Concert photos: Curse Mackey, the Bellwether Syndicate, and Clan of Xymox

Feb 10 2019

There are few better ways to kick off the holiday season than with a good concert.  2018 was no exception in this regard - the DNA Lounge brought in a trio of goth heavy hitters spanning the last 40 years in.  The night was opened by Curse Mackey, who seems to have worked with just about everyone on just about everything from Thrill Kill Kult to Pigface.  Second up was a relatively new group called the Bellwether Syndicate (whose work I've grown quite fond of since that show), comprised of William Faith (best known for being one of the founders of Faith and the Muse) and long-time goth DJ Scary Lady Sarah.  They really capture the feel of classic goth and post-punk while still sounding fresh.  Last and certainly not least were gothic veterans Clan of Xymox, still going strong and sounding as powerful as they did when they were first founded in 1981.ev.

Anyway, here are the picture I took.  If you're curious, the Internet Archive has a copy of the concert's livestream to listen to.

Blind Guardian - 5 October 2016

Nov 23 2016

Historically, it's rare that Blind Guardian goes on tour in the United States, so whenever they come to the States we scramble to get tickets because they put on a hell of a show. Around the house we jokingly call them elven thrash metal because their lyrics are steeped in the works of Moorcock and Tolkien, with influences from many different myth cycles, such as Arthurian legend. To be blunt, their show was face-meltingly good. They played some classic crowd singalongs like The Bard's Song and Valhalla during the show and brought the house down in so doing.

Unfortunately, when I was pulling these pictures off of my phone I accidentally deleted about half of them. I was able to recover all of the deleted files but now I need to sort through five or six gigabytes of recovered files... when I finally sit down and sort through them all I'll update this gallery. Sorry.

Vice Reine, Night Club, and Beautiful Machines at the DNA Lounge.

Nov 23 2016

In October of this year, I once again made my pilgrimage to the DNA Lounge to spend the night dancing at Turbo Drive, the club's monthly (sort of) synthwave dance party. A sucker for the old-school synths as always, I dressed up in my finest to see Vice Reine, Night Club, and the Beautiful Machines perform live. I especially wanted to attend because that particular night celebrated the release of Night Club's first full album, entitled Requiem for Romance (listen to it!) This was one of the few nights where Turbo Drive was held on the main dancefloor of the DNA and not at Code Word, the side club upstairs. All three bands put on top-notch shows; Night Club was enjoyable as usual, and I really got into the Beautiful Machines.

In my photo album, you'll find a couple of photographs of a woman in a hand-made, full cyber costume constructed especially for Turbo Drive. Her name is Mikaela Holmes, and she specializes in wearable art of all kinds, from leather to optical fibre, low-light reflective to hand-formed electroluminescants. Photographs (hers and mine) don't do her work justice, you really have to see it up close to really appreciate it. She even has a bunch of tutorials up at Instructables. If you get a chance, stop by her Facebook page and check it out.

Anyway, here are the pictures I took.

VNV Nation in concert, 25 October 2016.

Nov 23 2016

In October of this year VNV Nation visited California as part of their Compendium tour, in which they celebrated their twenty year anniversary by performing a five hour set without an opening band that covered their entire corpus of work, comprised of twelve albums (one of which is orchestral in nature, having been recorded with the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg). I didn't even try to keep track of their setlist because of how long the concert was. I do, however, recall that they played Perpetual, and there wasn't a dry eye in the place. I still get choked up thinking about it.

Here are the pictures I took, doing the best I could because red and electric blue stage lighting do not photograph well on either cellular phones or my full-sized camera (none of the latter came out, unfortunately).

The Cure in concert - 28 June 2016

Nov 23 2016

I've finally gotten around to pulling another load of pictures off of my phone. This one is from The Cure concert in June of 2016 during their summer tour of the United States. It's not often that you get to see one of the foundational bands of goth live so when tickets went on sale we jumped at the chance. I'm sorry that the pictures didn't turn out very well, between our distance from the stage and the lighting it was a battle just to get everything in focus, and I've had to cull a couple of pictures that just didn't turn out.

Oh, and that whole "sitting on the lawn" thing? It's for the birds. Never again.

Anyway, here are the pictures.

Sonata Arctica, Delain, and Nightwish - 11 March 2016.

Mar 28 2016

It is rare indeed when the Finnish operatic metal band Nightwish comes to the United States. Fans of symphonic metal (like most of us in this house), upon hearing that they would be within driving distance for the first time in many years sprinted, not ran to pick up tickets for this show the moment they went on sale. I can't really describe them to you so all I can really say is take two parts power metal, one part opera, and one part old-school swords and sorcery fantasy, throw into a blender, add a shot of sulfuric acid, and hit frappe'. If one is so inclined, one might say that it's a popular genre of metal in the game Shadowrun (I know that I'm going to be writing all of them into my next game...)

Ahem.

Anyway, opening for Nightwish that evening were Delain and Sonata Arctica. I'm sorry to say that we seem to have missed Delain opening for everyone due to travel time down to San Jose' in a downpour and we caught the last half to third of Sonata Arctica's show. Suffice it to say that, working backwards, we missed one hell of a first half of the night judging by the latter part of S-A-'s set and Nightwish bringing the house down that evening.

Anyway, I can't do the concert much more justice so here are the pictures I took from the back half of the concert hall.

Roadside Memorial, Anthony Jones, and Information Society at the DNA Lounge.

Mar 27 2016

The week of 21 March 2016 marked the 23rd anniversary of Death Guild, the longest running goth/industrial night in the United States and second-oldest in the world. In a community where club nights may exist for a handful of years and then vanish, only to be replaced by a new team of promoters Death Guild stands out as the archetypal club night: If you visit SF and you like to dance, you really need to stop by the DNA Lounge on Monday night. The evening of 23 March 2016 was a very special night indeed because three locally prominent bands performed that night to celebrate: Good, old-fashioned goth from Roadside Memorial, storytelling new-school goth by Anthony Jones and his band featuring UnWoman on electric cello and vocals and accompanied by Ariellah, and Information Society celebrating the release of their latest album, a collection of covers of music that helped shape their sound called Orders of Magnitude (which debuted at #10 on the Billboard Electronic Dance Music Charts).

Roadside Memorial is a band that very much plays in the old-school vein - rumbling bass, reedy guitars and at least two octaves of vocals that are fun to listen to and pretty much assured to get you dancing if you're familiar with the music already (full disclosure: I'm not but I'm going to be tracking their work down soon). The closest I can compare Anthony Jones to is the Cruxshadows, because Jones tells coherent stories in at least some of his songs, vamps for the crowd in some of the same ways, and has a few distinct story arcs that cover multiple songs (which I always seem to fall in the middle of, for some reason). I didn't expect to see UnWoman on stage with them - I haven't seen her live since Hexenfest a couple of years back. InSoc was... InSoc. If you've listened to their work over the years, turn it up a couple of notches and you've got their stage show. It's fun, you never know what to expect from them (say, coming out wearing spandex hoods and calf-length mad scientist coats), and if you know the songs it's hard to not sing along. Which I spent much of the night doing, I'm not ashamed to admit.

I think you can tell that I had an incredible time that night. When the bands weren't on stage I was dancing to the DJs (perhaps a little too hard...) and generally having a great time.

Anyway, here are the pictures I took from the dancefloor. When I wasn't taking pictures I was singing at the tops of my lungs or cutting a rug.