Thursday, February 02, 2006

Unlimited Sunshine

Show: Unlimited Sunshine 2006 at The Warfield
Headliner: Cake
Openers: Tegan & Sara, Gogol Bordello, Eugene Mirman
Location: The Warfield in San Francisco, CA
Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2006
2006 Show #: 1

I truly am a Californian now. I arrive late, and leave early. To be fair though, I didn't really miss anything by showing up late. Only Eugene Mirman's main set, but more on that later. As for leaving early, I was exhausted, and practically falling asleep in my seat. I mention this just so you know what colors my review.

As for the seat thing. Yes, I was in a seat on the balcony of the Warfield. And a seat in the very wings no less. How anyone can enjoy live music from this perspective is beyond me. It's such a neutered version of what music was meant to be. You can't move. You can't shake. But that's what I get for waiting too long to get tickets.

One other note on this before I get into the music. When this tour came around in 2002, I saw it at the Greek Theatre. It came around other years, but I didn't see it those years. The name unlimited sunshine made sense, since it was an open air venue. The name doesn't make so much sense in a closed in space during winter. But hey, that's just me.

Anyway, up first was Gogol Bordello. A gypsy punk outfit from New York, this act was everything I'd hoped it would be. Wildness. Craziness. The lead singer regularly jumping out towards the crowd. Dancer hoping around on Stage. An according. And I just wanted to jump around. This band is coming to Slim's in late March, and I for one can't wait. The Gypsy Punk name really is apt, since it's a punk ethos with eastern European flavored music. I don't know how this band got indie cred, but I'm sure glad it did. The only disappointment was that it was nearly impossible to understand them when I didn't already know what they were saying. But for good punk, is that normally the case? Quite an enjoyable 40 minute set.

Before Tegan & Sara came on, Eugene Mirman did a short bit. He's a comedian that I guess is a bit of a leftover from the SF Sketchfest. I didn't really find him that funny. He showed a video about the "evils of pot," but it was just a little to over the top. And Dave Chapelle did the joke better anyway.

Tegan & Sara came on and did a 45 minute set. This band I was least excited about seeing. And they didn't disappointment, but exactly met my expectations. Ok, but not really enjoyable. Catchy, but not something I want to catch. And they're Canadian. I'd managed to miss these two Canadian sisters in every one of their other bay area performances, but somehow I've caught their last live show for awhile. They're not a band I run away from, but I wouldn't go to a show simply for them.

Finally, Cake came on at about 10:50p. Unfortunately I was already exhausted at this point. And I've seen Cake twice before, once in 2001 and once in 2002. I didn't expect the show to change much, and it didn't. As a result I ended up leaving after four songs (the exhaustion didn't help either). I was happy though, since they started with "Frank Sinatra," my favorite song of theirs. They put on a good if unspectacular show. Not something I'll actively seek out again, but I'd happily go their shows again.


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