I don't have any idea what to start with in describing the mayhem that was the D4 show in San Francisco last night at popscene, so I guess I'll start at the beginning. It was 9:35 and the band was finishing up soundcheck for a 10:00 PM door time. Then it happened: POWER OUTTAGE. The 15 or so staff and label people milled about the club waiting to see what was happening. A line was forming outside and hope was raised when the lights flickered back on for five seconds, but no love from Pacific Gas & Electric: the lights went back off.
10:30 PM, 11:00 PM. We had a drop-dead time of 11:30 PM, otherwise we had to tell the huge line of club-goers outside that the night was off. We kept calling PG&E for updates and by 11:25 found out that 18,000 customers on three grids had lost power, but all but 432 were back on-line. Guess which group we felt into? At 11:30, we talked to the club owner and he gave us a 30 minute extention. But at 11:30, the security was already telling the crowd that we were closing, but a chunk stayed, hoping against hope. Hollywood Records' Geordie Gillespie, who had flown up for the gig from LA, was a pillar of strength, saying he had to be "zen about it," while Aaron Axelsen and I stewed at the missed opportunity to share this amazing band with all the people that had been in line just minutes before.
At midnight, we walked through the crowd, along with The D4, apologizing to fans and thanking them for staying so long. All of us were discussing that this was a first, as we could never remember a gig being canceled due to a power outtage, especially without inclement weather involved. As we are walking back into the club to put away the gear, THE POWER CAME ON. The 150 or so people still milling about got back in line and 25 minutes later, New Zealand's finest purveyors of garage punk were firing their way into the show opener and debut US single, "Get Loose." The crowd obviously had a ton of pent up energy and the vibe in the house was amazing. The band played a raucous, sweat-filled 45 minute set, working their way primarily through their debut album, 6twenty, due out March 25. Live standouts included the aforementioned single, as well as "Invader Ace," "Ladies Man," "Rocknroll Motherfucker," "Heartbreaker," "Come On" and the penultimate song, "Party." The D4 DID end up making this a party and the fanatical souls that braved the blackout were treated to an amazing show. They sounded amazingly tight, especially for a garage punk band and especially due to the fact that just minutes before, they'd been outside milling about and chatting with fans. A huge shout out to both the band and members of the Hollywood Records crew for helping us make a small pitcher of lemonade with the boatload of lemons jacked-up PG&E handed us.