Outside Lands cancels 2020 edition, reveals lineup for 2021 with Tame Impala, Lizzo & The Strokes

Outside Lands - 2021 lineup

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
August 6th-8th, 2021 //

As most of us know by now, 2020 has been a really rough year for the music industry. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has completely wiped out the concert and festival circuits, with free live streams and drive-in performances serving as our indefinite replacement during these strange and unpredictable days, weeks and months.

So when multiple major events like South by Southwest, Ultra Music Festival and Coachella canceled their 2020 editions and the entire U.S. shut down in March, it seemed unlikely that Outside Lands would actually transpire this summer.

Now that forecast has been officially confirmed, with the three-day music festival announcing that it will not take over Golden Gate Park during the weekend of August 7th-9th this year. It’s sad news for many in the Bay Area community and beyond, but OSL organizers did their very best to lift fans’ spirits by not only releasing the fest’s 2021 dates but also unveiling its lineup.

The 13th installment, in fact, will see Tame Impala, Lizzo and The Strokes each make their OSL headlining debuts with a solid undercard behind them that’s led by Tyler, the Creator, Vampire Weekend, J Balvin, Kehlani, The 1975, ZHU and Young Thug. The undercard might even be better, though (if you can believe that).

Other notable names on next year’s roster include Khruangbin, Beach House, Bonobo, Nelly, Brittany Howard, Burna Boy, Melanie Martinez, Polo & Pan, Big Thief, Troyboi, Angel Olsen, SOFI TUKKER, EARTHGANG, Tones and I, EOB, Sharon Van Etten, Marc Rebillet, A R I Z O N A, JPEGMAFIA, Dr. Dog, Shiba San, Boy Pablo, Rico Nasty and more.

UPDATE (Jan. 12th): As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the country, The 1975 have made the difficult decision to cancel all of their tour dates scheduled for 2021, including Outside Lands in August. The good news is that they’ll be replaced by RÜFÜS DU SOL, who made their OSL debut in 2016 and have swiftly climbed the festival ranks since issuing 2018’s Solace. “We have fond memories of playing the Panhandle stage at Outside Lands five years ago and we are excited to be back this year,” the Australian alt-dance trio says in a statement.

Outside Lands 2021 might feel like a long way away at this point, but it will be here before you know it so don’t forget to purchase your tickets when they go on sale here this Thursday, June 25th at 10 a.m. PT — Eager Beaver passes that were bought in 2020 will also be honored while those who choose to roll over their admission to the following year by July 24th will also have the opportunity to win exclusive upgrades and other prizes — and make sure to check out our coverage from 2019 here.

Outside Lands 2019

Our favorite performances from 2017

Best live shows of 2017 - The xx, Miguel, Moderat & Coldplay

2017, where the hell did you go? It just felt like the other day that we were ringing in a new year, and yet, here we are again as we plow straight ahead into 2018.

But before we officially put a bow on 2017, it’s time for us to revisit the past 12 months at Showbams. This year, we had the opportunity to capture many amazing moments in live music, and while we couldn’t pay homage to every single performance we witnessed, we made a conscious effort to include a wide range of talent spread across the industry.

Whittling down our list, though, was not that easy. Those who didn’t make the cut but still deserve to be mentioned here include the following artists, DJs and bands (in alphabetical order) whom we either covered at their own show and/or at a music festival this year:

21 Savage, The Accidentals, Action Bronson, Alice Cooper, Alina Baraz, alt-J, Amber Mark, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Animal Collective, Atlas Genius, The Avalanches, The Band Perry, Beach Slang, Belle and Sebastian, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Bleachers, Blonde Redhead, Bob Moses, Car Seat Headrest, Cate Le Bon, Cigarettes After Sex, Circles Around the Sun, City of Caterpillar, The Coathangers, Claude VonStroke, Chris Robinson, Con Brio, Conor Oberst, Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile, Crystal Castles, The Crystal Method, Daniel Caesar, Dawes, Dead Meadow, Deafheaven, Deep Purple, Diet Cig, DIIV, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dr. Dog, Dr. Octagon, Duke Dumont, Eagles of Death Metal, Electric Guest, Emancipator, Emily King, Empire of the Sun, Foxygen, Future Islands, Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Gatecreeper, Girl Talk, Gone Is Gone, Grizzly Bear, Gucci Mane, Hamilton Leithauser, Hazel English, Hinds, The Hip Replacements, Hiss Golden Messenger, How to Dress Well, Iggy Pop, Isaiah Rashad, Jack Johnson, Jagwar Ma, Jamestown Revival, Jamie Isaac, Jay 305, Jen Cloher, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, Jessie Ware, Jim James, JR JR, Julie Byrne, Julien Baker, Justice, Karen Elson, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, KAYTRANADA, Kelis, K. Flay, Khalid, Khruangbin, Kilo Kish, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Kurt Vile, La Femme, LANY, Lauv, L.A. Witch, Lettuce, Lil Yachty, Little Dragon, Lo Moon, Lorde, Lord Huron, Miike Snow, Milky Chance, Minus the Bear, Mister Heavenly, MØ, Mondo Cozmo, Neon Indian, Nicki Bluhm, Norah Jones, North Mississippi Allstars, NVO, Oh Sees, OK Go, Once and Future Band, Pallbearer, The Palms, Passion Pit, Peaches, Perfume Genius, Petit Biscuit, Phoebe Bridgers, Playboi Carti, Pond, Porcelain Raft, PRAYERS, The Radio Dept., Real Estate, The Revivalists, Royal Blood, Sampha, ScHoolboy Q, Sheer Mag, serpentwithfeet, Silversun Pickups, Sleep, Sleigh Bells, SOFI TUKKER, Solange, Spiritualized, Styles P, Sunflower Beam, Talib Kweli, Tank and The Bangas, Tash Sultana, Tei Shi, Temples, Tennis, Tennyson, Thou, Thundercat, TOBACCO, Touché Amoré, Tool, Tove Lo, Travis Scott, Twin Peaks, Ty Segall, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Vagabon, Vance Joy, Vic Mensa, Warpaint, Weezer, White Fence, Woods, YG, Young the Giant.

Now, it’s time for The Bam Team to present our favorite performances from 2017.

The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2017

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2017:


Best of 2017 - Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels

Date: February 1st
Location: Shrine Expo Hall – Los Angeles

Yet, in just four years, Run the Jewels have already reached hip-hop’s mountaintop with their politically charged lyrics and hard-hitting beats. Just take last Wednesday’s sold-out show in LA for example. With the duo’s third studio album still only a few weeks old, 5,000 or so fans poured into the spacious Shrine Expo Hall to watch El-P and Killer Mike fuck shit up (for lack of a better term). And that’s exactly what they did after opening sets from The Gaslamp Killer, Nick Hook, Gangasta Boo and CUZ. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best of 2017 - BADBADNOTGOOD

BADBADNOTGOOD

Date: February 23rd
Location: The Fillmore – San Francisco

As one of the bands to take the coveted headlining spot for NoisePop25, BADBADNOTGOOD seemed as — perhaps more — excited as all of the fans who made it to their sold-out show at The Fillmore. Combining consummate instrumentation with classic MC-style showmanship led by drummer Alexander Sowinski, the Canadian jazz-rock quartet has mastered the art of keeping the audience guessing where they’re going. -Brett Ruffenach, photo by James Pawlish


Best of 2017 - Spoon

Spoon

Date: March 7th
Location: Apogee Studio – Santa Monica, CA

In total, Spoon performed five songs from the new record, including “First Caress” to open a brief encore that left us eager for more. But as the five-piece rocked “Rainy Taxi” from 2014’s They Want My Soul to close, I couldn’t help but think to myself that this is one band I never should have slept on. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Larry Hirshowitz


Best of 2017 - Sigur Rós

Sigur Rós

Date: April 8th
Location: Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA

Now a trio, Sigur Rós have been delivering goosebumps for over two decades — and it’s a delight to hear Jónsi’s voice-as-an-instrument this clear, this powerful and as confident as ever. It would be a wonderful treat to check in on this outfit every 5-10 years going forward and realize they are still going strong. -Mike Frash, photo by James Nagel


Best of 2017 - DREAMCAR

DREAMCAR

Date: April 9th
Location: Great American Music Hall – San Francisco

Fresh off a stop at Berkeley’s Hearst Greek Theatre the night before, Adams showcased some older favorites and a slew of new tunes from his 16th and latest studio album Prisoner, which came out in February. SoCal fans were treated to some extended full-band jamming, a couple of solo acoustic performances and Adams’ usual witty banter over the course of the evening.
-Jared Stossel, photo by Jared Stossel


Best of 2017 - A Perfect Circle

A Perfect Circle

Date: April 13th
Location: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco

In the world of rock supergroups, there are few that have sprung up in the last few decades that can hold a candle to A Perfect Circle. From the onset, APC have been a powerhouse on the senses, combining members from bands such as Tool, The Smashing Pumpkins, Failure, Primus and more over the years. Their body of work has been met with high praise across the board, and they have been able to solidify themselves as one of the most unique and tenured groupings out there, as opposed to bands like Zwan and Velvet Revolver. -Andrew Pohl, photo by Mike Rosati


Best of 2017 - Radiohead

Radiohead

Date: April 14th
Location: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA

Yes, the sound problems (all three instances) put a real damper on what was easily one of the most anticipated performances of the weekend. This was the third time Goldenvoice called on Radiohead to headline Coachella, and for one of rock’s most important bands over the last 30 years, it certainly wasn’t a charm as the saying goes. In that moment, it was pretty hard not to feel bad for Thom Yorke, who could only make light of the situation by cracking a joke even if it wasn’t supposed to be one — or so he claimed. But Radiohead more than made up for it with a masterful setlist that opened with A Moon Shaped Pool cuts “Daydreaming”, “Desert Island Disk” and “Ful Stop” before circling back to older hits such as “Everything in Its Right Place”, “There There”, “Idioteque” and even “Creep”. -Josh Herwitt, photo courtesy of Coachella


Best of 2017 - Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar

Date: April 16th
Location: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA

All hail, King Kendrick! Or should we say “Kung Fu Kenny?” The Compton rapper reached hip-hop’s mountaintop more than two years ago with his Grammy-winning masterpiece To Pimp a Butterfly, but headlining Coachella was still on his to-do list. In fact, it was only the second time he had ever been booked to perform at Coachella after being listed on the last line of the 2012 poster. Closing out the fest is no short order for any artist, let alone one who dropped his new album less than 48 hours before taking the stage, but K-Dot lived up to the billing with a show that provoked as much thought as it entertained. -Josh Herwitt, photo courtesy of Coachella


Best of 2017 - The xx

The xx

Date: April 17th
Location: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco

Playfully alluding to their material’s emotional sentiment, Romy Madley Croft (vocals, guitar) and Oliver Sim (bass, vocals) managed to entrance all of us with their tension-filled gazes and syncopated dance moves. Prolonging vocal arrangements, especially during their accelerated live interpretation of “Infinity”, were also stunning to witness. About halfway through the set, Jamie Smith (beats, MPC, production), aka Jamie xx, took the lead and transformed the room into a giant disco party thanks to an onslaught of consecutive dance hits before finishing with “Loud Places” from his 2015 solo LP In Colour. -Molly Kish, photo by Norm de Veyra


Best of 2017 - Moderat

Moderat

Date: April 20th
Location: Mayan Theater – Los Angeles

Moderat subsequently circled back to III, performing “Intruder” before exiting the stage to a rousing applause. Yet, when the house lights didn’t come on right away, the suspense began to build once again. Less than a minute later, the three-piece reemerged, giving the audience more than its money’s worth. Two-encore shows are usually reserved for high-profile groups with extensive catalogs like Radiohead, but Moderat have never played by any rules. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best of 2017 - The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips

Date: May 9th
Location: The Theatre at Ace Hotel – Los Angeles

The Lips, of course, made sure to play that song, and even though it was without Watts, it still proved to be an unforgettable moment due to the fact that Coyne rode a life-size unicorn from one end of the stage to the other as he belted out lines like “Yeah, there should be unicorns / The ones with the purple eyes / It should be loud as fuck / Hope the swans don’t die” to open the tune while wearing a big smile across his face. If that’s not psychedelic to you, then I don’t know what is. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best of 2017 - Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

Date: June 3rd
Location: Greek Theatre – Los Angeles

Fresh off a stop at Berkeley’s Hearst Greek Theatre the night before, Adams showcased some older favorites and a slew of new tunes from his 16th and latest studio album Prisoner, which came out in February. SoCal fans were treated to some extended full-band jamming, a couple of solo acoustic performances and Adams’ usual witty banter over the course of the evening.
-Stephanie Port, photo by Stephanie Port


Best of 2017 - Jay Som

Jay Som

Date: June 17th
Location: Potrero del Sol Park – San Francisco

Melina Duterte’s band goes by the name Jay Som and hails from Oakland. Do yourself a favor and remember this name: Jay Som. The Polyvinyl-signed songstress bathed the crowd at the Potrero Stage in her dreamy vocals and inanely catchy tunes that appeal to a wide-range of music fan; her songs could feel just as viable in the 90’s college rock area as they do today. Highlights from the set included a vibe-soaked rendition of “Baybee” as well as “The Bus Song”, arguably the artist’s first real “hit.” -Kevin Quandt, photo by Emmeline Munson


Best of 2017- AIR

AIR

Date: June 23rd
Location: The Masonic – San Francisco

AIR’s live performances focus on capturing the crisp, detailed production style that the duo has honed over two decades. It’s a vibrant, textured sound. Centered around acoustic guitar, synthesizers and the breathy timbre of the duo’s immaculate harmonized vocals, the use of live drums helped round out the contrast between both the artificial and acoustic sounds in songs like “Cherry Blossom Girl”. -Brett Ruffenach, photo by Steve Carlson


Best of 2017 - PLANETARIUM

PLANETARIUM

Date: July 21st
Location: Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland

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”. -Norm de Veyra, photo by Norm de Veyra


Best of 2017 - The Drums

The Drums

Date: July 21st
Location: The Fillmore – San Francisco

By the time The Drums took the stage, the intimate venue was packed to the brim with fans. The Brooklyn outfit made as much of an impression as it did when frontman Jonathan Pierce and company exploded onto the scene in 2009 with their initial EP Summertime! From then on, it became glaringly obvious with their eccentric band members and seemingly effortless style that they possessed an energetic presence. And at their SF show, it didn’t take long for the capacity crowd to fall into a groove as the venue’s whole atmosphere lit up. -Jacqueline Moore, photo by Jacqueline Moore


Best of 2017 - Miguel

Miguel

Date: July 23rd
Location: Annenberg Space for Photography – Los Angeles

Once the sun set and Miguel stepped onstage, the audience was transported somewhere else entirely. Born and raised in LA, the 31-year-old’s silky-smooth voice floated through the cool evening breeze over the twinkle lights in the trees, giving the impression of an island retreat rather than a concert in the park. -Rochelle Shipman, photo by Rochelle Shipman


Best of 2017 - The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs

Date: August 5th
Location: Apogee Studio – Santa Monica, CA

Granduciel’s raspy voice, as well as his driving (no pun intended) guitar rhythms and reverb-laden riffs, are largely what separates The War on Drugs from the rest in a crowded indie-rock scene, but the sum of the band’s parts — Charlie Hall (drums), David Hartley (bass), Anthony LaMarca (guitar, keyboards), Robbie Bennett (keyboards) and finally Jon Natchez (saxophone, keyboards) — also creates a sound that while familiar, still feels uniquely different. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Larry Hirshowitz


Best of 2017 - Gorillaz

Gorillaz

Date: August 11th
Location: Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Golden Gate Park – San Francisco

Easily one of the most anticipated acts of the weekend, Gorillaz’s Humanz tour made its West Coast debut on Day 1 at OSL. After a six-year hiatus, expectations ran extremely high for this headlining performance. On previous tours, the band’s members had played second fiddle to the cartoon projections of their alter egos onstage, but everyone was visible this time around. Several collaborators from Gorillaz’s previous albums, including Kali Uchis, Yukimi Nagano and Del the Funky Homosapien, came out to join them, and the Damon Albarn-led group still pulled some even bigger surprises with cameos appearances from De la Soul and Pusha T. -Molly Kish, photo by James Pawlish


Best of 2017 - Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant

Date: August 12th
Location: Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Golden Gate Park – San Francisco

While the cancellation of Queens of the Stone Age was a blow a week prior to the event, the replacement that was lined up more than delivered a blistering set of rock ‘n’ roll. Cage the Elephant are now being widely considered festival-headliner material, and frontman Matt Shultz is making a strong claim for that accolade as he continues to elevate his stage act to near-Mick Jagger levels of pomp and energy. “Come a Little Closer” and “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” received hearty sing-alongs from a decidedly youthful crowd as Cage have become a favorite of Generation Z. -Kevin Quandt, photo by Marc Fong


Best of 2017 - J.I.D

J.I.D

Date: September 9th
Location: Day N Night Fest, Angel Stadium – Anaheim, CA

While the headliners thrilled as expected, it was at the side “Day” and “Night” stages where the festival’s biggest highlights were generated. J.I.D, the rising Atlanta rapper who is signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville imprint, absolutely thrilled during his set. Dazzling with his rapid-fire and agile flow, J.I.D showed off his ability to command a crowd with songs such as “General” and “EdEddnEddy” before jumping into the crowd for the tempo-changing hit “Never” that left the crowd chanting for “one more song!” -Joseph Gray & Rochelle Shipman, photo by Rochelle Shipman


Best of 2017 - SZA

SZA

Date: September 9th
Location: Day N Night Fest, Angel Stadium – Anaheim, CA

Saturday, meanwhile, featured the vintage gospel spirit and warm vibes that have elevated Chicago emcee Chance the Rapper to superstardom. Earlier in the day, SZA, this summer’s breakout star, delivered her first festival performance since the release of her well-received debut album Ctrl. Swaying, spinning and singing her raw emotions and shortcomings while coming of age, the Top Dawg Entertainment songstress didn’t disappoint. -Joseph Gray & Rochelle Shipman, photo by Rochelle Shipman


Best of 2017 - Bonobo

Bonobo (Live)

Date: September 27th
Location: Greek Theatre – Los Angeles

The real reason things felt different this time around, though, was the music. Extending and reimagining his tracks for easily one of the largest crowds he has ever performed in front of, Bonobo followed an uplifting opening set from Canadian electronic duo Bob Moses with an array of soothing sounds that paired beautifully with his lighting setup and entrancing stage production in the same way Scott Hansen (aka Tycho) creates an awe-inspiring audio-visual experience during his live-band performances. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best of 2017 - Coldplay

Coldplay

Date: October 4th
Location: Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA

Coldplay took the stage shortly before 9 p.m. as a video montage of fans who introduced them as “the biggest band in the world” played onstage. While I’m pretty sure there are a few other artists or groups from their side of the pond (ehem, U2) who might take issue with that claim, they certainly did nothing during their electric, almost two-hour performance to dissuade that sort of thinking. Chris Martin and company, in fact, wasted no time getting down to business, flooding the stadium with confetti and firing off pyrotechnics at a steady clip while opening with “A Head Full of Dreams” and subsequently all throughout the night. -Steve Carlson, photo by Steve Carlson


Best of 2017 - Broken Social Scene

Broken Social Scene

Date: October 26th
Location: Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland

Here’s the thing about BSS — after 15 years, the web of musicians that makes up the collective have created their own individual projects, from Metric to Stars to Feist to Do Make Say Think to Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton. And while many of the band’s members who have gone on to find success in their own solo careers didn’t happen to join the group on this particular tour, the sense of professionalism built into the BSS live experience remains prevalent. Every person who stepped onstage demonstrated consummate abilities in their own realms, never missing a beat or a note. -Brett Ruffenach, photo by Norm de Veyra

Best of 2017 - Jim James

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The 25 best live music acts of 2015

Best Live Acts of 2015

Around this time last year, we shared our 25 favorite live performers of 2014 after spending the past 12 months covering many excellent bands, musicians and DJs. So, with 2015 almost in the books, we thought we would give the same exercise another try, except this year, we made the call to exclude any artists we named in 2014. What fun would it really be to list them two years in a row anyway?

In the end, it wasn’t an easy task whittling down our list to 25, but some tough decisions had to be made. Those who didn’t make the cut but still deserve to be mentioned here include the following artists and bands (in alphabetical order) who we either covered at their own show and/or at a music festival this year:

AlunaGeorge, Ariel Pink, BADBADNOTGOOD, Bad Religion, Battles, Beirut, Belle and Sebastian, Big Grams, Billy Idol, Black Lips, The Black Keys, Blonde Redhead, BØRNS, BROODS, Built to Spill, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Chet Faker, Chromeo, City and Colour, Classixx, Cold War Kids, Dâm-Funk, Damien Rice, Death Cab for Cutie, Dengue Fever, Django Django, Dr. Dog, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Failure, The Flaming Lips, Flight Facilities, Goldroom, Glen Hansard, The Glitch Mob, Gorgon City, Holly Herndon, Interpol, Israel Nash, James Bay, Jeff Tweedy, Jenny Lewis, The Jesus and Mary Chain, JMSN, Jose Gonzalez, Jurassic 5, Kanye West, Kindness, King Tuff, Marina and the Diamonds, Miami Horror, Milky Chance, Modest Mouse, Morrissey, MS MR, Les Sins, Lotus, Natalie Prass, Neon Indian, ODESZA, Of Montreal, Oneohtrix Point Never, Panda Bear, Penguin Prison, Phantogram, Portugal. The Man, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Purity Ring, Ratatat, Royal Blood, San Fermin, Shlohmo, Slow Magic, SOHN, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, STRFKR, Surfer Blood, Talib Kweli, Tame Impala, Tennis, Toro y Moi, Tycho, Umphrey’s McGee, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Vintage Trouble, Vulfpeck, Widespread Panic, YACHT.

Now, without further ado, The Bam Team presents our 25 favorite live performers of 2015.

The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2015

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2015:


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #25 - Lord Huron

25. Lord Huron

The audience reacted with just as much enthusiasm during classic Lord Huron tunes as they did in hearing brand-new material, especially during fan favorites like “She Lit a Fire” and back-to-back rockabilly-tinged jams “The World Ender” and “Fool for Love”. At this point, the crowd had not only warmed up to Lord Huron’s infectious stage presence, but also gave into their buoyant vibes as mini dance parties broke out throughout the venue. -Molly Kish, photo by Steve Carlson


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #24 - Puscifer

24. Puscifer

Maynard James Keenan and friends have established themselves as not just a group of musicians who play songs on stage, but rather an assemblage of entertainers that provide their viewers and fans with something they may not have ever seen before — a true experience. Paying homage to the likes of Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd and the glory days of the rock opera, Puscifer have a very special way of combining their music with a stage show that offers so much more than just music. -Scotland Miller, photo by Mike Rosati


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #23 - Viet Cong

23. Viet Cong

Once the appetizer had been digested, Viet Cong were taking the stage and beginning a theme of quirky banter that eased the crowd into the blistering set as opposed to bombardment. Within the first few chords, it was evident that continued time on the road found the band at the peak of perfection. -Kevin Quandt, photo by Diana Cordero


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #22 - Kate Tempest

22. Kate Tempest

This decade will likely be known for the death of “genre,” the end of how groups have been contained into categories like R&B or rap since the birth of record labels. And with dance music on the rise, digitized conventions are creeping into pop, rap and indie music on the regular. With music more accessible than ever and for free, listeners are willing to experiment with their auditory material — and amalgamation is the natural result. Tempest represents this change as much or more than anyone as we enter the smack-dab middle of this decade. And that includes Kanye West, Sylvan Esso or Run the Jewels. -Mike Frash, photo by James Nagel


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #21 - Deerhunter

21. Deerhunter

Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox talked about how he decided on the way over to the island that he wouldn’t play many songs, how he took ayahuasca on Saturday night in LA and he was surprised at how reserved the TIMF audience was. He said we were “polite like the Japanese.” Bradford, that’s what we call “respect” — and you’ve earned it. -Mike Frash, photo by Marc Fong


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #20 - Faith No More

20. Faith No More

It can be hard to know what to expect from a crew like Faith No More and their eccentric, yet prolific members. The entire stage was dressed in white, from the curtains to the amplifiers to the mic stands. Lining the entire length of the stage and any flat surface that would support them were thousands of dollars worth of beautiful, fresh flowers. The abundance of purples and pinks, reds and yellows created a very comfortable and soothing, yet incredibly eerie feeling as to what was about to happen next. Once the setup was complete and the lights dropped, the crowd was let in to the stark contrast that is the weird world of Faith No More. -Scotland Miller, photo by Greg Ramar


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #19 - Sufjan Stevens

19. Sufjan Stevens

Stevens spoke of the need for community in the throes of grief, and the audience ably did their part to help him through this very public grieving process. At the end of the main set, a young woman crashed the stage to offer a bemused Sufjan something (a hug? words of love and encouragement?), and it seemed wholly appropriate, as if the audience needed in some small way to collectively reach out to the man after he bared his soul so openly. -Steve Carlson, photo by Steve Carlson


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #18 - Allen Stone

18. Allen Stone

In many ways, Stone’s ideological stance on technology shapes not only his set as a performer but also his fan base. Watching an Allen Stone show, one can feel certain that all pretenses will be left at the door and those surrounding you will be committing their full attention to the music. Midway through Stone’s set, the venue was completely under his charismatic spell. The audience actively followed the Seattle-born frontman’s lead as he prompted a group participation “2-step” and rolled through crowd favorites from his self-titled LP and latest album Radius. -Molly Kish, photo by Tom Dellinger


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #17 - The Kills

17. The Kills

Mosshart, tall and slender, strutted her way through just about all of it, displaying a bravado that exudes both sex and confidence, while Hince handled his axe like a bona fide rock star, eventually playing some slide guitar during the gritty, blues-infused track “Pots and Pans” that got the crowd roaring after it was over. After all, it’s that blues/garage-rock overlap, along with the chemistry exhibited between Mosshart and Hince onstage, that makes The Kills such a captivating rock ‘n’ roll act to see live these days. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #16 - The Chemical Brothers

16. The Chemical Brothers

Directly following their dramatic entrance to a recording of Junior Parker’s epic “Tomorrow Never Knows”, the duo kicked off their career-spanning set with crowd favorite “Hey Boy, Hey Girl” from 1999’s Surrender. They launched into a full-blown frenzy from that moment on, and the UK dance legends went hard (no pun intended) throughout the rest of their two-hour performance, debuting live remixes of new material from their 2015 release Born in the Echoes while interspersing nostalgia-inducing EDM classics off their seven previous albums. -Molly Kish, photo by Justin Yee


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #15 - Eagles of Death Metal

15. Eagles of Death Metal

EODM have the perfect style as a rock band, one that takes itself just seriously enough. As a whole, they are a hard, fast and tightly-wound production, with their silly lyrics and even sillier frontman bringing a perfect balance to what you want to see at a rock show. Closing with “Speaking in Tongues”, EODM walked off the stage at the Great American Music Hall knowing that they had accomplished what they came to do — to prove that rock ain’t dead. -Brett Ruffenach, photo by Mike Rosati


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #14 - Florence + the Machine

14. Florence + the Machine

Welch lapped around the inside ring of the bowl, stopping briefly at the sound stage. What a cool moment. -James Nagel, photo by James Nagel


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #13 - Sturgill Simpson

13. Sturgill Simpson

Simpson has stage presence, that is without a doubt. The conviction of his voice bolsters his words as he describes a life of highs and lows, trials and tribulations. This was evident on renditions of songs like “Turtles All the Way Down”. If there is a song to capture your attention and convince you of Simpson’s talents as a songwriter, this is one of them. Just like that of his predecessors, he writes music that goes against the grain of popular country music. It may be defined as “outlaw country,” but I personally feel it is music that resonates with a wider audience than that of its counterparts. -Kory Thibeault, photo by Kory Thibeault


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #12 - alt-j

12. alt-J

The 2012 Mercury Prize winners echoed a semblance to that of Sigur Rós or Volcano Choir, leaving audience members entranced in a near-altered state while observing the foursome. The biggest fan responses erupted during the band’s singalong favorites “Breezeblocks”, “Fitzpleasure” and their token cover of Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day”. -Molly Kish, photo by Mike Rosati


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #11 - Hot Chip

11. Hot Chip

In recent years, only ever getting the chance to see the outfit in stripped-down DJ sets or as part of side projects/collaborations, the afternoon crowd full of die-hard, nu-disco fans were not disappointed as the UK dance veterans set the polo fields ablaze. Refraining from any slow builders, Hot Chip performed an hour-long set of career-spanning bangers, keeping the crowd moving with hit after hit, that seamlessly blended into one another. The set procured one of the most viral dance party moments of the festival, with the audience spiraling into a collective bliss as it came to a close. -Molly Kish, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #10 - Dan Deacon

10. Dan Deacon

One of the toughest things to do in the world of electronic music is to sound organic, to imbue a sense of heart into the digitized nature of ones and zeroes. The Baltimore native accomplishes this through his hilarious and improvisational free-form, stand-up comedy, which thrives on wandering non sequiturs. And he mirrors this by adapting his insane-train of sound to meet and exceed the energy in the room. The “America” suite finished off the show with an extended doom metal quality that gave a sense that no aesthetic boundaries can contain Deacon’s sense of musical exploration. -Mike Frash, photo by Pedro Paredes


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #9 - FKA twigs

9. FKA twigs

British singer-songwriter Tahliah Debrett Barnett, better known as FKA twigs, has been all the rage lately after performing at Coachella in April, and she closed out FYF in style, donning an elaborate burgundy- and gold-colored robe for her Sunday night set. Just the week before, the 27-year-old fiancée of actor/musician Robert Pattinson released her brand-new EP M3LL155X, and with it receiving high marks from a number of music outlets, there were quite a few fans who stuck around after 11:30 p.m. on a “school night” to watch her perform some of them, including the opening track “Figure 8”, “In Time” and “Glass & Patron”. FKA twigs might be one of the most compelling live acts out there right now, and after scheduling Purity Ring to close out The Lawn the night before, FYF seemed to make a point of letting women rule that stage in the late-night hours this year. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #8 - Empire of the Sun

8. Empire of the Sun

As Steele belted out “Alive”, the hit single off the band’s sophomore studio album Ice on the Dune, to close things out, he brought the audience to a transcendent place of exhilaration. Crowd members embraced and danced amongst a like-minded family of people lost in the moment, even if it involved intergalactic creatures dancing in colored smoke and a crowned Emperor playing without his bandmate on stage. EOTS shows are a special kind of magic that regardless of the material’s absurd nature, translate into an experience unlike anything else. -Molly Kish, photo by Steve Carlson


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #7 - My Morning Jacket

7. My Morning Jacket

Though it was more than understandable to see the band play a large majority of The Waterfall for its first performance at the Santa Barbara Bowl in almost four years, there were plenty of other deep cuts mixed in over the next two hours, from “Bermuda Highway” to “Mahgeetah” to “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt. 2”. After all, it’s no secret that My Morning Jacket have always been good to their most loyal and dedicated fans, and in once again taking song requests as part of their “Spontaneous Curation Series,” they made sure to dig up many of the classics from their seminal album Z, including “Wordless Chorus” and “Off the Record” one after the other in the middle of a loaded, four-song encore. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #6 - Jamie xx

6. Jamie xx

Throughout his tour, Smith has refused to compromise his individual style for the sake of appeasing either extreme of his now commercially hybrid audience. Whereas those familiar with his early XL Records mixtapes were satiated by his intermingling of Gil Scott-Heron and Idris Muhammad samples between hits, his newfound post-In Colour fans experienced equally breathtaking moments with the crowd hitting peak energy levels during the encore chorus of “Loud Places” amidst the glow of a warped-speed, neon-green strobe light. Other notable moments included the near-religious choral drop of “Gosh” that escalated the packed house to spiritual levels of enthusiasm, bathed in the glowing sparkle of Smith’s staggeringly iridescent ceiling to floor disco ball and stage lights. -Molly Kish, photo by James Nagel


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #5 - Elton John

5. Elton John

The star-spangled legend sat at his majestic piano as the sun went down on Sunday and moved the crowd with his brilliant playing. The adoring audience hung on every word and joined in singing his most popular hits. Walking off stage quickly after his last song, the audience demanded more and Elton happily obliged. With rumors of Lion King songs being played at past performances, some doting fans wanted a second encore to the tune of “Circle of Life”. While he didn’t indulge the Lion King fans, his stellar performance was a perfect ending to an amazing weekend at Outside Lands, leaving everyone’s festival tank full of love. -Nik Crossman, photo by James Nagel


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #4 - Father John Misty

4. Father John Misty

Father John (Sassypants) Misty has his festival game on point, and he has progressed his I Love You, Honeybear songs into epic plateaus since premiering them in the Santa Cruz mountains last February. He spewed banter like an Stephen Colbert-esque contrarian, saying, “Look at these suckers with their hair blowing all over the place.” And as he approached the mic for more improv-snark later on, Tillman paused to say, “Sorry, I have nothing to say. Ha.” FJM was speechless for once, but granted, it might have been set up for “Bored in the USA”, a song that should be considered an American classic at this point. -Mike Frash, photo by Pedro Paredes


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #3 - Kendrick Lamar

3. Kendrick Lamar

As Kendrick Lamar’s incredible performance began to wrap up with his newest single “Alright”, a group of fans in the crowd proceeded to lift someone up in a wheelchair, who, if I recall correctly, was the same guy who had his photo famously taken at Outside Lands in 2013. Kendrick took notice and called him out — his sense of sincere appreciation for a place like the Bay Area was written all over his face. -Brett Ruffenach, photo by Marc Fong


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #2 - Caribou

2. Caribou

Described by fellow musician Dan Deacon as “one of the most brilliant acts touring right now” just before their set, Caribou lived up to the hype. Starting with “Our Love”, the four-piece band led by Dan Snaith perfectly set the stage for the next hour — a series of tightly wound compositions that, as the song progresses, expand in rhythmic complexity before reaching a climax that will get even the most tired Sunday afternoon crowd moving. Heavily augmenting its live performances from its studio recordings, the band’s live rendition of “Jamelia” in particular was a highlight of the set. Caribou is a band not to be missed. -Brett Ruffenach, photo by Justin Yee


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 - D'Angelo & The Vanguard #1

1. D’Angelo & The Vanguard

One of the most anticipated sets of the entire weekend was none other than D’Angelo’s — and for good reason. The R&B/neo-soul singer-songwriter hadn’t put out an album in 14 years until he suddenly dropped his 2014 masterpiece Black Messiah last December, so you knew that getting the rare opportunity to see Michael Eugene Archer work a crowd at FYF would be something special. Sounding more like a youthful James Brown than a wannabe Prince (we still don’t totally understand where those comparisons are coming from), D’Angelo and his eight-piece backing band The Vanguard took the audience for a ride as they doled out new and old hits. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt

Outside Lands 2015 - Dan Deacon

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Does this (Dr.) dog need some new tricks?

Dr. DogPhotos by Scott Martin // Written by Steven Wandrey //

Dr. Dog //
Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland
February 12th, 2015 //

Coming off their new live album Live at Flamingo Hotel that was released last month, Dr. Dog has an affinity for flamingos apparently. Either way, Thursday night’s show at the Fox Theater Oakland was very strongly akin to the album in both the band’s playing and its setlist. The band is as tight as ever, spitting its psych-folk pop with vigor.

Dr. Dog has come up the hard way by building a solid fan base on relentless touring. It’s plain to see that a large majority of the crowd are major fans, respectfully mouthing the words and not screaming them.

Dr. Dog

For better or worse, not much has changed for Dr. Dog over the last few years. The setlists have remained pretty stagnant, and while it’s nice to hear all your old favorites, some variety would be appreciated from a band whose catalog runs deep.

As far as stylistic development, the songs sound more concise and pointed compared to recent years. It feels like the band is accomplishing exactly the mark it’s going for sonically, and it doesn’t seem like it will be going anywhere anytime soon.

But should they be aiming for more? And how many more times do people want to see a dog do the same old trick?

Festival Review: Noise Pop 2014

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Noise Pop 2014 has come and gone, and what a jam-packed week of music and merriment it was. This week-long festival event is spread out amongst the 22 finest venues in the Bay Area, making for one of the best extended independent music showcases around.

The Bam Team was on the scene throughout, capturing the many memorable moments — take a look at our show recaps and photos below!


Dr-Dog-post

Photo by Kory Thibeault //

Digital Mystikz with DJ Rashad //
1015 Folsom – San Francisco
February 27th, 2014 //

This night of progressive dance and bass music was a long time in the making, and the results were not disappointing as those faithful to underground music were treated to this Teklife/DMZ doubleheader. DJ Rashad brought his own style to the stage, presenting the hyped crowd with his own unique brand of dance music that goes by ‘footwork,’ a variant offshoot of juke and ghetto house. The highly rhythmic tracks were a delight to those wanting to show off their fancy dance moves before the “bass bath” that is Digital Mystikz. Though Rashad was killing it, he seemed reluctant to hand over the decks to the duo of Mala and Coki. 

Dubstep and bass music fans in San Francisco finally got to experience the heaviness that is South London’s Digital Mystikz after years of waiting (and canned dates). They were rewarded with a straight vinyl set that had the two switching off dubplates every so often. The speakers flexed and breathed as an array of frequencies poured out, showcasing a slower tempo than Rashad. Mala played heavy on roots tracks while Coki spun his characteristic style of aggressive bass. Coki seems to be taking his musical career more seriously as he debuted a handful of bangers that are sure to make their way onto wax and various mix sets. “Anti-War Dub”, a legendary track, demonstrated their agenda as bass music with a message. “Gangster for Life” was a highlight for the amped crowd as many put their hands in the air and sand along to Movado’s vocal sample before dropping into some seriously filthy rhythms and sub-bass. Mala’s “Miracles” was featured towards the end of the set as the faithful were disappointed to see DMZ’s late start not be rewarded on the back end with an extra 10 minutes. -Kevin Quandt


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Photo by Tom Dellinger //

The Soft White Sixties, NO (LA), The SHE’S, Cannons and Clouds //
The Chapel – San Francisco
February 28th, 2014 //

After their set of about an hour and a half, it was confirmed that this was one of those performances that will be well remembered. Surely, The Soft White Sixties are destined to launch onto larger stages and broader success as a band. Ready and poised, all the ingredients are there. —Tom Dellinger

READ FULL REVIEW & VIEW PHOTOS


The Fresh & Onlys with Cool Ghouls, Sandy’s, Luke Sweeney //
Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco
February 26th, 2014 //

The Fresh & Only’s lead singer, Tim Cohen, who is strangely reminiscent of Danny McBride in his humor, cracked jokes between songs. The locally beloved band declared, “We are San Francisco, or we were San Francisco, or San Francisco was us.” The crowd seemed to eat up the commentary on the general culture shift happening around them in the City. -Katy Meacham

READ FULL REVIEW


Papercuts, Vetiver, The Donkeys, EDJ //
The Chapel – San Francisco
February 26th, 2014 //

San Francisco’s Papercuts finished the night with a slightly more subdued set, especially when compared to Vetiver and the Donkeys, and the crowd had thinned a bit as the ‘school night curse’ fell over the headliner. -Kevin Quandt

READ FULL REVIEW


Com Truise with Phantoms, Kauf, DJ Dials //
Mezzanine — San Francisco
February 27th, 2014 //

The 80’s haven’t sounded this good since…well, ever. Com Truise intertwines reworked 80’s synth samples with modern sensibilities and the result induces random outbreaks of dancing in crowds. Buoyed by a new lighting rig that dominated the stage, Truise’s downtempo productions come across as more powerful and engaging than the recordings. Though the west coast leg of his tour is finished, having just released the first part of a planned series albums, hopefully he’ll pop back up sooner than later. -Steve Wandrey


El Ten Eleven with Mattson 2, Pale Blue Dot //
The New Parish – Oakland, CA
February 28th, 2014 //

The self-proclaimed “power duo” from Los Angeles created an immense sound with the aid of a looper and heavily modulated effects. Wielding a doubleneck guitar/bass combo, El Ten Eleven’s experimental sound was polished and fresh, never drifting into monotony, which looper pedals can sometimes do. -Kevin Raos

READ FULL REVIEW


Real-Estate

Photo by Sterling Munksgard //

Real Estate with The Shilohs & Dream Boys //
The Independent – San Francisco
February 28th, 2014 //

Real Estate played to a solemn, respectfully immersed Independent Friday for their first full show of their North American tour. Sure the indie-rockers played their yet-to-be released record Atlas in its entirety near their home turf in New York Thursday, but they chose Noise Pop Fest to debut their very square stage setup. -Mike Frash

READ FULL REAL ESTATE REVIEW & VIEW PHOTOS


Cold Cave with Painted Palms, Dirty Ghosts and Happy Fangs //
Slim’s – San Francisco
February 28th, 2014 //

An extensive bill of varied rock flavor, Saturday night’s line up at Slim’s had a little bit of something for everyone. Kicking off the evening, local duo Happy Fangs got the crowd amped with their juxtapositional noise-laden synth pop. Rebecca Gone Bad’s vocals penetrated through the brick walls of the venue, audible to the crowd lined up outside amidst the evenings’ partial showers. Next up to the stage, Dirty Ghosts shredded their way through a set of new material and crowd favorites, calling for their guitar levels to be raised so they can properly “rock the fuck out” of the weekend crowd. Painted Palms, brought a different type of temperament to the line-up, focusing their set around the band’s less dance driven tracks, epically stretching out their material into extended jams driven by cousins Reese Donohue and Chris Prudhomme, backed by a full band. Cold Cave closed out the evening with his brooding set of dark-wave synth pop, debuting new material off of his 2014 album Sunflower and utilizing the show as a warm up for his upcoming summer tour with NIN. -Molly Kish


No Age with Cheatahs, GRMLN, Straight Crimes //
Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco
March 1st, 2014 //

One of the more hyped, international artists on the Noise Pop bill was the rising stars that are Cheatahs. Though the band was marred by poor sound early in the set, they rallied to crush the second half of their set as the crowd began to open up to their sound. Charging out of LA for nearly a decade, No Age two weave the post-punk sentiment of Fugazi with a wall of sound volume that shakes you to your core. The “adult” crowd got a rare treat as No Age generally play all ages shows that quickly turn into frenetic chaos. -Kevin Quandt

READ FULL REVIEW


Dr. Dog with Saint Rich, Moses Sumney //
The Warfield – San Francisco
March 1st, 2014 //

Saturday night was a much anticipated one as the City descended upon the Warfield to get their dose of Dr. Dog. “Live in the Tenderloin” read a sign on stage, a nod to the neighborhood and a proclamation that they knew more about San Francisco than one would expect. And that is certainly how the night felt — Dr. Dog knew its audience and exactly what they wanted to hear. -Kory Thibeault

VIEW DR. DOG PHOTOS


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Mark Kozelek (of Sun Kil Moon & Red House Painters) //
Great American Music Hall – San Francisco
March 1st, 2014 //

“I don’t give a fuck about Noise Pop,” said surly 47-year-old control freak Mark Kozelek at Great American Music Hall Satuday, one of the first piercing, dry stage banter remarks he made. Always honest and amusing in an odd way, much like his music, Kozelek turned between-song breaks into hilarious and awkward moments as a matter of routine. -Mike Frash

READ FULL MARK KOZELEK REVIEW


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Photo by Marc Fong //

Rogue Wave with Trails and Ways, Wymond Miles //
The Chapel – San Francisco
March 2nd, 2014 //

A perfect end to an epic festival, Rogue Wave delivered as a closing act, demonstrating excellent showmanship & exciting crowd interaction, fluidly transitioning out of the daytime hours into what the band had promised to deliver from the start — a performance that “felt like a night show” all along. -Molly Kish

READ FULL ROGUE WAVE REVIEW & VIEW PHOTOS


PHOTOS: Dr. Dog at the Warfield for Noise Pop Fest 3/1

Dr-Dog-postBy Kory Thibeault //

Dr. Dog with Saint Rich, Moses Sumney //
The Warfield – San Francisco
March 1st, 2014 //

Saturday night was a much anticipated one as the City descended upon the Warfield to get their dose of Dr. Dog. “Live in the Tenderloin” read a sign on stage, a nod to the neighborhood and a proclamation that they knew more about San Francisco than one would expect. And that is certainly how the night felt — Dr. Dog knew its audience and exactly what they wanted to hear. They wound through hits like “The Truth” and “Lonesome” while satisfying our thirst for older tracks like “These Days” and “Oh No”. Saturday nights’ show was precisely what the doctor ordered.

Kory Thibeault caught shots of Dr. Dog, along with supporting acts Saint Rich and Moses Sumney — check em’ out below.

12 reasons to grab a Noise Pop festival badge

NP-cover-postWritten by Mike Frash, Molly Kish, Kevin Quandt & Kevin Raos //

Noise Pop //
Bay Area venues – San Francisco & Oakland
February 25th-March 2nd, 2014 //

This time of year can often be a bit slow for live music, but not during Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco. This week-long event spread out amongst the 22 finest venues in the City by the Bay makes for the best extended independent music showcase on the west coast. Noise Pop Fest shows offer in-depth evenings — the best thing to do is to show up early and catch emerging artists before they graduate to headliner status.

One great way to get the most value out of the week is with by springing for a badge. The purchase of a General or Super Fan badge gets you into all general admission shows, films, happy hours, NPHQ and more, along with a screen-printed festival poster. There’s also a Noise Pop Fest app to help keep you connected.

The lineup is as good as ever this year — our list doesn’t include top-notch artists Com Truise, Rogue Wave, Throwing Muses, Beardyman, Ladytron, No Age, Shabazz Palaces, Mikal Cronin, Bleached, Trails and Ways, The Fresh & Onlys, The Limousines, The Soft White Sixties, amongst others. Presented here are 12 compelling reasons to consider a badge upgrade, in day-to-day order.

Click artist names to buy individual tickets below, or simply buy a General or Super Fan badge.

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Noise Pop HeadQuarters (NPHQ @ The NWBLK) //
All week //

New this year in Noise Pop’s 22nd incarnation, Noise Pop Headquarters at The NWBLK is now the centerpiece of Noise Pop Festival. Festivalgoers can swing by the stunning gallery-turned-multimedia-space to grab a drink, watch a film, get some food, do some shopping, and experience a pivotal part of this year’s festival with friends and artists before heading out for the night’s events. Purchase tickets or RSVP to all free shows, which will grant you priority entry once capacity has been reached. Yet another reason to go big with a badge.


Lord-Huron

Lord Huron, Superhumanoids //
The Fillmore – San Francisco
Tuesday, February 25 //
SOLD OUT // BUY A BADGE

A coupled bill of indie folk, rich with thick vocal harmonies and dense soulful compositions, Lord Huron and Superhumanoids pair perfectly to cover the modern state of rhythm and blues. Americana based, the Lord Huron dabble in psychedelic and experimental pop elements, which also can be heard in their counterparts Superhumanoids. The Los Angeles-based trio features genre bending soundscapes, delivering a groove-driven journey through layers of pop, soul and electronic musical arrangements. Each band, although unique in their melodious executions, cover a vast array of roots-rock influences while updating the archetypal sounds in their own innovative manners. This sold out show highlights a great pair of bands to kick off the festival and is one worth splurging a bit extra on a badge to guarantee entry. -MK


Audion

Matthew Dear Presents Audion Live: Subverticul //
The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco
Wednesday, February 26th //

The latest project from Ghostly International co-founder and experimental artist Matthew Dear, Audion Live: Subverticul is an all-encompassing multi-media experience. Teaming up with the innovative crew from LA-based design studio Vita Motus, Subverticul features a live set debuting new material from Matthew Dear. Audion Live promises to be a unique show, fashioned to resemble a moving audio visual sculpture. Composed of multi-layered experimental EDM and dazzling abstract art installations, Subverticul is an impressive feat in both live music entertainment and creative enterprises. Making its Bay Area debut in celebration of the Noise Pop 2014 and playing unreleased tracks off of his upcoming album, Matthew Dear’s Audion Live: Subverticul will undoubtedly be a highlight performance of this year’s festival. -MK


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Mistaken for Strangers (Film) //
Roxie Theater – San Francisco
Wednesday, February 26th //

Let’s not forget that live concerts aren’t the only offering from the citywide Noise Pop Festival as the film series has some gems being screened, including Mistaken for Strangers. This documentary follows budding horror filmmaker, Tom Berninger, embarking on a massive national tour with his brother’s little band that some may know as the National. The ensuing months shows the younger Berninger brother tossed into the indie touring machine as a functioning crew member while keeping focus on his ambitions as a creator himself. -KQ


Papercuts

Papercuts, Vetiver, The Donkeys, EDJ, Vinyl DJ Selections by Britt Govea //
The Chapel – San Francisco
Wednesday, February 26th //

Artists under brand new label Easy Sound Recording Co. plan on presenting the future of folk at The Chapel during Noise Pop week. Jason Quever’s SF-based Papercuts have a new album Life Among the Savages in the works. The group’s sixth LP is set to release in May, so plan on seeing the group preview new tracks from their forthcoming album. They just released the albums’s lead single “Still Knocking at the Door”, and it’s promising. Vetiver is on the roster, another local group led by Andy Cabic. Their 2011 record The Errant Charm is oh so mellow and excellent, and we expect good things coming soon. The Donkeys are an emerging psyche-garage rock formation from San Diego, blending surf rock and jam sentiments into a bouncy, enjoyable time. -MF


Our-Vinyl

“Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton” Film Screening and Live Show //
The NWBLK (NPHQ) – San Francisco
Wednesday, February 26th (6:30 pm) //

Gain access to rare concert footage, backstage documentation, home videos and intimate portrayals of some of the most influential hip hop artists of our time in this cutting edge documentary brought to you by the iconic Stone Throw Records posse. Featuring appearances by Snoop Dogg, Mike D, Talib Kweli, Kanye West, Tyler the Creator and more, this feature length delves into the inner circle of the groundbreaking label to bring you a fresh perspective on the evolution and current state of modern day hip hop. Followed by a Q&A with director Jeff Broadway and Stones Throw Records founder Peanut Butter Wolf, tickets are still available with an additional option to upgrade to a “Film and Live Show Ticket”, granting access to a live performance after party with Peanut Butter Wolf, J Rocc, JonWayne and Knxledge. Happening at the Noise Pop 2014 headquarters NWBLK, this event is a great way to get into celebratory spirit and check out the brand new festival facility. — MK


Bob-Mould

Bob Mould: 25 Years of Workbook, Zach Rogue, Jon Ginoli //
Great American Music Hall – San Francisco
Thursday, February 27th //
SOLD OUT // BUY A BADGE

Celebrating the groundbreaking icon’s diversion from his scene-defining hardcore act Husker Du, Bob Mould revisits his first album as a solo artist, Workbook, with help from fellow artists and friends. Mould pushed the boundaries of the independent rock scene with this record whilst mapping out an era of alternative music that influenced generations of artists for years to come. Mould will be joined on stage by longtime bassist Jason Narducy, along with Rogue Wave’s Zach Rogue and Jon Gignoli of San Francisco’s own Pansy Division. Gearing up for the deluxe double-album edition of this seminal record to be released February 25, this show will be the first live revisiting of the material in full since its 1989 debut. One of the first shows of the festival to have sold out, a badge is necessary for entry and in this case is well worth the cost of this once in a lifetime experience. — MK


Digital-Mystizk

Digital Mystikz, DJ Rashad //
1015 Folsom – San Francisco
Thursday, February 27th //

Sure, Digital Mystikz may be one of the higher listed names you have never heard of, but producers, Mala and Coki, nearly single-handedly built the UK bass-culture scene which eventually was termed, dubstep. This South London duo has been working together since teenagers, while also maintaining solo careers, eventually starting the progressive label, and club night, that goes by DMZ. After a few failed attempts to perform on the West Coast as a duo, it appears the day is almost here for Digital Mystizk to make their big San Francisco debut at 1015 Folsom with DJ Rashad and a slew of local warriors to back ‘em all up. —KQ


Cold-Cave

Cold Cave, Painted Palms, Dirty Ghosts, Happy Fangs //
Slim’s – San Francisco
Friday, February 28th //

Truly one of the more stacked bills this year will feature LA darkwave mastermind Wesley Eisold, popularly known as Cold Cave. With a release slated for 2014, expect new material that Eisold describes as a “mix between some of the bigger sounds on Cherish and more minimal stuff I’m interested in now.” Local psych-pop duo, Painted Palms are also featured on this bill after the release of a recent album on Polyvinyl. Expect a breezier affair before the headliner with these San Francisco rising stars. Local trio Dirty Ghosts will also be on hand to lend support via their female-fronted take on psych-pop with a tinge of world influence. —KQ


Real-Estate

Real Estate, The Shilohs, Dream Boys, Dominant Legs //
The Independent – San Francisco
Friday & Saturday, February 28th & 29th //
SOLD OUT // BUY A BADGE

It wasn’t too long ago that fans of breezy surf-rock were enjoying Real Estate at Treasure Island, but this time we get a pair of more intimate shows over the busy Noise Pop weekend. The recently expanded 5-piece band is prepping their third studio album set for release the first week of March and will go by the title, Atlas. Expect new songs peppered with old favorites for these sold out shows, which will be supported by Vancouver songsters The Shilohs, along with Dominant Legs on Friday and Dream Boys on Saturday. —KQ


Mark-Kozelek

An Evening with Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon) //
Great American Music Hall – San Francisco
Saturday, March 1st //

While Mark Kozelek’s music comes in the form of many groups and collaborations, his new record Benji with Sun Kil Moon will likely solidify this group as his legacy. The lyrics are heartbreaking, the control of his cadence immaculate, and the words often relate to Bay Area locales, a place he calls home — there’s the Night Stalkers’ final victim who lived in San Mateo, barbecues in San Rafael, his Tenderloin summer (when he likely made the album), and going seeing the Postal Service perform at the Greek Theater only to rush to a hot tub-refuge in Tahoe. Billed as an evening with Mark Kozelek, an incredible live artist with throngs of records under his belt with Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon and by his lonesome, expect a varied setlist with a heavy doses of cuts from Benji stealing the show. — MF


Dr-Dog

Dr. Dog, Saint Rich, Moses Sumney //
The Warfield – San Francisco
Saturday, March 1 //

Dr. Dog make their Noise Pop debut as headliners atop a talented lineup of performers. Road warriors and prolific song writers, these indie rockers from Pennsylvania make the west coast swing in support of their latest album, 2013’s B-Room. Dr. Dog has been making a name for themselves for 15 years, building a loyal fan base and graduating to larger venues along the way. Supported by Saint Rich and Moses Sumney, Saturday March 1st at the Warfield will showcase some of the finest indie rock around. Floor seats may be sold out, but you can still make your way to the dance floor with a Noise Pop badge. Don’t sleep on this show. -KR

Noise Pop 2014