carries on, led stoically by Van Zant’s brother Johnny van Zant, and "Sweet Home Alabama" is in good hands.

Saturday, Sunday, & Monday: Built to Spill at Slim's

Doug Martsch has previously called his band Built to Spill a “nostalgia act” — which is certainly true to some degree. The band has been making indie rock since before the term “indie rock” meant anything, but the band’s consistency over the years has been nothing short of remarkable. 1999’s Keep it Like a Secret remains the gem of the catalogue, but Ancient Melodies of the Future (2001), You in Reverse (2006) and There Is No Enemy (2009) all beg for close examinations. Martsch has spoken sporadically about a new album, and here’s hoping this three-gig stint at Slim’s reveals a few fresh jams to explore.

For more words like these, follow @ChrisTrenchard on Twitter.

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