(illustration: Cassidy Miller)
In this recurring feature known as The Bay Abridged, our staff writers provide short, witty recaps on shows they attended around the Bay Area. A scene check, a heat check, and sometimes more — stop by every other Wednesday for the most comprehensive and concise recap of the Bay Area concert scene.
Bob Dylan & Mavis Staples at The Greek Theater (BRK) Jun. 9.
Amidst a bunch of so-so Sinatra covers, Bob casually threw in a mind-blowing version of “Tangled up in Blue.” Mavis Staples stole the show with a high energy, passionate performance that included a brilliant cover of Talking Heads “Slippery People.” The douchebag behind me spilled beer down my back but instead of apologizing stated “This is what happens at concerts.” I took his car keys. —MBL
Joshua Redman Quartet at Kuumbwa Jazz Center (SC) Jun. 14.
World-class saxophonist Joshua Redman, fresh off of the Playboy Jazz Festival kicked off a brief quartet summer tour in Santa Cruz. Featuring pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, the foursome played two exhilarating sets of progressive world influenced music. The band has a few more shows including residencies in Seattle, Denver, and NYC before embarking on a trip to Europe. Redman was last featured in the Bay Area when he guested with progressive rock band Umphrey’s McGee at The Fox Theater in Oakland in March of last year. —Joshua Huver
The Redlight District at The Crow’s Nest (SC) Jun. 16.
For almost two and a half hours The Redlight District hosted a decadent and limited access two-set show at The Crow’s Nest in the Santa Cruz Harbor. An official after-party event following harbor restaurant’s free Thursday beach party event (happenieng free, every Thursday, all summer in Santa Cruz), the majority of the crowd had spent the evening drinking in rays and beverages alike, providing an ultra-loose environment for Stephan Sams to tinker with on stage. The band felt loose and full of energy as the summer season hits its full swing. They played some new (and incredibly well-received) tunes as well from their upcoming album, which is expected later this year. —Joshua Huver
Tia Carroll with Grand Avenue Soul at The Octopus Literary Salon (OAK) Jun. 18.
Blues legend Tia Carroll made her debut performance at The Octopus. Her smile, attitude and killer voice brought out the best in the band, the room and the audience. She kicked off her set with a fiery version of William Bell’s “Never Like This Before” and later jokingly sang about the delicious Zinfandel. Given the chance this group should help spawn a “Dap Tone West” where the unsung heroes of West Cast blues finally get the recognition they deserve alongside the fortunate few (Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields). —MBL
Merchant’s Saloon Centennial Celebration (OAK) Jun. 18.
“100 years of poisoning Oakland” was the appropriate motto with 100 cent Olympias and ridiculously large tequila shots (at their everyday value price). Outside fireworks filled the air with light, smoke and chaos while Elsa’s Paladar cooked up insanely delicious ribs on a gigantic train-shaped grill. This Cuban food truck recently relocated from Stockton and will have a long line soon. Inside, The Phenomenauts donned space helmets, climbed on the bar, and got the place bouncing. —MBL
Twin Peaks, Ne-Hi, Golden Daze at The Independent (SF) Jun. 21.
I’m just gonna cut the crap: I had a terrible time at the Indy last night. It’s not the bands’ fault: I was tired from spending the day hoofing it all over town to take pictures of a plastic flamingo (I mean, no, that wasn’t me), I have had a lingering chest cold for the last, like, three weeks and had a headache and a sore throat, and oh yeah, I’m getting married in four days but still have a major deadline for another publication looming over me. I almost didn’t come out to this show, but Future Husband urged me to go and give myself a night off. So I did, but all I could think about was how goddamn inconvenient taking a night off was.
The bands didn’t really help take my mind off of things: Golden Daze made me want to take a nap, and Ne-Hi had their moments, but mostly just felt indulgent and overblown. Twin Peaks, the band I came for, weren’t the worst — but by the time they came on, it was 10:15 and all I wanted to do was go to bed. I stayed for about three songs and bounced. —Jody Amable