Charles Russo

Live Shots: Jack White rocks so hard he sprains his ankle at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

|
()

With the opening chords of “Fell in Love with a Girl,” Jack White took to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium stage on Friday night at what seemed like 100 miles per hour at staggering volume…with little interest in ever applying the brake. Read more »

Live Shots: Nick Cave hypnotizes the Warfield two nights in a row

|
()

It took Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds all of two songs to whip the audience into a mighty frenzy at the Warfield Theater on Monday night [during the first of a pair of sold-out shows at the venue]. Not totally surprising, but all the more impressive when considering that Cave and company pulled it off by playing new material, a pair of tracks from their latest album, Push the Sky Away.Read more »

Sharon Van Etten banters happily through the sad songs at The Independent

|
()

Sharon Van Etten had yet to play a note before someone in the crowd shouted forth a marriage proposal toward the stage. The term “adoring fans” might sound generic, but it’s apt in describing the audience at Van Etten’s first of a pair of sold-out shows at The Independent last night [Sun/29 -- the second is tonight].  For just short of two hours they sang along and showered the 33-year old singer with love at every chance they got.Read more »

The bulging eyes of rock-stardom absurdity: An evening with Tenacious D

|
()

About 15 minutes into taking a seat at center stage of the Castro Theatre last night before an enthusiastic and fairly inebriated crowd, Jack Black turned to the audience and sheepishly confessed, “I’m getting sleepy.” To which, his cohort Kyle Gass added, “Is any of this even interesting?’

It was an honest, and funny, way to acknowledge a slow-out-of-the-gate interview moment for Tenacious D — comedic duo Black and Gass as the greatest acoustic heavy metal band in the world — who would probably have felt more in their element battling Satan in an epic guitar showdown than awkwardly sitting in tall chairs answering questions with a moderator.

And after all, expectations in the room were considerable. For the high-profile opening night of SF SketchFest on Jan. 23, the devoted audience in attendance had waited outside nearly two hours — in a quarter mile line that rambled throughout the neighbor — in an effort to see the duo take the Castro stage to be honored for their hyper brand of rock-stardom absurdity and Spinal Tap genius. But after a big-screen montage of the duo’s funniest clips got the event rolling, the D sitting down to chat with moderator and fellow comedian Paul F. Tompkins took a moment to get momentum.

Read more »

Live Shots: The Dodos at Great American Music Hall

|
()

All photos by Charles Russo

Fans of the Dodos flocked to the Great American Music Hall on Wednesday night, to catch the band’s final performance of its latest tour. It was a glorious homecoming played out before an adoring Bay Area crowd as Meric Long and company turned out a dynamic set that seamlessly alternated between quietly beautiful and downright fierce. Read more »

The Rolling Stones rock hard, bring surprise guests, almost make up for outrageous ticket prices

|
()

It’s one of those things about attending a concert – any concert – at HP Pavilion in San Jose: no matter how you approach the venue, you’re likely to run into those hardline Jesus freaks waving signs and condemning you to hell for whatever music you’re about to enjoy. So, like clockwork, last night as I walked towards the ticket office outside the arena, one of them turned his bullhorn on the bunch of us crossing the intersection and, in full brimstone righteousness, shouted - “what are you gonna tell the lord after you die?” To which, a lone voice from the crowd responded – “I’m gonna tell him I saw the Rolling Stones.” Read more »

Live Shots: Soundgarden at the Fox Theater

|
()

It took Soundgarden a full 10 songs before it began to flex its muscles at the Fox Theater on Tuesday night, before the band dialed in and proved what out-and-out Badmotorfingers the four musicians can be. I doubt that the enamored (and now half-deaf) crowd leaving the Fox would have agreed with me on this point about the band’s early setlist sluggishness. Soundgarden delivered in a big way, and you would have been hard-tasked to find an audience member complaining after the dynamic, eardrum-crippling, 27- song performance.

Read more »

Live Shots: Santigold at the Fox Theater

|
()

Santigold was barely a full song into her sold-out performance at the Fox Theater Wednesday night when she began to stoke the lovefest with her Bay Area fans. "You know you're my favorite place to perform...you guys have so much energy!" In a different room to a different crowd it may have come off as a cheaply-pedaled stage sentiment, but the show that ensued lived up to her assessment: the crowd never stopped dancing and Santigold never stopped smiling. Read more »

Live Shots: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at Davies Symphony Hall

|
()

Sharon Jones took to the stage at Davies Symphony Hall on Saturday night with all the energy of fourth-grade recess on a sunny afternoon. Not that she seems to ever take the stage in any other way, but it was the right approach for a big show in a big room.

After all, her sold-out concert with the Dap-Kings at the Symphony was a prestigious booking that spoke to her ever-increasing popularity over the past few years, a reputation that has been steadily earned through the infectious soulfulness and old-school cool of her dynamic live performances. Read more »

Orange and black forever: The city greets its champions in a Halloween World Series parade

|
()

Photographer Charles Russo walked 12 miles to snap these shots of our San Francisco Giants celebrating their World Series victory yesterday -- on Halloween no less! Could it have been the most orange and black day ever, anywhere? The boys all looked good, but major props to pitcher Sergio Romo for his style sense.  Read more »