After being super stoked on Ok Go's Williamsburg rock show, we couldn't help but be incredibly excited when the offer came through for Hippies Are Dead Records' own Grand Lake to open for the band at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore. Needless to say, our pals in Grand Lake were more than a little stoked themselves. As such, we headed over to the Fillmore to catch what would end up being a night of fantastic music, as the two Californi bands were joined by New York's Earl Greyhound.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Grand Lake opened the show, and what can we say? It is our distinct opinion that they fucking nailed it. Playing to a crowd of wonderfully enthusiastic Ok Go fans, the band ran through much of their full length Blood Sea Dream.
As usual (Okay, look, We signed them to our label - we fucking love them), Grand Lake played a set that transcended their on-album energy, and took the already solid songs to a new level of awesomeness. Guitarist Jameson Swanagon was in particularly top form, tearing through his guitar lines with edgy enthusiasm.
We hadn't seen the band since last December, and frankly, they've grown quite a bit. In addition to adding a fourth member (Swanagon's wife Danae) on samplers and synths, the band has also tied down their live arrangements to match the record in their fervor.
In short, Grand Lake is continuing the upward ascent that we've been observing over the past couple of years, and we couldn't be happier that we're riding it with them. In addition to the Blood Sea Dream tracks, the band also debuted a new song, and we'll just say this: get out there and see them, because it just keeps getting better.
Grand Lake was followed by Brooklyn's Earl Greyhound, who delivered what can only be described as a set of epic rock and roll. The trio delivered a sound that was so big that it was shocking, especially given their simple stage setup. Combine that with an uncanny stage presence, and you had a rock vibe that harkened back to the Fillmore's heyday,
While the band's hard rocking style wasn't exactly to our taste, there's absolutely no question that Earl Greyhound can deliver live. Their set is completely tight, and filled the big room of the Fillmore perfectly. Put differently, we're probably a little too candy cane around these parts to rock this hard, but if you love you some hard rock, do not fail to check these guys out.
After Earl Greyhound and a short interlude, Ok Go took the stage to riotous applause. It was clear that the fans couldn't wait to see their rock idols on the Fillmore's legendary stage. They would certainly not be disappointed, as Ok Go's well timed live show, unquestionable stage presence, and bulletproof setlist all served them perfectly in the hallowed hall.
While there's not necessarily a lot of setlist variability night to night with Ok Go, we have to say that the Fillmore show felt markedly different than the New York one. While New York had the feel of a balls to the wall rock show, San Francisco felt much more like an intimate show, aimed squarely at fans.
Perhaps this was most evident when lead singer Damian Kulash descended into the crowd, donned a fans hat, and spent a number of moments immersed in the crowd. Quite simply, it was a fantastic moment that gave a clear illustration of how much mutual love there is between Ok Go and their fans.
In short, this was one of the most uniformly epic rock shows we've seen in quite some time. A night where all three acts on the stage deliver bulletproof sets is unusual. What's even more unusual is to catch three bands that are all clearly on an upward career trajectory, albeit at different stages in their careers. For those at the Fillmore on a Wednesday night in May, that's exactly what they got.
Many more photos at the HAD Archive