It had been a long time since I was asked for ID, and in the space of 5 minutes, I was asked 3 times. We were going to an over 21 venue to see The So ties, Boyracer, Rocketship and The Mantles as part of the San Francisco Popfest, and they were clearly taking no chances. As I had paid for a 4 day pass, I had to show who I was, as my name was on the door. I also had to go to the merchandise table to collect my limited edition mixed tape, and my glow in the dark badge and show my ID once again!
The popfests were the reason we were here and Mr BG fully intended to make the most of this chance to hear lots of music, play some music and catch up with as many people as possible.
Everyone in Mr BG’s band was there, and we caught up with what everyone had been up to since we had seen them last in Melbourne. One had been to the baseball (San Francisco Giants versus the Minnesota Twins), and others had headed to Sacramento to play a show. (There is an intimacy of the indie scene in Melbourne and I am sure in other places. Within the current lineup of Bart and Friends the members are part of at least 4 other bands, and at least a 6 bands previously. )
Just a brief review of the evening.
The Softies- girl duo whose music truly epitomised twee pop. Very heartfelt and soothing melodies that could lull you to sleep.
Boyracer- a completely different set, quite energetic, with a few of the tunes vaguely reminiscent of Morrissey.
Rocketship- a band who was playing for the first time in ages, and for whom everyone had turned out to see. There were a few songs by Rocketship on the first mixed tape Mr BG had made me when we first started going out together, and their performance was excellent, with voices having stood up to the ravages of time.
The Mantles- a local San Francisco band who were headlining, but sadly did not play to the big audience, as a lot of people left. It was good to hear new music from a new band.
Saturday saw Bart and Friends rehearsing in the apartment of a very nice lady called Alicia, who had a cool rehearsal space in her garage.
The show that night was at the Hemlock Tavern with Bart and Friends headlining. We arrived early and saw the first band Marine Life, which were a group from San Francisco. They had a sharp 60s style going for them as well as a fresh poppy sound. They were also incredibly nice for loaning Bart and Friends their drum kit.
We ducked out for dinner at a diner, but came back to catch the remaining acts.
And then they were on! It was polished, the songs were well received by the audience, and the onstage banter was good.
One down, three to go.
We returned to the Hemlock Tavern to catch The Zebras play in the last show of the Popfest. It was a great show with some very excited fans in the audience.
We said our goodbyes to 3/5ths of the band who were heading to Portland for a Zebras/Monnone Alone show, as well as saying to the lovely friends of Bart and Friends. I would have to say that everyone was very friendly and super nice to meet and chat to.
Verdict- the arrangement of the lineups of the shows were a bit uneven, and the whole thing of various lists for different ticket holders was a bit problematic. The talent of new bands is clear to see, and for that the Popfest wad successful in showcasing that.