Jack Antonoff doubles down his place in pop with Bleachers

Bleachers_post1By Steve Carlson //

Bleachers with Wild Cub //
The Independent – San Francisco
November 6th, 2014 //

Jack Antonoff, most well-known as the guitarist and songwriter for the Grammy-winning band fun., brought his acclaimed side project Bleachers and its rollicking, energetic live show to The Independent last Thursday, and the sold-out crowd was in the palm of his hand from the first notes. Antonoff deftly led his band through nearly every track off the debut album Strange Desire (only the Yoko Ono collaboration “I’m Ready To Move On” was thankfully omitted), and he even threw in a couple of covers to pad the setlist, including Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and an acoustic rendition of Steel Train’s excellent song “Bullet” from their 2010 self-titled release.

Other highlights included an extended, Springsteen-esque jam of “You’re Still a Mystery”, featuring a saxophone solo that would’ve made the late Clarence Clemons proud, and an abundance of manically entertaining stage banter between songs. There was no mention of fun. this night, and judging by the crowd’s tendency to sing along with every song, nobody minded that at all. Antonoff suggested that Bleachers will announce a return to the Bay Area sometime in 2015, undoubtedly to an even larger audience.


Opening the show was Nashville’s own Wild Cub, who surprised a few in the audience with an energetic, tight performance. Seven songs and one marriage proposal later (the band was kind enough to pause and bring the house lights up for the lucky couple before launching into their hit single “Thunder Clatter”), Wild Cub made it clear to the packed house why they’re a band worth keeping an eye on. They return to the SF Masonic on December 15th as part of the KFOG Concert for Kids, in what will be their third Bay Area appearance since August.


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