Phantogram, Muse, and Noe Venable.
December 15, 2015 Phantogram and Muse at Oracle Arena
Muse are one of those bands that no matter how shitty their album releases are, usually put on a great live show. For the Oakland show, they had Phantogram opening, so we had the potential for a really great night out.
I was just hoping to not have a repeat of the not so great Muse show we saw on the Resistance tour in Sacramento.
Thankfully, both bands put on great performances and the Muse visuals and props felt like they’d outdone U2 in terms of production, but for a fraction of the cost.
Phantogram were great in their nine song opening set that included songs from across their catalog but of course focused mostly on their most recent album, Voices.
Muse focused on material from Drones but also played enough hits from their backcatalog to make it a great show, despite the weaker newer material. The stage props and lighting effects really brought a ton of greatness to the show and the band having a “in the round” show worked really well for them. They had actual flying drones at a couple of points and Kinect camera based digital puppetry and fire effects as well. It was good to see the band again but like a lot of other fans, I’m kind of hoping they start revisiting their old albums and maybe do anniversary album tours like Garbage just completed. Of course, the next anniversary would be the 10th of Black Holes and Revelations and we’ve already seen that tour, so perhaps I’ll just hope their next album is a return to form instead.
December 22, 2015 Noe Venable Trio at First Unitarian Church
Our last concert of the year was a quiet set by Noe Venable, Alan Lin and Todd Sickafoose at First Unitarian Church in celebration of the Winter Solstice. I don’t have much to say about the show other than it was something I needed to attend. It was a rough December at work, and having this performance after a hard work day really helped me emotionally. The show consisted of songs from Cascadia and new material with a few older “hits” mixed in. Noe talked a lot about the origin of some of the material and it felt a bit like a “storytellers” type of show. It was a rare treat to see them perform and I’m hoping that since Noe is again a San Francisco resident that we may see more shows in the coming year.