This past week, the Noise Pop festival of San Francisco swept up the city in exciting shows ranging from Carly Rae Jepsen to Kamasi Washington. Although we at KZSC weren’t exactly able to see the big names of the festival, we did get a peek behind the press curtain and what we saw was amazing. Two shows in particular that blew us away were the Thermals and Diane Coffee shows at the Brick and Mortar Music Hall
Diane Coffee, the alter-ego of Shaun Fleming from Foxygen, is an energy fueled throwback to the 1970s glam rock era. Diane Coffee started out the set flaunting a very glitzy and 1970s costume while rocking the guitar to songs that sound like they’re from a lost David Bowie or Sweet album. The dedication the whole band has to maintain the retro vibe of their music is impressive in itself including mostly period synths, costumes, and arrangements with a few modern additions here and there. Although Diane Coffee will normally take up most of the attention screaming and running around on and off stage, the rest of the band is just as good as Diane if not better. What impressed me the most about the backing band was the keyboard player dualing as the saxophonist belting out one of the most hearty saxophone solos you’ll ever see in a rock show next to maybe a Bruce Springsteen performance.
The Thermals were amazing as well but for completely different reasons. The whole show was done while every stage light was set to be red as is the theme with there previous album, Desperate Ground, and their upcoming latest album, We Disappear. Also, the Thermals added a new guitarist into the mix and this allowed Hutch Harris, the lead singer, to go crazy during certain songs. Sure, Hutch still played guitar on some tracks, but having him jump off of stage and yell into the microphone right in front of my face was beyond my expectations. Although they’ve been around for over a decade, the Thermals were rocking harder than most punk bands could ever hope to achieve.
See the gallery of images below to get an even better idea of the experience.