Sunday, October 29, 2017

slowdive at the fox theater in oakland

a few months ago when i read about slowdive's new album i immediately went online to check if they were on tour.  sure as shit, they were hitting oakland in october.  i bought tix and planned on taking nick to see one of my favorite bands.  really.  on my tombstone i want writ HERE LIES RICHARD LOPEZ, POET, BELOVED HUSBAND, FATHER, BROTHER & SON.  HIS FAVORITE BANDS WERE SOCIAL DISTORTION AND SLOWDIVE.  that about sums up it all up.

instead i asked my brother to come with me to the fox theater in oakland.  luckily he agreed.  my younger brother and i were -- are -- very close, best friends when we were in college and roommates.  but now we have our own families and obligations.  we don't get together for stupid shit. like seeing concerts.  tonight was a treat.

but driving in the bay area is a harrowing experience.  even so, we were using those new-fangled smart phones that use satellites to geo-position ourselves to our destination.  and even then we missed a critical off-ramp.  we were heading toward the bay bridge and SF.  fuckin' A.  fortunately there is treasure island -- a man-made hunk of rock that houses, or perhaps used to house, a navy base -- in the middle of the bay, that we used as a u-turn to get back to oakland.  the side trip added just 15 minutes to our journey.

i was about to have a heart attack.  i like to be early.  we had only a 1/2 hour to get across the bay, find parking, and get to the theater.  could we make it?  we did, and we found parking -- not a small endeavour in and of itself-- in no time.

the fox is a gorgeous theater with great details that would, i think, blow your mind if you were in a chemically induced state that allows for blown minds.

as my brother noted, the audience was a refreshing mix of younger and older people.  slowdive was founded in 1989 and broke up in 1996.  its core fan base hover in the average age range of late 40s and early 50s.  there was even a family with a little girl among the audience.  i suspect the girl's parents were fans of the band when they were in college -- like me -- and wanted to share their love of music with their child.  slowdive is a loud live band, but these parents provided their kid with industrial sized ear protection.  but there were plenty of twenty somethings too, which is a proof that music -- art -- breaks down generational barriers.  good music  -- good art -- finds its listeners/viewers.

but this old man rock&roller was raring to go.

i took all these pics using my iPhone.  i noticed nearly everyone i saw also had a smart phone.  say what you want about our culture but we have merged with our devices.  digital life and physical life are blended together whether we like it or not.  we live via our devices as much as we live via our physical selves.

which means we document shit in real time.  i texted a few photos to anna, who was at home with nick, and i got a nearly instantaneous response from her.  even as the band played i took my phone out to snap a couple of pics.

slowdive was magnificent.  i saw them in 2014 with my good friend, b., when they played the warfield in s.f.  b. told me the band was loud.  after a song that erupted in a wall of noise i asked my brother what he thought of the band.  he said, they are loud.

that they were which made this old punk's heart go pitter patter.

then the band finished their encore.  they played songs from all their albums including personal favorites like 'alison', '40 days', 'when the sun hits', and more.  i can die a happy man.  i saw one of my favorite bands at their peak, twice in this decade.

then we pointed our vehicle east and a little over an hour later we were back in our beloved home town and our respective families.  



At 10:33 PM, Blogger b said...

Cool band, glad we got to see them @ the War Field, shoe gazer genre is deceiving, LOUD AS F***! Battle-Bots meets Ozzfest show, my ears are still ringing.
Take Care B


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