Diet Cig don’t let a fever get the best of them in SF

Diet CigBy Norm de Veyra //

Diet Cig with Great Grandpa, The Spook School //
Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco
February 14th, 2018 //

A fever on Valentine’s Day couldn’t stop New York pop-punk duo Diet Cig from rocking out at Rickshaw Stop last Wednesday during their sold-out SF gig. Despite lead singer/guitarist Alex Luciano’s illness that night, she and her bandmate Noah Bowman on drums delivered one of their trademark, high-energy (and high-kicking) performances that featured songs from their 2017 debut LP Swear I’m Good at This.

Opening the show were Seattle’s Great Grandpa and Scottish four-piece The Spook School.

John Maus’ synth work captivates a sold-out Slim’s

John MausBy Norm de Veyra //

John Maus //
Slim’s – San Francisco
January 27th, 2018 //

Synthpop auteur John Maus enthralled a sold-out crowd last Saturday at Slim’s as the Minnesota native and his band blazed through songs from his expanding discography, including several from 2017’s Screen Memories.

Maus is expected to release his fifth LP Addendum later this year, and while his current U.S. tour runs through the middle of February, he’s also slated to be back in California this April for the 19th edition of Coachella.

Wafia makes her Bay Area debut at Rickshaw Stop

WafiaBy Norm de Veyra //

Wafia with Jaira Burns //
Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco
January 26th, 2018 //

Australian singer-songwriter Wafia marked her Bay Area debut last Friday with an engaging performance at Rickshaw Stop. The buzzworthy 24-year-old vocalist signed to Future Classic performed standout tracks “83 Days” and “Bodies” from her recently released EP XIII.

Los Angeles-based pop singer Jaira Burns opened the evening with a fun and energetic set.

Jessie Ware charms SF with an intimate show

Jessie WareBy Norm de Veyra //

Jessie Ware //
The Independent – San Francisco
November 1st, 2017 //

It’s a rare treat to catch one of today’s rising pop stars perform in an intimate setting like The Independent, but Jessie Ware made the most of it last Wednesday evening, delivering a truly special moment for her SF fans.

Showcasing some of the newest tracks off her recently released third LP Glasshouse, the UK pop-soul crooner breathlessly charmed the sold-out crowd with her grace, humor and vocal power. And while the gig marked only the second of three stops on Ware’s current U.S. tour, she promised to be back in the Bay Area (and the states) sometime again next year.

Tank and The Bangas deliver thrills at The Chapel

Tank and The BangasBy Norm de Veyra //

Tank and the Bangas with Sweet Crude //
The Chapel – San Francisco
October 3rd, 2017 //

With a capacity crowd gathered and the anticipation running high after winning NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest this year, Tank and The Bangas put on a rousing, high-energy performance at The Chapel last Tuesday.

Led by the powerhouse vocals and animated presence of frontwoman Tarriona “Tank” Ball, the New Orleans-based group had the sold-out crowd grooving to their genre-spanning set consisting of funk, soul, hip-hop, rock and R&B.

Fellow New Orleanians Sweet Crude, a six-piece that dropped their debut LP back in April, opened the show and were equally engaging.

Sheer Mag bring their feverish, high-spirited brand of rock ‘n’ roll to SF

Sheer MagBy Norm de Veyra //

Sheer Mag with Tenement, Marbled Eye //
The Chapel – San Francisco
September 29th, 2017 //

Sheer Mag brought a sold-out crowd at The Chapel to its knees with a blazing set last Friday. Led by Tina Halladay and her piercing growl, the Philly-based rockers unleashed a feverish set that was highlighted by their latest LP Need to Feel Your Love for the first of two shows in the Bay Area.

Marbled Eye, the local boys from Oakland, set a raucous tone early in the evening and were followed by Tenement, a Wisconsin-based rock trio, which nicely amped up the energy just prior to Sheer Mag taking the stage.

PLANETARIUM send fans at Fox Theater Oakland on an emotional journey to the cosmos

PLANETARIUMBy Norm de Veyra //

PLANETARIUM with Thao Nguyen //
Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland
July 21st, 2017 //

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens, guitarist Bryce Dessner of The National, classical music composer Nico Muhly and drummer James McAlister brought the lush and eclectic sounds of their collaborative, celestial-themed project PLANETARIUM to a sold-out crowd of 2,800 fans at the Fox Theater Oakland last Friday on the final stop of their very brief tour that spanned only four dates.

PLANETARIUM’s music, which channels Stevens’ reflections on astronomy, science and even the intricacies of human consciousness, is a fusion of styles from all four band members that evokes feelings of unity. The group’s performance was accompanied by otherworldly visuals that filled the backdrop as it traversed the Solar System with quite a few emotionally charged songs inspired by the planets and other celestial bodies like “Neptune” and “Jupiter”.

PLANETARIUM

Stevens often spoke during the performance, charming the audience with his aforementioned reflections. The night closed out with a spirited tribute cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” that felt like an appropriate and poignant cap to the night as the audience contemplated the cosmos and its place within it.

Opening the evening was Thao Nguyen, sans her usual support from Thao & the Get Down Stay Down. Nguyen’s blistering performance was rife with experimentation and playfulness as it featured tracks such as “Astonished Man” and “Slash/Burn” off her latest album A Man Alive, which was recorded at SF’s Tiny Telephone Studios. Produced by tUnE-yArDs founder and bandleader Merill Garbus, the album was released back in March via Ribbon Music and explores some darker and more personal territory as it relates to Nguyen’s relationship with her estranged father, unlike her earlier songwriting.

Perfume Genius pours his heart & soul out in SF

Perfume GeniusBy Norm de Veyra //

Perfume Genius with serpentwithfeet //
The Independent – San Francisco
July 19th, 2017 //

Better known by his stage name Perfume Genius, Mike Hadreas stunned those who showed up at The Independent last Wednesday with his emotional and layered pop music for what was the second of two nights in SF.

The Seattle-based musician displayed both a quiet vulnerability and a forceful confidence as he performed tracks from his new album No Shape, which dropped back in May on Matador Records, to an enchanted, sold-out crowd.

Opening the evening was Serpentwithfeet, aka Baltimore singer Josiah Wise, who was joined by British electronic musician and producer The Haxan Cloak (born Bobby Krlic), as the duo delivered a hypnotic set of bare-bones, confessional R&B that had hints of both Frank Ocean and James Blake.

Con Brio close out SF Jazz Festival in style

Con BrioBy Norm de Veyra //

Con Brio //
SFJAZZ Center – San Francisco
June 18th, 2017 //

Con Brio’s scorching set offered no relief from the heat wave in SF last Sunday as the Bay Area band headlined two nights at the SFJAZZ Center, giving us a healthy helping of funk and soul to close out this year’s SF Jazz Festival.

Led by singer Ziek McCarter and his charismatic personality, the band effortlessly navigated multiple genres with songs from its latest release, 2016’s Paradise, that delighted the Father’s Day crowd.

Jagwar Ma incite a high-energy, psychedelic dance party for their Bay Area fans

Jagwar MaBy Norm de Veyra //

Jagwar Ma with NVO //
Mezzanine – San Francisco
May 24th, 2017 //

Australian psychedelic-dance outfit Jagwar Ma lit up the Mezzanine stage last Wednesday as they currently tour North America in support of their 2016 sophomore LP Every Now & Then.

Providing equal parts high-energy dance party and hazy, dreamy soundscapes, the Sydney trio straddled an exciting line in the current gamut of psych-indie bands.

NVO, another electronic-leaning three-piece from SF, got the crowd worked up with a funky opening set.

Setlist:
What Love
Loose Ends
Uncertainty
O B 1
Give Me a Reason
Ordinary
Come Save Me
Four
Slipping

Encore:
Say What You Feel
Colours of Paradise
The Throw

Woods lead an eclectic night of music at The Chapel

WoodsBy Norm de Veyra //

Woods with Peacers, Golden Daze //
The Chapel – San Francisco
May 21st, 2017 //

Bay Area music fans were treated to an eclectic evening at The Chapel as Brooklyn folk-rock band Woods performed for a Sunday night crowd in support their new album Love Is Love.

Hailing from Los Angeles, fellow indie rockers Golden Daze kicked off the show while SF outfit Peacers filled out the sounds for the evening with their buzzy, harder-edge tunes.

DIIV showcase their fuzzy riffs, hazy melodies in SF

DIIVBy Norm de Veyra //

DIIV with The Paranoyds //
Mezzanine – San Francisco
May 16th, 2017 //

Brooklyn indie rockers DIIV invaded Mezzanine last Tuesday for a strong set that heavily leaned on material from their 2016 LP Is the Is Are. Led by vocalist/guitarist Zachery Cole Smith, the five-piece obliged the amped-up SF crowd with plenty of fuzzy riffs and hazy melodies.

Opening the show were The Paranoyds. The young punk quartet from Los Angeles stormed the stage with great energy and impressed the audience with solid tracks from their recently released EP Eat Their Own.

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness take a big leap at The UC Theatre with Atlas Genius, NIGHT RIOTS

Andrew McMahon in the WildernessBy Norm de Veyra //

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness with Atlas Genius, NIGHT RIOTS //
The UC Theatre – Berkeley, CA
May 6th, 2017 //

With pool inflatables and space suits in tow, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness played a rollicking show at The UC Theatre last Saturday to kick off a two-night run in the Bay Area. Seated center stage at his piano, the former frontman for Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin took command of the nearly sold-out crowd early with his boundless energy.

Highlighting the catchy, anthemic jams from their 2017 studio album Zombies on Broadway, McMahon and company delivered a rousing performance that found the lead singer leaping off pianos, stage diving and riding atop the crowd in an inflatable duck on several occasions.

NIGHT RIOTS from Southern California opened the evening with a strong set of dance-rock anthems from their latest release Love Gloom. Australia’s Atlas Genius followed, continuing the good vibes with their own brand of dance-infused indie rock.

Emily King dazzles a sold-out crowd at The Chapel with an intimate acoustic show

Emily KingBy Norm de Veyra //

Emily King //
The Chapel – San Francisco
April 21st, 2017 //

You know when a show starts off with the audience singing along to Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me” over the PA system that it’s bound to be a special night. Such was the case last Friday as Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Emily King brought her stripped-down, acoustic “You and I Tour” to The Chapel.

With nothing but a couple of guitars, a desk lamp and her powerful voice, King hyp