Emilie's Must-See's: February
House Jacks (reunion show!)
Freight and Salvage Doors 7:00 / Show 8:00 – $30 advance / $34 Door
I admit it, I have a soft spot for a capella. However, should you have any judgment, I suggest suspending it until you see these guys. They’ve been featured on NBC’s The Sing-Off and Pitch Perfect. Quite simply: they’re hot and they rock. Really hoping alums Deke Sharon, Austin Willacy, and Jake Moulton jump on stage and they do their Live Request section.
Mystic Theatre – Doors 7:00 / Show 8:00 – $50 (all ticket sales go to the Declan Walsh Special Needs Trust)
Based in San Francisco, these guys met while in college in Chico and have been playing together since 1990. Hits include, “White Falcon Fuzz,” and “Third Floor Story.” Happy to see these guys return to the stage!
Freight and Salvage – Doors 7:00 / Show 8:00 – $26 advance / $30 door
John Gorka was my gateway drug into the world of singer-songwriting: my Mom played “Land of the Bottom Line,” for me in high school and it was nothing but acoustic guitar and tear-jerking lyrics for years after that. In 1991, Rolling Stone described him as “the preeminent male singer-songwriter of what has been dubbed the New Folk Movement.” Check out any of his Windham Hill albums to get a feel for his extraordinary voice.
Walk the Moon
Fox Theater – Show 8:00 – $37.50
Started in 2006, this band named themselves after the Police song, “Walking on the Moon.” Their hits include “Shut Up and Dance,” which reached number one on the Billboard charts in 2014 (and was my mom’s favorite song for quuuuiiiiite a long time). Their latest album, “What if Nothing” was released in 2017.
The Chapel – Doors 7:00 / Show 8:00 – $18 advance / $20 door
Another superstar graces the stage at The Chapel! A legendary drummer, this New Orleans sensation was the drummer for the acclaimed band The Meters, along with Keith Richards, Robert Palmer, and Dr. John. There’s no one else I want to dance to on Mardi Gras.
Jai Uttal & Friends
Freight and Salvage – Doors 7:00 / Show 8:00 – $28 advance / $32 door
Hailed as a “world music pioneer,” Jai Uttal’s roots are in the Indian classical tradition. I listen to him when I need to be transported into a more spiritual, open space, as he’s known for his kirtan chanting. He, like George Harrison of The Beatles,” studied with Ali Akbar Khan, but he’s also known to incorporate reggae and Brazilian music in his sound.
Dark Star Orchestra
The Warfield – Doors 7:00 / Show 8:00 – $29.75-$45
The Dark Star Orchestra shows are guaranteed to give you two nights of nonstop dancing. This Grateful Dead cover band has been playing together since 1997, and they often play complete original set lists from Dead shows.
Sweetwater Music Hall – Doors 8:00 / Show 9:00 – $30 advance / $35 door – Two-day pass $50
I saw these guys for the first time at BottleRock in 2016. I turned to my best friend, said, “This is the best band I’ve heard in years,” to which she replied, “Em, they live in Mill Valley.” Oops. I’ve compensated for my ignorance by going to see every show they’ve put on in the Bay Area since, whether it’s headlining at the Sausalito Art Festival or playing to a sold out crowd at The Independent. They embody funk, with a stellar horn section and the unbeatably sultry lead vocal stylings of Kelly Finnigan.
Dead Winter Carpenters
Freight and Salvage – Doors 6:00 / Show 7:00 – $20 advance / $24 door
Check out Dead Winter Carpenters’ “Colorado Wildfire”// Gondola Sessions on YouTube and you’ll get a quick glance at bluegrass at its finest (in a GONDOLA). I love this Tahoe band’s Americana sound.
The Warfield – Doors 7:00 / Show 8:00 $39.50 advance / $55.00 door
I have to include them - for sentimentality, but most important, because it’s never too late to hear “Cruel Summer,” one more time, even if it’s February. Yes, it’s the original lineup!
Lee Ann Womack
The Chapel – Doors 8:00 / Show 9:00 – $28 advance / $32 door
Time for another admission: I am a closeted country music fan. That’s what happens when you grow up in Pennsylvania and your mom teaches you how to line dance. However, Lee Ann Womack is the perfect blend of rock and country. In fact, it’s written that her latest album, “The Lonely, the Lonesome, and the Gone,” is a “breathtaking hybrid of country, soul, gospel, and blues.” I’m looking forward to hearing her perform tracks off her new album, but I’m also hoping she’ll play her famous single, my favorite, “I Hope you Dance.”
Shovels and Rope
Freight and Salvage – Doors 7:00 / Show 8:00 – $26 advance / $30 door – SOLD OUT
Shovels and Rope are the married folk duo Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst from Charleston, South Carolina. Together and separately, they’ve released six albums in ten years. Check out their single, “Gasoline,” on YouTube, or better yet, their NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Their harmonies are flawless, but it’s Cary Ann’s powerhouse voice that really delivers. There’s a good reason why both of their Bay Area shows are sold out and why I will be standing outside each one begging for tickets.
Shovels and Rope
Sweetwater Music Hall – Doors 7:00 / Show 8:00 – SOLD OUT
Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters
Fox Theater – Show 8:00 – $73.75 – SOLD OUT
It’s Robert Plant. Need I say more? Not only was he the lead singer of Led Zeppelin (yes, I had the box set of cassettes in high school), he’s also performed flawless duets with Alison Krauss and Patty Griffin, two of my favorite female singer-songwriters of all time. But if you needed one more reason to scrounge for tickets, NPR did name him as one of the “50 Great Voices” in the world.