Weezer show a sold-out crowd in their hometown that they can still be wildly entertaining

WeezerBy Josh Herwitt //

Weezer & Pixies with Sleigh Bells //
The Forum – Inglewood, CA
August 8th, 2018 //

It has always been hard for me to take Weezer completely seriously. Of course, when one of your oldest and biggest hits is called “Undone – The Sweater Song” while others like “Pork and Beans” and “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You to) I Want You to” have cultivated their own commercial success, it’s easy to think that the Los Angeles foursome must have shared the stage with Green Jellÿ, Tenacious D or “Weird Al” Yankovic at one point in time over the last 26 years.

Well, one of those whimsical pairings actually became a reality last Wednesday. With a sold-out audience at The Forum welcoming them home during their 30-date, North American co-headlining tour with the Pixies, frontman Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards) and his cohorts — Patrick Wilson (drums), Brian Bell (guitar, backing vocals, keyboards) and Scott Shriner (bass, backing vocals) — gave many of us exactly what we wanted to hear near the end of a 20-song set: their now-viral cover of Toto’s single “Africa” from the group’s 1982 album Toto IV.

But what we didn’t expect to see midway through the tune was Cuomo introducing “Weird Al” Yankovic, who stepped onstage in one of his patented Hawaiian shirts and accordion in hand to perform the last half of it with the band. The crowd erupted upon the announcement, with many shocked by what they were witnessing. For me though, the surprise cameo only further validated some of those preconceptions I had about Weezer being one of rock’s goofiest acts.

Pixies


Pixies

That’s not to say that Cuomo isn’t a talented musician. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The Harvard grad shreds without question, something I never really realized until he uncorked a number of guitar solos, whether it was during “Buddy Holly” to open Weezer’s performance or “Say It Ain’t So” (with a snippet of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”) to put a bow on the show. And while there aren’t many lead singers who can do both, Cuomo certainly remains among some elite company, with Jack White, Trey Anastasio (Phish), Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) also immediately coming to mind.

Cuomo, however, might have all of them beat in one category: costumes. Appearing first in his preppy sweater-and-tie look, he eventually changed into a soccer jersey before later wearing a classic Nirvana T-shirt with the sleeves cut off. If anything, it was even more proof that Weezer don’t take themselves too seriously, considering that the only rock star who I’ve seen live with more costume changes than Cuomo is Axl Rose (and that shouldn’t be very surprising). It’s all part of the band’s playful attitude at the end of the day, and despite the political state that we currently find ourselves in, many of us could use a good laugh or at least a chuckle from time to time (I know I could).

After watching Cuomo and company do their thing for a little more than an hour, there’s no doubt that I have newfound respect for Weezer now. Selling out a 17,505-person arena in the middle of the week is no easy feat, even if the Pixies, who ripped through their own 22-song set in the same amount of time, were on the bill. But there’s a reason why Weezer have been performing second on this tour, and it’s simply because they’re still one of rock’s most wildy entertaining bands out there today — with or without Mr. Yankovic by their side.

WEEZER

Setlist:
Buddy Holly
Beverly Hills
Pork and Beans
Undone – The Sweater Song
Hash Pipe
Perfect Situation
My Name Is Jonas
El Scorcho
In the Garage
The Good Life
Happy Together (The Turtles cover) (with a snippet of “Longview” by Green Day)
Keep Fishin’ (Brian Bell on vocals)
Island in the Sun (Rivers Cuomo solo acoustic)
Take on Me (a‐ha cover) (Rivers Cuomo solo acoustic)
Burndt Jamb (Brian Bell on vocals; with lyrics from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana)
(If You’re Wondering If I Want You to) I Want You to
Feels Like Summer
Africa (Toto cover) (with “Weird Al” Yankovic)

Encore:
Susanne
Say It Ain’t So (with a snippet of “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath)

PIXIES

Setlist:
Gouge Away
Wave of Mutilation
U-Mass
Um Chagga Lagga
Isla de Encanta
Caribou
All the Saints
Cactus
Nimrod’s Son
Mr. Grieves
All I Think About Now
Debaser
Classic Masher
Monkey Gone to Heaven
I’ve Been Tired
Head On (The Jesus and Mary Chain cover)
Tame
Hey
Gigantic
Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)
Where Is My Mind?
Vamos

Trey Anastasio Band create a beautiful blend of originals and covers at the Fox Theater Oakland

Trey Anastasio BandBy Kory Thibeault //

Trey Anastasio Band //
Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland
November 6th-7th, 2015 //

It’s been a huge year for Trey Anastasio, the guitarist of Phish fame. Between a historic year for the Vermont quartet and Anastasio earning an invitation to play alongside the core four of the Grateful Dead this past summer, one might go as far to say the 51-year-old is back on top of his game.

Now that Phish’s summer tour has come to a close, Anastasio has set his focus on Paper Wheels, the latest album for his eponymous-named side project Trey Anastasio Band. While the project lacks the extended jams and darkness of Phish, it is responsible for composing some staples of Phish’s library like “First Tube” and a personal favorite “Sand”. Both tracks made an appearance during Trey Anastasio Band’s two-night run last weekend at the Fox Theater Oakland.

Trey Anastasio Band

Trey Anastasio Band, or TAB for short, allows the guitarist a different outlet in which to explore music. The horn section composed of Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman and James Casey is a huge draw for a fan like myself. The energy created onstage from these musicians was palpable and evident in the ear-to ear-grin plastered on Anastasio’s face throughout the shows.

The two-night run at the Fox was a beautiful blend of Anastasio originals and crowd-pleasing covers, including Gorillaz’s “Clint Eastwood” and Bob Marley’s “Soul Rebel”. But the most moving moment of the weekend was a tribute to longtime Phish booking agent Chip Hooper, who is currently battling cancer in Oakland. An emotional Anastasio honored Hooper for his years of service, attributing every show Phish and TAB have played to his efforts before the band launched into a gorgeous version of “Show of Life”. It was a great pleasure of mine to witness both nights. The energy level was high, and the music was solid.

Trey Anastasio Band

November 6th setlist

Set 1: Tuesday, Sand (Phish cover), Cayman Review, Sweet and Dandy (Toots & The Maytals cover), Magilla (Phish cover), Money, Love and Change, Greyhound Rising, Valentine, The Song, Dark and Down, Soul Rebel (Bob Marley cover), Gotta Jibboo (Phish cover)

Set 2: Alaska (Phish cover), Alive Again, Sometime After Sunset, Curlew’s Call, Spin, Invisible Knife, A Case of Ice and Snow, In Rounds, Shine, Clint Eastwood (Gorillaz cover) (with Chain of Fools quotes), Dazed and Confused (Jake Holmes cover)

Encore: Show of Life (dedicated to TAB and Phish booking agent Chip Hooper who was in a local hospital battling cancer), First Tube (Phish cover)

November 7th setlist

Set 1: Drifting, Acting the Devil (Chris Ardoin and Double Clutchin’ cover), Speak to Me, The Devil Went Down to Georgia (The Charlie Daniels Band cover), Last Tube, It Makes No Difference (The Band cover), Pigtail, Burlap Sack and Pumps, Let Me Lie, 49 Bye-Byes (Crosby, Stills & Nash cover), Night Speaks to a Woman

Set 2: Simple Twist Up Dave, Bounce, Ocelot (Phish cover), Liquid Time (Phish cover), Cartwheels, Wherever You Find It, Mr. Completely, Architect

Encore: Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think) (Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians cover), Small Axe (The Wailers cover), O-o-h Child (Five Stairsteps cover), MacArthur Park (Richard Harris cover)

20 predictions for Grateful Dead’s ‘Fare Thee Well’

Grateful Dead 50 - "Fare Thee Well"By Andy Magnes //

With “Fare Thee Well” upon us and everyone dancin’ in the streets, it’s time to make some predictions for this one final run to be grateful for.

We’re not saying all of these are going to happen, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed!


Prediction #20: There will be no Phish or Bruce Hornsby songs.

This is a Dead affair. Although the devout “Phans” might hear a tease or two, if Trey played a Phish song, I’m pretty sure first generation Deadheads would have a heart attack. Having said that …

Prediction #19: We will hear a Beatles cover.

From one core four to the next.

Prediction #18: For better or worse, the whole run will be one huge singalong.

Time to start warming up those pipes!

Prediction #17: Having said that, there will be a few jams that go DEEP.

We’re predicting “Eyes of the World” goes long.

Grateful Dead 50 - "Fare Thee Well" - Santa Clara

Prediction #16: Santa Clara will be a Sunshine Daydream.

The driest state in the country looks like it’s going to pay off this weekend.

Prediction #15: Soldier Field could be a “Box of Rain”.

The forecast isn’t looking great, but we’ve seen stranger things happen.

Prediction #14: Jeff Chimenti will be the unsung hero of “FTW”.

Out of everyone on stage, he’s the guy in his prime who is the most familiar with the Dead catalog right now.

Prediction #13: Deadheads will feel much better about Trey after Santa Clara.

Trey’s reverence for everything the Dead stood for and his soaring leads will win over many old hearts.

Jay Cutler - cigarette

Prediction #12: “Fare Thee Well” will be the happiest moment at Soldier Field in 2015.

Sorry Jay Cutler, but look on the bright side — this at least gives you an opportunity to smoke cigs on the field.

Prediction #11: Trey will use at least three different guitars.

This is not going to be a Languedoc-heavy affair. After Jerry’s guitar mysteriously disappeared from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, expect some legendary axes to accompany some legendary music.

Prediction #10: Bobby will sit in on at least one late-night show. Trey will not.

These days, Big Red goes to bed while the rest of us rage!

Trey Anastasio - daisy dukes


Courtesy of Phish.net

Prediction #9: To symbolize the passing of the torch, Bobby will bequeath his daisy dukes to Trey.

Our sources tell us this is the main reason they didn’t choose Warren.

Prediction #8: This isn’t the last we’ll see of Trey and Bruce on stage together.

Bruce’s style is a perfect match for Trey’s guitar — like an even more bluesier Page — and after their chemistry shines, we can only hope to see more of this pairing.

Rahm Emmanuel

Prediction #7: Antelope Greg and Mayor Rahm Emanuel will get into a fistfight.

With his turf threatened by the influx of the scene, Raging Rahm will have no choice but to throw down.

[Fun fact: Rahm’s got a Jerry hand!]

Prediction #6: Chicago will open with “Box of Rain”.

It was the last song Jerry played live, in that very stadium, and the core four will no doubt tribute the late, great guitarist.

Prediction #5: “And We Bid You Good Night” will close the Chicago run … and the era.

Not the boldest prediction, but the thought of the whole crowd singing “Good Night” with the core four one more time already gives us the chills.

The Merry Panksters - bus

Prediction #4: There will be at least three Furthur buses on the lot in Chicago.

Probably more. If you have a Furthur bus, you’re coming to the Windy City. Having a geo-centric location will at least pay off in this way.

Prediction #3: Obama in attendance?

The Dead campaigned for him in 2008, it’s in his hometown and he’s officially entering the “IDGAF” portion of his presidency. O-bong hits for Obama!

Prediction #2: Mike Gordon will be raging the Chicago pit … with an enormous cactus rage stick.

You’ll be able to see his scarf for miles.

Prediction #1: Three generations of Deadheads will be in attendance.

It’s more of an observation than a prediction, but wow, what an incredible 50-year ride!


Even though this represents the end of an era, the tradition and spirit of the Grateful Dead is as fresh as ever. Whether you’re seeing Phil Lesh and Friends or Bob Weir & RatDog or you’re taking a new spin on the Dead’s songbook with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead or The Motet’s “Funk Is Dead” tribute, one thing’s for certain: even after the last note rings at Soldier Field, the music will never stop!

Grateful Dead 50 - "Fare Thee Well" - Soldier Field

Phish announce 2015 summer tour and festival

phish-tour-2015Photo by Sam Heller // Written by Kevin Raos //

Jam-band titans Phish have announced their summer tour plans, including the annual Labor Day run at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Colorado.

Additionally, they have announced their 10th festival, the Magnaball, to be held August 21st-23rd in Watkins Glen, N.Y. Tickets for Magnaball GO ON SALE THIS FRIDAY! All information for this festival can be found here.

All of ticketing information can be found here.

2015 SUMMER TOUR DATES

7/21 Les Schwab Amphitheatre, Bend, OR
7/22 Les Schwab Amphitheatre, Bend, OR
7/24 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
7/25 The Forum, Los Angeles, CA
7/28 Austin360 Amphitheater, Austin, TX
7/29 Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, Grand Prairie, TX
7/31 Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood, Atlanta, GA
8/01 Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood, Atlanta, GA
8/02 Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, Tuscaloosa, AL
8/04 Riverfront Park Amphitheater, Nashville, TN
8/05 Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, MO
8/07 Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
8/08 Alpine Valley Music Center, East Troy, WI
8/09 Alpine Valley Music Center, East Troy, WI
8/11 The Mann, Philadelphia, PA
8/12 The Mann, Philadelphia, PA
8/14 Walnut Creek Amphitheater, Raleigh, NC
8/15 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
8/16 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
8/21 Magnaball at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY
8/22 Magnaball at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY
8/23 Magnaball at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY
9/04 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO
9/05 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO
9/06 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO

trey-anastasio-band

RUMOR: Why not Phil Lesh or Trey Anastasio for additional Fare Thee Well Bay Area shows?

GratefulDead-ADMAT-1024x1024By Steven Wandrey //

After the most hyped shows of our lifetimes sold out instantaneously, a million people (literally) were crestfallen and left without tickets. Scalpers’ prices currently range from insulting to outrageous for the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago over Fourth of July weekend.

After overseeing a sell out of epic proportions, the Dead 50 camp surely has dollar signs in their eyes. And why shouldn’t they? If they could stand to pocket millions more dollars by playing four to six more shows, they should.

Now that the rumored date additions at Levi’s Stadium and New York City are seemingly close to fruition, the rumored performers for the Santa Clara shows in late June at Levi’s stadium are: Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Jeff Chimenti, Steve Kimock, John Mayer and Mike Gordon.

While John Mayer pulls some mainstream weight, it’s truly a testament to how strong the Chicago demand was that promoters believe this alleged lineup will safely sell out Levi’s for tickets over $100 face value.

Most importantly, why the possible omission of Phil Lesh and Trey Anastasio? It seems like a slam dunk that Lesh would be a part of his homecoming shows, a short drive from his own venue Terrapin Crossroads.

So what changed? The only obvious change is the swapping of Anastasio for Kimock. Does Lesh have a personal problem with Kimock, who has performed with Phil & Friends in the past? Why would Lesh possibly sit this one out? We’ll update as this one continues to develop.

Watch this performance of “Loser” with Bruce Hornsby and band along with Steve Kimock and Phil Lesh from 1998.

The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2014

St. Vincent at Fox Theatre Oakland // Showbams' Photo of the Year, by Pedro


St. Vincent at Fox Theater Oakland // Showbams’ Photo of the Year, by Pedro Paredes

Ah, year-end lists — they’re an exercise in subjectivity and personal experience if there has ever been one. But what better way is there to learn from each other and discover some great new music while capping off the year and beginning anew?

So, without further ado, Showbams presents The Bam Team’s five favorite shows, albums and songs from 2014.

The 25 Best Live Music Acts of 2014
Showbams’ Top 50 Albums of 2014

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2014:


Darkside at The Fillmore

Darkside at The Fillmore // Photo by James Nagel

Mike Frash // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Darkside at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – January 24th
Looking at my top five shows list for 2014, it appears I favor the weird, ya know, the good weird. This Darkside performance, the only SF show ever (for now) since Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington have put the project on indefinite hold, had patrons at The Fillmore in SF breathing and moving in unison. There was a magical feeling in the air as the hybrid of electronic and organic played out wonderfully with the duo tipping their hat to the past and setting a new standard for the brave new future of live music.

2. Panda Bear at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – May 22nd
3. tUnE-yArDs at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – June 6th
4. Phish at MGM Grand – Las Vegas, NV – October 31st
5. Volcano Choir at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – January 21st

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
Ever since Jamie and Mikey blew my mind performing Run the Jewels almost in its entirety at The Independent in August of 2013, I’ve been a loyal RTJ soldier. And without taking a break, El Producto and Killer Mike stepped it up to an even higher plateau with their production precision, an uncanny balance of fun and intense, while lyrically honing more on the important issues of our time. Sensing the unstoppable momentum, Run the Jewels are already heading back into the studio for Run the Jewels 3. When Mike was recently asked if they’d continue to name their albums numerically, he said “Why not?!? Zeppelin did it!” Exactly. Say it with me now: Festival headliners circa 2016?

2. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
3. D’Angelo – Black Messiah
4. Aphex TwinSyro
5. The Antlers – Familiars

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Sturgill Simpson – “Turtles All the Way Down”
This is country music turned on its head, while staying mostly true to the hallmarks of the genre. Lyrically subversive while instrumentally emotive to the core, this song kept me coming back throughout 2014. It’s positive message of love winning over all else is certainly timeless, but when was the last time you heard a country tune tell a story of mind over matter transcendence? “There’s a gateway in our minds that leads somewhere out there, far beyond this place / Where reptile aliens made of light, cut you up and pull out all your pain.” Stirgill Simpson is as progressive as you can get within the realm of Americana, urging the listener to both think and feel.

2. St. Vincent – “Digital Witness”
3. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
4. FKA twigs – “Two Weeks”
5. Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” feat. Kendrick Lamar


Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails // Photo by Rob Sheridan for NIN.com

Josh Herwitt // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Nine Inch Nails & Soundgarden at Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO – July 21st
What a dream come true. Having the opportunity to see two of my favorite childhood bands at one of the best venues in the country would be hard to beat any year, let alone in 2014. Sharing the bill with Soundgarden on this tour, Trent Reznor made the most of a minimalist stage setup and trimmed-down lineup of sidekicks. Of the four shows (Red Rocks, Chula Vista, Irvine and Hollywood) I saw on this tour, this one felt particularly special. If this was one of the last times I ever got to see Nine Inch Nails perform live, it was a night I will never forget.

2. Jack White at The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – June 10th
3. Cinquanta featuring Puscifer, A Perfect Circle and Failure at The Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – May 10th
4. Queens of the Stone Age at The Forum – Los Angeles, CA – October 31st
5. Tool at Valley View Casino Center – San Diego, CA – March 16th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. The Black KeysTurn Blue
Akron’s favorite rockers answered the call this year, following up their Grammy-winning album El Camino with arguably their most ambitious effort to date — especially when you consider the turmoil that surrounded Dan Auerbach’s life at the time of its recording. Over the last five years, the Keys have become one of rock’s biggest bands, but they haven’t stopped taking risks as a result. Turn Blue dabbles in a myriad of styles, from the psychedelic sound of Pink Floyd on its opening track “Weight of Love” to the hip-hop groove on “10 Lovers.” For as many critics as they have, Auerbach and Patrick Carney have come a long way since their early years as strictly a blues duo.

2. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
3. Jack WhiteLazaretto
4. Aphex TwinSyro
5. Death from Above 1979The Physical World

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Jack White – “High Ball Stepper”
Jack White seems to be on another level these days. The former White Stripe has grown into one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most exciting talents, and this blues-heavy, instrumental track showcases that better than any other offering on Lazaretto. White’s ferocious guitar riffs dominate the tune, taking listeners on an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. And when he plays “High Ball Stepper” live, the song takes on a new whole life of its own.

2. Foo Fighters – “Something for Nothing”
3. Interpol – “All the Rage Back Home”
4. TV on the Radio – “Happy Idiot”
5. Tycho – “Awake”


Jack White at BGCA // Photo by

Jack White at Bill Graham Civic // Photo by David James Swanson

Steven Wandrey // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Jack White at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – August 22nd
From the dramatic curtain drop that slammed into high-octane rock, this show never let off the gas. Even with a bum ankle, Jack White stalked the stage and held power over the crowd. When the slowest moments of a show are White Stripes ballads that you’re giddy to hear and the other half of the show is headbanging, guitar-slinging rock, it’s easy to see how this show cemented itself as the best of 2014.

2. Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeabor at The Warfield – San Francisco, CA – May 6th
3. The War on Drugs at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – April 1st
4. Run the Jewels at Mezzanine – San Francisco, CA – November 14th
5. Duck Sauce at Outside Lands Music Festival – August 9th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. Flying LotusYou’re Dead!
This album makes me feel like I’m actually traveling through the underworld to the land of the dead. From front to back, the first thing that caught me about this album was its consistent message. Steven Ellison has an inviting sense of storytelling that’s infused with hip-hop but touches on an array of different music styles, involving a star-studded cast of guests, including Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat and Snoop Dog. I have a feeling Flying Lotus is on the forefront of creative hip-hop and that this album will prove to be influential down the line. More importantly, I just love listening to it. Taking wild turns from frenetic to serene, listening to this album from start to finish is a journey.

2. Aphex TwinSyro
3. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
4. Future IslandsSingles
5. Tweedy – Sukierae

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Run the Jewels – “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”
The minimalist production and deep, rumbling bass frequencies have helped this track become my No. 1 listened to on the album and also No. 1 for the year. The complimentary flow that El-P and Killer Mike have together is on display in this track. This cut has infected my brain like a virus (the good kind?), and I just can’t get enough.

2. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
3. Sam Smith – “I’m Not the Only One”
4. Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
5. Perfume Genius – “Queen”


Future Islands at The Chapel // Photo by

Future Islands at The Chapel // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Kevin Quandt // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Future Islands at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 12th
It’s been a banner year for the Baltimore darlings we have grown to love as Future Islands. Breaking through the underground touring circuit to being a highly sought-after festival act was quick and clean as the passionate stage performance of Samuel Harrington could not be ignored by growing audiences. A packed Gobi Tent was eating from the frontman’s palm as Herrington poured himself out on stage, belting out a set heavy on new tracks and old favorites. It was a pivotal point where both the band and audience knew that Future Islands had arrived at the next stage of their career.

2. The Cure at BottleRock Napa Valley – Napa, CA – May 30th
3. Phish at MGM Grand Arena – Las Vegas, NV – October 31st
4. Connan Mockasin at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – May 15th
5. Deerhoof at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – November 18th 

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream 
Adam Granduciel had one helluva 2014 to brag about. His third studio album Lost in the Dream was an overwhelming success, and all for good reason as the lush waves of rock swell over the listener like a warm Christmas sweater, just less ugly than the one you wore to that one party. “Under the Pressure” opens this release in epic fashion and does not let up from there. Guitar rock is not dead!

2. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
3. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
4. D’Angelo – Black Messiah 
5. White Fence – For the Recently Found Innocent  

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
Steven Ellison’s left-field meditation on death, as demonstrated on 2014’s release You’re Dead!, is not for everyone and is more about the full album than the sum of its parts (tracks). However, there is one shining beacon of a collaboration that could not be cast aside in the form of “Never Catch Me”. The partnership of one of the hottest MCs with one of the most sought-after producers was meant to be a brutally infectious slice of off-kilter street music. 

2. Caribou – “Can’t Do Without You”
3. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
4. Beck – “Blue Moon”
5. Ariel Pink – “Put Your Number in My Phone”


Ryan Adams at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2014

Ryan Adams at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2014 // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Pete Mauch // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Phish at MGM Grand – Las Vegas, NV – October 31st
Phish has made the tradition of covering other artists albums on Halloween, and this year they completely outdid themselves by covering essentially an album of only narrative and spooky sounds. The Disney-produced album The Thrilling and Chilling Sounds of the Taunted House was turned into a rock opera of sorts as Trey and company worked through completely new songs based off just minimal sounds, but the night didn’t just end there. The band played this rock opera sandwiched between two very strong sets of original Phish songs that could have held its own alone.

2. Lettuce’s Late Night in Red Barn at Summer Camp Music Festival – Chillicothe, IL – May 22nd
3. Future Islands at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 12th
4. Ryan Adams at The Fox Theater Pomona – Pomona, CA – October 11th
5. Todd Terje at FYF Fest – Los Angeles – August 24th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
When someone as prolific as Ryan Adams puts out a new record, you buy that record and you listen intently. The songs in his first self-titled album may seem simple at first listen, but they stay with you in the back of your mind until you just can’t take it and you re-listen again and again. This is exactly how what I’ve been doing the past few months since the release. Songs like “Gimme Something Good” and “Am I Safe” prove once again that Adams is still on top of his game.

2. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
3. moe. – No Guts, No Glory
4. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
5. Greensky Bluegrass – If Sorrows Swim

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
“People change / You know but some people never do / You know when people change, they gain a piece but they lose one too.” These lyrics are so uplifting and real, and the music to accompany these amazing lyrics ties the emotion perfectly together.

2. The War on Drugs – “Under the Pressure”
3. The Barr Brothers – “Come in the Water”
4. Temples – “Shelter Song”
5. Caribou – “Can’t Do Without You”


Old Crow Medicine Show at The Regency // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Old Crow Medicine Show at The Regency // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Pedro Paredes // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Darkside at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – January 24th
The album Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington put together in 2013 was a delight for the ears, but with the show they played at The Fillmore, they were going after every sense in your body. Jaar once said that Darkside’s music was more experiential rather than musical, and they surely succeeded in delivering one of the best musical experiences to all the lucky attendants on that cold January night.

2. Future Islands at The Chapel – San Francisco, CA – April 10th
3. St. Vincent at The Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – March 22nd
4. James Blake at The Chapel – San Francisco, CA – December 7th
5. Old Crow Medicine Show at The Masonic – San Francisco, CA – September 20th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. BeckMorning Phase
Beck’s Morning Phase follows the same breezy style as Sea Change, but the latter’s serenity seems to come from darker places. Morning Phase is, as the title suggests, a bit brighter and sets the tone for all the good things yet to come.

2. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
3. Real EstateAtlas
4. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
5. Perfume Genius – Too Bright

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. alt-J – “Nara”
It is hard to isolate “Nara” as the best song of Alt-J’s latest album This is All Yours since the story told in it is not exclusive to that song and it comes back in different sections of the album (as well as in some of the musical arrangements). But “Nara”, a song about love, deserves to be listened again and again. The 2:58 mark is bliss to my ears.

2. tUnE-yArDs – “Water Fountain”
3. Run the Jewels – “Love Again”
4. Perfume Genius – “Fool”
5. Angel Olsen – “Hi-Five”


St. Vincent at Fox Theater Oakland // Photo by

St. Vincent at Fox Theater Oakland // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Andrew Pohl // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. Nine Inch Nails & Soundgarden at Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA – August 24th
I had never seen either band live before and based on my experience, it was like they had never broken up or aged since the ’90s. Amazing stage/light shows to go along with what was hands down my most eagerly anticipated show of the year.

2. Cibo Matto at Slim’s – San Francisco, CA – February 26th
3. American Football at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – December 12th
4. Failure at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – May 14th
5. Crosses at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – March 30th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. St. VincentSt. Vincent
This album comes off like a chameleon, with many shifts but always staying very characteristically St. Vincent. I feel that she is one of the more important artists to come around over the last few years, and I am excited to see what she does next.

2. Nothing – Guilty of Everything
3. BeckMorning Phase
4. Fugazi – First Demo
5. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Spoon – “Do You”
Spoon have a knack for throwing a good toe tapper in their albums. This song is short and sweet, and you cannot help but get caught up in its infectiousness.  

2. Ryan Adams – “Give Me Something Good”
3. St. Vincent – “Prince Johnny”
4. TV on the Radio – “Could You”
5. Nothing – “Bent Nail”


Arcade Fire at Shoreline Amphitheater // Photo by Justin Yee

Arcade Fire at Shoreline Amphitheater // Photo by Justin Yee

Justin Yee // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1) Future Islands at South by Southwest (Cheer Up Charlie’s) – Austin, TX – March 13th
2) Arcade Fire at Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA – July 30th
3) Chromeo at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – April 12th
4) James Blake at The Chapel – San Francisco, CA – December 7th
5) Outkast at Treasure Island Music Festival – San Francisco, CA – October 18th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1) Future IslandsSingles
2) The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
3) ODESZA – In Return
4) Flying LotusYou’re Dead!
5) CaribouOur Love

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1) Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
2) Chromeo – “Come Alive” feat. Toro y Moi
3) Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” feat. Kendrick Lamar
4) Chet Faker – “1998”
5) Mac Demarco – “Let Her Go”


James Blake at The Chapel //

James Blake at The Chapel // Photo by Pedro Paredes

Eric Shaden // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. James Blake at The Chapel – San Francisco, CA – December 7th
I feel bad telling friends about how great this show was since so few people were able to get tickets. An intimate venue hosting such a phenomenal artist was a no-brainer for my top pick. James covered hits from his albums as well as debuted new tracks and an incredible interlude of house jams. I just wish more friends could have seen this!

2. Chromeo at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – April 12th
3. Todd Terje at FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA – August 24th
4. tUnE-yArDs at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – June 6th
5. Holy Ghost! at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – San Francisco, CA – April 30th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
What else can be said about this album that hasn’t been covered already? An outstanding sequel to Run the Jewels that expands on the original with top-notch production and punishing delivery from El-P and Killer Mike. Without a doubt my top choice of the year.

2. Syd Arthur – A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble
3. D’Angelo – Black Messiah 
4. Sinkane – Mean Love
5. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. D’Angelo – “Sugah Daddy”
I imagine D’Angelo coming back with his long-awaited album in December showed which writers/blogs/etc. wrote their “Best of the Year” lists early. His style of soulful R&B is sorely needed, and “Sugah Daddy” is my favorite from the album. Looking forward to his tour in 2015!

2. Caribou – “Our Love”
3. Aphex Twin – “minipops 67 [120.2]”
4. Jungle – “Time”
5. Jamie xx – “Sleep Sound”


High Sierra Music Festival // Photo by Benjamin Wallen

High Sierra Music Festival // Photo by Benjamin Wallen

Benjamin Wallen // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. High Sierra Music Festival – Quincy, CA – July 2nd-5th
2. Paul McCartney at Candlestick Farewell – Candlestick Park – San Francisco, CA – August 14th
3. Jamestown Revival at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – November 28th
4. The String Cheese Incident at Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – April 24th
5. Greensky Bluegrass at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – November 14th


Cali-Roots_fix

Scott Martin // San Jose

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. California Roots Music Festival at Monterey Fairgrounds – Monterey, CA – May 23rd-25th
2. Rival Sons, Soft White Sixties & Sir Madam at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – September 25th
3. The Pimps of Joytime at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – February 15th
4. Caravan Palace & Rosin Coven at The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA – April 16th
5. Jackie Greene at The Catalyst Club – Santa Cruz, CA – March 26th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. Bears Den – Islands
2. Milky Chance – Sadnecessary
3. Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
4. Mighty Oaks – Howl
5. Solstafir – Otta

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Bears Den – “Agape”
2. Bears Den – “Isaac”
3. Milky Chance – “Down by the River”
4. Mighty Oaks – “The Great Northwest”
5. Crosses – “Bitches Brew”


MIA at BFD // Photo by Marc Fong

MIA at BFD // Photo by Marc Fong

Nikki DeMartini // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2014
1. MIA at Shoreline Amphitheatre for BFD 2014 – Mountain View, CA – June 1st
It had been four years since I saw MIA live and even though I’d prefer to see her play her own show rather than a set at a music festival, I was super excited to see her at BFD last summer. It was the first time in nearly 10 years that my cousin and I went to LIFE105’s annual summer show together. We lucked out and upgraded our tickets just in time to see MIA’s performance. Both of us were out of our seats, singing and dancing along to every song as soon as her set started. I was beside myself as MIA herself made her way off the stage, up into the seats of the venue and stopped near our row to spit lyrics as fans gathered and danced around her, myself included. I still can’t believe I danced with MIA!

2. OK Go at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – July 16th
3. Die Antwoord at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – May 22nd
4. Sylvan Esso at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – June 6th
5. MS MR at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – April 15th

Top 5 Albums of 2014
1. Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso
When I covered Sylvan Esso at The Fillmore earlier this year (when they opened for tUnE-yArDs), I had no idea who they were but ended up leaving the show a fan. Their self-titled debut album is an uplifting mix of danceable electropop tracks and indie rock that’s easy to lose yourself in. Their sparkly, layered and melodic sounds translate well whether you’re listening to the album or seeing them live. Sylvan Esso is one of three albums I bought in 2014, and it’s been on repeat ever since I picked it up.

2. Glass Animals – Zaba
3. Die Antwoord – Donker Mag
4. Iggy Azalea – The New Classic
5. First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

Top 5 Songs of 2014
1. Tove Lo – “Habits (Stay High)”
I really enjoy the simple percussion-driven melody and voluptuous vocals of Tove Lo’s hit single “Habits (Stay High)”. The subtle, yet engaging buildup to her belting, emotionally-charged lyrics has me singing along and turning it up every time I hear it on the radio. While it is very catchy, it’s not a super dancey song. However, it is a great go-to for karaoke. 

2. Die Antwoord – “Rat Trap 666”
3. Sylvan Esso – “Hey Mami”
4. First Aid Kit – “My Silver Lining”
5. The Dead Weather – “Buzzkill(er)”

Showbams_Sticker_Rectangle2

The 15 best stage banter spewing musicians in live music today

Father-John-Misty
Photo by Sam Heller // Written by Mike Frash & Kevin Quandt //

For better or worse, these 15 artists entertain, control and impact the collective mindset of a capacity crowd with between-song bantering as much as their music. Here’s a hint: we like our banter dry.

What did we miss? Drop us a comment to to continue the flow.


15. Dan Deacon
Dan Deacon’s stage banter serves the purpose of helping to curate a mad, collective experience. If you’ve never taken the Dan Deacon plunge, do it. And come with an open heart and mind. -MF


14. Samuel Herring (Future Islands)
Samuel Herring’s motivational banter nicely segues into Future Islands’ songs, combining over-the-top crowd engagement, fully-committed dance moves and passion that boarders on possession. For example, when introducing “Lighthouse” (watch above at 4:24), Herring says “this is a song about those dark moments in our lives, and the friends and the family that bring us back.” Here the introduction makes you ponder about the song’s lyrical meaning, magnifying its importance. -MF


13. Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day)
Billie Joe Armstrong has already had a long, epic career on stage and has seen it all and has done it all. After one logs as much time as Green Day on stage, some epic moments in banter/antic history are bound to happen. In the early days, they egged on the crowd to pelt them with clumps of mud, while more recently Billie Joe has decided to take his anger out on the teleprompter crew and likely be extension, Clear Channel. -KQ


12. Tom Waits
Tom Waits is no doubt one of a kind, and the man surely isn’t a road warrior these days on the live circuit. But he did perform at Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit last year to steal the show with his banter as much as his iconic, raspy voice. -MF


11. Dave Matthews
If the whole music thing doesn’t work out for Dave Matthews, he can likely take up a career in being an aspiring stand-up comedian as he has entertained crowds between songs for decades. The stream-of-conscience delivery that Matthews regularly launches into has become a fond pastime for longtime fans, even going as far to create an endearing term for it known as “davespeak”. -KQ


10. Jack White
White can talk up a storm during his gratifying live performances — no doubt he’s in the running for best live musical act of 2014. The biggest rock star in the world made headlines earlier this year at Fenway Park when he trashed Rolling Stone while also dumping on the Foo Fighters. But White’s banter can also be fun, lighthearted and engaging, something most everyone can appreciate. -MF



9. Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age)
Ya don’t fuck with Josh Homme when he is onstage. Period. However, if this happens, you should be prepared to be entertained, as he will fully launch into a tirade of epic proportions upon his deserved target. I weep for those who have been on the receiving end of these legendary diatribes. -KQ


8. Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams’s passion flows from him like an angst-filled teenager, often spastic and random. But at his headlining show at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass this year, Adams transitioned his banter into an impromptu gem revolving around a someone holding balloons in the back of the park in SF. If you haven’t yet, listen to his new album — it’s wholly deserving of being his self titled record. Also, watch this montage of banter highlights from the aughts. -MF


7. Les Claypool
Les Claypool is weird in all the right ways. And he’s willing to stop mid-show and comment on circumstances that surround him, whether he gets spit on from the pit, gets hit with an empty water bottle by some spunion or if he witnesses two chicks brawling front and center. -MF


6. Jeff Tweedy
Tweedy has interpreted Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” as historical spoken word poetry. There’s the time the Wilco frontman told the story of ending up two doors down from former bandmate Jay Farrar in Mexico. No matter the show, his banter contains the all important element of surprise, even that time he said “I’m trying to balance fun with crushing depression. Always a challenge.” Dry wit and wisdom define the man, yes indeed. -MF


5. Run the Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P)
El-P and Killer Mike are two of the most creative minds in music, plain and simple. You hear it in their rhymes and in El-P’s production, but also in how they grasp control of the crowd between songs. A perfect example: El Producto’s recent story about meeting Mark Kozelek before they took to their competing sets at Fun Fun Fun Fest. El got his crowd to yell “Suck My Dick Sun Kil Moon”, injecting Run the Jewels into Kozelek’s war on The War on Drugs. And the duo’s banter about finding your own 36″ Chain is an empowering lesson of personal pride and swagger over materialism. On top of that, count on Killer Mike and El-P to crush every moment with excitement and ownership. Just never forget, Run the Jewels is not for your children. -MF


4. Mac Demarco
Mac Demarco holds a mellow, irreverent spirit that is contagious. He can also stage dive like a boss, too. Then there was that time he performed naked and semi-attempted to stick the mic up his bum. He’ll never live it down. He often introduces his songs with a healthy dose of charm, and you gotta love his propensity for spontaneity. The key ingredient: Demarco ain’t afraid to engage with his audience and among the band, creating a spoken word moment out of nothing. -MF


3. Kanye West
Stage banter usually means an epic rant or four when it comes to Yeezus live, and some of the soliloquies this year have lasted longer than a Type II Phish jam. At London Wireless Festival, Kanye gave a 20 minute-plus speech, he addressed the “Fuck Kanye” mantra, attacked the media and proclaimed he’s the No. 1 fucking rock star on the planet in his return to Bonnaroo. And at Outside Lands this year, West commanded that we “make some circles … and push whoever is next to you and shit.” In most all cases, Kanye’s stage banter collects both awes and boos, while at the same time, signifying his narcissistic tendencies better than any South Park joke or comedic parody. -MF


2. Father John Misty
I know it’s early, but J. Tillman is on a legendary path. Sure, he’s a captivating storyteller, but he also has the uncanny ability to add improvised, add-on words and phrases at the end of each line at a whim (particularly with his acoustic performances). You get the sense that Tillman looks to keep things interesting for himself above all else, a quality that churns out memorable performances night after night. Most impressively, Father John Misty has created a performance space that consistently questions our collective reality, hoisting his freak flag high and daring you to come along for the adventure. What’s ultimately so captivating is how he doesn’t let you in on the joke, if there even is one to begin with. -MF


1. Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon)
Kozelek has had a career-defining year that has spanned beyond the brilliant Benji. His stage banter included telling one festival audience “all you rednecks, shut the fuck up”, and in the musical feud of the year, Koz fought a one-sided battle against The War on Drugs, going on a relentless campaign against the band when their overlapping festival sets sent the WOD speaker sound across the field to invade Sun Kil Moon’s set.

To commemorate the beef, Kozelek wrote a song, “War on Drugs: Suck My Cock”, which describes how the whole thing began — with stage banter, bringing the whole thing full circle by creating a song that he promised on the stage that day. Talk about manifesting reality. By the way, Mark, I was at The War on Drugs show at The Fillmore that night, and I didn’t take no bridge or tunnel.

It’s improvised stage banter on a genius level while also often abrasive, cruel and surly. But holy shit does it suck you in like a controlling bully on the schoolyard, forcing you to stand still so you aren’t the next target. And if you’re doubting Kozelek’s banter at all, just listen to these wise words. -MF

Run-The-Jewels

9 Sports Anthems for the 21st Century

21st-Century-Sports-Anthems_FIX

Whether it’s Brian Wilson running out to the pitchers mound to House of Pain’s “Jump Around” or a proud little league coach blaring “We are the Champions” after a big win, music has always played an important role in sports. Arguably the biggest weekend in all of sports is upon us, the Super Bowl, and here at Showbams we decided to compile a list of our favorite modern day jock jams.

Sports anthems have fueled athletes for decades and unfortunately a lot of those songs have gone stale. Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” is a classic example of a great anthem, particularly in “Rocky III”, but it’s been extremely played out in high school gyms, college arenas, and pro stadiums since 1982. Here is a list of modern day sports anthems that have either already made it to arenas or should be there soon.


9. “We Are The People”Empire Of The Sun
In the vein of Queen’s “We Are The Champions”, the anthemic line “We are the people who rule the world” sums up that “just won the game” braggart euphoria after a big win.


8. “Paddling Out”Miike Snow
Besides the fact that this could be any pro surfer’s theme song, this track could be used for any teams entrance as they come roaring out of the locker room.
 


7. “One Big Holiday”My Morning Jacket
” A bad man from California” needs to make this his pitching entrance.


6. “Empire State of Mind”Jay Z
When the biggest sports team in the world claims this as their anthem after they win the world series then it deserves to be on this list.


5. “Wilson” Phish 
An unusual-yet-awesome connection between Russell Wilson, Seahawks fans, and this classic Phish track is why it makes our list. If Seattle wins the big one then Phish was the 13th man. WIIILLLSOOOOON!!!!!


4. “Genesis” Justice
I can imagine a hockey team pouring onto the ice just as this beat drops. The crowd would go bonkers.


3. “Unstoppable”Santigold
If this song doesn’t get you off of your bench seat in the outfield then I don’t know what will. The sheer rhythm of this track and the catchy lyrics make it a “should-be” stadium anthem. Hell — it was the song that soundtracked one man’s proclivity to party-start at Sasquatch.


2. “Howlin’ For You”The Black Keys
This song has definitely made it to the big time as far as air time goes, but just recently the Phoenix Coyotes have started to use it after every goal and win.”Ohh baby I’m Howlin for you.”


1.”Seven Nation Army”The White Stripes
This track has already achieved sports anthem fame, but I bet Jack White would have never guessed his song would be chanted in international soccer stadiums by arguably the most enthusiastic fans in the world.

Showbams’ top shows of 2013

Top-Shows-of-2013

It’s been a rich year for music, but since most artists no longer rake in as much cash as they did in the past from record sales, performing live has become more essential. Easy access to streaming and torrents has created a world where music fans cultivate an increasingly wide-ranging palette. In turn, festivals have become exponentially more popular, out of necessity and due to the communal, diverse experiences festivals offer.

Most of the Showbams Team lives and frequents concerts in the Bay Area music scene (that’s what the “BAMS” in “Showbams” stands for), so many of our staff picks for best shows of 2013 took place in or around San Francisco.

The best live music performers blow minds on a nightly basis as they zig zag across the world, so if an act made our list, they probably left a lasting impact near you as well.

Click the links below to view the original show review.

El-P & Killer Mike as Run The Jewels - Photo by James Nagel

El-P & Killer Mike as Run The Jewels // Photo by James Nagel

Mike Frash // Founder, Editor, Columnist // @MikeFrash

01. El-P & Killer Mike (Run The Jewels) – The Independent – July 31st
El-P & Killer Mike provided the most engrossing live performance I witnessed this past year, both in their opening solo sets and their combined tour de force as Run The Jewels. Killer Mike, perhaps the most fascinating rapper on the planet, had the audience in the palm of his hands by enforcing crowd participation while performing “R.A.P. Music” and an a cappella version of “Reagan”. El-P’s set contrasted perfectly with Mike’s more message-driven set, but the the most magical moments occurred when the duo donned their “36” Chains”. The super-clever spits came at machine gun pace, faster than brains can process, and El-P’s weird, abrasive-yet-fun production work kept the show flowing at a delightfully hyperactive pace. The future is blindingly bright for Run The Jewels as they aim to take the throne.

02. Nine Inch Nails – Outside Lands – August 10th
Nine Inch Nails triumphantly returned this summer after a couple last minute personnel changes, but in the end it felt as though Trent Reznor knows exactly what he is doing. Far from feeling like a greatest hits nostalgia show (while they did play nearly all their big singles), Nine Inch Nails guided the uninitiated (including myself) by unfolding the performance in segments. Starting with “Copy of A” from this year’s Hesitation Marks, the first portion was distinctively electronic as shadows silhouetted the players onto the background of the stage. Then the stage opened up to reveal a live drum set, and a handful of pure rock tracks took over. From there, the mix of crunchy, industrialized rock and alternative metal that NIN is known for, including “March of the Pigs” and “Head Like a Hole”, became the focal point. In all honesty, show closer “Hurt” elicited some tears. The experience was intense, surprisingly dance-oriented and breathtakingly emotional.

03. Savages – The Independent – September 29th
Savages made a big splash this year with their album Silence Yourself, and much of the publicity for the all female foursome out of London came from their phone “ban” at concerts. The idea behind this was to instill the idea of immersion into concert goers. Savages successfully put on a show that exhibited a “live in the moment” mentality through their songs and stage presence, and in turn the audience followed Jenny Beth and company to be hypnotically entranced. Savages curated a wholly attentive experience through the use of contrast, most notably in their look, their use of black and white, and the way Savages ultimately contrast with every other group that performs live.

04. Foals – Coachella (Weekend 1) – April 12th
05. Atoms For Peace – Treasure Island Music Festival – October 29th
06. Deerhunter – FYF – August 24th
07. Bassnectar – Fox Theater Oakland – September 19th
08. Alt-J – Not So Silent Night at Oracle Arena – December 7th
09. The Flaming Lips and Tame Impala with White Denim – Bill Graham Civic – October 31th
10. Eric Prydz – Coachella (Weekend 1) – April 14th


Phoenix // Photo by Chaya Frash

Phoenix // Photo by Chaya Frash

Molly Kish // Artist Relations Manager, Columnist // @MollyKish

01. Phoenix – The Independent – April 1st
Preceding the release of their arena-filling 2013 smash album Bankrupt!, Phoenix stopped by San Francisco’s very own 500 person capacity venue to debut the new material. A last minute performance hosted a packed crowd of industry professionals and die-hard fans alike, and the setting felt more like a jam packed album release party than legitimate rock show. The French foursome dynamically performed their brand new tracks, fully engaging the attention of the audience through an intense stage show which fully used the venue’s limited space. Lead singer Thomas Mars even went as far as to stage dive, crowd surf, scale the back wall and return back full circle mid-encore without missing a beat. Catching a band of this magnitude, in a venue this size, performing yet to be released material was a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that anyone lucky enough to experience will undoubtedly remember forever.

02. Fiona Apple and Blake Mills – Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkely – October 8th
The only Bay Area stop on their “Anything We Want Tour”, guitar prodigy Blake Mills and the combustible Fiona Apple headlined an intimate performance this past October at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. Billed as joint headliners, Mills and Apple playfully supported and challenged each other for command of the completely improvised set list and cohesively chaotic stage show that unveiled. The lecture hall audience was treated to a concert that highlighed both artists individuality, and as a collaborative duo, exercising complete creative control over an occasionally uncomfortably raw, extremely uncensored and truly unique live music experience.

03. Matthew Dear – Mezzanine – May 22nd
Catching the Ghostly International co-founder and experimental dance artist Matthew Dear in the spatial dimensions of the Mezzanine is amazing enough, however if the dance floor is nowhere near half capacity, you’re in for an unforgettable, private performance. Accompanied by a four person live band, Matthew Dear took the stage this past May with the bravado of a veteran rock star. Playing as though he were performing to a sold out arena, he dramatically danced and belted his way through crowd rousing favorites from his entire catalogue. Stage show theatrics involving the dismemberment of dozens of white roses and passionate crowd interactions stunned the unassuming audience members. The band dynamics, amazing set list and impeccably charismatic Matthew Dear ultimately enticed the intrigue of the entirely undersold venue, prompting everyone to actively participate in the spectacle that evening.

04. Major Lazer – The Independent – March 28th
05. Moving Units – DNA Lounge – September 11th
06. Washed Out – Rickshaw Stop – August 29th
07. Toro Y Moi – The Independent – March 2nd
08. The Postal Service – The Greek Theater Berkeley – July 27th
09. Yeasayer – Mezzanine – April 12th
10. Muse – Oracle Arena – January 28th


Arcade Fire as The Reflektors // Photo by Kevin Quandt

Arcade Fire as The Reflektors // Photo by Kevin Quandt

Kevin Quandt // Assistant Editor, Columnist // @KJQuandt

01. Arcade Fire as The Reflektors – Hollywood Palladium – October 31st
When I was lucky enough to score a ticket to this Halloween extravaganza, I knew I would be in for something special as I was in the process of falling in love with Reflektor. After donning a sharp suit and heading to Hollywood Boulevard, my show companion and I began to realize this was gonna be something special. The Palladium was alive as soon as you walked though the doors as revelers danced, socialized and admired each others outfits worn on this night. Obviously the band played heavy on the new tracks and the crowd was eating out of their hand for the duration with highlights such as “Here Comes the Night Time” and “We Exist”, to name a few. The evening didn’t end once the performance was done as the band joined the crowd for a post-show dance party to rival most. By the time we cruised out into the chilly night we were pretty thoroughly damp from the sweat that had amassed inside, and all was right on a Halloween in Hollywood.

02. Tame Impala – Coachella (Weekend 1) – April 14th
The continuously impressive Australian act delivered a loaded 40 minute set displaying their ability to crush, and expand, tracks on stage like rock and roll champs. Blustery winds blew through the Empire Polo Fields,  shaking the rows of palm trees behind the stage as if nature was swaying to the psychedelic goodness being enjoyed by the sizable crowd. The conditions may have led to some minor issues with a MIDI keyboard, but that didn’t phase them in the least and powered into a different direction without missing a beat. “Elephant” had an extended interlude before closing with old classic, “Half Full Glass of Wine”. Optimism at it’s finest.

03. Paul McCartney – Outside Lands – August 9th
A Friday night set just shy of 40 songs punctuated the first day of Outside Lands as living legend Paul McCartney captivated a packed crowd. Though not my first time seeing Sir Paul show, it was a special one in many ways on a foggy summer evening. The tenderness of “Blackbird” is always a thing of beauty, and the recently road-approved Beatles tune “Lovely Rita” were just a few of the highlights from this banner set. Macca has got it, straight up. I have preached to the power of his show since I was 15 years old, and on this night many got to experience that power first hand.

04. Phish – Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys – July 31st
05. Holy Ghost! – Treasure Island Music Festival – October 19th
06. Mac DeMarco – FYF – August 25th
07. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Fox Theater Oakland – July 21st
08. Thee Oh Sees – The Independent – January 11th
09. Pickwick – The Getty Center – Los Angeles, CA – July 13th
10. The Walkmen & Father John Misty – The Fillmore – January 24th


Sigur Rós // Photo by Marc Fong

Sigur Rós // Photo by Marc Fong

Pete Mauch // Festival Manager & Columnist // @PeteMauch

01. Sigur Rós – Coachella (Weekend 2) – April 20th
Icelandic rockers Sigur Rós closed out night two of Coachella and put on an amazing performance that was highlighted by one of the most impressive visually striking stage set ups that I’ve seen. In addition to the mesmerizing video screen portrayal of various beautiful landscapes, the stage also had lamps with exposed bulbs that would light up in time to the music. The band was joined by a string and horn section for this unique experience, adding great texture to their already layered sound. The set was heavy on newer songs from their most recent album Kveikur with older tracks sprinkled in, which pleased new and old fans alike.  Sigur Rós provide a truly amazing experience.

02. M83 with Hollywood Bowl Orchestra – Hollywood Bowl – September 22nd
French indie-pop rockers stepped it up at the Hollywood Bowl this year with a little help from the in house orchestra.  It’s always tricky when mixing string instruments with electronic synthesizers, not to mention the full band, but M83 found the perfect medium. The band worked through most of their big hits like “Midnight City” and “Wait” with serious ambition and the subtle compliments from the orchestra really made the overall sound fuller.

03. Tame Impala – Fox Theater Pomona – May 30th  
This Australian Psychedelic band had a banner year as they played all over the world, but on this particular night in Pomona they showcased why they are going to be one of the biggest bands around. Their sound is pure psychedelic bliss that oozes ever so sweetly over your ears. The band weaved effortlessly between older tracks like “Desire Be Desire Go” and newer songs like the ever so popular “Elephant” and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”. After a solid two plus hour set, Tame Impala walked off the stage and I found myself standing there speechless. 

04. Phish – Dicks Sporting Goods Arena – Commerce City, CO – August 31st
05. Medeski Martin & Wood – UCLA Royce Hall – April 26th
06. Eric McFadden with Nels Cline and Mike Watt  –  The Mint – Los Angeles, CA – January 16th
07. Femi Kuti and The Positive Force – The El Rey Theater – Los Angeles, CA – January 18th
08. The Rolling Stones – Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA – May 3rd
09. Jim James – The Fonda Theater – Los Angeles, CA – May 11th
10. Anders Osborne with Neal Casal and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe- The El Rey Theater – Los Angeles, CA – October 24th


Alt-J // Photo by Sam Heller

Alt-J // Photo by Sam Heller

Kevin Raos // Columnist // @Semirec

01. Phish – Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys – July 31st
In late July Phish performed two concerts at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena. Night 2 of the run contained one of the most infamous moments in recent Phish history: The Tahoe Tweezer. This 36 minute jam odyssey has already found it’s place in Phish lore as one of the defining moments of the current era of Phish. It’s not just the length that makes this jam so impressive, but also the song’s content, as Phish and the audience interact back and forth driving the jam deeper and deeper. Magical moments of improvisation like this do not come around very often. WOO!

02. Bjork – Craneway Pavilion – Richmond, CA – May 28th
This was my first time having the pleasure of seeing Bjork live, and she fully lived up to the hype. The entire crowd was on pins and needles as she performed her 2011 album, Biophilia, in it’s entirety. It was an audio/visual experience unlike any other concert, complete with a Tesla Coil instrument controlled by iPads and a series of sound-generating pendulums to accompany Bjork’s majestic voice. Bjork is a talent unlike anything I have ever seen live.

03. Tom Waits – Bridge School Benefit (Shoreline Ampitheatre) – October 27th
Checked a big one off the bucket list with this performance at Neil young’s annual Bridge School Benefit. It’s a wonder why Mr. Waits doesn’t tour more often as he is as talented, and as much of a showman, as he ever was. His voice sounded great, including the usual gritty and rawness that you can expect. One of the longer sets of the evening, Waits plucked tunes from his entire catalogue, yet he pulled mostly from his latest record Bad As Me. Don’t miss a chance to see Tom Waits as his shows are few and far between these days. A truly special individual and unique talent to behold.

04. Tame Impala – Fox Theater Oakland – May 29th
05. Sigur Ros – Fox Theater Oakland – April 16th
06. Alt-J – Fox Theater Oakland – August 29th
07. Nine Inch Nails – Outside Lands – August 10th
08. Rhye – Outside Lands – August 9th
09. Alabama Shakes – Fox Theater Oakland – March 5th
10. Bassnectar – Hangout Music Festival – Gulf Shores, AL – May 18th


Shpongle // Photo by Mike Frash

Shpongle // Photo by Mike Frash

The Festival Lawyer // Columnist // @FestivalLawyer

01. Shpongle – Sea of Dreams at Concourse Exhibition Center in SF – December 31st (2012)
Just a really interesting, weird and exotic New Year’s Eve show. He had a performance art group that accompanied him that night as well as a live violinist. This combo led to a really trippy, trance inducing sight and sound experience. So cool.  

02. The Cure – Austin City Limits – October 12th
When I first saw the Cure I was an eyeliner-wearing 80’s Goth kid. ACL has a 10 o’clock curfew, so when their set got close to 10 o’clock, Robert Smith announced, “Listen, we are going to play all the hits that we can until they shut us down.”  What followed next was just a very cool trip down memory lane.  Funny how music can just instantly take us back to a time or memory in our life.

03. Muse – Oracle Arena – January 28th
It’s always weird to see how much shit people talk about Muse. They seriously have a stage act only rivaled by groups like Swedish House Mafia (I still call SHM’s set at Coachella “The Night of a Million Lasers.”)  Muse combines moving TV sets, lasers, even robots all combined with the stage bravado of legendary UK acts like Queen. If you can’t sing along with me at the top of your lungs to “Uprising” then you just are really missing out on a terrific experience. 

04. Yeah Yeahs Yeahs – Coachella (Weekend 2) – April 19th
05. Bassnectar – Coachella (Weekend 2) – April 19th
06. Father John Misty – Fillmore – June 21st
07. Iggy Pop and the Stooges – C2SV Festival – St. James Park – San Jose, CA – September 28th
08. Disclosure – Treasure Island Music Fest – October 19th
09. Paul McCartney – Outside Lands – August 9th
10. Arctic Monkeys – Coachella (Weekend 2) – April 19th


Thundercat // Photo by James Nagel

Thundercat // Photo by James Nagel

James Nagel // Photographer // @JdropsKnowledge

01. Thundercat – The Independent – November 13th
Stephen Bruner delivered a performance that felt truly unique, deviating from the standards set on his album by slapping some soulful, jazzy rhythms on his epic bass. He wrapped the entire audience with the warm embrace of his music in the most personal, improvesed way. 

02. Savages- The Independent – September 27th
Jenny Beth is a goddamn rockstar. Period. 

03. The Flaming Lips with Tame Impala and White Denim – Bill Graham Civic – October 31st
This show was truly a surreal experience and did not disappoint when it came to the scope of the production. Confetti and balloons rained down endlessly it seemed, while the visual and lighting components completely enhanced this drone-filled yet enlightening event. 

04. Toro Y Moi – Fox Theater Oakland – November 15th
05. Cut Copy – Fox Theater Oakland – November 2nd
06. Digitalism – The Independent – May 7th
07. !!! – Great American Music Hall – March 1st
08. El-P and Killer Mike (Run The Jewels) – The Independent – July 31st
09. Grouplove – The Independent – September 14th
10. Palma Violets – The Independent – April 25th


The Black Keyes // Photo by Sterling Munksgard

The Black Keyes // Photo by Sterling Munksgard

Sterling Munksgard // Photographer // @sterlingmphoto

01. The Black Keys – Bottle Rock – Napa, CA – May 10th 
Bottle Rock was a first-year festival situated in the Napa wine country, and it featured a lineup which rivaled many well-established festivals. The Black Keys brought their in-your-face attitude and rocked the crowd good and hard. Bottle Rock was my fourth Keys show and they still had me singing along and dancing. 

02. Empire of the Sun – Life Is Beautiful in Las Vegas, NV – October 27th
When I got home from this festival and showed my photos to friends and family, many people asked, “what kind of music was Empire of the Sun?” The only thing I could come up with was the showmanship of Kiss and the sound and style of Phoenix. But classification aside, this band was not only one of my favorites to watch on stage in 2013 but one of my favorite to photograph. Next time they are in town I will for sure be at their show.  

03. Dave Matthews Band and Gogol Bordello – Jiffy Lube Live – Bristow, VA – July 27th
DMB keeps me coming back for more. At 60+ shows they still keep turning out new tunes and bringing back songs that haven’t been played in years. This show had many highlights including a show opening “Ants Marching”, something that band hadn’t done since 2004.  The band also busted out fan favorites such as “Granny”, “Spoon”, “Long Black Veil”, “Crazy Easy”, and “#41”.  

04. Tedeschi Trucks Band and The Black Crowes – Bill Graham Civic – December 14th
05. Imagine Dragons – Life is Beautiful – Las Vegas – October 27th
06. JJ Grey & Mofro – The Fillmore – November 15th
07. Grateful Grass feat. Keller Williams, Keith Moseley, Michael Kang and Jeff Austin – Rex Benefit – The Fillmore – December 7th
08. Sleigh Bells – Treasure Island Festival – October 20th
09. The Lumineers and Dr. Dog – The Greek Theater Berkeley – April 19th
10. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Portland Rose Festival – Portland, OR – May 25th


!!! // Photo by James Nagel

!!! // Photo by James Nagel

Dara Shulman // Columnist

01. David Byrne and St. Vincent – Fox Theater Oakland – July 21st
Byrne’s eclectic and eccentric sound, coupled with St. Vincent’s own quirkiness and talent, proved to be a fantastic performance. Creating rich, warm sound, the eight-piece brass band was as impressive as the two talented singers themselves. Playing mostly off their solid album, Love This Giant, the combination of choreography and Talking Heads songs turned out to be the icing on the cake.

02. Paul McCartney – Outside Lands – August 9th
It’s not every day you get to see a Beatle play a three-hour set complete with fireworks. McCartney wowed the packed main stage playing his hits from the Beatles, Wings and his solo efforts. It’s hard to determine which was more impressive, the acoustic set which included a beautiful “Blackbird” or the set-closing sing-along that was “Hey Jude”. Eight more songs over two encores only helped to make this an all-time show.

03. !!! – Great American Music Hall – March 1st
Vocalist and dance machine Nic Offer never fails to entertain the crowd. Offer and the band were on fire when they debuted songs such as “Slyd” off their fifth-album release Thr!!!er. Their upbeat, dance rock kept the crowd moving throughout the show.

04. Foals – Outside Lands – August 11th
05. Atoms for Peace – Treasure Island Music Festival – October 19th
06. Vampire Weekend – Outside Lands – August 11th
07. Primus – High Sierra Music Festival – July 5th
08. Holy Ghost! – Treasure Island Music Festival – October 19th
09. Cut Copy – Fox Theater – November 2nd
10. Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters – High Sierra Music Festival – July 4th


View the Showbams 40 Best Albums of 2013
View the Showbams Contributor Picks for Best Songs of 2013
View the Showbams picks for Best Live Music Venues in 2013

Trouble in Transit: What to do if police stop you on the way to a music festival

Follow the Festival Lawyer on Twitter

When Phish played at Outside Lands a few years back, I happened to run into a very cool group of their fans waiting for the shuttle bus. They told me they were from New York and were following the band across the country. We talked about how followers of the band really tried to welcome newer fans and teach them some of the traditions and ideals of being a “Phan”. They ended by telling me a few “war stories” from different tours they had followed.

I love people who are this passionate about music. So this article is for all you Phans, Bassheads, Pretty Lights Family members, DMB and Widespread Panic followers and all you other “festies” who are going to be logging serious miles as you travel to your next show or festival.

Or to put it another way — Here is what to do if the police stop you ON YOUR WAY to a music festival.

Come-Back-with-a-Warrent

TRAVEL TIP #1: At your home you are a “King in a Castle”

Wait, if I’m writing an article about travel issues, then why am I starting with your rights when the police come to your house?

Because the question of what rights you have at a particular location (like whether the police need a warrant or what’s considered an “unreasonable search”) often depends on how much the location is like a home. The law calls this a “reasonable expectation of privacy”.

Your privacy rights are at their strongest when you are in your own home. In fact this tradition is so strong it is sometimes called the “Castle Doctrine”. This come from the English Common Law phrase “An Englishman’s home is his castle.” (English Common Law is sort of the “Old School” or “Vinyl” version of American law.)

You probably already know that the police must get a search warrant before they are allowed to search your home unless there is some kind of legal exception like “exigent circumstances”.

What you also need to know is that one of the other most common exceptions where the police don’t need a search warrant is when the owner gives consent or permission for the cops to search the house.

Cops actually kind of hate getting search warrants. It’s a little bit of a pain for them to do as a practical matter and they aren’t keen on running their probable cause by a Judge. So cops will often try to avoid the need for a search warrant by doing what they call a “Knock and Talk”.

Like the trailer for a new Jennifer Aniston comedy, a “Knock and Talk” seems like it would be a lot more fun that it actually ends up being. A “Knock and Talk” involves the cops knocking at your door and asking, “Say, if you don’t have anything to hide, how about we come into your house and take a look around?”

In other words, like vampires, cops can only come into your home (without a warrant) if you invite them in.

Okay, as the Arctic Monkeys song says, “Perhaps vampires is a bit strong,” but you get the point — If an officer wants to search your home you should assume you are a suspect in a criminal investigation. Act accordingly. Remain silent and ask for a lawyer. The only thing you should say is:

“Officer, I can’t let you inside without a search warrant.”

Don’t worry if you can’t remember this phrase, you can get a doormat to remind you.

Fear-and-Loathing2

TRAVEL TIP #2: Hotel Room Searches

“Our hotel room looked like the site of some disastrous zoological experiment involving whiskey and gorillas.” –Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

I recently had some folks tweet me to say that they were staying at a hotel for a concert and cops were basically going up and down the hallways of the hotel banging on doors and saying “Police, open up” and randomly searching rooms. They asked what rights they had in that situation.

The legal issue here is…you guessed it…whether you have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in your hotel room.

To determine if you have a “reasonable expectation of privacy”, the law asks questions like:

  • Are you there lawfully?
  • Is it private property?
  • Do you have any ownership rights there?
  • Can you eject people from the location?
  • Can you yell “Hey you kids get off my goddamn lawn!?”

(Hint — one of the prongs of this test was really just a joke to see if you are still paying attention.)

Generally, if you are using your hotel room in an ordinary way, then you have a limited right to privacy in that room. In other words, police will usually need to get a search warrant.

On the other hand, if the hotel believes that you are using your room for illegal activity, then hotel management has the right to enter and search your room without your permission.

Importantly, the manager of the hotel can’t give the police permission to search your room. But there are all kinds of other ways cops can search without getting a warrant. For example, if you open the door and people are openly using drugs in “plain view” of the cops, they can probably search. Or if they do a “knock and talk” and someone else in your room says “come in” they can probably search.

Bottom line: Don’t use your hotel room like Dr. Gonzo (i.e. openly engaging in illegal activity). Tell the folks staying in your room to be cool and not to give anyone permission to come into the room. Don’t consent to any searches and don’t be tricked into thinking that management can somehow give the police permission to search your room.

Even though it’s not your actual house, you still have a right to be free from harassment and random searches of your room without a warrant. Just like Borat when he entered his hotel room and found a chair, you too are a “King in your Castle” in your hotel room.

Jay-Z_opt

TRAVEL TIP #3: Car Stops…Or maybe Jay-Z actually had 100 problems.

People constantly ask me what to do if the police stop their car. Although I love the song and I think Jay-Z is a genius, people are also constantly misquoting his song “99 problems” for one of the biggest legal myths out there.

The second verse of the song is fictional, but based on a true story. The cops want to search his car (loaded with cocaine), he refuses, they wait for drug-sniffing dogs that never show up, and Mr. Carter gets away with it. During this conversation, Jay-Z says:

“Well, my glove compartment is locked, so is the trunk and the back, and I know my rights so you gon’ need a warrant for that.

The good thing the narrator does in this song, and something YOU should always do, is refuse to give the police consent to search his car. Specifically, he tells the officer “No, I don’t consent to any search.”

But unlike what the song suggests, the police never needed a warrant in the first place. The courts have declared that there is an “automobile exception” to the normal requirement of a search warrant. That’s because cars are very mobile and can easily be moved to destroy evidence. Also, cars are highly regulated and usually in a public place. Cars in public places without privacy rights = no “reasonable expectation of privacy”.

Police must still have some facts or evidence to believe you are involved in criminal activity (probable cause) or they can’t search the car. This could be the sight or smell of contraband or a weapon in plain view.

Although not nearly as catchy, the legally correct phrasing of that verse should have been “I know my rights so you gon’ need probable cause for that.

By the way, Jay-Z wrote in his book that the “bitch” in question is not an unpleasant woman but a drug-sniffing dog. The “100th” problem would have been the cop using a “bitch” (drug dog) to search his car.

If so, he’s lucky the year “was 94” when his “trunk was raw”. That’s because after that, in a case called Illinois v. Caballes, the Supreme Court ruled that the 4th Amendment doesn’t EVEN APPLY to the use of drug sniffing dogs during car stops. So, if cops have you legally stopped they can freely use a dog to search.

I’ve got a whole future project I’m working on that is going to cover your rights in a car stop in a lot more detail. But here is an excellent summary from the folks at Flex Your Rights which gives you plenty of information about how to handle yourself if the police stop your car.

Tents_opt

TRAVEL TIP #4: Temporary Homes Like Campgrounds and Motor Homes

Campgrounds Searches

In People v. Hughston 168 Cal. App. 4th 1062 (2008), the court was asked to rule whether the police needed a warrant to search a tent that was put up within a designated site on land specifically set aside for camping during a music festival.

The court found that the defendant did have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in the tent and that therefore a warrant was needed under the Fourth Amendment. The court added, “One should be free to depart the campsite for the day’s adventure without fear of this expectation of privacy being violated.’” (Hughston, at p. 1070)

In other words, because the person was there lawfully, had the right to kick others off the property and had ownership rights over the tent, it was more like a house or a hotel room than a car.

Of course, things might be different depending on the festival and the location. I mean, what if the festival organizers tell you that this is “private property” and instruct you that you have no ownership or privacy rights there at all? Or what if the promoters announce openly as you arrive that they are giving the police permission at any time to search your tent?

When it comes to festival campgrounds you really need to do your homework. Read the festival’s website. Look at what your ticket or other contract with the festival says. Ask past festivalgoers what their experience has been. Is the festival known for people being harassed and aggressively searched for no reason?

In other words, you aren’t really a “King in a Castle” in this situation. But you may be at least a prince or some lesser royalty if you know your rights and educate yourself.

Festivalgoers should insist that the festivals they go to are safe and that security concerns are handled in a professional and courteous manner. In return, festies can help upgrade the experience by being fun, positive audience goers who police and are responsible for each other’s safety.

Motor Homes

In California v. Carney 471 U.S. 386 (1985) the US Supreme Court ruled that motor homes are to be treated like cars and that the “automobile exception” applies.

In other words, after this Supreme Court ruling your privacy rights in a motor home are “NO MORE!” (yes, that’s a “Winnebago Man” reference.)

Airports

TRAVEL TIP #5: Airport Searches

As you might imagine, you have zero “reasonable expectation of privacy” at the airport. A TSA airport security zone is basically a way more legally serious and federalized Costco. Only it’s the Department of Homeland Security that’s checking your receipt and going through your shit on the way out. Transportation Security Agency (TSA) agents are legally permitted to search you and your belongings without a search warrant or probable cause or any other legal justification.

The question I get a lot is whether you can take “legal” or medicinal marijuana on a plane with you to your next festival.

This is a weird legal area. That’s because medical marijuana is legal in the state of California but Federal Law makes marijuana a Schedule 1 Controlled substance. The FAA and the Department of Homeland Security are under Federal law, so travelling with medical marijuana or marijuana from a “legal” state (about 20 states at this point) puts you into a grey area. It’s legal under state law, but illegal under Federal Law.

The TSA website says this:

Whether or not marijuana is considered “medical marijuana” under local law is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law and federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana.

Ahh, so travelling through the airport is a strict violation of Federal law and you will be automatically arrested, right? Well maybe not.

The TSA also adds:

The discovery of marijuana in a carry-on or checked bag does not automatically mean that a passenger will be turned over to local police, and the agency adds that “the final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.”

You read that right — whether you are using medical marijuana to treat your “backiotemy” or you are merely an “enhancement smoker”, you might be able to take it on the plane with you.

On the other hand, it might be a seriously bad experience for you if you get the wrong TSA agent. I mean maybe you can check your bag with pot or try to carry it on with your medical marijuana card. But why would you risk it? I would put this in the “unnecessary risk” category.

(Random Fact: In 2011, TSA agents at Denver International Airport found bags of weed in rapper Freddie Gibbs’ luggage and simply left him a note reading “C’mon son.”)

The ACLU also has a “know your rights when traveling” page that has a lot of additional resources.

AT THE FESTIVAL

Yay! You made it. So what do you do if you get all the way to a festival and the cops stop you? Heck, you should already know the answer to this.

The-Festival-Lawyer-Five-Tips

If you want a ”Tip Card” to take with you to remind you what to do if the police stop you your next festival, you can download it here or contact me on Twitter.


Like Showbams on Facebook and follow Showbams on twitter to get more advice from the Festival Lawyer and to win free tickets to shows. Follow the Festival Lawyer on Twitter.

WKEND MIXTAPE: Yematt – 9411 Phish Mix

Phish-WKEND-MIX

Phish are in town this weekend for three sold out nights at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium starting tonight. The majority of the Showbams family will be there. Will you? This week’s mix contains a compilation of jams from 1994 through 2011 — follow along below with the track list. We hope this mix will serve as your pre-party soundtrack. Enjoy!



Track List:
David Bowie 11/26/94
Tweezer 2/28/03
Antelope 12/31/98
Tweezer 8/1/98
Simple 8/6/10
Reba 10/31/94
Limb by Limb 7/15/98
Roses 4/3/98
Rock and Roll 6/19/10
Ater Midnight Reprise 12/31/99
2001 12/29/98
2001 8/7/10
Bathtub 12/29/95
Twist 4/2/98
Drowned 9/14/00
Rock and Roll 6/26/10
Back on the Train 12/30/09
Fukuoka jam #1 6/14/00
Ghost 11/17/97
Tweezer 9/3/11
Fukuoka jam #2 6/14/00
Waves (soundcheck) 5/27/11

Your guide to all the Phish after parties in Tahoe, SF

PhishPhotos by Sam Heller // Written by Kevin Raos //

Phish is currently in the middle of their West Coast swing. After slaying two nights at The Gorge, the caravan heads south to California for two nights in Lake Tahoe at Harvey’s Outdoor Arena and three nights in SF at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

Many people will want to keep the party going long after Phish has ended — that is why we have compiled this list of after parties (and one pre-party) to keep you twirling into the wee hours of the night (morning?). Most shows have a price tag, but a couple are FREE.

Enter below for a chance to win tickets to Conspirator at Mezzanine this Saturday, August 3rd.

CONTEST CLOSED.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop for more contest giveaways.

Contest ends Friday, August 2 at Noon. The winners will be picked at random & notified by email. Your email will be kept private – we will share your email with no one. 21+ only.

Trey-Anastasio-Band

Tahoe After Parties:

Tuesday, July 30th

Horizon Casino Resort
Sam Bush Band w/ Polecat
ALO w/ Magic Gravy
10:30pm
Price: $35.00
Tickets

MontBleu
Greensky Bluegrass – Blu
12:00am
Price: $25.00 advance, $30.00 day of show
Tickets

edIT w/ SubTripixxx & Coop da Loop – Opal Ultra Lounge
11:00pm
Price: $20.00 advance, $25.00 day of show
Tickets

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe
The Meter Men – George Porter, Jr, Zigaboo Modeliste, and Leo Nocentelli with special guest John “Papa” Gros of Papa Grows Funk
11:30pm
Price: $62.50
Tickets

Crystal Bay Club
FREE Reggae
10pm
Price: FREE
Info


Wednesday, July 31st

Horizon Casino Resort
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe w/ The Pimps of Joytime
Hot Buttered Rum ft. Allie Kral of Cornmeal w/ Poor Man’s Whiskey
10:30pm
Price: $35.00
Tickets

MontBleu
Emancipator – Opal Ultra Lounge
11:00pm
Price: $25.00 advance, $30.00 day of show
Tickets

Moksha ft. Jen Hartswick & Skerik – Blu
12:00am
Price: $20.00 advance, $23.00 day of show
Tickets

Tahoe Steamer
magicgravy
12:30am-3:30am
Price: $45.00
Tickets


San Francisco After Parties:

Friday, August 2nd

50 Mason Social House
Phish After Party with Garrin Benfield, Jordan Feinstein, Murph Murphy and Lucas Carlton!
11:30pm
Price: n/a
Info

BooM BooM RooM
Moksha w/ Carlos Santana Horns
9:30pm
Price: $10.00
Info
Tickets


Saturday, August 3rd

Mezzanine
Conspirator
9pm
Price: FREE?? WIN FREE TICKETS ABOVE. Or $20.00, here.

BooM BooM RooM
Polyrhythmics
9:30pm
Price: $10.00
Info
Tickets


Sunday, August 4th
Jerry Day
11:30am
Price: FREE
Info

Showbams’ best shows of 2012

Showbams contributors name their favorite shows of 2012.

Showbam contributors reflect on the best concerts they went to in 2012 & list their favorite shows.

2012 has been a top-notch year for live music, and the Showbams team has witnessed some great acts that have come through California in the last 11 months. Take a look at our contributor’s favorite shows of 2012.

What was your favorite concert in 2012? Let us know in the comments below.

The xx at Treasure Island Music Festival

The xx at Treasure Island Music Festival


Mike Frash San Francisco

1. Sigur Ros @ Outside Lands Music Festival 8.11.12
Leaving Metallica for Sigur Ros to end the second day at Outside Lands was a torturous decision. Metallica was a warzone spectacle, but i stuck to my guns and headed to the Twin Peaks stage. I’m glad I did. Jonsi now conducts a mini orchestra, and the eerie SF fog lowered on command to the slow builds & crescendos. It was a spiritual show that effected me more than any other concert in 2012.

2. Japandroids @ The Independent 6.14.12
Brian King and David Prowse brought ecstatic energy to the sold out Independent in June the week after Celebration Rock was released. Brian King understands how to control the pace of his set, offering fun pre-song statements that prepare you for what’s next. Their songs are vibrant live – it doesn’t sound like only two people are playing instruments. They truly seem to live the life they glorify on their 2012 album – still drinking, still smokin, and full of hyperactive desperation.

3. Phish Night 3 @ Bill Grahm Civic Auditorium 8.19.12
The highly anticipated phish three-show SF run in August started off a bit slowly. Saturday’s show left me a little bummed about Phish due to some sloppy play (“Split open and melt”) and what felt like a lack of enthusiasm. I was questioning why I still see Phish live heading into the last show of the weekend. My lowered expectations combined with a killer show quashed those thoughts. Crosseyed > Light > Sneakin’ Sally > Crosseyed was some of the best Phish I’ve ever heard, “Boogie on” redeemed Stevie Wonder’s omission of the song at Outside Lands the week before, “Meatstick” made me really happy, and the San Francisco-mentioning “Ride Captain Ride” made a surprise encore appearance. The show was pure bliss.

4. The Rapture @ Coachella 4.13.12
5. The xx @ Treasure Island Music Festival 10.14.12
6. The Presets @ The Independent 10.12.12
7. STS9 @ High Sierra Music Festival 7.5.12 & 7.6.12
8. Head and the Heart @ Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 10.6.12
9. Tame Impala @ The Fillmore 11.15.12
10. My Morning Jacket @ The Greek 9.15.12

Honorable Mention:
Father John Misty at Jansport Bonfire 9.30.12
Of Monsters & Men at The Independent 3.22.12

My Morning Jacket performing at The Wiltern in September

My Morning Jacket performing at The Wiltern in September


Pete Mauch Los Angeles

1. My Morning Jacket @ The Wiltern 9.13.12
MMJ capped off the best 3-night run I saw this year with this stellar closing show complete with a Horn section. This is a big statement for a band I knew I loved but wasn’t fully convinced about until this night. Highlight: “All Night Long” & “Movin On Up” with Horns

2. Phish @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium 8.19.12
Phish played a terrific 3-night run, and topped off by an amazing Sunday night show that proves that Phish is still top of the Jam Scene. Highlight: Light > Sneakin Sally Through the Alley

3. Ryan Adams @ Walt Disney Concert Hall 2.17.12
Ryan Adams, an acoustic Guitar, and a Piano is all this show contained, and it was truly special. Adams’ classic songs stripped down with his raspy croons is all I needed to make this a top show of the year. Highlight: “Rescue Blues” on Piano “Holy Diver” on Guitar

4. Trey Anastasio and LA Philharmonic @ Walt Disney Concert Hall 3.10.12
5. Neil Young and Crazy Horse @ the Hollywood Bowl 10.17.12
6. Charles Bradley and The Menahan Street Band @ UCLA Royce Hall 11.29.12
7. Radiohead @ Coachella Music Festival 4.21.12
8.Trombone Shorty @ the Key Club 2.11.12
9. Wilco @ the Palladium 1.24.12
10. New Multitudes (Tribute to Woody Guthrie) @ the Mayan Theatre 3.7.12

Honorable Mention:
Phish at Long Beach Arena 8.15.12
String Cheese Incident at Greek Theatre Berkeley 7.14.12
Roger Waters The Wall at the LA Coliseum 5.21.12
Umphreys Mcgee (True Hollywood Stories Acoustic Show) at the House of Blues 3.16.12

The Faint performing in November at The Regency Ballroom

The Faint performing in November at The Regency Ballroom

Molly Kish San Francisco

1. Radiohead @ HP Pavilion 4.12.12
After merely catching glimpses of them while shoved against thousands of festivalgoers at Outside Lands 2008, I was determined to catch Radiohead the next time they came through the Bay Area. The sound, visuals, performance and energy of the evening were electrifying. Although I was extremely lucky to have been viewing the concert from the sixth row, the entire crowd looked as though they were just as lost in the moment as I was. The band’s enigmatic stage presence, fully developed set composition and career spanning choice of material made for one of the most collectively impressive concert experiences that I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of.

2. Kishi Bashi/Of Montreal @ Slim’s 3.22.12
As a long time Of Montreal fan, I was ecstatic to get the opportunity to interview their opening act and latest addition to the line up (Kishi Bashi) the night of their performance at Slim’s. It wasn’t only for the sake of getting a personal perspective on the band, but also due to the fact that this would actually be my first time catching them performing live. The entire show and evening that followed was everything I could’ve wanted for my first experience seeing Of Montreal. Accompanied by three screens of psychedelic visuals, various costumed extras, balloon drops, props and whole score of vaudevillian rivalry, the band took the crowd and venue by storm. During the encore to top it off, I was able to reconnect with Kishi Bashi and ended up initiating an after-party with the entire band, crew and record label affiliates at an industrial themed “dark carnival,” taking place across the street at local dive bar Butter. Several jello shots, deep fried twinkies and contortionist carnie-prompted dance battles later, I looked around and felt assured that I had enough material to develop my own personal “Of Montreal” concert story contender.

3. The Presets @ Treasure Island Music Festival 10.13.12
Completely blown away by their performance the night before, I was overwhelmed with excitement and intrigue to see how the Presets could accomplish translating such energy to a festival setting. Anyone who had caught their Treasure Island Music Festival opener at the Independent instantly was taken over by sensory recall as they broke into song almost right where they left us hanging less than 24 hours earlier. Almost in homage to those who witnessed them destroy their previous set, they picked the dance party up right where they left off, only this time kicking it up about ten notches with the accompanied stage show, visual intensity and professional grade sound of seasoned professionals. Completely upstaging their more commercially recognized headliner and showing the younger generation how it should be done, they stole the show and were easily the stand out act of the 2012 TIMF. To this day I still find myself saying that I wish I could continually be going to a Presets show, based off of the concert experience I had at these two performances.

4. Dan Deacon @ The Great American Music Hall 10.23.12
5. Against Me! @ The Catalyst 9.10.12
6. The Faint @ The Regency Ballroom 11.18.12
7. Justice @ The Fox 11.4.2
8. Metallica @ Outside Lands 8.10.12
9. Animal Collective @ The Fox 9.21.12
10.The Shins @ The Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium 4.22.12

Honorable Mention:
Yeah Yeah Yeah’s @ The Creator’s Project SF 3.17.12
Cold War Kids @ The Bottom of the Hill 3.5.12
Dr. John @ The Independent 8.17.12
Girl Talk @ Sasquatch 5.25.12

David Byrnes & St. Vincent performing in

David Byrnes & St. Vincent performing in October

Kevin Raos San Francisco

1. David Byrne & St. Vincent @ the Orpheum Theater 10.15.12
This is my number one show of 2012 for a couple of reasons. First off, Love this Giant, the recently released collaborative album between Byrne and St. Vincent, was a major disappointment. One of my most anticipated albums of the year ended up being one of the most disappointing. All was redeemed, however, when I saw these songs performed live. The accompanying brass band and the chemistry on stage breathed new life into was I felt was a stale album. Playfully executed and precisely choreographed, these songs shined live.

Secondly, I am a huge David Byrne fan and was able to check a big one off my bucket list of musical artists. Byrne’s career needs no introduction and this evening we were treated to a few Talking Head’s classics such as “Burning Down the House,” “This Must Be the Place,” and “Like Humans Do.”

This show was simply a once in a lifetime experience.

2. Phish @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium 8.19.12
A three night run at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium was capped off with a masterful performance by jamband kings, Phish. The final night of the run was easily the best night as the band flexed their improvisational muscles in a blistering 2-set performance, highlighted by covers of the Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed and Painless” and Robert Palmer’s “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley.”

3. Sigur Ros @ Outside Lands 8.11.12
Sigur Ros on my birthday to cap off an unbelievable festival day? How could it possibly get any better? It can’t really.

4. Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang @ Terrapin Crossroads – San Rafael 10.4.12
5. Keller Williams, Steve Kimock & Kyle Hollingsworth ft. Bernie Worrell, Wally Ingram & Andy Hess @ Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Music Festival 10.7.12
6. Miike Snow / Penguin Prison @ Fox Theater Oakland 4.12.12
7. Washed Out @ Mezzanine 5.4.12
8. Electric Guest @ The Independent 11.2.12
9. The Album Leaf / Blackbird Blackbird @ Bottom of the Hill 9.30.12
10. Citizens! Lescop, Housse de Racket, Tomorrow’s World @ The Rickshaw Stop 10.12.12

Honorable Mentions:
Zee Avi @ New Parish 9.28.12
M83 @ The Fillmore 4.22.12

Japandroids performing in 2012

Japandroids performing in 2012

Eric Shaden San Francisco

1. D’Angelo @ HOB – Los Angeles 7.4.12

2. Passion Pit @ Rock en Seine – Paris 8.26.12

3. Starfucker @ the Independent 1.7.12

4. Stevie Wonder @ Outside Lands 8.12.12
5. Miike Snow + Penguin Prison @ The Fox Oakland 4.12.12
6. A.Skillz + Krafty Kuts Presents Tricka Technology @ Mighty 6.1.12
7. Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) @ the Independent 10.19.12
8. Japandroids @ the Independent 6.14.12
9. Guns n’ Roses @ Bridge School Benefit 10.21.12
10. Kid Koala Vinyl Vaudeville Tour @ Independent 11.4.12

The Lumineers performing at The Chapel in August

The Lumineers performing at The Chapel in August

Marc Fong San Francisco
1. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros @ Slim’s 3.25.12
It’s not often I gush like a school girl (only about once or twice a week), but seeing ESatMZ at Slim’s was panty dropping. Can I say that? Well, I just did. It was a secret/private show so Slim’s was overcrowded. I stood center stage close enough to see the dirt on Alexander’s suit. The sound was great and the band always puts on a damn fine show.

2. The Lumineers @ The Chapel 10.11.12
LIVE 105 brought the Lumineers to newly opened Chapel in SF and the band didn’t disappoint. The venue was the perfect size for the band and like most of the other bands on this list, the Lumineers had fun playing and it made for a great show.

3. Kronos Quartet @ Greek Theater 10.5.12
Okay, it was really Amon Tobin’s deal, but Kronos opened and performed beautifully. Being a long time fan, it’s not a surprise these openers made my list. Great music from great performers. And The Greek Theater in Berkeley was the best venue to see them. (And most other shows.)

4. Willie Nelson and Family @ The Fox Oakland 3.15.12
5. Of Monsters and Men @ Independent 5.22.12
6. Fun. @ The Independent 5.28.12
7. Sage Francis @ Independent 3.17.12
8. Steve Aoki @ Bill Graham 1.21.12
9. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros @ The Fox Oakland 5.12.12
10. AVICII @ Bill Graham Civic 6.28.12

Tame Impala at The Fillmore in November

Tame Impala at The Fillmore in November

Kevin Quandt San Francisco

1. The Walkmen @ The Independent January 20th & 21st
These 10th Anniversary shows were a Walkmen fan’s wet dream as they played their first album in full among multiple sets and configurations including a horn section. Over 30 songs of Hamilton Leithauser and company churning out their own brand of rock and roll to devote fans from across the States.

2. Refused with the Hives & the Bronx @ The Warfield 4.18.12
Having seen their Coachella show a week prior, the anticipation was less palpable, yet the reigning post-punk champs delighted a more rowdy and dedicated crowd with a spirited set for the masses who patiently waited a decade to witness.

3. Trey Anastasio and The Los Angeles Philharmonic @ Walt Disney Concert Hall 3.10.12
Dressing up for a show is fun, especially when Trey is at the helm of philharmonic symphony in one of the best rooms to hear, and see, music in. From the playful rendition of “Guyute” to the half hour “Time Turns Elasctic,” this night had the packed concert hall re-charmed by Ernest and his recharged song book.

4. Tame Impala @ The Fillmore 11.15.12
5. Phish @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium 8.19.12
6. Woods and White Fence @ The Chapel at Preservation Hall West 10.17.12
7. Howlin Rain @ The Independent 2.18.12
8. Radiohead @ The Santa Barbara Bowl 4.12.12
9. Father John Misty & Har Mar Superstar @ Bottom of the hill 5.5.12
10.Mala @ Yoshi’s San Francisco 6.23.12

Festival sets:
Sigur Ros @ Outside Lands 8.11.12
Future Islands @ FYF 9.1.12
Flying Lotus @ Coachella 4.14.12

Justice performing at The Warfield in November

Justice performing at The Warfield in November

Sean Little San Francisco

1. Justice @ The Warfield 11.4.12
What else is there to say about Justice that hasn’t already been said. They came, they saw, and they melted faces with an amazing set the blew fans away and converted first timers alike. At least half my friends decided to go last minute (tickets were still available because it was a Sunday) and all of them became huge fans. Some of these friends are not into electronic music of any kind either, so that really says something. It was one of those rare shows where you leave euphoric and can’t stop saying “wow” to the people you went with.

2. Florence & the Machine @ Coachella 4.15.12
The only other performer I’ve ever seen that commanded an audience like Florence did was Snoop Dogg back in 02 at the Smoke Out (stop-you’re not better than me so put that eyebrow back down). It was one of the rare festival sets where everyone felt really in tune with the performer and each other, singing along and knowing when to interact with each other and the songs. She was absolutely amazing, and the set was a dark horse highlight to my festival as I didn’t expect her to command the audience like she did. She’s truly a presence.

2ManyDJ’s @ Regency Ballroom
I saw them about this time last year but fuck it, it still counts. If you have never seen them live then go. Even if you don’t like electronic, go. Even if you hate music go. If you want to be schooled in what real DJs as performers can do, you have to go. They blend the most amazing remixes, edits, mashups and drops all together with a mindblowing set of animated artwork, based on the song that is being played behind them. I won’t even try to explain because it won’t work.

The 25 best songs with whistling

Whistle

The art of whistling is rarely used anymore in contemporary music. Whistling sets a whimsical, light-hearted tone, often projecting a happy-go-lucky state of mind. Whistling simply helps to keep things positive.

UPDATED 5/15/14: We’ve updated this list based on your comments. We’re now including TV theme songs and film soundtracks, along with dance tracks. And we’ve added 10 new selections, bumping it up from 15 to 25. Whistle On!

Here are 25 songs that incorporated whistling most successfully. Listen to all these songs in one playlist.

25. The Andy Griffith Show Theme

24. STRFKR – “Miracle Mile”

23. Roger Whittaker – “Finnish Whistler”

22. Hanna Motion Picture Soundtrack (The Chemical Brothers) – “The Devil is in the details”

21. Angus Stone – “Wooden Chair”

20. Django Unchained Soundtrack – “Triniti”

19. Daedelus – “Bright Stars”

18. Claude VonStroke – “The Whistler”

17. Kill Bill Vol 1 Soundtrack – “Twisted Nerve” by Bernard Herrmann

16. The J. Gelis Band – “Centerfold”

15. Phish – “Guyute”

14. Bobby Day – “Rockin Robin”

13. Monty Python – “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life”

12. Frankie Knuckles – “The Whistle Song”

11. Beck – Sissyneck

10. NONONO – “Pumpin Blood”

9. Foster The People – “Pumped Up Kicks”

8. The Black Keys – “Tighten Up”

7. Bobby McFerrin – “Don’t Worry Be Happy”

6. Peter, Bjorn & John – “Young Folks”

5. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes – “Home”

4. Andrew Bird – “Danse Caribe”

3. Paul Simon – “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard”

2. Guns N’ Roses – “Patience”

1. Otis Redding – “Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay”

25 of the best cover songs ever

It’s pretty hard to proclaim the best cover songs of all time — there have been so many great covers performed in the studio and in a live environment. So that’s why we’re framing this as “25 of the Best Cover Songs Ever”. This list is not as hyperbolic as we prefer to be, but our top 10 is pretty damn solid.

Some prescribe to the theory that a cover song has to be better than the original to be great, or considered one of the the best. I don’t believe this to be true. There are cases in this list where the cover song does not surpass the original in greatness (see #25 for example). But if a cover song attempts to be different and successfully recreates a track to make it original and timeless in its own way, credit should be granted.

What did we miss? Leave us a comment with a YouTube link.

25. Chromatics – “Into the Black”
Originally by Neil Young

24. Guns N’ Roses – “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”
Originally by Bob Dylan

23. Bob Dylan – “Train of Love”
Originally by Johnny Cash

22. Johnny Cash – “I’m on Fire”
Originally by Bruce Springsteen

21. Bruce Springsteen – “Trapped”
Originally by Jimmy Cliff

20. Birdy – “Skinny Love”
Originally by Bon Iver

19. Sublime (featuring Alex Grenwald) – “Scarlet Begonias”
Originally by the Grateful Dead

18. Grateful Dead – “Morning Dew”
Originally by Bonnie Dobson

17. Alison Krauss & Robert Plant – “Trampled Rose”
Originally by Tom Waits

16. Santana – “Black Magic Woman”
Originally by Fleetwood Mac

15. Sharon Jones – “It’s a Man’s World”
Originally by James Brown

14. Radiohead – “The Headmaster Ritual”
Originally by The Smiths

13. Eric Clapton – “Coccaine”
Originally by JJ Cale

12. Tina & Ike Turner – “Proud Mary”
Originally by Creedence Clearwater Revival

11. Creedence Clearwater Revival – “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”
Originally by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

10. The White Stripes – “Jolene”
Originally by Dolly Parton

9. Joe Cocker – “With a Little Help from My Friends”
Originally by The Beatles

8. The Beatles – “Twist & Shout”
Originally by The Top Notes, made famous by The Isley Brothers

7. Nirvana – “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”
Traditional song; arranged by Lead Belly

6. Janis Joplin – “Me and Bobby McGee”
Originally by Kris Kristofferson

5. Phish – “Remain in Light” LP in it’s entirety
Originally by Talking Heads

4. Talking Heads – “Take Me to the River”
Originally by Al Green

3. Aretha Franklin – “Respect”
Originally by Otis Redding.

2. Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower
Originally by Bob Dylan.

1. Johnny Cash – Hurt
Originally by Nine Inch Nails.