The Best of February in San Francisco Music

in Music News by

The month of love is fast coming to a close. And even though it’s the shortest on the calendar, February in San Francisco has been a great month for music. The month’s opening saw A$AP Rocky set the stage at the Bill Graham Civic, absolutely on fire. It was a cold and rainy night outside. But inside the venue, Rocky’s infectious vibes made for an otherworldly setup where the high-energy kept everyone warm and happy. 16-year-old Smooky MarGielaa was the opening act, and the teen rapper was just what the crowd needed to get the mood set for Rocky’s electrifying performance.

The next great show was way at the other end of the spectrum – experimental jazz band Massacre graced the stage at the Chapel. With three musicians at the helm, embodying the principle of ‘never say die’, they tore up the stage at the former mortuary. Guitarist Fred Frith, bassist Bill Laswell, and drummer Charles Hayward are all forces to be reckoned with in their own right, and you had to be there that night to imagine the kind of adoration and dynamism that bled out from the audience.

A$SAP Rocky performing at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco
A$SAP Rocky performing at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco

Elsewhere, seventies escapees KISS performed their last ever show in Sacramento. The night was a part of the band’s final musical tour, aptly titled ‘End of the Road.’ Many fans in the crowd had turned up in makeup mimicking their heroes, and damn if a crowd full of people in face makeup didn’t somehow also manage to be moving. Out there in the audience were three generations of devoted fans, and as they watched their childhood icons sail smoothly from one popular number to the next, it was almost easy to forget this was the end. Needless to say, there wasn’t a dry eye when the curtains finally came down on KISS’s final act in the city.

In other news, Thumpasaurus brought the roof down at The Catalyst Atrium as a group of ardent, funk-addicted fans turned up to watch the band perform their inimitable (and possibly undescribable) brand of music. Coming in slightly from the edge, Panic! At The Disco was truly the act of the season in Oakland, with Brandon Urie bringing out the sort of mad rock star pomp that only 15 years on stage can teach you, leaving the crowd both satisfied and clamoring for more.

Meanwhile, Yann Tiersen dropped his latest album All, a companion piece to previous album EUSA, which is also among his finest works. Make sure you give All a listen if you haven’t already.

Next, get ready to buckle up for what San Francisco’s music scene has in store for you next month. Rap enigma Tobe Nwigwe comes from Texas to Oakland on the 13th of March, playing The New Parish; Justin Timberlake brings eternal youth and impossible pop to the Oracle arena on the 15th; Low bring their brand of genre-undermining rock and ambient dreampop to The Great American Music Hall on the 16th, and later in the month Citizen Cope brings Tennessee blues-folk-soul to the August Hall on the 25th. It’s been a great month, and there’s even better to come. See you out there!

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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