I pretty much sat out most of the spring/summer concert season in SF this year. I missed a few great shows I regret – the Knife is especially tough to swallow now that they’ve announced a split – but mostly I just didn’t feel like attending most of the shows that came to town.
It looks like the Fall is going to change all that as I already have numerous plans to see a bunch of shows, with a few others remaining very possible.
The first show on my radar is Swans at the Independent. Normally, this would be a no-brainer for me, as their latest album has blown me away, but the show is September 8th and I have an early flight to Seattle on the 9th, plus the tickets sold out when I was kinda broke and now are double face value, money I’d be better off saving for my trip to Seattle. This one remains up in the air.
Next up is Modest Mouse at the newly remodeled Masonic Center atop Nob Hill. I bought my ticket this morning, as the 3300 seat venue will surely sell out quickly (like most shows worth attending in SF). MM is one of my favorite bands, but I haven’t seen them since 2001, at which time I had never really paid attention to them, so I’m really looking forward to this one.
The Lineup for this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, held on October 3-5 in Golden Gate Park, is hardly worthy of disparagement: Cibo Matto, Sun Kil Moon, Social Distortion, Chris Isaak, Tweedy, Yo La Tengo, Deltron 3030, and a host of artists I’m not familiar with but looking forward to checking out. It’s a free festival so there’s absolutely no way I won’t be attending.
October 7th brings Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and his new band, the aptly named Thurston Moore Band, to the Great American Music Hall, always a phenomenal place to see a show. Being only 4 blocks from my apartment, and SY being one of my all-time faves, it goes without saying I’ll be there.
Blonde Redhead at the Regency Ballroom on November 11th should be interesting. At one point, BR were among my favorite groups, but their last few albums have left me unimpressed and bored. They have a new one coming out and the first single is a little better than okay, but not great. I’ve seen them numerous times in their prime, but the Regency is a few blocks from me and it’s a Tuesday night, so there’s no real reason not to go, unless it sells out and I’m too broke for tickets.
I’m particularly excited to see FKA Twigs at the Regency on November 20th. Her show at Great American Music Hall a few weeks back was sold out well in advance and the tickets were being scalped on stubhub for over 140 bucks minimum. I bought my ticket right away, as her debut LP is one of the top releases of 2014, and could definitely make the top of my list by year’s end, though that jury hasn’t even begun to convene.
In between these shows there is a solid stream of attendable shows all through the season. I doubt you’d be able to find a week without at least 2 shows happening in the Bay Area that you wouldn’t be interested in checking out at least a little.