SF Show of the Week // GO4FREE to HUMANS at Café du Nord 11/10 (FRI)

Written by Chandler Kirkman //

HUMANS with Starfari //
Café du Nord – San Francisco
November 10th, 2017 //

Since forming in 2010, Canadian indie-electronic pop duo HUMANS have consistently impressed audiophiles with their composition skills and reputation of performing with unbelievable amounts of energy.

Vancouver’s own Robbie Slade and Peter Riq created HUMANS after spending the summer making music together and then dropped their self-released EP Avec Mes Mecs, which was quickly accepted as a house-party staple by fans around the globe.

HUMANS have established a unique sound through their successful fusion of experimental-electronic elements and catchy, indie-pop hooks that entered the spotlight on their 2012 EP Traps. Consequently, they held the No. 1 spot on the Earshot Electronic charts for six weeks following the release and continue to receive high praise from music media outlets such as Resident Advisor, DJ Mag and Exclaim!

Over the past few years, HUMANS have toured North America with festival slots at South by Southwest, Squamish Valley Music Festival, Bass Coast Music and Arts Festival, CMJ Music Marathon and more, and have been featured in projects with Red Bull, Entourage and MTV. The duo has also steadily been expanding its creative endeavors into the world of directing and visual artistry.

HUMANS’ latest EP Water Water came out in 2016 and has been a hit with electronic music fans as they continue to bring their high-energy, visually-based performances that use live audio input from the crowd, making each show feel like a one-of-a-kind experience, much like HUMANS’ signature sound.

This Friday, HUMANS will hit the stage at Cafe du Nord as Orange County’s own Starfari gets things started with a DJ set. Tickets are available for $15, or you could win a pair of tickets by submitting your full name and email below.

Contest ends this Friday at 3 p.m.

Follow Showbams on Twitter for more contest giveaways throughout the week. Be the first to respond to our contest tweets to GO4FREE to these shows:

Shigeto: November 9th (THUR) @ Rickshaw Stop
Pell: November 9th (THUR) @ Brick & Mortar Music Hall
Kelley Stoltz: November 9th (THUR) @ The Chapel
Eric Bellinger: November 9th (THUR) @ The New Parish
Escort: November 10th (FRI) @ Mezzanine
Rebirth Brass Band: November 11th (SAT) @ Mezzanine


Enter your name (First and Last) along with your email below. If you win a contest, you’ll be notified on the day the contest ends (details above).


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Once and Future Band crush The Chapel at their record release show

Once and Future BandPhotos by Sam Heller // Written by Kevin Quandt //

Once and Future Band with Kelley Stoltz, Dirty Ghosts //
The Chapel – San Francisco
January 26th, 2017 //

In an era where genre revivals have become commonplace, there is one that hasn’t quite got the 21st-century makeover it truly deserves. That genre is progressive rock. Its history is not a stunningly long one as its heyday was mainly in the early 70’s, but prog was a key element in the canon of rock ‘n’ roll for many decades to follow. Enter Oakland’s Once and Future Band to bring a forgotten style out of the shadows and cruise ships and back to the Bay Area’s indie music scene.

Having played in the Bay the past few years, Once and Future Band have been a well-kept secret among those in the psych-rock scene as they have supplied support for groups like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Battles, to name just a few. Nevertheless, on this Thursday night in late January, most fans at The Chapel had to come to terms with the fact that the secret is out. This banner evening, along with the release of the group’s self-titled debut LP, was a new beginning for a band that has worked tirelessly to curate a sound and style all on its own while drawing in curious ears with a heavy dash of prog rock in addition to a laundry list of legendary influences.

Early arrivals were treated to a pair of SF’s finest rock acts holding down support duties. Dirty Ghosts delivered a stellar set of their choicest tracks led by Allyson Baker, who channeled the likes of Joan Jett in a most impressive manner. As the room filled for Kelley Stoltz, it was pretty evident that the word on this show had traveled far and wide. Stoltz subsequently proved why he’s one of the best performers in the Bay as his sequined jacket acted as a de facto disco ball while he utilized the whole stage as a manner to infuse more charisma into tracks like “Kim Chee Taco Man” and “Double Exposure”. Oh yeah, and he doesn’t like litter bugs either, so take note.

Once and Future Band

It was a bit past 11 p.m. by the time Once and Future Band took the stage, and those fans who feared a slightly delayed start would cut into their time to play were treated to a whopper of a show. Principal songwriter Joel Robinow, formerly of Howlin’ Rain, addressed the exuberant crowd, and many were simply thrilled to see him back onstage after recently healing from a serious elbow injury. Robinow informed us that we’d be treated to the new release from front to back and launched into “How Does it Make You Feel?”, a blistering fury of space prog that was complete with Beach Boys-esque vocal harmonies and more keys and synths than most folks can deal with on the day-to-day. A statement had been made early on as Robinow and his bandmates had fans at The Chapel eating out of their hands within a matter of minutes.

One of the most fascinating aspects of digging into Once and Future Band, and by extension, recommending them to all my musically-inclined acquaintances, is listening which influences they hear in their material, including acts such as Yes, Steely Dan, Zappa, Jeff Lynne and ELO, Pink Floyd and almost anything involving Steven Wilson. Even with a deep bag of influences worn proudly on their sleeves, Once and Future Band churn out a sound that is still as wholly original. “I’ll Be Fine” into “Hide & Seek” were highlights as the lengthy tracks weaved a path of concise musicianship held down by the ever-impressive rhythm section of Eli Eckert (bass, and vocals) and Raj Ojha (drums). Another highlight of the set was the second single released from the record, entitled “Tell Me Those Are Tears of Joy”, which featured the succinct guitar mastery of the ever-stylish Raze Regal.

An extended encore included the bulk of the band’s equally impressive EP Brain. Songs like “Heavenly Bodies” and “Destroy Me” were powerful closing statements for what was already a breathtaking display of prog prowess that showcased Once and Future’s ability to connect with a rather wide, growing fan base. The stamp of Castle Face Records and Burger Records also lends itself to the notion that something special is happening here, something that will catch on as the name continues to spread like the feverish wildfire that assimilates to Once and Future Band’s playing.

Once and Future Band