Live - Super Furry Animals, Holy Fuck @ Great American Music Hall | SF




I spent Friday night after Editors getting blissfully drunk with a best friend, only to find out at the end of the night my wallet was swiped. Outside the bar, BFF called my bank, handing me the phone when the teller came on the line. I got to cancel my credit card while hammered and sobbing, but surprisingly knew my account number and SSN when asked - rising to the occasion, if you may.

Thus, some serious dancing needed to happen to shake me of my sorrows. I was bummed all Saturday day; calling various places I remotely recalled having accounts at (Blockbuster, I'm sorry I used you last in August 2006). But I knew anything could be solved with a show.

A good friend and I approached the box office at Great American Music Hall for the Super Furry Animals/Holy Fuck gig, and I was itching to move my feet. Remembering I was on the latter's list, the woman at the ticket counter asked me which one I was on, and I actually stuttered.

"Holy F-f-f-f-...um, Holy F-f-f-f-uuuuck," I said slowly, like I was unsure I was going to get in trouble for saying the F word. Holy cow, holy crap, holy deuce, and holy shit - these guys are all in my vocabulary, but "holy fuck?" Was that blasphemous? Could a fuck be holy?

(Don't answer that.)

San Francisco's local kids Here Here were just finishing up their set as we walked in, the stage strewn with brass instruments and plaid. I was hooked. As we waited for the kids in Holy Fuck to grace our presence, we squeezed into the crowd and took our places, braving the increasing temperature on the dance floor and stripping down to our first layers of clothing.

The Fuck guys came on stage nonchalantly, and immediately I could sense tightness between these Canadians. Minimal vocals, tons of gadgets, and a whole lot of hair bouncing in sync together, my favorite was when the blondie in blue started doing what seemed like jazzercise to his own music - priceless. Song three we were bobbing our heads, and song five we were dancing amongst a sea of people with quizzical and adoring gazes. It was an electronic jam band pulling out the live drums for a spin, and adding some killer keys and a sense of urgent "Get out here now and fucking dance" statements. Hearing a song like "The Pulse" on record and tapping your feet at work versus observing it at a music venue with a sheer sound that envelops your brain is ridiculous. Needless to say, we fell in love with these guys. They make the electronics non-boring.

I had to escape the crowd after Holy Fuck's set because I literally could not inhale clean air. I stepped outside to take a breath, and it was one of those rare San Francisco nights where the atmosphere outside was infinitely better than inside. I almost didn't want to go back in for Super Furry Animals, but I had a sneaking suspicion I was going to be highly entertained. Thankfully, I was.

We got to be transported back in time to a place where folk ruled, headgear was in, and potentially many drugs were taken. Lead singer Gruff Rhys emerged on stage wearing a head covering that looked like a cross between a motorcycle helmet and the Red Power Ranger's helmet, and that was about three times too big, holding the mic near the visor opening to sing. Later he changed into a spring green beanie that was in the shape of a Smurf hat. I was enjoying this.

Sounding like he had experience singing in piano bars crossed with doing a lot of acid, Rhys rumbled through new songs off Hey Venus!, the band's current full-length. A '60s infused rock with a Britpop twist, the Furries delivered both rock and ballad tunes, "The Gift That Keeps Giving" showcasing the melodic and slow baby making music that the band can dominate, complete with a little distortion and sultry vox. "This song is about one of our favorite animals - the golden retriever," said Rhys of the rock song of the same name ("Golden Retriever"), then later making the audience place their hands on their heads palm out to wiggle their fingers to an outer-space/alien beat for about 30 seconds. I giggled the whole time.

Amusement all around? You bet. Thanks to some dancehall Canadians and some stoner rock musicians to make me smile. Identity theft has nothing on this.

Super Furry Animals

Holy Fuck

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Live - Super Furry Animals, Holy Fuck @ Great American Music Hall | SF