The Trims Headline Great American Music Hall

Date: February 20, 2015
City: San Francisco, CA
Venue: Great American Music Hall
Artist: The Trims
Opening Act(s): Spooky Mansion, Tino Drima

The Trims

I was very happy to see this San Jose band headline Great American Music Hall. I have liked them since the first time I saw them at BFD in 2013 and have seen them in concert several times. This is the first headlining show I’ve seen them do.

The Trims put on a great show and had me dancing the entire time. I love that lead singer Gabriel Maciel wears white shoes every show. I hope he doesn’t stop when they have a record deal and stylist. The bands family was in the crowd front and center. Gabe did a shout out to his mom. You could see the pride she was feeling all over her face.

This was the first time they introduced the members of the band. They include:
• Gabriel Maciel – Vocals/Guitar
• Bryan Aguirre – Lead Guitar
• Billy Brady – Drums
• David Ovlite – Bass
The Trims have gone through a few bassists since their inception. Hopefully David Ovlite stays so these guys can continue to make new music and hit the big time.

Spooky Mansion

Spooky Mansion from San Francisco was the second opener of the night. They describe their sound as Surf Soul Rock ‘n Roll on their Facebook page. The first song started off a bit slow, which concerned me but the rest of their set picked up. I enjoyed watching the Carlos McCone, lead guitarist, perform. Bassist Marty Reising was drinking what looked like milk while on stage. I found this odd as it doesn’t seem very rock ‘n roll. Maybe it was a White Russian. Overall a good set and a band I’d see again.

Tino Drima

The first opener was Tino Drima, also from San Francisco. I really liked their sound. It reminded me a bit of the 50s rock ‘n roll, but yet it still felt modern. Another band I would see again.

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New World Order at Slim’s

Date: February 19, 2015
City: San Francisco, CA
Venue: Slim’s
Artist: Vin Sol // MPHD

New World Order

DJs have never really been my thing but I won tickets to see a few at Slim’s. I was a bit shocked that they were doing a DJ night as I think of Slim’s as a rock show venue. According to one of the bartenders this is something new they are trying. I assume this is to compete with other clubs that are predominantly dance club oriented.

Whatever it takes to keep this venue going strong. It’s a great small venue in San Francisco to see lesser-known bands as well as occasionally some bigger names. With apartments being built in the area and neighbors complaining about the noise, every music venue is at risk even if the venues were there first.

I wasn’t into the music that was bring mixed. Since there weren’t a lot of people to watch dance, I had a few beers some amazing chicken nachos and then headed home.

Slim’s did have a few other New World Order shows scheduled after this, but now a year later I am not seeing them on the schedule. I guess it didn’t draw a big enough audience.

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Less Than Jake at The Regency Ballroom

Date: February 17, 2015
City: San Francisco, CA
Venue: The Regency Ballroom
Artist: Less Than Jake
Opening Act(s): Reel Big Fish, Authority Zero

Less Than Jake
Opening with confetti

Less Than Jake
Rolls of toilet paper being shot into the crowd

Less Than Jake

Less Than Jake immediately started their set with confetti. If you read this blog regularly you know I love confetti. It was non-stop skanking and a few circle pits. Every now and then you have to go back to your college or post college days of music. This was my night to do just that and it was a great time.

Their set included:
• Look What Happened
• Nervous in the Alley
• The Ghosts of Me and You
• Good Enough
• How’s My Driving, Doug Hastings?
• Automatic/We’re All Dudes
• American Idle
• All My Best Friends Are Metalheads
• Harvey Wallbanger
• Overrated (Everything Is)
• Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts
• The Science of Selling Yourself Short
• Anchor
• Sobriety Is a Serious Business and Business Isn’t Good
• Pac Man Cereal
• Liquor Store
• Five State Drive
• Plastic Cup Politices
• The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out/Screws Fall Out
• History of a Boring Town

Less Than Jake

Reel Big Fish

Reel Big Fish co-headlined this tour and was second on stage. Who doesn’t remember “Sell Out”? They put on a great show. They also had a circle pit form during their set a few times. That’s how you know the crowd is loving it. They performed covers of a-ha’s “Take On Me” and a portion of The Offspring’s “Self Esteem”. The horns sounded great and I loved watching people skanking.

Their set included:
• Everyone Else Is an Asshole
• All I Want Is More
• I Want Your Girlfriend to Be My Girlfriend Too
• Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison cover)
• Trendy
• Your Guts (I Hate ‘Em)
• Skank for Christmas
• Ban the Tube Top
• I know You Too Well to Like You Anymore
• She Has a Girlfriend Now
• My Life (The Forces of Evil cover)
• Another F.U. Song
• Where Have You Been
• Sell Out
• S.R.
• Beer (with portion of The Offspring’s Self Esteem
• Take on Me (a-ha cover)

Authority Zero

Mesa, Arizona punk rock band Authority Zero opened up the night. I absolutely loved them. Lead singer Jason DeVore worked the stage and the crowd getting us to clap and sing along. They were high energy and I was feeling their music. A circle pit even formed. They coved Wall Of Voodoo’s “Mexican Radio”. Authority Zero was more punk than ska, but I thought they were a great choice to open this show.

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2014 Music Festivals By The Fitbit Numbers

I went to 5 music festivals in 2014. Thanks to my Fitbit I was able to see how many steps, miles and floors I walked at each of them. Of course Outside Lands in San Francisco had the highest number of floors, but I was surprised at how many there were in Los Angeles for Made in America. These numbers includes the time walking to and from the festivals In addition to the steps taken inside festival grounds.

Festival Days Steps Miles Floors
Lollapalooza 3 59,719 25.5 19
Outside Lands 3 56,982 24.4 127
Made in America LA 2 24,167 10.31 52
Riot Fest Chicago 3 48,080 20.53 31
Life is Beautiful 3 44,202 18.88 7
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Supporting Local Bands at The Knockout

Date: February 12, 2015
City: San Francisco, CA
Venue: The Knockout
Artist: Texas Thieves
Opening Act(s): Butt Problems

My second visit to The Knockout was again thanks to Tixie. Instead of a late afternoon show, this was a late night show. I arrived early and played a few rounds of bingo, which they do every Thursday night. After being out late the night before and knowing it’s a 40-minute bus ride home (assuming the connection is timed right) I left before the headliner, but did see the first two bands.

Texas Thieves

San Francisco based punk rock band Texas Thieves got me pumped. The lead singer was on the floor mixed in with the moshing crowd. I’d definitely see these guys again. They have one song posted on their Facebook that you can listen to here.

Butt Problems

Butt Problems is a San Francisco based band that describes their sound as “punk/thrash/comedy” on their Facebook page. With a name like Butt Problems you have to assume there is some comedy. Thrash isn’t my usual choice of music but it was fun to see the crowd thrash about.

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Day Drinking and Live Music at The Knockout

Date: February 8, 2015
City: San Francisco, CA
Venue: The Knockout
Artist: Pre-Legendary
Opening Act(s): Andy Human and The Reptoids

The Knockout is an intimate club/bar where Mission and Valencia meet in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood. I had never been here until I won tickets to this show from Tixie. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon for day drinking in the neighborhood before the show started around 4pm.


Pre-Legendary, a foursome from Oakland, were the headliners of the afternoon. The stage is very small and only a small step up from the main floor. There is not much room for the band to move around, but they still got the crowd going. I liked Pre-Legendary’s sound. It’s a combination of garage and punk rock. They drew a good size crowd too. You can check out their music here.

Andy Human and The Reptoids

Andy Human and The Reptoids, another foursome from Oakland, opened up the show. They describe their sound as “REPTOID ROCK” on their Facebook page. Some songs reminded me of the B-52s. I enjoyed their set as well. You can listen to their music here.

It was a great Sunday and first time at The Knockout.

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Papa Roach Rocks The Warfield

Date: February 5, 2015
City: San Francisco, CA
Venue: The Warfield
Artist: Papa Roach
Opening Act(s): Seether, Kyng, Islander

Papa Roach & Seether

Papa Roach

I immediately loved Papa Roach when “Infest” was released. I still listen to that album. I’ve seen Papa Roach several times and have mostly loved their live shows. One of the last times I saw them was in 2002 at Shoreline Amphitheater when they were part of the Anger Management Tour with Eminem. I think Jacoby may have been drunk or high during that performance as he was rolling around on stage. It was a lackluster show in comparison to the times I had seen Papa Roach before.

Thankfully for this show at The Warfield, Jacoby looked clean and sober. Papa Roach put on a great show. Very reminiscent of the first times I had seen them before that Anger Management tour. There were risers for Jacoby and the band to stand on so those of us not in the first few rows of people could see them. Jacoby crowd surfed and got the crowd to scream, jump and rock out to new and old songs. It was a great night for rock/metal music.

Songs included on their set list were:

  • Face Everything and Rise
  • Getting Away with Murder
  • Between Angels and Insects
  • Where Did the Angels Go?
  • Blood Brothers
  • Burn
  • Forever
  • Scars
  • Lifeline
  • Kick in the Teeth
  • Hollywood Whore
  • Broken as Me
  • Still Swingin’
  • …To Be Loved
  • Last Resort

Papa Roach


I remember Seether from the early 2000s, but this was the first time I’ve seen them live. They had great energy and I loved their lighting. Seether did a good job of mixing their new album with their older stuff.

Their set included the following songs:

  • Gasoline
  • Needles
  • Rise Above This
  • Fine Again
  • Broken
  • Change (In the House of Flies) (Deftones cover)
  • Words As Weapons
  • Same Damn Life
  • Country Song
  • Fake It
  • Remedy


Kyng, a trio from Los Angeles was the second opener of the night. While I liked their sound, I enjoyed Islander more.


Islander started off the night. This nu metal band from South Carolina got me ready for a night of screaming and banging my head. They worked the audience well teaching us the lyrics to their songs and having us scream along. Lead singer, Mikey Carvajal, came out into the crowd, which of course always gets everyone pumped.

They made sure we knew their name by having us yell it out every time they said “The name of the band is…”. The band stayed after the show to sign CDs and take pictures with fans. They seemed like a good bunch of guys. I will definitely see them again.


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Phenagen at DNA Lounge

Date: February 3, 2015
City: San Francisco, CA
Venue: DNA Lounge
Artist: Phenagen
Opening Act(s): Six Gun Saints, Lucabrazzi, Flanelhed


I had never heard of Phenagen before I saw this show listed on Tixie. I like rock music so figured why not bid a few tokens to see this show for free. According to the guitarist, Phenagen (founded by Phil Glasses) is originally from France and a legend in the rock world. Who knew?

The drums and guitar overpowered the vocals at the beginning of the set, but this was corrected after a few songs. I enjoyed watching guitarist Charly Gienau work what little part of the stage she had. There were a couple of times her guitar became unplugged because she was feverishly ripping on her guitar. The lead singer of Lucabrazzi plugged it back in for her a couple of times.

I wasn’t feeling Phenagen’s set, but I definitely was entertained.

Six Gun Saints

Six Gun Saints, a foursome from Concord, reminded me of the rock bands I would listen to in the 90s. They were my favorite of the night.


San Francisco’s Lucabrazzi was the second band of the night. The guitar of this 3-piece punk band drew me in. They were also fun to watch.


The first band of the night was Flanelhed. This Novato band reminded me how much I love real rock music. I was absolutely blown away by Chris Matthews’ voice. It was strong and loud. I would see these guys again.

Overall it was a great night of rock music.

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Spandau Ballet Kicks Off US Tour at The Warfield

Date: January 23, 2015
City: San Francisco, CA
Venue: The Warfield
Artist: Spandau Ballet
Opening Act(s): Omar Perez (DJ)

Spandau Ballet

It had been 30 years since Spandau Ballet had performed at The Warfield. I found it fitting that they kicked off their US tour there. While “True” may be the most notable song Spandau Ballet released, they have a lot of other songs that the crowd knew every word.

They also performed three new songs from “The Story – The Very Best of Spandau Ballet” album. Tony commented that someone had said to him that “This Is The Love” sounded like a Spandau Ballet song. His response was what did you expect, it IS a Spandau Ballet song.

Spandau Ballet

The band sounded great and Tony Hadley’s voice was on point. I loved seeing percussionist Steve Norman move his way to the front when he was playing saxophone. Tony Hadley would run up the steps to the drums and act like he was conducting. Everyone looked like they were having a great time on stage. It was a great night.

Spandau Ballet
The crowd pulls out their phones to record “True”.

• Soul Boy
• Highly Strung
• Only When You Leave
• How Many Lies
• Round and Round
• This Is The Love
• Steal
• Chant No 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)
• Reformation / Mandolin /Confused / Freeze
• To Cut a Long Story Short
• Once More
• I’ll Fly for You
• Instinction
• Communication
• Lifeline
• True
• Fight for Ourselves
• Through the Barricades
• Gold

Spandau Ballet

DJ Omar Perez
DJ Omar Perez got the crowd pumped up by spinning 80s tunes.

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The Jazz Singer Sparkles

Date: August 7, 2012
City: San Jose, CA
Venue: HP Pavilion
Artist: Neil Diamond
Opening Act(s): N/A

Neil Diamond

Back in the days before cable was widely available, there were very few channels to watch. I recall that “The Jazz Singer” staring Neil Diamond would often play on network television. The soundtrack had some good songs, my favorite being “America”.

I once read that Neil Diamond had said in an interview the he wore sparkly shirts so that the fans in the nosebleed seats could see him on stage as the lights hit his shirt. I didn’t quite have nosebleed seats, but I was somewhat disappointed by the fact that he wasn’t wearing a sparkly shirt – shiny and silky, yes, but no sparkles.

He performed the hits we all know and love “Forever in Blue Jeans”, “Hello Again”, “Love on the Rocks”, “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon”, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, “America” and of course “Sweet Caroline”.

This was another concert where the crowd was older than most of the shows I attend. However, there were several groups of frat boys at the show. They all went crazy when “Sweet Caroline” was performed.

While this was a mellow show in comparison to my usual rock and roll, jump up and down, throw your hands in the air kind of show, I really enjoyed myself. I have been on a mission to see as many legends as possible. Neil Diamond is definitely a legend. He is the Jewish Elvis after all.

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