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San Francisco Recap

November 18, 2010

I’m back. And all I can say is:

SAN FRANCISCO = AWESOME

Where to begin? SF’s sooo different from Lafayette–I could go on forever. Instead, here are 5 observations about San Francisco:

1. Perfect weather–65-75 degrees and sunny!

2. Stylish locals–Everyone looked like they had stepped out of an H&M or Urban Outfitters catalog.

3. Diversity–You can see the world in San Francisco. I took a trip to China town and had to remind myself that I was still in the US.

4. STEEP hills–No joke. One sidewalk was so steep I nearly crawled up it.

5. San Fransisco kids know how to rage.

 

Go Radio

I learned #5 my first night when I saw the Fearless Friends Tour. The show featured bands signed to Fearless Records: Mayday Parade, Breathe Carolina, Every Avenue, Artist vs. Poet, and Go Radio (and a couple others). These names should sound familiar, as most of these bands have played Indy in the last 6 months.

 

Guitarist from Mayday Parade

The show was held in the Regency Ballroom–a grand, gorgeous space with chandeliers and the stylings of an old time theater. By the time I got in, Go Radio was setting up. Most of the 300ish people already there were highschoolers, setting off a mini quarter-life crisis in my mind.

Camaraderie among bands was a major theme in the showcase. A stormtrooper mask was a running gag throughout the show, with someone in each band donning it for their opening song. Even cooler: each band featured a vocalist from another act at some point during their set. The best collab took place when Lancaster (Go Radio) joined Sanders (Mayday Parade) for the duet “Miserable at Best.” It was probably the most awkward collab too. Lancaster was a vocalist for Mayday Parade, until he left the band in 2007. Discourse surrounding the break suggests there was serious tension between Lancaster and Mayday Parade. Perhaps the duet is a sign they’ve made up?

 

Derek Sanders from Mayday Parade

If you follow my tweets, you know that I was most impressed by the crowd’s raw energy during this show. This was, by far, the roughest, rowdiest crowd I’ve ever been in. Yet kids around me claimed this was pretty tame for San Francisco. If a pop punk show could inspire a circle pit, a mosh pit, slam dancing, and multiple stage dives, then I can only imagine what happens at metal shows. Indy, take note.

Circle Pit!

Kyle of Breathe Carolina surfing the crowd

My favorite act of the night was Breathe Carolina. Whenever I saw their name before, I thought they were either a country band or some saccharine pop ensemble. In reality, Breathe Carolina is an electro-hardcore duo from Denver.  They started out recording songs on GarageBand and gained a strong Myspace following before getting signed. The guys tore up the stage, whipping the crowd into a jumping frenzy. Their sound is built on the dialectic of clean pop vocals and grunge screams; bubbly synth and heavy guitar. Needless to say, they stood out the most in the showcase.

The Fearless Friends Tour won’t hit Indianapolis, but you should definitely keep an eye out for these bands in the future:

Breathe Carolina

Mayday Parade

Go Radio

Artist vs. Poet

Every Avenue

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