(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.
Alvvays at Phono del Sol (SF) July 9.
Is it a bit self-serving to gush about a performance your organization created? You bet. But damn, Alvvays just blew me away that Saturday afternoon. I had enjoyed their recordings, but had no idea that shimmery pop music could sound so freaking amazing in a live setting. They were absolutely perfect, and I am now a loyal Alvvays fanboy. —Russell Jelinek
Diana Ross’ In the Name of Love at the Orpheum Theater (SF) July 12.
While the steep ticket price was hard to get over, in the end it was worth every second to see this living legend grace San Francisco with her ageless beauty and grace and timeless songs to match. There we’re no down points, no obvious bathroom escape numbers. Instead, Ross delivered hits from across the decades, mixing Motown and disco anthems for an elated crowd. I don’t know why I thought there might be some aloof diva-ness to her delivery, but there was no such attitude present: just a joy-filled performance of hit after hit after hit. —Ben Russo
China at The Make-Out Room (SF) July 17.
After China finished performing their new song “Just Another Outlaw,” my wife turns to me with a stunned look and said “That was magical.” You know what? She was right. Buy their cassette and go to their next show if you want to see sad songs done right. —Russsell Jelinek