Fox Theater

Live review: Mastodon at the Fox Theater

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They still exist: big metal bands that go on old-fashioned tours, rather than exclusively playing festivals or headlining package tours (aka shows that start at 4pm and are comprised of two bands you actually want to see and five others the label shoehorns in because that's the only way they'll get exposure). Also still in existence: a band that will tour between albums, in fact hitting the road less than two months before a new album drops, and play a set that contains two new songs (to give fans a taste of what's to come), but is mostly composed of familiar back-catalogue tunes. 

Not, however, still around: actual Mastodons.

No worries, dudes — Mastodon the band shows no sign of going anywhere, and based on what drummer Brann Dailor said at the end of last night's show at Oakland's Fox Theater, they'll soon be back in the Bay Area, pumping their sixth studio release, Once More 'Round the Sun, which arrives in late June. Based on the two new songs heard last night ("Chimes at Midnight" and "High Road;" stream the latter via the band's Soundcloud page, or check out the "Audio Visualizer" below the jump), your sludgy summer soundtrack awaits.

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Pixies 2.0

The alt-rock forefathers forge ahead with new material — and without Kim Deal

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There's something to be said for recording four great, distinctive albums, and quitting while you're ahead. This live-fast/die-fast approach worked wonders for the Velvet Underground's legacy and influence, and one might say it served the Pixies' notoriously frenetic rock explorations equally well.Read more »

Live Shots: Soundgarden at the Fox Theater

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It took Soundgarden a full 10 songs before it began to flex its muscles at the Fox Theater on Tuesday night, before the band dialed in and proved what out-and-out Badmotorfingers the four musicians can be. I doubt that the enamored (and now half-deaf) crowd leaving the Fox would have agreed with me on this point about the band’s early setlist sluggishness. Soundgarden delivered in a big way, and you would have been hard-tasked to find an audience member complaining after the dynamic, eardrum-crippling, 27- song performance.

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Live Shots: Santigold at the Fox Theater

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Santigold was barely a full song into her sold-out performance at the Fox Theater Wednesday night when she began to stoke the lovefest with her Bay Area fans. "You know you're my favorite place to perform...you guys have so much energy!" In a different room to a different crowd it may have come off as a cheaply-pedaled stage sentiment, but the show that ensued lived up to her assessment: the crowd never stopped dancing and Santigold never stopped smiling. Read more »

Live Shots: Crystal Castles at the Fox

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Arriving early to the Crystal Castles show Monday at the Fox Theater, discovering that one opener, HEALTH, had canceled its performance, and that the photo pit would be off limits for the other, Kontravoid, I was left with some unexpected time on my hands. Time that I spent trying to recall where I had seen the eerily familiar image hung over the stage, of a veiled figure cradling a fragile, vulnerable looking man in their arms.

Presented without context, it could be potentially tenderly romantic or gothically morbid, an ambiguity which seemed to typically invite the sort of let-me-Google-that mystery that recent bands have found so chic.* Read more »

Beach House lets its music do the talking

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Do you remember the museum scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) where Sloane and Ferris kiss, while Cameron is off by himself, getting lost in a Seurat painting? There’s no dialogue. Just a particularly contemplative Dream Academy cover of a Smiths song, the museum awash in blue light. It’s a quiet, slow spot in the movie, but it had a big impact – partly because it was so simply done.

There was a moment like that at Beach House’s sold-out show at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Friday. Maybe a few moments. Read more »

The Tallest Man on Earth throws down his pick

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On a long BART ride to Oakland after a longer day at school, I thought I probably couldn’t stay awake at a punk show, much less an acoustic folk concert. When I arrived at the Fox and saw that the Tallest Man on Earth show was seated, I was sure that I was doomed.

The stage setup was minimal, with one chair, a circle of monitors, and one keyboard. I stifled a yawn as Kristian Matsson, a.k.a the Tallest Man on Earth, skipped onto the stage in a white tank top and black skinny jeans, looking ironically small on the large, sparse stage. Matsson picked up his guitar, strummed, and wailed out his first note, sending the audience into hysterics. Read more »

Live Shots: Childish Gambino and Danny Brown at the Fox

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It can be hard to take comedians and comic actors seriously as musicians. Particularly when you consider the questions posed by earlier models. Did Eddie Murphy’s girl really want to party all the time? (And if so, why didn’t he?)

In his last few albums as Childish Gambino, Donald Glover, the writer-actor best known for portraying lovable goof Troy Barnes on NBC’s cult sitcom Community, has combated the typical skepticism with a self-aware, post-Kanye confessional style of hip-hop. His show at the Fox in Oakland last Thursday made it clear that no matter how funny Childish Gambino’s lyrics are, as a performer, he’s serious. Read more »

Morrissey's show at the Fox is canceled

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It is with a heavy heart that we must give you this news, Morrissey's show at the Fox in Oakland tonight has been canceled.

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Shrouded in black, Lykke Li makes eye contact with us at the Fox

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Lykke Li doesn’t want you. Let’s just get that straight.

Lykke Li wants me. Or at least I think so. Because even though it’s a cliche to say that it sounds like someone is singing just to you, that’s what she does. Particularly when the most common word in her lyrics is the word “you,” and you’re standing in the pit at the Fox Theater on Wednesday night, and you (you!) seem to make eye contact right when she says it, so that suddenly it’s not the royal “you,” it’s you, as in "Hey you. You in the tan coat. Hi." And you – or at least I – blush, for a moment, not caring at all who this Jerome guy is, although he may just be her noisy upstairs neighbor. Read more »