Sonic Boom SF Show Review
Posted by Molli Fire on Thursday, 26April07
I did it! I finally headed over to youtube and created a channel for HearingTest! Now i will be able to post videos here immediately!
On that note, let’s get to the Sonic Boom show review!
The digs – Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco, April 8th, 2007.
An absolutely lovely night in SF, already starting to hint at the warmth of summer, with the soothing moisture in the air that is ever-present from the nearby beaches. My mates and i filled our bellies at the late-night diner just up the hill from Hemlock Tavern, because you can’t get fries and root beer floats at the bars here.
Even when I was at the show I couldn’t figure out which was which, so we’ll skip that part. They were both fun to listen to live, and both were at the mercy of the person doing sound who seemed to have no idea how one was supposed to run sound. When one singer asked through the mic for the monitors to be turned up, they got no response, and no action. So, they had to wonder if it sounded right. In front of the stage, where the audience was, it sounded great. To the side of the stage and on stage, it sounded weird. Luckily, the crowd thought it sounded great. Note to sound tech people – take your earplugs out once in awhile to gauge how it sounds, especially when changing the volume on different things! This person did not, and consequently kept turning up the volume on a microphone that was picking up the cymbals. To the audience, it was way too loud and shrill, yet they kept turning it up….
OK! On to the good stuff! Mr. Sonic Boom played an absolutely wonderful set! He had crazy old digital electronic instruments, like a Yamaha synthesizer, a Dr. BOSS Sampler (which he never used the sequencer of, he triggered each sample by hand as he needed it!), an Electribe (i think it was the sampler version, I don’t think he used the sequencer on this one either!) and some strange little box marked Casio that made drum rhythms akin to old organ percussion beats! You know, samba, foxtrot, rock…. For some reason, i expect this type of gear to make crazy techno or noise or dub or similar. SB made gorgeous ethereal music that was delicate even as it expanded to fill the room. The one man show consisted of songs that he has played in the bands he has been part of previously, mostly Spectrum music. You can hear little bits of the songs in the videos.
As much as I love Hemlock Tavern, and will keep going there because they host many of my favorite musicians, they really need to work on their ventilation. Every show I have ever seen there, I ended up out in the alley trying to cool off and get fresh air. Even with the big door open in the back of the room, it is impossible to stay in the throng of people pressing as close to the stage as possible because it just gets too sweaty hot. And it’s only April now. In July, it is much worse. Some people theorize that this is part of the rock and roll experience, but that’s dumb. I have never enjoyed a show less just because it was comfortable. Just read my review of ISIS at Bimbo’s 365 Club for proof. But don’t get me wrong, Hemlock is still one of the best venues to see music – the stage is only a little bit elevated from the floor, so you can get in real close (which is how i can read itty bitty type on plastic boxes of obscure electronic devices), the sound is usually good, the drinks are proper, and the staff is so dang nice.
Here are the videos, with the slideshow from last week repeated at the end of this post :
Sonic Boom is also the purveyor of a fantastic website, so make sure you check it out : http://www.sonic-boom.info/
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