Black Rebel Motorcyle Club Keeps it Cool at the Fox (Review + Slideshow)

in SF Concert Reviews by

Man, how can you put into word’s last night’s mesmerizing show by local heroes the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club show at the Fox in Oakland? I’m not sure, but I’ll give it a shot. Let’s start off with how cool this band really is. From their black-leather-tight-jean rockin’ style to the way they play their instruments without breaking a sweat, you just don’t see bands that have this much natural raw charisma to this level anymore. They’re at times reminiscent of 80s alt-rock bands, while at others they’re channeling old blues legends, all the while playing songs that lock you in from start to finish.

The trio is based right here in San Francisco, and Bay Area fans could not be more proud of these guys as was demonstrated last night by the great turnout in Oakland. The band consists of Peter Hayes and Robert Levon Been both on vocals and guitars, and in the back on the drums is the beautiful yet bashful Leah Shapiro. A solid drummer who held down an impressive solid backbeat throughout the entire set. She’s not flashy but boy can she really hold down a grove, which seems to have become a real rarity these days. What makes this band stand out is that with eight releases under their belt, BRMC has managed to stay true to their sound and not fall prey to the latest fads and trends, something that many bands fall victim to.

Last night they proved their authenticity and devotion to rock-n-roll by starting the show with “Spook” a standout track from their latest creation Wrong Creatures. They didn’t wait long after that to kick into “Little Thing Gone Wild” and “King of Bones,” and a string of other hits that filled an almost two-hour long setlist. The night was dark, the music hypnotic, the guitar hooks salacious. It’s what a rock-n-roll concert is supposed to sound like and veteran bands like these can teach a thing or two to the Rockband generation that are coming out with music these days.

Photos by Louis Raphael

Set List

Spook
Little Thing Gone Wild
King of Bones
Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
Ain’t No Easy Way
Question of Faith
Circus Bazooko
Red Eyes and Tears
Berlin
Conscience Killer
Stop
Echo
Carried From the Start
Acoustic #1
Complicated Situation
White Palms
All Rise
Let the Day Begin
(The Call cover)
Six Barrel Shotgun
Spread Your Love

Encore:
Ninth Configuration
Whatever Happened to My Rock ‘n’ Roll (Punk Song)

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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