MusicfestNW releases 2016 lineup with headliners Duran Duran & Tame Impala

MusicfestNW 2016 lineup

MusicfestNW //
Tom McCall Waterfront Park – Portland, OR
August 27th-28th, 2016 //

Returning for its third year, MusicfestNW will be back at Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park this summer and the 2016 edition will boast headliners Duran Duran and Tame Impala.

Coined as “MusicfestNW Presents Project Pabst” this year, the two-day music festival will also include performances from Ice Cube, Ween, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Drive Like Jehu, STRFKR, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, A$AP Ferg, Parquet Courts, Andrew W.K. and lots more. In addition, MusicfestNW will feature several night shows with music and comedy at various venues throughout Portland.

Early-bird tickets for the 21-and-over event can be purchased here starting this Friday, April 8th. Single-day passes will be available for $45 before increasing to $55, and weekend passes will begin at $75 before jumping to $90. The festival’s night shows will be ticketed separately and sold through each venue’s website.

The 25 best live music acts of 2015

Best Live Acts of 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #25 - Lord Huron

25. Lord Huron

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #24 - Puscifer

24. Puscifer

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #23 - Viet Cong

23. Viet Cong

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #22 - Kate Tempest

22. Kate Tempest

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #21 - Deerhunter

21. Deerhunter

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


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

20. Faith No More

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #19 - Sufjan Stevens

19. Sufjan Stevens

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #18 - Allen Stone

18. Allen Stone

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #17 - The Kills

17. The Kills

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


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

16. The Chemical Brothers

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


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

15. Eagles of Death Metal

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


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

14. Florence + the Machine

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #13 - Sturgill Simpson

13. Sturgill Simpson

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


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

12. alt-J

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #11 - Hot Chip

11. Hot Chip

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #10 - Dan Deacon

10. Dan Deacon

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #9 - FKA twigs

9. FKA twigs

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


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

8. Empire of the Sun

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


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

7. My Morning Jacket

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #6 - Jamie xx

6. Jamie xx

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #5 - Elton John

5. Elton John

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


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

4. Father John Misty

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #3 - Kendrick Lamar

3. Kendrick Lamar

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


Best Live Music Acts of 2015 #2 - Caribou

2. Caribou

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


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

1. D’Angelo & The Vanguard

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

Outside Lands 2015 - Dan Deacon

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Outside Lands Shows of the Week // GO4FREE to The Knocks, Classixx & STRFKR or Karl Denson

The Knocks & ClassixxWritten by Josh Herwitt //

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival is almost here, and as we mentioned a few weeks ago, the party doesn’t have to stop after the music ends at Golden Gate Park each day. For all of you who want to dance and get your groove on well past midnight, the festival is hosting a number of late-night shows throughout the Bay Area — and Showbams has your tickets to three of the best taking place this weekend.

Win a pair of free tickets to one of our Outside Lands Shows of the Week by entering your name and email below.




The Knocks (DJ set): August 7th (FRI) @ Mezzanine // BUY TICKETS

New York-based producers and electronic music duo The Knocks return to SF after they turned The Independent into a raging house party back in June. And after releasing their latest EP So Classic this year, Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “JPatt” Patterson are coming a knockin’ again. This time, they’ll take their bass-driven, high-energy show to Mezzanine for a DJ set with Cut Snake and The Aston Shuffle also hitting the decks beforehand.

Contest ends this Friday at 3 p.m.




Classixx & STRFKR (DJ sets): August 8th (SAT) @ Mezzanine // BUY TICKETS

Los Angeles electronic music duo Classixx have come a long way since their early beginnings in 2008. After delivering the perfect set at Treasure Island Music Festival last fall, childhood friends Michael David and Tyler Blake have continued to show that they’re on the up and up, putting on an impressive main-stage performance at CRSSD Festival in March. At Mezzanine this Saturday, they’ll be joined by Portland electro-rockers STRFKR, who will play their own DJ set despite being absent from this year’s Outside Lands lineup.

Contest ends this Friday at 3 p.m.




Karl Denson superjam: August 9th (SUN) @ The Independent // BUY TICKETS

Funk/jazz virtuoso Karl Denson has stayed plenty busy over the past year. The San Diego native most recently toured with The Rolling Stones on their “Zip Code” tour and is getting ready to release a new album with his Tiny Universe crew in early 2016. To close out the 2015 edition of Outside Lands, the multi-instrumentalist (saxophone, flute, percussion, vocals) will take over The Independent for a special “superjam” with friends that will be one performance you won’t want to miss this weekend.

Contest ends this Friday at 3 p.m.


Win-2-Tickets

Pick the show you would like to attend from the dropdown, then enter your name (First and Last) along with your email. If you win a contest, you’ll be notified on the day the contest ends (details above).

Like Showbams on Facebook, follow Showbams on Twitter and follow Showbams on Instagram. Subscribe to our social channels for a better chance to win!

CONTEST CLOSED.

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CRSSD makes a big splash in debut as 2015 festival season heats up

CRSSD FestivalBy Josh Herwitt //

CRSSD Festival //
Waterfront Park – San Diego
March 14th-15th, 2015 //

Music festivals rarely ever run smoothly in their inaugural year. Whether they are poorly timed, disorganized or just not well thought-out, first-time festivals often have their fair share of problems.

But Southern California-based event promoters Goldenvoice and FNGRS CRSSD are quickly changing the game after putting on a nearly flawless first edition of CRSSD Festival at San Diego’s Waterfront Park last weekend.

Bridging the gap between the EDM and alternative electronic worlds much like HARD Events founder and CEO Gary Richards has done with his own festival series, the two-day, 21-and-over event initially caught fans’ eyes with electro-rock bands like Empire of the Sun and Chromeo topping an impressive, dance-oriented bill that also included ODESZA, Flight Facilities, Hot Natured, Classixx, Maceo Plex, Justin Martin, Lee Burridge and Pete Tong.

Then, a month later, CRSSD organizers drew even more attention to the festival when they announced Phase II of the lineup, adding James Murphy, Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons and Trippy Turtle to an already stacked list of performers.

And with temperatures hitting the high 80’s on both Saturday and Sunday, CRSSD Festival couldn’t have served as a better warm-up (no pun intended) for Coachella, which, by the way, is only three weeks away.

Here are our awards from the first-ever CRSSD Festival.


CRSSD Festival - Empire of the Sun

Most Epic Set: Empire of the Sun

The Aussie glam-pop giant has been headlining festivals for a while now and continues to do so in epic fashion. Empire of the Sun’s live performance is as much of a spectacle as it is a psychedelic dance party, and when they intertwine the two so fluidly as they did to close out the first day of festivities at CRSSD, they’re able to leave lasting memories for both new and old fans.


CRSSD Festival - Chromeo

Biggest Dance Party: Chromeo

These two childhood friends from Montreal have been igniting dance parties all over the world since dropping their 2004 debut She’s in Control, and while their synthpop sound hasn’t necessarily evolved leaps and bounds over the last decade, they still know how to get a crowd moving, whatever the occasion may be. With the weekend winding down, you could find plenty of festivalgoers all over the grounds grooving to Chromeo’s signature brand of disco funk. We even saw people dancing on their way to the porta potties!


CRSSD Festival - Classixx

Most Uplifting Set: Classixx

As we found out at Treasure Island Music Festival last fall, LA electronic duo Classixx have come a long way since their early days remixing artists like Phoenix, Mayer Hawthorne and Holy Ghost! Scheduled to play the always-important post-sunset set on the Ocean View Live stage, they stepped up to the challenge and delivered one of the most awe-inspiring shows of the weekend. With their wide range of influences, the sky — especially when it’s tinged orange, red and blue — appears to be the limit for these two beatmakers.


CRSSD Festival - Lido

Biggest Surprise: Lido

Quite frankly, we didn’t know anything about Norwegian producer Lido (aka 22-year-old Peder Losnegård) prior to his 4:30 p.m. set on Sunday. Well, maybe we should have. After watching him drop remixes of Bill Withers, The Weeknd and alt-j all while maneuvering between keyboards, electronic drums and a variety of programming equipment, we were thoroughly impressed with this young stud’s skills. Oh, and his pipes aren’t shabby either.


CRSSD Festival - ODESZA

Best Stage Visuals: ODESZA

The Seattle production duo has been on fire of late, and its Sunday night set was easily one of the most anticipated of the weekend thanks to the release of its second full-length album In Return this past September. While “Say My Name” has taken the airwaves by storm over the last few months, it was their stage visuals that really stood out. Artistic and abstract at the same time, you couldn’t help but stare at the huge LED screen directly behind Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight as they worked their magic on us.


CRSSD Festival - Robert DeLong

Most Enthusiastic Performance: Robert DeLong

Is there a more entertaining live performer in dance music right now than Robert DeLong? Whether he’s singing or banging away ferociously on the drums (his stage setup includes both acoustic and electronic), the 29-year-old Washington state native is one of the most animated acts in electronic music. Fusing house, moombahton and a handful of other EDM sub-genres into his Sunday afternoon slot, he showed an enthusiasm unparalleled to any other artist on the CRSSD lineup.


CRSSD Festival - Flight Facilities

Best Guest Performance: Flight Facilities

Since their inception in 2009, Australian production duo Flight Facilities have continued to soar by dropping new singles year after year. Exceeding all expectations at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco during Noise Pop 2015, they arrived at CRSSD on Sunday night and didn’t disappoint, employing guest vocalists like Brooke Addamo (aka Owl Eyes) to engage the crowd and supplement their disco-house grooves.


CRSSD Festival - STRFKR

Most Under-Appreciated Set: STRFKR

Portland electronic quartet STRFKR have been going strong for more than eight years now. With four studio albums to their name, Joshua Hodges, Shawn Glassford, Keil Corcoran and Patrick Morris have continued to build on their synth-heavy sound. Unfortunately with DJ Harvey and Thomas Jack playing sets on the festival’s two other stages at the same time, STRFKR’s rather fun and upbeat performance on Saturday went relatively unnoticed.


CRSSD Festival - Goldroom

Sexiest Stage Presence: Goldroom

We unexpectedly caught Goldroom at Lightning in a Bottle a couple years ago, so we were already familiar with Josh Legg’s breezy, chilled-out arrangements. But somehow we did forget how sexy Mereki Beach can be when she takes over the mic, as she strutted her stuff in her shiny kicks midway through Goldroom’s Saturday afternoon set. With Legg getting the live band back together, fans of the LA-based act should be seeing a lot more of Beach.


CRSSD Festival - Slow Magic

Most Mysterious Performance: Slow Magic

One of the biggest enigmas in electronic music these days is the man behind a Technicolor wolf mask. While his identity still remains unknown to most, his fans know him best by his stage name Slow Magic (read our review of his SF show from the fall). Though a small, yet passionate crowd assembled for his early-afternoon set on the main stage Sunday, you had to feel for a guy wearing a mask and playing drums in almost 90-degree heat.


Five reasons why you won’t want to miss CRSSD

CRSSD FestivalBy Josh Herwitt //

CRSSD Festival //
Waterfront Park – San Diego
March 14th-15th, 2015 //

Making its debut this spring at San Diego’s Waterfront Park, CRSSD Festival is the newest music festival to call California home.

Los Angeles promoter Goldenvoice and San Diego promoter FNGRS CRSSD have teamed up to assemble an eclectic lineup of electronic talent, one that’s suited for a more sophisticated, mature audience with headliners like Empire of the Sun, Chromeo, Justin Martin, Jamie Jones and more. Simian Mobile Disco, Classixx, ODESZA, STRFKR, Flight Facilities, Breakbot, DJ Harvey, Robert DeLong, Lee Burridge, Pete Tong and Aeroplane are some of the other names rounding out this year’s impressive two-day bill.

With CRSSD serving as a nice warm-up before Coachella in April, here are five other reasons why you’ll want to be in SD for all the festivities.

5. Tickets are going fast

Both early-bird and advance tickets are sold out, and only weekend GA passes, which started at $85 and are now up to $145, are left for purchase at this point. You won’t want to wait until the last minute to buy your pass and risk seeing the festival sell out.

4. There are more than just DJs

Portland-based quartet STRFKR provide an intriguing blend of synthpop and indie pop, while Robert DeLong and Slow Magic employ the one-man-band philosophy when performing live. Trust us, your weekend down south won’t be filled with only a bunch of button pushers.

3. You will definitely dance

With Empire of the Sun and Chromeo leading the way, there’s little chance that you won’t be dancing your ass off by the end of the night. Not to mention, electronica vets Pete Tong and Simian Mobile Disco certainly know how to throw down, too.

2. The location

Overlooking the San Diego Bay, Waterfront Park offers one of the best backdrops you could find for a music festival. Between the sunshine and sweet tunes, it’s sure to feel like mid-summer in mid-March.

1. The music

While the lineup leans heavy on the electronic, there is enough talent from top to bottom to keep you entertained and not overwhelmed over two days. With its laid-back vibes, CRSSD feels like it could be a perfect fit in sunny San Diego.

Waterfront Park - San Diego

STRFKR flash back to the 80’s during NYE run at The Indy

STRFKRPhotos by James Nagel // Written by Bridget Stagnitto //

STRFKR with Blackbird Blackbird //
The Independent – San Francisco
December 29th-30th, 2014 //

Portland-based band STRFKR arrived in SF for a three-day takeover of The Independent leading up to New Year’s Eve, and we caught up with them for the first two nights. Both nights were a sensory overload of pop sensibilities and dance fever, creating vehemence for the imminent NYE.

Each night had a similar setlist that both started with the smash song “Boy Toy” from their second album Jupiter. Launching into the dynamic synth-heavy song, they set the stage for a night of dance and frivolity.

After a couple of songs on the first night, Shawn Glassford (bass, keyboards, drums) stepped out of his pop coma to make the sincere announcement that his father is in the audience and how grateful he is to have him there. It brought a sort of nostalgia to the room with the holidays over and a new year galloping toward us. The only thing to do at that moment was to celebrate life and the times gone by.

STRFKR

The night continued on with an air of sentimentality and old standards like “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” and “Isabella of Castile”, as the reassuring spirit of the songs allowed for a complacency with the past and present.

The party picked up again when the band began to play 80’s covers like “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League before leading into “Blue Monday” by New Order. Following those songs came “Head Over Heals” by Tear for Fears and “Girls Just want to Have Fun” by Cindy Lauper, and the crowd went crazy for the renditions of these classic hits. STRFKR’s own music is so comparable to the 80’s synthpop/rock hits of that time that it makes sense they would do covers of those iconic songs.

What is so great about a band like STRFKR is that they are entirely self-aware. When Joshua Hodges created the band, he picked the name as a joke. The goal was not to get too caught up in the rat race of the music business, but lo and behold, STRFKR has made four albums and has even licensed a song for a Target television commercial. These guys are happy just to play their music for an audience, and it shows in their performance.

SF Shows of the Week // GO4FREE to Anti-Flag, STRFKR or Allah-Las

Anti-Flag & STRFKRWritten by Josh Herwitt & Molly Kish //

With the final days of 2014 approaching, the Bay Area music scene saved some of its best shows for last. As a holiday bonus, we here at Showbams are having a ticket blowout for several of the hottest year-end celebrations taking place.

Win a pair of free tickets to one of our SF Shows of the Week by entering your name and email below.

STRFKR: December 29th (MON) & 30th (TUE) @ The Independent
Allah-Las: December 30th (TUE) @ The Chapel
Anti‐Flag: January 2nd (FRI) @ Slim’s




STRFKR: December 29th (MON) & 30th (TUE) @ The Independent // BUY TICKETS (Dec. 29)
Tuesday’s show (December 30th) is already sold out, and special guest Blackbird Blackbird, hailing from Honolulu, will be opening both nights for these Portlanders.

Contest ends Monday, December 29th at Noon.

STRFKR




Allah-Las: December 30th (TUE) @ The Chapel // BUY TICKETS
This will be Night 1 of the LA band’s New Years residency with surf/psych/pop rock outfit They Tyde and homegrown act Light Fantastic opening things up.

Contest ends Monday, December 29th at Noon.

Allah-Las




Anti‐Flag: January 2nd (FRI) @ Slim’s // BUY TICKETS
Celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their seminal album The Terror State, these Pittsburgh punk rockers will be playing the 2003 LP in full on this night.

Contest ends Thursday, January 1st at Noon.

Anti-Flag


Win-2-Tickets

Pick the show you would like to attend from the dropdown, then enter your name (First and Last) along with your email. If you win a contest, you’ll be notified on the day the contest ends (details above).

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Treasure Island Music Festival 2013: Top sets

TIMF_postPhotos by Marc Fong

Treasure Island Music Festival delivered one its best artist lineups in recent years October 19 & 20, allowing fans to immerse themselves in some of the best progressive dance and indie rock today. The festival seemed louder this year (that’s a good thing), and a sold out Saturday raged harder than most other TIMF days in the past. Sunday featured many acts with a tendency to inspire dancing and earplug use more than past Treasure Island Sundays (that is also a good thing).

Thoughts of lovely Indian Summer evenings were washed away by cold evenings, something that was on the mind of many artists. In the world of live music, artists are forced to choose style over function in relation to the idea of look versus comfort. Brian King from Japandroids must wear his white t-shirt and Alexis Krauss from Sleigh Bells has to show some leg, but fest-goers can wrap themselves in emergency blankets, furry costumes and bundles of layers. So we had that going for us.

View our show reviews below, including eight performances named TOP SET, along with hundreds of artist and scene photos.

SATURDAY

Saturday ~ October 19, 2013

Atoms-For-Peace1
Atoms For Peace ~ TOP SET
Saturday • Bridge Stage • 9:25pm

Thom Yorke does not like “playing at sea”, so don’t hold your breath in regards to Atoms For Peace playing SS Coachella anytime soon. Thom might not win any new fans with his ‘witty banter’, but the infectious cacophony he produced with Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco was difficult to ignore, or stand still to. Barrage is one word that comes to mind as you are pummeled by bass and drums at almost every moment, and it’s evident Flea loves the challenge of bringing the most complex afro-funk bass lines he humanly can. Atoms can’t slow down, they go hard the whole show. Hell, even the originally sedate UNKLE track “Rabbit in Your Headlight” had a rousing pulse to it. This is where Yorke wants to be, this is the sound that he wants to produce, especially as he brings his hyper-rhythmic love over into his primary project. -Kevin Quandt


Phantogram
Phantogram
Saturday • Tunnel Stage • 8:35pm

Phantogram are back on the road, road testing new material from their new self-titled EP and a forthcoming long player, and they closed out the Tunnel Stage Saturday with a rocking psychedelic dance party. “Black Out Days” packs a punch as powerful as “Don’t Move”, which closed out the set. “Nothing But Trouble” and “Howling at the Moon” (song titles unconfirmed) were two tracks the band unveiled despite commenting that they probably should not be playing them. Despite a few technical glitches and unwanted feedback, Sarah Barthel’s voice was flawless and the new material received a big response, adding up to one of the many highlights Saturday night. -Kevin Raos


Little-Dragon
Little Dragon
Saturday • Bridge Stage • 7:40pm

Swedish electro-pop group Little Dragon continues to mature with age. Performing on the big stage towards the end of the night, they were certainly granted the respect that they deserve. Having just wrapped the recording of their fourth studio album due in the spring, Little Dragon was eager to demonstrate their evolved sound to the eager crowd, giving older songs a new, sonically swirling spin while debuting a new song or two. Fronted by the talented vocals of Yukimi Nagano, Little Dragon sounded as good as ever on the island. -KR


Holy-Ghost
Holy Ghost! ~ TOP SET
Saturday • Tunnel Stage • 6:50pm

The largest act off DFA Records to be part of the bill since LCD Soundsystem, Holy Ghost! kept the “dance bar” raised high during their Sunset shift on Saturday at the Tunnel stage. Predominately playing tracks off their recently released 2013 album Dynamics, the New York disco distributors started a dance party almost immediately as the first notes hit the audience’s ears. Electrifying the crowd with new sing along favorites “Dumb Disco Ideas” and “Dance a Little Closer,” the Bay Area got a taste of what these boys will have on deck for their just announced New Year’s Eve headlining show at The Independent. -Molly Kish


Major-Lazer
Major Lazer
Saturday • Bridge Stage • 5:55pm

For a festival act, it’s hard to top the energy that Diplo and the Major Lazer crew bring to the stage. Riding a tsunami of booty clapping trap music into the rest of the evening’s insane line up, the crowd lost their collective minds witnessing the onstage antics and bone shattering bass lines of Major Lazer’s early evening set. Vuvuzelas blared, sirens rang and between the acts’ revamped hype-man roster, twerk army and Diplo’s human hamster ball, the festival escalated quite rapidly into full-throttle rage mode. -MK


DJ-Falcon
DJ Falcon
Saturday • Tunnel Stage • 5:10pm

French DJ & producer Stéphane Quême, aka DJ Falcon, had a prime time slot on paper, but his audience was rather small. It looked like most folks were taking a breather or getting food between Disclosure and Major Lazer. While there was plenty of space at the Tunnel Stage for DJ Falcon, it was filled out by dance-heads that had to keep the train moving. The set ended with Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” into “Give Life Back to Music”, but the set would have had a bigger impact by ending with his own Random Access Memories cut “Contact”. -Mike Frash


Disclosure
Disclosure ~ TOP SET
Saturday • Bridge Stage • 4:20pm

The brothers Lawrence returned to the Bay Area for their second ever show, exemplifying how much things can change in the course of a year. Disclosure attracted the most dense and one of the most mentally immersed crowds of the weekend — it’s safe to say the UK duo are the most popular electronic act on the planet at the moment. From the moment these two fans set the tone of the show by sharing a lollipop, Guy and Howard Lawrence performed most of the tracks off their landmark first LP Settle, adding live drum and bass instrumentation. “Help Me Lose My Mind” was especially effective at slowing down the BPMs late in the set while keeping emotions high. If they could manage to bring along the likes of Jessie Ware, Aluna Francis, London Grammar & Sam Smith on tour with them to sing in the flesh, Disclosure would pack in arenas from Sydney to San Francisco. -MF


Poolside
Poolside
Saturday • Tunnel Stage • 3:35pm

Poolside curated a mellow, island vibe that suited the bright afternoon sun at the Tunnel stage. Ultra-catchy songs like “Why You Wanna”, “Do You Believe” and “Slow Down” deliver seductive mantras that are hypnotic, yet keep you swaying to the beat. A bonus Poolside highlight came for those that were lucky enough to stick around after Atoms for Peace had finished for an intimate Poolside DJ set on the way out. -KR


Danny-Brown
Danny Brown
Saturday • Bridge Stage • 2:45pm

This late addition to the lineup was embraced, even if we had to lose the UK rarity that is Tricky, and his early Saturday showcase allowed him to span his releases more fully, primarily with the release of Old. A long intro built hype nicely, and by the time Danny Brown sauntered onto stage, the youthful crowd was revved up and eating from the MCs hand for the remainder of a high-energy set. Highlights included “Radio Song” and “Monopoly” off XXX. The sky’s the limit for Brown as he settles into his newfound ‘King of Weird’ title. -KQ


Robert-DeLong
Robert DeLong
Saturday • Tunnel Stage • 2:00pm

21st century one man band Robert DeLong inspired early movement from the audience with his danceable, percussive beats. Equipped with an array of musical toys, DeLong demonstrated his ability to create deep layers of sound with only the use of his two hands. Robert DeLong is clearly a drummer at heart, however he takes his music to another level, synchronizing his beats through the tip of his drum stick. DeLong continues to build smart and innovative beats in a live environment, surpassing many of his ‘button-pushing’ peers in technique and output. -KR


ADULT.
Saturday • Bridge Stage • 1:15pm

Goth electro rockers ADULT. warmed up the main stage in a big way Saturday. Dressed in all black with a heavy dose of leather, singer Nicola Kuperus and beatmaker Adam Lee Miller, were battling the heat of the sun the entire set. Kuperus commented on her desire for the sun to go away and contemplated refuge under the stage. Kuperos, however, found relief from the sun during the final two songs when she jumped into the audience to perform at crowd level. Kuperos eventually found a patch of shade to the left of the stage under a tree to close out the set. -KR


SUNDAY
Sunday ~ October 20, 2013

Beck
Beck ~ TOP SET
SUNDAY • Bridge Stage • 9:25pm

Beck emerged for his Sunday headlining set about 25 minutes after the printed time, but he more than made up for it by playing a collection of upbeat material to help “keep us warm” well past 11pm. All in all, the set was a greatest hits showcase — the Bay Area weekend warriors still rocking on the island heard “Devil’s Haircut”, “Loser”, “E-Pro”, “Girl”, and to end the night “Where It’s At”. New songs like “I Won’t Be Long” and “Defriended” didn’t get played, but the final show of the fest did see one of the only guest appearances of the weekend. Beck treated the Bay to the live debut of “Let’s Get Lost” from the Twilight:Eclipse soundtrack, enlisting Alexis Krauss from Sleigh Bells for the wonderful duet. This surprise was only topped when Beck reminded us he was ‘bringing that quiet storm’ during “I Wanna Get With You (And Your Sister, Debra)”. Beck showed, yet again, that he is one of the coolest guys in music. -MF


Sleigh-Bells
Sleigh Bells
SUNDAY • Tunnel Stage • 8:30pm

Alexis Krauss and Derek E. Miller closed down the Tunnel Stage on a bitterly chilly Sunday evening. Though many in the crowd, and likely on stage, weren’t too cold for too long as the energy levels rose quickly as thick riffs and bombastic beats came rushing from off the Bay. “Comeback Kid” and “Tiger Kit” were early highlights in the set. Showbams contributors were commenting that Sleigh Bells has become a quintessentially solid festival band that all can enjoy and head-band along to. Even though it was the second to last set of the event, it would’t be the last time Alexis graced the stage on this night. -KQ


Animal-Collective
Animal Collective ~ TOP SET
SUNDAY • Bridge Stage • 7:40pm

Ramping up the “weird” during the festival’s most surreal performance, Animal Collective pulled out rare cuts and old classics for their Sunday night set on the Bridge Stage. Bringing along their all-consuming, giant mouth set design from the Centipede HZ tour this past year, the boys blew the minds of the early evening crowd with their intense visuals, spasmodic stage show and extended psychedelic jam session. Shying away from the radio hits, Animal Collective delved deep into their catalogue for a surprising set list with songs like “The Purple Bottle”, catering to an audience full of devoted fans and impressed noobs. A bold scheduling call for the traditionally more mellow of the two days, Animal Collective fulfilled the TIMF diversity quotient while properly mind-fucking the withstanding festival-weary crowd. -MK


Japandroids
Japandroids
SUNDAY • Tunnel Stage • 6:50pm

It’s hard to fathom how many miles on the road Brian Davis and David Prowse have racked up since the release of Celebration Rock. Treasure Island was their last show in the continent for a while, but they continue on to far off places before taking their well-earned break. In the meantime, the Canadian duo did their best to shake off the brisk wind by blazing through songs like “The Night of Wine and Roses” and “Fire’s Highway”. The enthusiastic crowd bopped along in a combination of adoration and warmth.  -KQ


James-Blake
James Blake ~ TOP SET
SUNDAY • Bridge Stage • 6:00pm

James Blake‘s sound fit the moment exquisitely as the sun began to disappear behind a long band of fog that threatened to take over Treasure Island. Blake now tours as a trio, wisely adding live percussion to enhance his dreamy soundscapes. Confident yet mostly stoic, Blake’s measured vocals hung in the brisk fall air to mostly pin-drop silence. The progressive nature of the 25-year old’s music suddenly feels so familiar since Blake blasted into the worldwide music scene four years ago. Maybe its a product of his influence, or just the fact that his heavenly voice, modulated or not, blends so well with his post-dubstep-based production. This set elicited gasps of joy from the throngs of female fans along the stage rail, and the ending of “Overgrown” had an orgasmic effect on a couple of people near me. Set placement of songs was ideal — “Retrograde” and “The Wilhelm Scream” bookended the performance perfectly, and “Voyeur” stole the show, igniting an extended dance session. James Blake is simply a legend in the making. -MF


Real-Estate
Real Estate
SUNDAY • Tunnel Stage • 5:10pm

Sunday afternoons don’t get much more ideal than sail boats as a backdrop, sun in our eyes and Real Estate churning out their breezy style of surfed-out indie rock. However, this set was not a showcase of previously released material, but rather a showcase of new material, and even a new touring keyboard player. Even with a few brand new songs filling their set, Real Estate still managed to represent both of their stellar releases. “Green Aisles” was especially strong as a large palm tree behind the stage swayed along with the crowd. -KQ


Starfucker
STRFKR
SUNDAY • Bridge Stage • 4:20pm

STRFKR sees you’re confetti cannons and giant hamster ball Diplo and ‘raises you’ a crowd surfing astronaut and an army of blow up dolls! STRFKR pulled out all of the stops for their over the top afternoon performance. Pulling from their four full length albums, the boys were out there to get the crowd moving. While catching the last glimpses of sunlight on the Bridge Stage, the band executed one of their most polished Bay Area performances to date amongst a complete shit show of on stage distractions and “hype animals.” Dancing furries, a sumo wrestling battle and simulated oral sex/bestiality provided humorous stage antics for the second half of the set. Depending on your mindset during this point in the weekend, the show either came off as unnecessary overcompensation or one of the best shows Sunday. -MK


HAIM
HAIM ~ TOP SET
SUNDAY • Tunnel Stage • 3:35pm

How is it possible that the spunky LA-based sister trio HAIM has never played a proper set in San Francisco until TIMF? Well, if life is about first impressions, the Bay Area is smitten. Part of HAIM’s success lies in their equal value and contributions to the group — Este, Danielle & Alana Haim share singing duties, adorable stage banter and the ability to play their instruments magnificently. Most of all though, it’s HAIM’s fearless and passionate approach to everything they do that is most memorable. They are all very comfortable on stage, as seen through their ‘in the moment’ mentality, responding to calls from the crowd and telling people to throw their food on stage for a mid-set snack. “Honey and I” got a stripped down treatment that worked well, something the ladies said they did specially for SF. Asking if we were ready to dance, HAIM launched into “Forever”, and TIMF obliged. This international sensation has finally played the other end of their home state, and HAIM is likely to play theater-sized venues next time they are back. -MF