But we're getting ahead of ourselves.
We're getting ahead of ourselves again.
Going to shows in San Francisco means getting a good meal beforehand. It just does. The choices are endless. Japan town is my pick for the concentration of good places all within walking distance of each other. You can compare menus and prices in real time, on the spot. The search for the right place is almost a show within itself. Found a place in the mall (and it was delicious):
Time to kill after that, so off to the west bay it was:
After some thought, I realized it had been years since I had actually seen the Pacific Ocean (despite being close). About a quarter mile straight downhill:
And then it was time to do silly things that I did when I was a kid, like draw designs in the sand with your feet and taunt the incoming waves:
Enough silliness, back across the city to the venue:
It's always fun to see shows at Bottom of the Hill. It's a small enough venue that you can probably catch somebody from the band at the merch table or wandering about and shoot the breeze for a bit. I did catch Christian, pre-set, at the merch table and he seemed pretty road-weary, but receptive to conversation. I said my thank yous and let him know that his last visit to the Bay Area with Fleet Foxes was appreciated and that I was grateful for the good work he was doing.
When Poor Moon finally took the stage about an hour later, they made the thing look smaller than it actually is. With six guys and tons of gear, there was hardly room for anybody to move. But you'd never know that from the absolutely perfect performance they put forth. The only song that was played off of Illusion was 'People in Her Mind', late in the set — which was rendered in a slightly rocked up, less polished way that just seemed to bowl everyone in the place over. I mean, after an eight or nine song set of unknown tunes, no stage banter, no titles announced and in such contrastingly exquisite form to the previous band, I don't like the lukewarm audience reaction they received, but I can at least understand it. I have no titles to go off of here, but the first tune they played was such a grand shift in mood in the place that I dare say it silenced the crowd briefly. The one I have given the stopgap title of 'The Tambourine Song' was smack dab in the middle of the set, and appropriately so, as it was the highlight for me. A mid-tempo, percussion-oriented thing; I can't wait to hear it again. Another one that I will call 'The Rocker' for now found Christian pounding away at his Rickenbacker in between brilliant vocal melodies and pieces of dead silent pauses for a downright stunning display of stop/start/loud/quiet shifts. 'People in Her Mind' got the biggest audience reaction and, I have to say, even though I never would've guessed it from being familiar with the EP, it was the most representative song that I knew going in. The rest of the band's set was much in line with that sprightly little number. Very 60's pop inspired material, very tightly arranged and played and all very heartfelt. Although Illusion gave me a completely different picture of the band than what I was presented with on Friday night, I have to say that, if this band is going to go further (as it seems to be, with a full length rumored to be on the way later this year), they have tons of potential. The songs were presented purely professionally, but there was no doubt there was an amount of silliness going on (I saw band members sticking their tongues out at each other between pitch perfect group harmonies!) and, despite all the between song instrument juggling and just an in-general rush that was in the air, I can't imagine these guys putting out a better "first taste" live showing. Christian was excellent vocally (who knew!) and overall, I felt like the trip was totally worth that fourty five or fifty minutes of completely unfamiliar music.
I hope that full length is not just a rumor and I hope to see them again soon.
I was so pumped after seeing them that I walked out of the place and was able to stay awake for the four hour drive back to Reno.
Yeah, they were that good.
This video features the band playing some of those tunes that didn't show up on Illusion (and one that was not played at Bottom of the Hill).