Post #7: [EVENT REVIEW] Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Opened by Death From Above 1979)

When: October 22nd, 2016

Where: The Masonic – San Francisco, CA

Dropping swagger bombs of loud.

I showed up fashionably late expecting the opener to just be going on. Apparently I was ill informed and there were 2 openers, the first of which, Deap Vally, I had missed </3.

The first thing the roadies brought out in setup for the second show, Death From Above 1979, was a giant poster of the Canadian Duo’s heads (Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler) with elephant trunks for noses, the cover of their second studio album “The Physical World”. Standing about 12 feet tall, this was the center piece of the show. Before they came out the eyes lit up red. These guys are definitely on the harder side of BRMC and the hard hitting duo got right to banging away with strobe lights pelting the crowd. Remarkably, the entire show was played with just a bass guitar and drums with some synth peppered in. Jesse strummed the bass much like a guitar and gave a weird thick noise that they played off of. The lighting for this show was very dark with just a few lights at a time on each artist and into the crowd. They played from song to song with little time in between except a brief pause for Sebastien to tell us a story about Lenny Kravitz’s dick popping out in the middle of a show. They asked us if we wanted to hear a metal song, to which the crowd responded in the affirmative, and they were back at it. The last song they played had a poppy synth intro and ended with Jesse creating interference on his bass. Overall the show was good but I find the duo to be missing some melody which just leaves us with noise.

After some rearrangement of the stage, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club waltzed out. These guys have been at it for a while now and you could tell from their swagger. They had a couldn’t care less attitude on display by a lit cigarette in the mouth of Peter Hayes as he walked out. They play a mix of acoustic and electric instruments which gives them an edgy rough sound. Believe me when I say these guys are effortlessly loud. Not just in that the amps were turned up all the way but they add that extra level bringing it up to eleven. After a couple songs, they brought out a special guest whose name I didn’t catch. Peter grabbed a harmonica and strapped it to his neck, and Robert grabbed a slide for his guitar. This slight tweak gave them a swamp rock sort of sound that gave me chills. They picked up the tempo and the moshing began. Despite the change in speed they still showed little emotion and movement in a too cool for school way. Leah was banging away on the drums sweat matting down her hair and a stoic look like a totem of rock and roll. At this point, Peter lit another cigarette between songs. They turned up the bass which started to tickle my nose it was so loud. Unfortunately due to a strict curfew at the Masonic, they told us they could only play a few more. This essentially became their encore. They played “Spread Your Love” and “What Ever Happened To My Rock N’ Roll” while dipping the microphone into the crowd so we could sing along. Although the night was still young yet, they were done and we were left with nothing to do but depart.

Shout out to the guy wearing the same shirt as me who got into my Lyft line home.


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