An Evening of Live Drugs at the Bill Graham Civic

in SF Concert Reviews by

Before a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea who The War on Drugs was. I’d heard they were coming to town and needed to check them out from a friend of mine, and boy was I happy I did. An outfit that originally formed back in 2005, the group is enjoying a new wave of success thanks in large part to their latest album, “I Don’t Live Here Anymore.” To coincide with the latest release, WOD has headed out on tour with a stop at the Bill Graham Civic last night right here in San Francisco.

After a short wait from the announced 8 p.m. showtime, the band opened things up with the atmospheric “Old Skin.” The multilayered instruments coupled with lead singer Adam Granduciel’s haunting voice set the mood just right for the night. “Pain” followed shortly after. The song’s cinematic elements had fans bobbing back and forth as they embarked on a uniquely magical musical journey. The driving “An Ocean Between the Waves” continued the show, along with a slew of other perfectly crafted songs.

The talent of this band is undeniable. From the moody vocals of Adam to layers upon layers of instrumentation, this band really comes alive in a live setting. WOD songs are infectious leaving you humming their melodies well into the night. At a time when a lot of music these days is performed on computers, bands like these remind us all that music is meant to be played on instruments. And there are few bands that can do it as well as The War on Drugs

Photos by Louis Raphael

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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