Dr. Dog kicks off four-night residency at The Indy

A few simple strums of the guitar quickly turned into a campfire harmony to Dr. Dog’s opening number “California.” In no time, the sold-out crowd sang along: “And the heart keeps bringing you home / To California, where the warm sun shines / California, hear the windblown chimes / CAL-I-FORN-I-A / Though you’re far away, your … Continue reading Dr. Dog kicks off four-night residency at The Indy

Battles surprise indy crowd with Tune-Yards’ Merrill Garbus

Watching John Stanier smash his five-piece Tama Artstar II drum kit is pretty unbelievable. Sweat poured off his forehead as his thick greying hair flung back and forth to the rhythm of his hands. Half-glancing at his super-high crash, it’s as if Stanier was warning the high-rise cymbal right before smashing the brass so hard … Continue reading Battles surprise indy crowd with Tune-Yards’ Merrill Garbus

Peter Hook & The Light ignite post-punk frenzy

A mop of messy hair flung back and forth across the dance floor. A bouncing man threw his arms up—you’d swear giant mattress springs were glued to his feet. Unapologetic and excited, the one-man whirlpool continued on among a sea of dancey diehards. Peter Hook and the Light at The Fillmore SF A sold-out crowd … Continue reading Peter Hook & The Light ignite post-punk frenzy

Thom Yorke closes intoxicating set with Radiohead classic

Spastically swirling across the stage, Thom Yorke’s lime green socks peaked out from white Velcro shoes. Like a tiny cyclone, his feet impulsively tapped as his arms swam through the air. Mouth wide and eyes closed, his hands curved and reached for the crowd. It’s no secret that Yorke loves playing in Berkeley. The last … Continue reading Thom Yorke closes intoxicating set with Radiohead classic

Brandi Carlile mesmerizes devoted Berkeley crowd

Elegant stage drapes backed Berkeley’s Greek Theatre—bright light morphed the color from blue to purple to red. There wasn’t a spec of grass at the top of the outdoor stone coliseum and chairs filled the floor. Looking back, a sea of eager faces glistened. It wasn’t long before curious eyes filled with excitement as Brandi … Continue reading Brandi Carlile mesmerizes devoted Berkeley crowd

Here to stay—Korn and Alice in Chains thrill lifelong fans

Devoted is an understatement—nearly 20,000 cheering fans packed Shoreline Amphitheatre for a lineup straight out of 1999. Nu metal icons Korn paired perfectly with grunge legends Alice in Chains, even if you couldn’t picture the pair touring together in their heyday. Scuzzy opening chords of “Here to Stay” (Untouchables, 2002) crept across the crowd. Within … Continue reading Here to stay—Korn and Alice in Chains thrill lifelong fans

Helms Alee march to the beat of their own drum

Watching Helms Alee drummer Hozoji Matheson-Margullis do her thing is hypnotizing. Sitting behind a late-‘60s black Rogers kit—the same one her dad bought her when she was 15 years old—Matheson-Margullis covered lead and backing locals while playing over rapidly shifting arrangements. Positioned center-stage at Great American Music Hall, an awestruck crowd stared as she ruthlessly … Continue reading Helms Alee march to the beat of their own drum

Hip Hop Legends Cypress Hill go old school at UC Theatre

Clouds of thick smoke filled Berkeley’s UC Theatre. Lighters clicked, blazing the tips of blunts and spliffs everywhere. A giant psychedelic elephant lit up the stage — its colors slowly morphed from purple to green. And then, darkness. Opaque blue light shone upon superstar guest DJ Mix Master Mike. Standing in for Cypress Hill’s own … Continue reading Hip Hop Legends Cypress Hill go old school at UC Theatre

Gang of Four awaken anarchist spirit at The Chapel

“Gang of Four” projected just atop the red arch that mounts The Chapel’s stage in San Francisco. It was the only light illuminating the small room just before the band drenched the crowd in radiating guitar noise. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder, fans jerked their knees as the drums crept in to renowned opening track, “Anthrax.” “And I … Continue reading Gang of Four awaken anarchist spirit at The Chapel

Andrew W.K. reveals the power of partying on New Year’s Eve

When Andrew W.K. says it’s time to party, you will party hard. If W.K. had one wish, it would be for all partygoers in all the land to throw caution to the wind and live their best life. The inspirational Party God gives you permission to be exactly who you are. He loves you, and he’s not … Continue reading Andrew W.K. reveals the power of partying on New Year’s Eve