Wednesday night, the Giants took the World Series as we crossed the Bay Bridge, and all was quiet. We passed AT&T Park, nothing… Driving up 9th street, that all changed. Baseball capped crowds streaming out of bars from every direction, screaming, chanting, fists in the air. Frightening really. Parking near Mitchell Brothers offered a small sense of security that our car would not be flipped over. Cheap fireworks blasting in all directions we hugged the row of empty shops and slid a block down to the Great American Music Hall.
The Great American is our most glorious music venue. What a beautiful sight – we would be safe here. Unfortunately the management had some issues. I was made to stand out front by a tree as four different people told me I could not photograph the show without a wristband. King Tuff walked by and I begged his mercy. THE KING assured them he didn’t mind, but that didn’t seem to help. Twenty minutes later, I got my shitty pink wristband (placed too tightly). We entered in time to hear La Sera’s last song. I threw the wristband in the trash.
Black Moon Spell is the latest record from King Tuff. The video for the title track is black and features lots of Marshall stacks, a giant snake, many skulls, and a group of headbanging long hairs. Just before the guitar solo, they all shotgun a can of beer. This was the first song of the show. This was gonna be good.
King Tuff likes fog machines. Fog pumped out intermittently. Outside smoke was billowing down the street as windows were smashed on Muni. The King applauded The Giants several times igniting the crowd into a screaming, swirling mass. The new songs, “Headbanger” in particular, have a heavy-metal vibe – much more fun live than on recording, but also perhaps a tad too inspiring to the dudes that like to take their shirts off and throw beer on everyone.
The set included songs spanning the King’s reign. From the killer 2008 debut, Was Dead, we got the classics: “Sun Medallion” and “Freak When I’m Dead”. Bass player Magic Jake was in his usual state of bliss, offering up hugs and nearly giving up drummer Gary’s Oakland address. He had an impressive whistling solo and brought out the high fives for most of the front row.
Hour of the Dream is the latest record from La Sera. As much as I loved the Vivian Girls, I have yet to be moved by La Sera. The new album promises “faster, louder” and maybe it was. I only had one song to judge, and it sounds like the same old La Sera. It’s not bad. It’s not the Vivian Girls.