Mac DeMarco, Growwler and Travis Hayes: “A Performance Review” for the week of 7/7/14-7/13/14

You know it’s going to be a great week when EVERY DAY there is an event that you should attend. Last week was an amazing week to be in the greater San Francisco area for music. Let’s start on Monday at Amoeba…

There was a Cloud Nothings set that felt more like a living room show than anything. It was sweet to see them before a sold-out show at Great American, but after seeing Mac DeMarco two days later in the same space (also before his G.A.M.H sell-out show) Cloud Nothings have a thing to learn from the “Pepperoni Playboy”. Regardless of who did a better job, there is no better way to start the work week out then a free show, let alone 2, and Holy Moly did THAT get me pumped for the rest of the week!


Before we get rolling with local bands let me say this…Mac DeMarco has EVERYTHING you could ever want in a show. Great crowd interaction, great music, great covers/medley (During his second to last song during the “breakdown” of “The Stars Keep on Calling My Name”  the band went into no fewer than 6 covers including Takin’ Care of Business, Blackbird (complete with hardcore chorus), Break Stuff featuring stage diving from Mikal Cronin, and a version of Enter Sandman with more false finishes then Savage/Steamboat from Wrestlemania 3!!!) Pay attention to Mac DeMarco if you think you have a dynamic set as a performer for he’s the new measuring stick…

Also before we go ahead with what I DID see, I need to make a shout out to 2 groups I did NOT see. (though my reasons were valid I still hate missing out on bands sets that I gave my word I’d see)

Growwler on Tuesday at Bottom of the Hill and The Oakland Mind at Neck of the Woods on Sunday. I heard from parties that attended each show how much ass was kicked by each group. These two bands are on my rain checklist and they should be on your radar as well…with that said let’s get into the local shows I was privileged to see starting…

Thursday at The Honey Hive…Greys, Hazel’s Wart, Reptoid

The Honey Hive may be my new favorite venue in SF, as it’s like going back in time to my hometown and seeing punk shows in various basements around Wyoming. A Great D.I.Y. spot on the outskirts of town(46th and Judah) that far too many people would say is worse than going to Oakland for a show.

(For that attitude I say you are lazy and get off yr ass and go see music, streaming tv shows will always be there!)


If you want a great punk “house” show check out Honey Hive. Unfortunately, I was booking it from my job and broke my own show rules to show up at the beginning and stay till the end. I arrived to catch the last song of Reptoid so cannot speak to their performance and owe them a rain check as well. I DID, however,  get to see Greys from Toronto put on one hell of a set. Vintage punk that was fast, hard-hitting, right to business, and lasted all of 25 minutes to play 14ish songs. The music got me moving without having to think about it and let me embrace my inner punkdancer. This was exactly what the Dr. ordered as I have been out of the loop when it comes to punk in the Bay. (any help to get me back into that world would be very appreciated)

Thankfully the night didn’t end there as SF/Oakland’s own Hazel’s Wart finished up the show with the right type of fuzz pop to send me home happy with another straight forward pun set! This led to a hell of a night on Friday for…





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Christian Lee Hutson, Trebuchet, Travis Hayes, and Before the Brave

 This show was quite the roller coaster for me as the performances were great but coming off the punk show the night before it was a DRASTIC change of pace. I’ll get into the highlights of performance…

Christian Lee Hutson is from Nashville and is a funny, funny man. It’s a dry humor that was lost on 92.1% of the people who’d trickled in early, but the 7.9% who got it, got it good. He did a great job starting the train rolling and set up the night for an evening of earnest songs being sung by honest people. Being from Wyoming, I know some country and never…EEEEEEVVVVEEEERRRRRR (ala Chris Jericho) have I seen some country western be played with aid of a drum machine. It was great.

photo 4 Trebuchet also did a great job in keeping the night rolling. Each member had a great presence on stage and the MVP of the band was….THE DRUMMER. Hell yeah, just thinking back on the show I’m remembering how excited I was because while the music was not right up my alley the performance certainly was and was in a large part due to how great the drummer played. It might be indie folk rock but if you were watching the drummer, he coulda been at Honey Hive the night before. One important thing I noticed. While the band had good songs and good stage presence when I turned to gauge the crowd they were treating Trebuchet like glorified background music. (meaning the crowd could have been listening to a jukebox and would have had the same enthrallment with what they were seeing) They did, however, do a great job setting up my highlight of the night and the man whose cd release show it was…


TRAVIS HAYES. If you are into indie folk-rock, if you are into singer/songwriters, if you are into johnny cash era country, if you are into early 2000’s emo, you will LOVE Travis Hayes. I know I’ve done a review of his performance before at the Chapel, but tonight was special. Not only was it his cd release, but it was played with a FULL band, and sweet sassy silver I’ll be damned if Travis hasn’t found a way to make his act hit harder and be even better than before. Yes, I like the duo performance, but with the band, it was a sonic treat and made the honesty of Travis’ song shine even more. I’m calling this the set of the week and telling you I don’t care what kind of music you resonate with most, if you enjoy music at all you will love Travis Hayes.

Before the Brave also know how to put on a show. All six members know how to play their parts in the band well, and Jason Perry Stevens is a great front human. I’ve got nothing bad to say about their set and again if you are into vocal harmonies and indie folk rock specifically you will LOVE them. They did a great job and the crowd was into it but by this point, in the evening my indie folk meter had been filled and Travis Hayes had already stolen the show. This lead into Saturday night w/

Katie Garibaldi and Mike Annuzzi w/The Devi’s Chord

Mike Annuzzi was a pleasure to watch and was playing songs he’d written/recorded by himself with a band who he’d thrown together by hook and by crook. (Enlisting a friend of a friend for keyboards and bass, and a craigslist drummer.)  After announcing this was their FIRST time playing together  I was taken back. (literally, it was the first time for them as the band was reading sheet music to make sure they kept up to speed).  Had he never said this, you’d never have known it since they did such a great job. I loved the positivity of the songs and how full of joy Mike seemed to be filled with. This positivity led to an absolutely wonderful set from…


Katie Garibaldi. Katie was releasing her cd tonight called “Follow Your Heart” and this isn’t just a cheap title, it is how the wonderful lady carries herself on the daily. This Saturday was a long road for Katie and you could tell by the mile-wide smile that she had successfully practiced what she preached and was the belle of the ball. Being trained in country western music, I can tell you that Katie Garibalid is an homage to a bygone era. I know most people hear the genre “country” and roll their eyes with disgust. You are thinking of recent country music which is really just pop music with a fiddle, steel guitar and twang in the voice suggesting its “country”. (thank the business of music  for ruining the genre, but this is another rant for another time) I’m talking Country Western music. Real country music, music like Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Charley Pride, Glen Campbell, and Conway Twitty. From the boots to the dress, guitar strap to the glamorous red dress, Katie Garibaldi had the look, but more than then look, she brought out all the guns for her CD release. She had a bassist that switched between stand-up and electric bass, a steel guitar player not just for show but gave a perfect accompaniment to Katie’s guitar. Members of the Magic Magic Orchestra joined her with cello/viola for a few songs that left you feeling happy and were perfect for the feeling you want on a wonderful date night. For a set that will warm your heart, follow yours and go see Katie Garibaldi. Her set put a sweet cherry on the top a wonderful week in music in San Francisco.

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