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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Noise Pop 2016: Relive the festival frame by frame

Noise Pop 2016 - Heartwatch


Heartwatch

Photos by Mike Rosati & Benjamin Wallen // Written by Molly Kish //

Noise Pop //
Bay Area venues – San Francisco & Oakland
February 19th-28th, 2016 //

With the impending storm of summer festival traffic washing away the last remnants of Noise Pop, it’s time to look back at the best highlights from this year’s lineup. Serving up a bill that celebrates the diversity of contemporary independent culture, 2016’s roster was as eclectic as ever, ranging from pop stars to cowpunks (aka country punks), free-form jazz prodigies and indie-rock veterans. Bay Area venues were at capacity on a nightly basis, with crowds braving brisk weather conditions in order to experience the one-of-a-kind performances Noise Pop has spent nearly 25 years curating.

Navigating through more than 100 acts during this year’s festival, we dove right into the thick of it, capturing shots from some of our favorite Noise Pop shows. Check out our photo gallery below as well as more coverage from our friends over at DoTheBay.

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


TSWS_1

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


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


MistakenForStrangers

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