Fauxchella 2016: Coachella FOMO no mo’ in the Bay

M83 at Fox Theater Oakland


M83 at Fox Theater Oakland // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Photos by Steve Carlson, Norm de Veyra, Marc Fong, Pedro Paredes, Mike Rosati & Lisette Worster // Written by Molly Kish //

Fauxchella //
Various Bay Area venues – San Francisco & Oakland
April 13th-April 22nd, 2016 //

Paving the way for large-scale festivals all across North America, Coachella has served as an archetype in live music production since its conception 17 years ago. Throughout its storied history, Coachella’s stages have been graced with a roster of unparalleled talent. Year after year, the festival’s lineup has featured iconic performances from both artists on the verge of breaking into the mainstream and industry legends taking victory laps.

Located in the heart of Southern California’s Inland Empire, the three-day music festival now hosts back-to-back weekends at the Empire Polo Club with one of the most competitive artist lineups you’ll find anywhere. While Coachella’s location remains ideal for music fans based in California and many surrounding states, it can be a daunting task to make the trek to Indio for those living in other parts of the country. This reality has subsequently broke ground for offshoot shows up and down the West Coast, including the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest.

James Bay at Fox Theater Oakland


James Bay at Fox Theater Oakland // Photo by Steve Carlson

In reference to this, the Bay Area music scene has dubbed the calendar dates leading into and out of Coachella’s consecutive weekends as its own unofficial festival, colloquially referred to as “Fauxchella.” Featuring headlining performances from Coachella artists in and around Northern California, the roughly two-week stretch serves as a strong preview for the upcoming summer concert season with many of the top names in the business getting to test out their live show in preparation for the desert or fine-tune their skills in between each weekend of the festival. For many music fans, Fauxchella remains the most optimal time to catch these high-profile artists performing at their best inside many of the Bay Area’s most beautiful and intimate venues.

Showbams took full advantage of this year’s Fauxchella festivities as we caught a number of performances throughout the Bay Area. Take a peek at our massive collection of photos, and let us know which shows were your favorite in the comments section below.

alt-J, Tycho stun a sold-out Fauxchella crowd at the Greek Theatre

alt-J


alt-J

Photos by Mike Rosati // Written by Molly Kish //

alt-J with Tycho //
Greek Theatre – U.C. Berkeley
April 17th, 2015 //

Stopping off in the Bay Area between appearances at both weekends of Coachella, alt-J and Tycho drew a sold-out Fauxchella crowd to U.C. Berkeley’s Greek Theatre this past Friday. Epic weather and one of the most gorgeous venues in Northern California provided the perfect “mise en scene” for the aurally encapsulating bill.

An early crowd that filled the venue to near capacity arrived to witness something quite special, as hometown favorites Tycho opened the night’s festivities. Playing a set that both the band and its fans have anxiously anticipated since the gig was announced in February, Tycho stole the show with their sumptuous production of ambient soundscapes and visual projections.

Tycho


Tycho

With the quartet on what undoubtedly was the largest tour it has ever been a part of, Tycho frontman Scott Hansen took a moment to address the fact that it was the most meaningful show and best crowd that they had ever played in front of to date. In not only making their hometown proud, Tycho also crossed another milestone off their bucket list by performing at a venue that the band members grew up frequenting and only dreamed of getting the chance to play at one day.

Riding off the crowd’s euphoria, alt-J took the stage for a powerful headlining set. The Leeds-based indie rockers emulated what one would expect to see if they were in a festival setting, bringing with them their full-scale production and pulling hits from both their 2012 debut and critically acclaimed sophomore album This Is All Yours. Despite alt-J’s massive sound and incredible light show, the crowd remained a bit subdued during their set.

alt-J


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”.

Playing off the palpable energy of the crowd and intrinsic opulence of the amphitheater, both artists brought a truly unique experience to the spring concert calendar at the Greek Theatre, which seems purposefully built to entertain performances of this artistic caliber. Beautifully executed and perfectly syncopated with its surroundings, this show is one that those in attendance will definitely be talking about for quite some time.

Milky Chance prove at The Regency Ballroom they’ve come a long way in a short amount of time

Milky ChanceBy Justin Yee //

Milky Chance with Mighty Oaks //
The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco
April 15th, 2015 //

It’s amazing what a half year of touring on the road can do for a new band just breaking onto the scene. Since we first caught Milky Chance at their SF debut opening up for Chris Malinchak in October, they’ve added a third member to their live act and have become accustomed to selling out venues five times that size. For their first North America headlining tour, the Bay Area was treated to two sold-out shows at The Regency Ballroom in between their two scheduled Coachella performances.

Apparently battling a sore throat that caused the band’s Coachella set to be cut short, vocalist/guitarist Clemens Rehbein could be seen sipping honey in between songs, though the illness didn’t actually seem to affect his performance. Still, Rehbein was getting all the vocal help he needed from the crowd, which was vibing to the beat and singing along to tracks from the band’s debut album Sadnecessary. The crowd-pleasers included “Flashed Junk Mind” and hit single “Stolen Dance”, which has now racked up over 130 million views on YouTube and plenty of radio play in the U.S.

Milky Chance’s newest touring member Antonio Greger quietly stole the show with his blistering harmonica solos and guitar work. He definitely is a great addition who hopefully continues to tour with the band. Luckily we’ll be seeing the German trio again very soon at Outside Lands, so if you missed it at any of these SF shows, be sure to add them to your list of must-see acts.

Setlist:
Intro
Stunner
Fairytale
Sadnecessary
Flash Junk Mind
Given
Loveland
Sweet Sun
Indigo
Feathery
Nevermind
Running
Stolen Dance

Encore:
Becoming
Down by the River

We can’t stop loving this honeybear who goes by the name of Father John Misty

Father John MistyBy Pedro Paredes //

Father John Misty with King Tuff //
The Fillmore – San Francisco
April 17th, 2015 //

Bay Area music fans had a tough choice to make last Friday. As The Fillmore filled in to see Father John Misty, alt-J and Tycho were playing to a sold-out Greek Theatre across the bay in Berkeley.

At The Fillmore, you could overhear a few people in the audience saying that it was hard to choose which show to attend, while other FJM fans knew where their allegiances lied from the get-go, arriving at the venue early in hopes of standing in the front row.

King Tuff


King Tuff

Opening the night were garage rockers King Tuff, which proved to be an interest pairing with FJM. Though the audience wasn’t all that familiar with them, plenty of people dug their music, following lead singer/guitarist Kyle Thomas’ lead by their bobbing their heads to the beat. The band played a mix of tunes from its 2012 self-titled record and 2014’s Black Moon Spell, but the highlight of its set was “Anthem”, an appropriately-named tune given its sound. You could really tell that the three-piece was putting it all out there and enjoying every moment it was on stage.

The energy inside The Fillmore didn’t let up after King Tuff, as FJM and his bandmates opened with the first song off I Love You, Honeybear (read our community review here), which had the crowd quickly singing along. Between his power poses and stage antics, Joshua Tillman’s showmanship skills, of course, never disappoint — he could probably be a stand-up comedian if he wanted to, given the banter that ensues after each song. That, combined with Tillman’s music, make FJM one of the most entertaining shows you can see live nowadays. Yet, the question still remains: is Tillman simply playing a character?

Panda Bear, Ducktails push Independent crowd to its sensory limit

Panda BearPhotos by James Nagel // Written by Molly Kish //

(((folkYEAH!))) 10 Year Anniversary Show Series: Panda Bear with Ducktails //
The Independent – San Francisco
April 14th, 2015 //

Noah Lennox, one-fourth of the Baltimore experimental outfit Animal Collective and also known for his breakout side project and alias Panda Bear, stopped by The Independent for one of the most anticipated performances of the Bay Area’s annual #Fauxchella festivities.

Fellow Domino Records labelmate Ducktails primed the sold-out crowd with an hour-long opening set. His gorgeous, psychedelic shoegaze entranced the packed venue, with those in attendance there just as much to catch the Real Estate guitarist’s side project as they were to see Panda Bear. Even though Matt Mondanile has been known to perform with a full band, on this current tour stop we were treated to a solo set with a minimalistic stage show focused primarily on his mastery of hypnagogic pop.

Panda Bear

Lennox took the stage near midnight, bringing the late-night audience to life with several tracks off of his critically acclaimed fifth studio album Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. He washed over the mid-size venue in a sea of noise and optical embellishments, including some standout visuals of nature, abstract art and serenely puking muses.

A somewhat challenging set for those unfamiliar with both Mondanile’s and Lennox’s intricate balance between striking and serene soundscapes, the crowd remained absorbed in the intensity of both performances from start to finish. Observably roused and on a sensory overload after having been audibly provoked into the early-morning hours, the crowd left the venue tested and changed for the better.