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2013: A Year In Concerts

After a massive 2012, I kept the concert-going in check this year. Here are the shows I went to raround the SF Bay Area in 2013.
The Way Of All Flesh

Jan. 23 @ The Fillmore w/Devin Townsend & The Atlas Moth - The first concert of
the year might have been my favorite as well. Metal buddy, Tamra, and I arrived
at the very end of The Atlas Moth's set. Meh. The best part of their presence this
night was seeing their derivative t-shirt knockoff of the Deftones cat
(http://superstore.shop.bravadousa.com/Product.aspx?pc=BGCTDT50). Once Devin took the stage,
feelings of indifference were swapped for glee. Again, he can't help but have a
good time on stage and it shows. Definitely not afraid to be a goofball in front of a
crowd that may or may not enjoy his music (and antics) he repeatedly referred to
us all as "nerds." Gojira soon came afterwards and decimated the place. It had
been almost 4 years since I'd seen them (in a venue half the size) but I was
quickly reminded how fucking heavy they are. The Fillmore is a pretty spacious
room but the only bigger pit I've ever seen there was for Meshuggah in 2012.
Anyway, two of my favorite bands at the top of their game on one bill will be hard
to beat. Let's see who else put on a show this year. 5/5
2Two Gallants
The Bloom and the Blight

Feb. 2 @ The Fillmore - I took Bron sorta/kinda/not really for his birthday on a
whim. I really liked their last album and thought we should check them out live.
They sounded great, had good energy and played most of what I wanted to hear.

Feb. 9 @ Slim's w/Pallbearer and Royal Thunder - Tam couldn't make the show so I
gave her ticket to my boy, B.Lo. His taste in metal differs from mine but I think he
still enjoyed himself. Royal Thunder was good live and made me appreciate their
2012 album more. Mlny has a great voice and cool presence. The guitarist is a bit
goofy though with his bounciness. Pallbearer bored me. I'm not the biggest doom fan
but was hoping they'd convert me cuz I was lukewarm on their debut despite
hearing small things that I liked. Their live set made me give up. Enslaved made
everything all better. They played a couple tracks from the newest album that
came off much better live than on record (Materal, Riitiir) but the highlight was
ending the set with a blistering cover of Immigrant Song. 4/5

Feb. 15 & 16 @ Great American Music Hall w/Retox - Birthday concert(s)! I had yet
to witness one of my favorite Mike Patton collaborations and the timing could not
have been better. I took my girlfriend the first night and we had fun but this is
definitely not her thing. After the show though, she decided that metal/hard rock
audiences are probably the most courteous. At one point a big dude and his friend
in front of us moved out of the way after noticing she couldn't see well. Anyone that
bumped her apologized and the entire audience seemed to be having a good time
despite Patton being at his most antagonistic I'd seen. The Bad Brains covers were
fun but the highlight was being up close for the next night's show. 4/5
The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist

Mar. 6 @ DNA Lounge - I went to this last minute because I had nothing better to
do and I've enjoyed Junius every other time I've seen them. This was no exception
but I think it's time for some new material. Seems like I've seen the same set 3
times in a row now. 3.5/5
6 Dolorata

Mar. 9 @ El Rio - I owed the lead guitarist of this band a video favor so I agreed to
film her band's set in the patio area of this tiny venue. I walked in and immediately
got weird looks from the women at the bar. Once I got outside, I realized I was the
only man there besides the bartender. Apparently Dolorata was playing a big
lesbian event that day. No biggie except when I was setting up, one of the
organizers aggressively questioned my presence. All was smoothed over and I
filmed the show without another hitch except for the butch sigh language girl
standing right in front of the rhythm guitarist freaking out as she signed the lyrics.
7Soul Pie
Battling Mountains

Mar. 15 @ Boom Boom Room w/Vinyl - My friends in Soul Pie (now The Bad Jones)
had their EP release show this night. It was a fun time and tons of our friends came
out (even my dad!) and had a good time. The venue was packed and the SP/TBJ
dudes responded with a great set. 4/5
Among The Living

Mar. 28 @ The Regency w/Exodus - I really want to like the Regency Ballroom. It's
a nice, big space right in the middle of the city but there is always something they
fuck up. This time it was forcing the bands to start early without notice to the
people attending. My buddy, Ron, and I got there and Exodus was already well into
their set, going on almost an hour earlier than previously listed. I texted Tam and
another coworker of ours to tell them to get here ASAP or they'd miss part of
Anthrax (and Exodus entirely). Tamra got there in time to get Caught In A Mosh but
our other friend bailed completely cuz he hadn't even left his house. Weak!
Whatever, Anthrax was still super fun even if Joey is a doofus of a frontman. A
colleague in the balcony caught me and Ron in the pit and snapped a pic on his
phone. Then we all met Gary Holt (GARY HOLT!!!) outside the venue. 3.5/5
9The Lumineers
The Lumineers

Apr. 19 @ The Greek Theater w/Dr. Dog - My girlfriend really liked the Lumineers'
album so she got us tickets to their Berkeley show. They are enjoyable enough
even though I feel like the Mumford & Sons-y catchy emo folk stuff is reaching its
apex. The Lumineers sounded really good, especially for an outdoor venue, but Dr.
Dog put me the fuck to sleep. They sounded like watered-down Sublime or
311. Isn't that shit already watered-down (and this is coming from a casual fan of
both bands!)? Also, I came prepared for the rough concrete Greek Theater seats
by bring foam pads and my ass still hurt. 2.5/5
A Perfect Absolution

May 3 @ Neck Of The Woods w/Fallujah - Wasn't feeling super up for concerting
this night but realized I might not ever get a chance to see Gorod again (headlining
even!) so I went. Also convenient that this venue is super close to my apt. I've
seen Fallujah before and while I like them, I find them hard to get into. They are
very technically skilled and have cool aspects to their music but nothing out-right
grabs me. Still a decent opener for France's second best death metal band. I've
never seen a metal show at this small venue but the crowd was into it from the
beginning. I was still feeling lazy so I stayed away from the pit. Gorod is just the
right amount of crazy so that made for an entertaining show. I have since delved
into their back catalogue and found some gems 3.5/5
11Mike Patton
The Solitude of Prime Numbers

May 7 @ Castro Theater w/3 percussionists - Bron and I headed to the Castro to
see Mike Patton perform a live score with 3 percussionists (one being the former
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum drummer) to an old German silent film called
Waxworks. It was a cool experience and the innovative sound effects and music
these four musicians came up with made me appreciate them even more. I was
already a huge Patton and SGM fan but my favorite part came from one of the
other percussionists who vibrated the palm of his hand over a balloon whenever
the fat, conniving villain was on screen. Very fitting. Another highlight was patting
Patton (alliteration!) on the shoulder, congratulating him after the show. 3.5/5
12That 1 Guy
Packs A Wallop!

May 10 @ Cafe Du Nord - 3 days later, Bron and I ventured to the Castro
neighborhood once more to see That 1 Guy. We'd seen him open for Buckethead
and Porcupine Tree before but it had been a while since we'd witnessed his brand
of experimental silliness. The members of the smallish but dedicated crowd really
seemed to enjoy themselves. Awoooooooooo!!!! 4/5

May 20 @ The Eagle w/Needles - This gay bar is 3 blocks away from my office so I
walked over right after work and grabbed a beer as the first band set up. I think
Needles is local and I'd heard of them before but didn't enjoy their set much. Very
noisy and nearly incoherent. Torche came on soon after and seemed to really
enjoy themselves. I'd only seen them once before and was a bit underwhelmed but
this time was better and much more intimate. Steve Brooks even ventured into the
crowd near the end of the set. Also, newish track, Harmonslaught, was extra
heavy. Sweet! This venue seemed pretty cool but the way its set up is awkward.
Despite having a huge patio, there is very little space near the stage inside. Weird!
Blackwater Park

May 26 @ The Catalyst w/Katatonia - I met Tamra and her husband down in Santa
Cruz for some proggy goodness. I've seen Opeth many times and they are always
great. The acoustic version of Demon Of The Fall was really cool but the highlights
were definitely Deliverance and Blackwater Park. Also, since this show was soon
after Jeff Hanneman died, as a tribute during the outro feedback of Blackwater
Park, Axenrot did the iconic devil-knocking-on-the-door drum intro to Raining
Blood. Would have been so cool if they'd burst into the full song but we only got the
tease. Still cool. Oh, Katatonia = Boring. 4/5
15 Jese Lege, Joel Savoy & Kelli Jones

Jun. 25 @ Ashkenaz - I met Joel and his wife Kelli on a work vacation earlier in the
year and was treated to their music on a nightly basis for a week straight. While
I'm obviously more of a metalhead, their brand of Louisiana folk was really fun.
They told me they'd be in town for this show and my friends Matt and Yannick met
me out in Berkeley to catch the show. I was hoping to hang out with Joel and Kelli
more after their set but after 2 hours and no end in sight, I headed home. Hope to
see them again next time they're in town. 3/5
16Cattle Decapitation
Monolith of Inhumanity

Jul. 19 @ The Regency w/Revocation & The Ocean - Summer Slaughter! This was a
weird lineup of bands. The three listed here and Dillinger Escape Plan were really
the only ones I wanted to see. The problem is that Dillinger headlined and Cattle
Decap was done by 7:30. Being that it was my friend's birthday, I decided not to
stick around. I've seen Dillinger twice before and couldn't justify sitting through 3
hours of crap I don't care about between the other bands. While that's not the
Regency's fault, their no ins-and-outs is. What the fuck? If I could have gotten
dinner with my friends and came back I would have but, as mentioned, the
Regency finds ways to be lame. No matter cuz Revocation and especially Cattle
Decapitation were awesome! I like The Ocean a lot too but they were a bit out of
place on this bill and 25 minutes isn't enough time for their sound to sink in. 3.5/5
17 Mary Jones' Lights

Jul. 31 @ Hotel Utah - Some friends formed a new band a year or two ago and I
had yet to see them play live. Bron, Matt and I hung out in the balcony section
while they played and they impressed me for the most part. The singer, Jonny, has
a great vocal range and I like the register he sings in better here than past bands. I
also really enjoyed my friend, Nathan's, bass tone. Much fuzzier and deeper than
his other band. I didn't quite understand the presence of the guitarist's girlfriend
other than sex appeal (if you're into slinky, Angelina Jolie-lipped hipster chicks).
Her back-up vocals and intermittent keyboarding was nearly inaudible. 3/5
18Soul Pie
Battling Mountains

Aug. 16 @ Rickshaw Stop - I was hired to by my friends in this band to shoot their
first music video for their rebranding and name change later this year. We wanted
to showcase their live show a bit so I came out to the Rickshaw to get some
footage. Their energy was definitely up there (as it usually is) and I got some great
stuff. 4/5
19Soul Pie
Battling Mountains

Aug. 22 @ Boom Boom Room - To get another live setting feel, I came out to this
show too to get some more footage for the video. Still fun but this venue is smaller
than the Rickshaw and nowhere near as crowded for their EP release show earlier
in the year. 3.5/5
20Royal Thunder

Sept. 7 @ Thee Parkside - Even though she didn't know their music well, I took
Tam to see Royal Thunder knowing she would dig it. Considering this was billed as
a metal show, it was a low-key night at this tiny venue. RT again was cool live but
the guitarist's awkward bounce threw me off like it did at the Enslaved show. I tried
to focus on the drummer and Mlny, the bassist/singer. Considering this was the last
stop of their tour and they'd been on the road for several weeks, Mlny ended the
show early because her voice gave out. She has a deep, raspy delivery so I was
none-the-wiser until the last song that she was fading. Still a good set. 3.5/5
21Flight Of The Conchords
I Told You I Was Freaky

Sept. 20 @ The Shoreline w/Dave Chappelle, Jim Jeffries, Hannibal Buress - My
girlfriend is a huge Chappelle fan and I enjoy the goofiness that is the Conchords
so we got tickets to this HUGE comedy festival at one of my least favorite venues in
the Bay. Considering how big this place is, it was hard to have a real connection
with the comedians which I find very important. Flight Of The Conchords were the
highlight by far (probably helped that they are a musical act too). Dave Chappelle
was solid but not great, Jim Jefferies was hilarious and scathing but Hannibal
Buress was fairly lame. We saw a few others but I can't remember whom so they
must not have been that great. 3/5
Sister Faith

Oct. 9 @ Bottom Of The Hill w/Kowloon Walled City & Red Hare - I really liked
Coliseum's album this year and have been wanting to see them live for a while.
They played a solid set but I wasn't super engaged for some reason.
Frontman/singer/guitarist, Ryan Patterson, seemed extra appreciative that we all
came out on a weeknight. Been wanting to see local dudes, KWC, for a long time
too. They put on a good show and I'm looking forward to seeing them again soon.
Red Hare is a so-so punk band. They seemed happy to be up there but I wasn't
really digging it. 3.5/5
23Death Angel
The Dream Calls For Blood

Oct. 18 @ Slim's w/Revocation & 3 Inches Of Blood - Record release show! A cool
way to sell albums is to give it away free with the price of admission. Death Angel
did just that and put on a hell of a hometown show in the meantime. Revocation
was the shit as always and Tam seemed to like them a lot, as I was hoping she
would. 3 Inches Of Blood isn't my favorite but they're at least entertaining. We
got a hearty Mexican dinner instead of watching Battlecross, sorry. 4/5
24Lamb Of God

Nov. 9 @ The Fox w/Testament - It had been several years since I'd seen LoG and
I was excited to finally catch their show again. Bron claimed this was his first ever
straight-up metal concert (hopefully there are more in his future). Our buddy, B.Lo,
tagged along too and as we were making our way to the venue after dinner he
asked, "Have you even had edibles? They're kicking in right now." Luckily he had a
seat in the balcony to chill at so we didn't have to deal with his wastedness. Tam
was initially going just to see Testament and take off but I made sure she stuck
around of Lamb Of God, who she loved. Testament was fun as usual but we hung
out at the bar while Killswitch played. Can't really stand them. Once LoG took the
stage, I stuck around near the sound board with Bron and Tam before jumping into the
pit. Had they played Blacken The Cursed Sun, the night would have been 100%
complete. 4.5/5
Dying Alive

Nov. 14 @ The Fillmore - Kreeeeeaaaaatorrrrrr! I got there too late to see Overkill
cuz I was watching Sir Iggs drop the Thunder hella hard
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT0kE3LlgFg) but not a big fan anyway.
Kreator was sweet as can be. I took a coworker, Justin, cuz Tamra couldn't make it
and we hung out on the back edge of the pit throughout their set. The setlist was
pretty much greatest hits plus a couple new ones but no Terrible Certainty! C'mon,
Kreator. 3.5/5
26 Mary Jones' Lights

Nov. 23 @ Neck Of The Woods w/Staring@Stars & Cash For Gold - I got here a little
too late to catch my friend's new band, Staring@Stars, but Mary Jones' Lights put
on another solid show. The dudes seemed cranky after the set cuz apparently the
sound at Neck Of The Woods is shitty. I remember back in the day when this place
was called The Rockit Room and that was the case but thought the new ownership
fixed that. Apparently not. Another bit of bad news: chatting with my friend, Jon,
from Judgement Day, I came to find out that they are now on indefinite hiatus.
Lame! He's hoping they get back to it but not looking likely right now. Cash For
Gold came on next and promptly bored the fuck out of the audience so we got Thai
food. If only cuz of the J.Day news: 2.5/5
27Yeah. Sure. Whatever.
Through The Heart

Nov. 29 @ Hopmonk Tavern w/David Grecco & Randy Couvillion - I worked with
this band earlier in the year and shot some videos for them to help promote this,
their EP release show. I took B.Nis and his girl and we got there as Randy was
finishing up. I'd filmed David Grecco before with his full band and
while I enjoyed them, I found his solo approach boring. YSW came on and
definitely upped the energy. Looking forward to the next EP and future shows. 3.5/5
28 Staring@Stars

Dec. 6 @ 50 Mason Social Club w/Ultra Violent Waves & Wolf Colony - So I finally
got to see Versus Them's drummer, Isaac's, new band at the horribly-located 50
Mason Social Club, right in the heart of the Tenderloin in SF. Ultra Violent Waves
were on when I walked in and I enjoyed what little of them I heard and saw. I
checked out their bandcamp a few days later but was unimpressed with their
recorded music. Too bad. Moving on, a dude calling himself the Wolf took the stage claiming
that his band used to be called Wolf Colony but now he's lost all his band members. You can see why:
After putting on a paper wolf mask, he treated us to drab, nasally vocals sung
over backing tracks from his laptop. Really dude? Thankfully that only lasted 20 or
so minutes before Isaac's band took an hour to set-up for a 30 minute set. Their
stuff was catchy and Midi Matilda-ish but ultimately forgettable except for the last
song which was stuck in my head the rest of the night. 2.5/5
29 The Bad Jones

Dec. 11 @ Milk Bar w/Super Adventure Club & Stages Of Sleep - The former Soul
Pie finally had their debut show as The Bad Jones and packed the house at Milk Bar.
I don't care for Stages Of Sleep's brand of gypsy folk rock much so my sister and I
played pool with my buddy, Aaron, at the bar across the street while they were on.
Super Adventure Club was fun and silly and projected images of Patrick Swayze
and David Hasselhoff during their set. The Bad Jones came on after and put on a
great show. Looking forward to this band making moves in 2014. 4/5

Dec. 11 @ The Regency w/Windhand - I've wanted to see Windhand since hearing
their sophomore album from this year. Not a huge doom fan but there was
something I dug about their sound. I forgot my fancy earplugs Tamra got me a
couple years ago and paid for it. Windhand was incredibly loud and the feedback from the guitar distortion was mind-
numbing. While they were good
overall, I was expecting more. The guitarists and bassist headbanged hard to the
slow riffs but the singer usually had her back to us or did slow, waddling half-circles
as she sang. Very strange. Kvelertak came on and were great from beginning to
end. I went to their first ever American show a few years ago and the place went
crazy. At the Regency, it took several songs but once things got going, the whole
venue seemed like a big ball of frantic energy. And spit. Lots of slimey, Norwegian spit. Working on a new stage presence, I
guess. 4/5
31One Of Many

Dec. 14 @ Peri's w/Physical Suicide Deterrent System Project - While at The Bad
Jones show the week before, I was talking with Stages Of Sleep's guitarist, Eli, who
mentioned his other band, Physical Suicide Whatever-The-Hell, was playing at Peri's in
Fairfax. While not a fan of Stages Of Sleep, Eli is a very talented musician and I've
been wanting to check out his folk-grunge project. My girlfriend and I met Yannick at the bar as One Of Many was just getting
started. Featuring a
short-term Versus Them member, Erinn, on bass, they really impressed me. I
bought their album and offered the frontman my card after their set saying I would
be interested in shooting a video with them in the future. While Eli's band was setting
up, I kept thinking his bassist looked familiar. I then remembered him saying the
week before that he'd been working with former Nuclear Rabbit guitarist, Jason.
Nuclear Rabbit was one of my favorite bands in high school and college and it was
great to meet Jason that night. He said the NR had fizzled but he's been working on
stuff with the singer lately. PSDSP took the stage and while I appreciated the
musicianship, there wasn't much grabbing any of us. That, coupled with Yannick's
exgirlfriend walking in with some other dude, prompted us to leave early. 3/5
Exhibit B: The Human Condition

Dec. 20 @ Slim's W/Hell Fire - To paraphrase Tamra, "this will be a good hometown
show." True except it seemed neither of us was feeling particularly in the mood for
concerting. Local trad metal band, Hell Fire, opened up and were entertaining if
nothing special. Tamra said, "Singer's got a bit of a Rob Halford thing going on,"
before noticing homeboy's Judas Priest shirt. Oh, Tam. Unfortunately a member of
Nails had to have emergency dental work and they didn't make the show. I'd really
wanted to see their live set as I've heard it's super intense. Next time. Exodus
came on and were awesome but I kept feeling worse and worse. Some cougar next
to me was being fairly annoying the whole time and eventually told me I looked
like Leonardo DiCaprio. Nice try. A compliment, sure, but lady, get outta me. I tried
to enjoy Exodus as much as I could cuz their hometown shows are always full of
stupid, violent fun but once the pit opened up twice as big than it had been all night
for Toxic Waltz, I scrambled to get Tam into a corner away from the craziness and
then took a blow simultaneously to the gut and side of the head. 2013 concerting
complete! 3/5
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