Silversun Pickups (photo: SarahJayn Kemp)
Around 2006 I first read about this “alternative band” in a teen magazine where Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) shared his favorite music which, I believe, included the bands Silversun Pickups and Arcade Fire. Soon after, teenage me in the suburbs of LA had Silversun’s song “Lazy Eye” on repeat on my iPod.
Fast forward 14 years, I’m in a diverse crowd in the Fox Theater in Oakland watching them live. There are tweens with parents who aren’t merely chaperones. There’s a grandfather in a kaftan, sashaying in wisps of weed. There’s a man in his late 40s, working in the pool industry but whose real passion is playing his 12 guitars.
Upon breathing in such a diverse crowd, I realized that I had expected the opposite — perhaps a vaguely, broadly hipster group of millennials and Gen Xers. I was glad to see that turn out not to be true.
Lead vocalist Brian Aubert warmly extended appreciation to this group of people. The band never imagined they could play to a crowd as large as the Fox Theater: “We’ve played in many places and this place is literally one of our favorites,” he said. “It’s beautiful.”
Later in the night, Aubert continued to emphasize how grateful they were for their fans. “The fact that 20 years later, we still get to do this means so much!” he said. “Thankful from every fiber of our being.”
The band energetically started off the night with “Neon Wound”, from their 2019 album, Widow’s Weeds, then followed by “It Doesn’t Matter Why” another track from that same record. The crowd did not want them to end at “Growing Old Is Getting Old.”
In total, they played 17 songs, including three during the encore, finally ending with the song that pushed them onto my radar—and that brought thousands upon thousands of people together: “Lazy Eye.”