By Airec Sype
Love City had their first music & art festival at City Nights last Sunday. This being the first time I have ever heard of Love City and it being hosted at the dreaded City Nights (I’ve spent a bit of my 18 year old days there getting rejected by girls who claimed that they were lesbians) I was a little reluctant to attend. But I will say that (after I bit the bullet and paid the 20 dollar cover charge) I’m glad I went.
Love City is a San Francisco based promotion group that supports local musicians and artists. Their mission statement states: “The goal is to unite people. To provide a home for bay area music. To give independent artists a stage. The goal is to be the definite San Francisco Underground. The home for honest art and the people who appreciate it.”
It was a nice surprise to walk into a non-packed City Nights that isn’t infested with 18 year old kids tripping all over the place as their pregame gets the best of them. And yes I used to be one of those kids; I was the Asian guy dancing alone with a red face. The bigger and happier surprise was that draft beers were only 2 whole dollars!!! I mean the beer choice were only PBR and Bud light, but hey, for 2 bucks I’ll drink watered down booze.
The side room had a merch table selling t-shirts and performing artist CD’s, a few couches for people to relax, as well as the bar. Although I did find it quite odd that the side room was playing radio indie music. I did enjoy the music that was being played, but I would think that the side room would play music from the main room since it’s a festival to promote local music. It was a good break though from hearing the local talent from time to time . . . and I did Shazam a few songs in that room as well so I can’t complain too much.
The main room was pretty spacious. Half of the people crowded the stage and the remaining half was spread out in the back. There was defiantly room to awkwardly dance around and prance. Up above on the balcony were some painting that was done live by Zachary Sweet, an illustrator from Oakland. Tyler Trew of First City calls him “Ralph Steadman, Dr. Seuss and Tim Burton’s love child.” I will admit that one or two of his paintings freaked me out, but they were very vivid and amazing.
Genra, from Oakland and real name John Glchrist, was one of the middle performers that made an impression on me. Genra genre is hip hop. And he did address how he spelled his name wrong on purpose just to mess up our iTunes. I don’t listen to a lot of hip hop so I don’t really know how to describe his music in detail, but it was really good! His lyrics had the soft touch of Drake’s RnB but also had the intensity of rap. It was powerful poetry that this man preformed. I was really impressed at his skills as he rapped with a live band instead of performing to a track. They had great flow and chemistry.
The last but not least band of the night was Keys & Kisses. And holy crud were they amazing. K&K is a San Francisco based band that was started by Christopher Schouest (vocals, guitar and violin) and Jordanne Osborne (vocals, piano). They were also accompanied by Jimmy Dias on the cajon and Greg Andresen on the bass. K&K started off their set with a mellow and low song that got the crowd in a folk-y trance. But as their set continued, K&K progressed into a more indie-folk-post-punk style. We weren’t jumping up and down in the crowd, but we sure did feel the smoky whiskey dive bar atmosphere that K&K conjured as they ended the night.
The music was great, but other highlights of the night was when a girl in a tutu tried spinning around and fell on her butt and this drunk girl got kicked out of the upper balcony because she almost knocked some paintings down while trying to drunkenly dance on the cage. Well, I mean it wouldn’t be City Nights without some kind of shenanigans!
I also gotta give props to this group of guys who were just dancing away in the back left of the main room; they look like they were having a great time. I wish I had their ability to be comfortable in their own skills to rock the dance floor!
I’ll be looking forward to the next Love City Music & Art Festival. Till next time.