thebayabridged

In this recurring feature known as The Bay Abridged, our staff writers will provide short, witty recaps on shows they attended around the Bay Area. A scene check, a heat check, and sometimes more — stop by every Wednesday for the most comprehensive and concise recap of last week's Bay Area concert scene.

The Black Lips, Ariel Pink at Bimbos (SF) Oct. 14
It was a night of firsts for this fresh piece of music reviewing meat. Never, never in my 26 years have I witnessed a lougie hawked on stage, let alone into the blaring lights and caught again (Black Lips). Nor have I ever witnessed a 45-minute hula hoop seduction, the dancer grooving to the beats of a vintage bikini wearing drummer man. It appears there are far stranger realities than my own. —Jess Luoma

Hinds at Slims (SF) Oct. 14
As women gradually take over the world, it is time to recognize their superiority. The new movement will bring together 3 distinct superpowers: Atlanta's Coathangers, NOTS from Memphis and Hinds from Spain. Hinds know exactly what they are doing. With red lipstick, high kicks and jet fueled enthusiasm they brighten up even your darkest nights. The catchy tunes speed up then slow down before breaking into a chorus that demands you sing along. —MBL

Kurt Vile, Cass McCombs, Heron Oblivion at Slim's (SF) Oct. 15
Plenty of great (and accurate) observations about Kurt Vile were already made in our review of his Fillmore show, but it's worth spending some words about how amazing opening act Heron Oblivion already is. And the band hasn't even released any music yet! A psych-rock supergroup, with Meg Baird on drums and lead vocals and fiery instrumentation by members of Comets on Fire and Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound (among many other projects), Heron Oblivion absolutely crushed at Slim's. I can't wait for their debut LP, arriving in 2016 on Sub Pop. —BVH

TOPS at California Academy of Science (SF) Oct. 15
Canadian Indie rock band TOPS performed last Thursday in the gardens of the California Academy of Science. Having only heard one of their songs before, I wasn't sure what to expect. The band took stage just before 8pm and played with the gusto and passion throughout their set. Each member of the trio are talented when it comes to their instruments and vocals and easily meld it all together to form a powerful chemistry. Going to this show on a whim was probably the best idea I had all week and the best part: it was only $12. —Tyler Jordan

Kurt Vile at The Fillmore (SF) Oct. 16
Kurt Vile's "cool dude" status is almost mythic at this point. The long locks, laid back demeanor and self-made vernacular could easily make him a caricature of your pot-addled uncle, but he's also a highly-talented musician who writes complex music that can be both challenging and accessible. That combination makes for an intriguing figure, but not the most engaging showman to see live, which is fine. His performance at The Fillmore showed off his array of great songs — from older gems like "Jesus Fever" to "Pretty Pimpin," the swaggering lead single off his latest album — but his almost-reclusive onstage mannerisms meant the crowd wasn't exactly going buck wild. For fans of Vile, it was probably exactly what they expected — a solid showing without the normal histrionics of a Friday night at the Fillmore. —Will Reisman

Neil Young at The Greek Theater (Berkeley) Oct. 17
Neil took the stage alone, sat at a beat up piano and launched into "After the Gold Rush". He moved to guitar for "My My, Hey Hey" and "Helpless" then pump organ for "Old Man". It felt like a dream but proved only the beginning of a nearly 3 hour Neil-gasm. Joined by a super-lucky, super-appreciative and super-tight young band (Promise of The Real) Neil unleashed a treasure trove of delights including: "Hold Back the Tears", "Out on the Weekend", "Words", "Alabama", "Are You Ready for the Country", "Down By the River", "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" and "Mr. Soul". New songs targeted the evil trio of Monsanto, Wal-Mart & Starbucks. My picket signs are nearly complete. If the Bay Area can't get rid of these box store motherfuckers what hope do we have? —MBL

Healing Potpourri, Stalls, Swiftumz and Mantles at The White Horse Inn (Oak) Oct. 17
Healing Potpourri may be just that. These guys smell so fresh, you won't believe they are from San Francisco. Soft sounds of flute and sax float amongst catchy swirling rhythms. Under the mirror balls of The White Horse you imagine the finest porn soundtrack, but perhaps it is your new soundtrack.  R.I.P. Stalls.  If you don't yet own the new records from Swiftumz & Mantles, you have no business reading this. —MBL

Gang of Four, The New Regime, and Creative Adult at The New Parish (Oak) Oct. 17
Gang of Four performed — albeit not entirely as the Gang of Four music history has once come to know — with bassist Andy Gill being the only remaining original member from the glory days of the band. The reformed band performed classic hits from Entertainment! and Solid Gold as well as songs from their more recent albums to a half empty venue hall while unsuccessfully hanging on to the strings of a once reigning post-punk legacy. Hits from Entertainment! like "Ether" and "Damaged Goods" performed by new frontman John Sterry were the only crowd-pleasers. Local San Francisco post-hardcore act Creative Adult kicked off the night, but not even a more contemporary performance could manage to redeem the evening. —Patricia Villon

Deafheaven at The Fillmore (SF) Oct. 17
It took over two years for Deafheaven to follow-up on their earth-shaking, debate-inducing 2013 LP Sunbather. Unsurprisingly, New Bermuda is a genre-hopping gem and a truly sans-metal-ego post-modern affair. During their tour last summer, the five-piece had their sound guy play Drake for the crowd before walking onstage so it's not really a surprise that this band of millennials is willing to push their black metal roots well past their logical ends into something close to shoegaze and 90s alt-rock. After two years of dancing with Sunbather, Deafheaven dug straight into New Bermuda on Saturday night running straight through the album — with a brief break for the Adult Swim single "From the Kettle unto the Coil" — and then ending the set with the old bangers: "Dreamhouse" and "Sunbather". Like their no-fucks-given genre experimentation, success for Deafheaven feels frighteningly natural. —Zack Frederick

The National at Treasure Island Music Festival (SF) Oct. 18
As Panda Bear's woozy electronics danced behind me like a whisper in the distance, I sat in a slowly expanding crowd of eager The National fans hoping to be front and center when the band stormed the stage to brew a storm of skyrocketing solemnity. Lined across the stage stood four microphones up instead of the usual three - one for lead singer Matt Berninger and two for twin guitarists Aaron and Bryce Dessner. Obviously a guest appearance was in order, and when a stage hand took that fourth microphone away before the show began it simply became a waiting game during the band’s spectacular set to find out whom it was for. Whilst Adam Granduciel seemed like a sure bet given The National teased nearly a full song by The War on Drugs before walking on stage, we instead got Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES duetting on "I Need My Girl" — which was nothing short of beautiful, touching, and the most perfect moment from a festival full of them. —Pranav Trewn

Panda Bear at Treasure Island Music Festival (SF) Oct. 18
Noah Lennox has been on fire putting out new releases these days, so it makes sense that his rapid-fire creative energy comes through in his live show. I happened to get to the front row, so I had the barrier to clench on to during the complete wash of sights and sounds that was Panda Bear's set. There was nothing more than a Jack-o-Lantern and an intricately wired audio station on stage with him. Naturally, your eyes were drawn to the visual spectacle that was playing on the screen, comprised of jumbled bits of footage and animated collages. Matching the colorful intensity of the show was the music itself — bright psychedelic sounds of electronic pastiche combined with bass that seemed to enclose you in a sheet of vibration. Plus, the strobes were so bright I needed shades. It was a show that played with every sense of your body. —Hailey Simpson

Sunday at Treasure Island Music Festival (SF) Oct. 18
The Sunday lineup for the Treasure Island Music Festival might have featured the deepest collection of talent ever assembled in the nine year history of the beloved event. Ought — the tetchy, David Byrne-inspired Canadian quartet that's received heaps of praise from critics — opened the festival's second day at noon — a testament to just how many amazing bands were in attendance on Sunday. Post-punkers Viet Cong followed with a typically-blistering set (overcoming drum setup difficulties throughout), and Mikal Cronin trotted out his brand of lovesick garage rock recordings soon after. Three amazing groups — all finished before 2 p.m., which is not something you see every day at a festival. Other highlights included The War on Drugs, looking majestic with their wind-swept hair (in one of their final performances for the foreseeable future), Lower Dens plowing through their krautrock creations and headliners The National belting out their bottomless catalog like the consummate pros that they are. The group that carried the second day, however, was CHVRCHES, the Scottish electronic trio that overcame the elements (wind, dust) to deliver a euphoric set capped off by their already-timeless classic, "The Mother We Share". —Will Reisman

Cotton Jones, Quiet Life, Killer Whale at Neck of the Woods (SF) Oct. 20
I learned something new last night: The Richmond, also known as the avenues, is not actually that far from the traditionally hip neighborhoods of San Francisco. Yes, it's a bit of a journey from the Mission, but if you're anywhere near the center of the city you really don't have any excuse for missing out on good shows at Neck of the Woods. A two-story venue with some adult community center vibes (in a good way, I'd say) — the main stage is a bit awkwardly wide — and booked by local musician Travis Hayes, I expect Neck of the Woods to become a cultural hub within the Richmond very soon. Cotton Jones drew a big crowd for any neighborhood on a Tuesday night, and their soft, easy folk rock made was a damn good fit for getting acquainted with this new (to me) venue. Check the calendar and get to the Richmond. —Zack Frederick

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