Illustration by 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.
Burger Boogaloo at Mosswood Park (OAK), June 25-26.
On a perfectly warm and sunny, summer weekend, Burger Boogaloo once again brought the punk, garage, psych, surf, and all other filthy sub-genres of rock to Oakland, hosted by legendary scumbag, John Waters. The two days were starkly different, with the first day honoring and reviving garage rock legends of the past followed by the new kids holding it down in modern times on day two. Stand out acts, and ones I’d suggest not missing the next time you see them playing nearby, were King Khan and the Shrines with their high energy, stage diving, ass-less leotard stage presence, local doo-wop surf-rock heros Shannon and the Clams, punk gods, The Dwarves who will unleash your inner demon, Thee Oh Sees because if you haven’t seen them live you’re not living and surprise favorite, Death Valley Girls, who know how to make some great music and not take themselves too seriously. Despite the bigger festivals in the Bay, Burger Boogaloo has become one of my favorites of the summer and I’m already looking forward to next year. —Jon Ching
Pity Sex, PWR BTTM, Petal at Slim’s (SF) June 29.
I saw PWR BTTM for the first time in January of this year, and they set the bar real high, real fast for Best Concert of 2016. Since then, if they come within a 90-mile radius of me, I will make every effort to be there. I didn’t make it out to their last SF appearance, but I did swing by Slim’s to catch their opening slot for Pity Sex last week. PWR BTTM were, reliably, awesome, but Petal actually left the biggest impression on me that night: swelling vocals full of long-held notes and huge ’90s guitar riffs. There’s a feeling I get that lets me know when I am having a really good time at a show — it slowly starts to feel like I’m 14 again, standing on the sticky floor of The Cactus Club on an all-ages night, realizing that I belong here. Petal brought that out in me.
I felt bad for Pity Sex — the place positively cleared out after PWR BTTM’s set. I admire their humility, but I don’t know if they can get away with being an opening act anymore. —Jody Amable
Real Estate, The Range of Light Wilderness at Gundlach-Bundschu Winery (Sonoma) June 30.
The Range of Light Wilderness may be my favorite band, so after I made the mistake of waiting too long to secure tickets for their show at The Chapel opening for Real Estate, I gladly sat in rush hour traffic to Sonoma to see them at a barn at a winery. TROLW is truly amazing. When the three members harmonize (which is most of the time), they aren’t just hitting the right notes at the right times, they all seem to be feeling in harmony. It’s magical to see in person, and there’s nothing a drunk middle-aged wine-club crowd carrying on a conversation on the front row can do to stop it. The sound wasn’t perfect, but it was totally worth the drive and steep ticket price for the gorgeous setting and odd mix of people. Real Estate? They seem nice, but just aren’t my cup of tea. (Or glass of wine?) —Russell Jelinek