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San Francisco Is The Rock Capital OF THE WORLD



What a beautiful night it was to be alive: two great shows in the same night in
San Francisco. Travis (and Dido) at the cavernous Shoreline
Amphitheatre and Doves at the historic Fillmore Theater. Never mind
the fact that the shows were 45 minutes' drive apart and theoretically
overlapping. We weren't gonna let that discourage us from trying to make
both, and indie emulation of that jackass race car driver who raced the
Indianapolis 500 and some other redneck race in the same day. We had hoped
to catch Emiliana Torrini as the opening act for the Travis
show, but we arrived at 8:30 to catch the opening strains of Travis'
"Sing," so we knew things were moving along more rapidly than first hoped.


Our
sadness at missing Ms. Torrini was greatly tempered, however, by the
discovery that our tickets for the 22,000 seat mega-theater were in the third row,
dead center (it sure helps when you're sitting with Aaron Axelsen).
Travis were just as splendid as the evening before, playing the majority
of excellent third album The Invisible Band. The highlights included
the aforementioned "Sing" and well as "Side," "Safe," "Flowers in the
Window" (prefaced with the same "is anyone here pregnant? Does anyone
have a baby in the belly?" queries of the evening before, by world's chattiest
frontman Fran Healy, but with more of a story behind the questioning
this time. Hell, they had an hour to fill this night) and "Pipe Dreams." A
number of jams from The Man Who made it into the set, including the
obvious choices of "Driftwood" and "Writing To Reach You." Healy
called out "how many of you don't own any Travis albums? Well even
if you don't, here's a song you may recognize from the radio" prior to sweeping
string intro to "Why Does It Always Rain On Me," the most widely received
song of the night by the bi-partisan crowd. "Turn" was met with almost equal
giddiness, as Fran called it "the unofficial anthem of Scotland."
The band closed with the extra rocking "Blue Flashing Light" adding an
incendiary guitar-thrash flourish to an already brilliant set. The band had gone
on earlier than we had expected, so we still had time to go backstage, where we
found out that the alarm clock and groggy human noises that lead in to "Humpty
Dumpty Love Song," the epic finale on The Invisible Band, were
actually Fran being unknowingly recorded waking up by producer
extraordinaire Nigel Godrich. A truly mind-blowing show, perhaps
the best Travis show I'd seen, and the night was just half
over!

We fled the scene like a trio of 2 bit robbers (my girlfriend was in tow as well),
and sped up to the Fillmore with 5 minutes to spare, entering to the opening
film that Doves use on their tour. The Mancunian trio, which expands
to a four piece on tour, played an almost identical set to their March tour,
except their included two new songs, one of which was instrumental and played
between two encore tracks. Highlights live, as with the album, were "Catch The
Sun" and the swirling shoegazer masterpiece 'The Cedar Room," the crashes
and swells of sonic layering filling the room and washing down over the crowd
to near perfection. We had done it. We saw one of the greatest performances
by one of the greatest bands recording today and still rushed up to see a group
of hopefuls with talent aplenty make their run for the upper echelon as well. A
night to be remembered for years to come.



Source: Jeremy P. Goldstein

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San Francisco Is The Rock Capital OF THE WORLD