Live: Stereophonics & JJ72 Continue UK Hold on San Francisco

Another week, another major UK band rolling through the quasi-Euro metropolis of San
Francisco. OK, it doesn't happen every week, just seems like it recently. We've been
spoiled and tonight it was no exception: Welsh britpop superheroes
Stereophonics and Irish guitar-mangling upstarts JJ72 were at the
Fillmore. The youngsters from the Emerald Isle were up first and disappoint they did
not. Working their way through the majority of their brilliant self-titled debut, the trio
also sprinkled in a number of new tracks, sure to be found on their sophomore offering.
Weeks of touring seems to have worn down the angelic tones of frontman Mark
Greaney, but he was not to be stopped, throwing every ounce of passion into such
emotive numbers as "October Swimmer," "Algeria," and "Oxygen," all the while conjuring up melodic and angst-ridden spells on his guitar. Call up Jeff
Sodikoff, Christine Chiappetta or someone at Columbia and tell them to
send you this album, as it is epic.

The "dad-rock" spectacular that is Stereophonics hit the stage next, and the
crowd of mostly late 20- to early 30-somethings ate it up. They fired through a set that
was comprised of half of their third and latest album, Just Enough Education To
and half a greatest hits set from their previous two. Standouts tracks were
many, but "A Thousand Trees," "Mr. Writer," "Have A Nice Day" (which frontmidget
Kelly Jones introduced as "this is a song we wrote in San Francisco about a cab
ride we took. He picked us up at the pier, drove around for 45 minutes talking shit,
dropped us off and said 'That'll be $7.00 and have a nice day'"), and the debut single, ("in
with a bullet at number 51, again according to Jones), "Local Boy In The
Photograph" produced the most aural thunder. Two surprises were unveiled, however. The 'Phonics' cover of
"Don't Let Me Down" from the I Am Sam soundtrack was included in the encore
and, just prior to that, the trio, who expand to a 5-piece live, played their UK Christmas
hit single, their own rendition of the Rod Stewart and Manfredd Mann
favorite, "Gladbags and Handrags." V2 has re-released Just Enough Education To
in the UK, adding the big seller and the album has been propelled to the top
spot on the charts. Dad-rock indeed. Paul Weller would be proud.

Live: Stereophonics & JJ72 Continue UK Hold on San Francisco