Lorde at The Fillmore

General admission. Standing room only. A combination I do not look forward to in a concert. But if the artist and venue are right, I will endure. And Farrah and I did endure this combination, at The Fillmore, to see Lorde.

I was lucky enough to snag two tickets back when they went on sale a few months ago, before  Royals was getting regular mainstream radio play. I don’t know if I’d be lucky to get tickets now seeing how big Lorde has become.  Funny thing was when they went on sale, they seemingly sold out immediately. But I persisted for a few minutes and was able to grab two tickets. 

We arrived a few minutes late to The Fillmore. Friday night traffic going up to San Francisco was ugly as usual. We caught a few songs from the opening act, Until the Ribbon Breaks. They sounded great on stage, so I immediately added a few tracks to a Spotify playlist. After their set people milled around, as usual, waiting for Lorde to take the stage.

The crowd started to fill up as Lorde’s set time was getting closer. The crowd was a good mix of ages, as The Fillmore can be depending on the performer. We were situated in a good spot, center and further back on the floor. Unfortunately, to Farrah’s left, a group of unruly 20-somethings decided to talk and bump around people through the whole performance. One couple just wanted to make out all night.  In front of us was an older couple, probably in their early to mid 50’s. Made me wonder how many concerts do they attend?

Getting back to Lorde –  she performed well for someone who hasn’t performed often on tour. She sounded well, though the bass was on the heavy side, making her voice sound muddled. From another review of the concert, it seems it was her idea to crank up the bass. She had energy, working the stage very easily. She talked between a few songs, using   Thank you, San Francisco, often, which elicited approval from the crowd.

Her set was short, about 12 songs or so, lasting a little over an hour. No encore performed with the lights coming up after her last song. I thought she could have done a few more songs, as her album came out that day in some places.

The annoyances of the general admission crowd are worth it sometimes, especially when seeing an up-and-coming artist. It is always nice to see an artist on the rise, seeing them before they get too big, in an intimate place like The Fillmore.

Other reviews of the show are at SF Gate and San Jose Mercury News and SF Station.

Eating Tickets

We were supposed to watch the Smashing Pumpkins last Friday night at the Fox Theater in Oakland. Unfortunately, fate intervened. Having no desire to see any of the opening bands, and knowning the Smashing Pumpkins like to start late, we didn’t leave for the show until 8:30pm. The hour drive to Oakland should still given us plenty of time to see the concert. But who knew things were really happening in Oakland that night?!?!

The drive to Oakland wasn’t bad, the usual hour trip down a crazy 880. As we approached the Fox Theater on Telegraph though, things became a bit more complex. Crowds of people lined the sidewalks for several blocks down Telegraph. They were streaming out from somewhere but even when we made our way further down Telegraph, we couldn’t tell where the crowd originated from. It was a good mix of people too, both young and old. No protest signs, not like apparel, just a crowd of people. We made our way around the area hoping to find parking and trying to avoid the crowds. But each and parking lot we hit was full. And street parking was non-existent. We gave it a good hour of driving around before realizing we weren’t going to find safe parking.

This isn’t the first concert we’ve eaten the tickets on. Last year we didn’t make it to a Corrine Bailey Rae concert – on purpose. We were just too tired from working that day. And one time I missed Garbage because of a flat tire. I would have surely liked to have seen the Smashing Pumpkins this go around, as I heard they played mostly new tunes. Oh well, perhaps next time.

U2 @ San Jose HP Pavillion

Ok, a moment to reflect on last night’s concert.

This was the sixth time seeing U2, but my first general admission experience in seeing them.  The first time I saw U2 was from behind home plate at the Oakland Coliseum on the ZooTV tour.  The Pop tour came next, the first time seeing them two shows in a row.  This experience was unique in that the first night Farrah, Doug and I had seats way up high in the 200 section (again at the Oakland Coliseum), then the next night we were in the 5th row!  Talk about being able to get an overall perspective of the show.

I was lucky enough watch U2’s Elevation tour both at San Jose Compaq Pavilion (with Doug) and Oakland Coliseum Arena (with Farrah) for two different shows.  When I saw them in San Jose it was towards the beginning of their tour, the group was energetic.  Later in the tour, two months after 9/11,  they came to Oakland a bit more subdued and somber.  But this concert they came out rocking.  Here is the list of songs they played:

  • Love and Peace
  • Vertigo
  • Elevation
  • Cry / Electric Co.
  • An Cat Dubh / Into the Heart
  • City of Blinding Lights
  • Beautiful Day
  • Miracle Drug
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own
  • New Year’s Day
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • Bullet The Blue Sky
  • Running to Standstill
  • Pride in the name of love
  • Where the Streets Have No Name
  • One
  • The Fly
  • Mysterious Ways
  • Original of the Species
  • All Because of You
  • Yahweh
  • 40

The open act was the Kings of Leon, who didn’t sound half bad. From their interaction with the crowd, it seemed as if they had a rough night the previous show.