Tag Archives: Concerts

The Bay Area Brings the Beats this Spring

Jeannine Abusharkh
Contributing Writer

It’s almost that time of year again:  people are waiting on their cellphones and laptops for tickets to go on sale.  With so many concerts happening in The Bay Area, where do you start? Here are the concerts, festivals, and bands to rock out to this spring in the Bay Area and beyond. Continue reading The Bay Area Brings the Beats this Spring

Concert Guide to Kick Off the Semester

Nichole Rosanova

Staff Writer

One of the best parts about living in San Francisco is the great access to live music nearly every day of the week, with most shows at a college-budget friendly rate. This fall, I’ll be getting elbows deep in the sounds of some of my favorite bands hopefully alongside my fellow Dons. For all you incoming freshman, behold the fall concert guide that will help you get your toes wet before you dive head first into the Bay Area music scene.

The Oakland Mind

Thursday, Sept. 4th, Neck of the Woods (21 + Up), $5 The Oakland Mind is an up and coming rap artist making a loud impression on the Bay Area. With undertones of hip-hop and funk along with rhythmic lyrics, you’ll find yourself bopping your head not too long after the first notes are played. *For free tickets, tune into USF’s college radio station at KUSF.org and listen in for ticket giveaways!

Tribal Seeds

Friday, Sept. 5th, The Fillmore, $32.50 It’s a new semester of college, which means it’s time to start listening to reggae again! The San Diego based group infuses rock n’ roll elements to their Rastafarian style with sweet guitar riffs and percussion. *For free tickets, tune into USF’s college radio station at KUSF.org and listen in for ticket giveaways!


Friday, Sept. 19th, Berkeley Greek Theatre, $49.50 Those that love synth-pop should be stoked that STRFKR is coming to the Bay Area. While the band is often classified within the electronica genre, their sounds are fairly tame in comparison to other electronic based bands. If you have yet to listen to these guys, I highly recommend their album “Reptilians” as an introduction to their material.

The Drums

Mon., Oct. 6th, Great American Music Hall, $17.00 The opportunity to see lead singer Jonny Pierce’s beautiful golden bangs in person should be enough of a reason to see The Drums live, but it comes as a bonus that they also happen to sound like the musical lovechild of Joy Division and The Smiths. The indie-pop band that hails from Brooklyn make songs to listen to while walking in the rain or as you’re putting on a pot of tea, so it’s perfect that they’re choosing to perform in the peak of autumn.

Of Montreal

Tues. and Wed., Oct. 14th & 15th, Great American Music Hall, $21.00 This American band has an eclectic sound ranging from indie to experimental pop. Popular songs include “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and other Games” and “The Party’s Crashing Us.” If I were to somehow be able to live my life exclusively through movie montages, I imagine that Of Montreal would supply the background music.


Thursday, Oct. 30th, The Regency Ballroom, $25.00 I used to think that good music was solely comprised of songs with good lyrics. Yelle is a French band and I have no idea what they’re singing about whenever I listen to them, and yet I simply can’t stop. With great bass and melodies, Yelle has the potential to bring out the dancer in all of us.

Meet The Plastic Villains: USF's Hottest New Band

I was told by their manager to be at the “Villain house” at 9 o’clock. Professional yet cool–which is exactly what these guys are. When we arrived at the door, music was blasting out of the garage (the band’s practice space and sometimes recording studio) so loud they couldn’t hear the doorbell ring. Luckily their gracious roommate answered, and the door opened to people, action, and more music–louder than before. I caught the last bit of their rehearsal downstairs, and with the Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon posters on the wall as inspiration, it was clear I was seeing a new band truly motivated to become something great.

The Plastic Villains are a band of five members; guys who have come together through what sounds like fate. The band started with roommates Todd Andersen, a senior Media Studies major and Mike O’Donnell, a senior English major. One by one, they picked up Jerry Sypkens, a junior Media Studies major and Alex Lozano, a junior Sociology major. Chris Locs, on bass, is the only non-USF student and also plays in another band, Outlaws and Preachers. As Andersen said of them coming together: “These lovely gentleman just fell into our lap, and we’ve taken off from there.”

The Plastic Villains describe their diverse genre as “psychedelic garage rock blues hop,” which comes from their varying interests and talents as individuals. They all started playing instruments as children, and since have found their niche in the band with Todd as vocals and guitar, Mike on guitar, Alex on drums, Jerry on the keyboard and Chris on bass.

They all contribute to the song writing, with Todd and Mike writing a lot of the lyrics and structure with a heavy sense of collaboration by all the members. Just as they finish each other’s sentences, they’ll always be a few steps ahead with the next idea for a chord or line.

Roughly only two months old, the band has played a good few shows at local venues and has big plans for the future. “By next year, we’d like to be at Treasure Island,” says Andersen. “That’s the pie in the sky—but not even–if we work hard enough.” There seems to be no shortage of dedication or hard work within the group, and the feeling is overpowering. “It’s a level of determination,” Skypens begins, and O’Donnell finishes his thought: “people respond to that. You can tell that we are all very much pushing and enjoying what we are doing.”

Coming in hot off a win for The Deli’s Bay Area Band of the Month, the band marvels at their run at success: “Something good has literally happened every day for the past two weeks,” says Lozano with the others in agreement. Just last week, the band filmed a music video with friends from the Academy of Arts.

The guys admit to the difficulty of juggling being in a band with being a student, but agree that they owe a lot to USF for their support. “We always try and give USF a shout out at shows,” they say. “We owe our fan base to USF.” And their groupies, they add, are called “Villainettes.”

Sitting in the living room of the Villain house you can feel the very same high level of energy you do at one of their shows. These five guys bring the determination needed for a young band like theirs to succeed and the joking, loud, and comfortable friendship that luckily came with it. “There’s never a moment when we’re not having fun,” says O’Donnell: “we are a bunch of friends who just like to make music but beyond that, having the approach of ‘lets take it as serious as we can.’ That drives the music a lot.”

To USF Students and community: it is highly advisable to get involved in the Plastic Villains.

You can check them out on their Facebook Page: The Plastic Villains.

Chris Moore’s Small Suggestions for Big City Livin’

Oh, how impressionable are all you newcomers to San Francisco. I can already see the freshmen naively dancing with the dirty, burnt-out, deadheads on Haight Street and in Golden Gate Park. I can hear the rush of scraping heels and shuffling sneakers swelling on the sidewalk in front of Rickshaw Stop, Ruby Skye, Madrone and many other clubs, all to experience city life. And yes, even all you who have returned to the city are just as guilty!

It’s easy to fail to explore this city because the Richmond is pretty comfortable. Strictly taking the Muni to accessible popular downtown places is pretty comfortable, too. Hell, even religiously eating Papalote, the only decent burrito place around school, is pretty comfortable. For all those in the City who are curiously new, or complacently old, here is a crash course guide in diving into the San Francisco scene through music, of course!

DJ’s have always been the architects of hip-hop and the privileged few trusted to get the people moving with fresh beats. Normally hip-hop is restricted to a guy or gal rapping over two plates of wax or mp3s, but the weekly Afrolicious party at the Elbo Room takes the dance experience to the next level. A wide array of live percussion instruments, DJ’s and guest MC’s combine forces as a wonder team to save your feet from a horrendous dance night. Their beats have exotic sensibilities that improvise on heavy African tribal music, fiery Spanish salsa, bass-y electro and even tasteful dubstep.

Never underestimate the art gallery scene in San Francisco. Whenever you get a chance, pick up a copy of the San Francisco Arts Quarterly publication and mark some of the many interesting gallery events.

The popular Divisadero and Lower Haight art walks, as well as the open gallery first Tuesdays, guarantee live music and good local art. There are so many artists and so many spaces in San Francisco fighting to get some love that the young ones generally are not snobs and throw a party for their new exhibits. Lift the black tarp around your imagination and let your brain breathe in some colorful visuals to the score of ambient disco rockers.

San Francisco can be a mean place for punks, metal heads and rockabillies. It seems 90 percent of venues are not all-ages and all the decent acts play at bars.

So, if you’re not 21 and just want to release some energy, where can you stomp around? Submission on Mission St. has hardcore music playing in all genres practically every week. The Thrillhouse on 30th and Mission invites bands from all over the state to play in a dingy, sweaty living room every now and then. Thee Parkside, next to Bottom of the Hill, has purebred local acts play for an all-ages hour during the day. 924 Gilman in Oakland is also a cornerstone all-ages venue for the Bay Area. SF State’s The Depot brings in some quality up and coming acts. But, nothing proudly expresses “Independent” and “Anarchy” like the occasional free generator shows at 16th and Mission BART station.

When you just want to sit and listen to music in a pleasant atmosphere with diverse people, go to Revolution Café on 22nd and Bartlett. Every day there are jazz or gypsy bands playing beautiful renditions of old standards.

At night, nothing is more enjoyable than sinking into a seat, letting warm dusk pass over you and listening to Beethoven, Brahms or Debussy played by classical musicians from the Conservatory of Music.

Going to Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square are not enough to say you live in San Francisco. To really begin to know the City, you’ve got to walk down the unimportant streets, duck into the random coffee shops and explore what is not on the maps. These interactions with new people, new places and new sounds will eventually guide you to that perfect niche that you can claim as your spot in the harlequin tapestry of San Francisco.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy
Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain
Scene Editor: Tamar Kuyumjian

Go See Live Music: All Ages Music Calendar

March 4

Adobe Books- Dashing Suns/Sunbeam Rd

Amoeba @ Berkely – Tegan And Sarah

Bottom of the Hill – Rocky Votolato/Adam Stephens (of Two Gallants)/ Tin Can


Great American Music Hall – Midlake/Matthew & The Arrogant Sea

Popscene-Veil Veil Vanish Record Release Party

March 5

Fillmore – Galatic

Yoshi’s – Poncho Sanchez

March 6

Bottom of the Hill – Appleseed Cast/ Dreamend

Fillmore – Galatic

Yoshi’s – Poncho Sanchez

March 7

Bottom of the Hill – Abe Vigoda/Lovvers/High Castle

Slims- Black Deliah Murder/Obscura/Augury

Warfield- Killswitch Engage/Devil Wears Prada/Dark Tranquility

March 8

Bottom of the Hill – Delta Spirit/We Barbarians/Elephant Micah

March 9

924 Gillman, Berkely Free Move Night – Pan’s Labyrinth

Fillmore – Little Boots/Dragonette/Class Actresss

Great American Music Hall – Clientele/Wooden Birds

March 10

Amoeba @ Haight st – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Great American Music Hall – Big Pink/A Place To Bury Strangers/ IO Echo

Rickshaw Stop – Slow Club/Pleasure Kills/Saucy Jacks

March 11

The Dept @ SFSU – Grass Widow

Rickshaw Stop – Love Like Fire/Geographer/Altars

Catalyst, Santa Cruz – Andre Nickatina/Smoove-E/Chris Rene

New Parish, Oakland – Them There Skies

March 12

924 Gilman, Berkeley – Dangers/Owen Hart/Power/Sabertooth Zombie

Fillmore – Temper Trap/ West Indian Girl

Great American Music Hall – Matthew Good/Automatic Loveletter

Slims – Kid With Katana/Lunate Sigma John Eughauser

Sub Mission – Love Songs/Impediments/Humans/Roffie & The Nightstalker