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Converse Represent with/BRMC, DIIV, Metz, Tamaryn & The She’s

P1030322Over the next few days, Converse is having several free invite only concerts in San Francisco. I had the pleasure of attending the first night with five great bands: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, DIIV, Metz, Tamaryn, and The She’s. A diverse line-up which ranged from poppy to dreamy to rocky to all of the above.

Those who waited in line for awhile were treated to free water and once inside, fans were able to load up on free swag and photos. As far as free shows go, this one was more of a thank you to the attendees – where even coat check and drinks were free. The Represent part allowed concert goers to tap the area of the Bay Area they were from and instantly share photos on their preferred social media site.

The She's @ Slim's
The She’s @ Slim’s

Aside from fun activities before the show, the photographers instantly posted their photos during the show to a live photo wall that updated every few minutes.  San Francisco locals The She’s opened the show with a short, but sweet set of sunny pop songs reminiscent of female fronted indie pop bands like Best Coast and All Girl Summer Fun Band. The She’s were a pleasant opener, though stylistically miles away from the next band.

Tamaryn @ Slim’s

Tamaryn are a duo from San Francisco (though filled out with a drummer and bassist) who took the stage with little notice though managed to shock and amaze the audience with their reverb drenched, gorgeously heavy sound which makes you remember everything you ever loved about shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine.

Tamaryn (the singer and occasional tambourine player of the band) has a commanding stage presence, occasionally picking up bouquets of flowers, and her breathy deep vocals are well complemented by the droning bass and wailing guitars. Guitarist Rex built up the beautifully dense layers of sound cleverly looped in with his own guitar playing that continued even after most of the band members left the stage.

METZ bring da noize @ Slim’s

METZ are a Canadian power trio who brought tons of energy, sweat, noise, and stage antics galore with their hardcore sound. As far as live acts go, they were the ones to watch, pulling out every trick in the hard rock/hardcore music book from head banging, jumping in place, to hopping on the bass drum and balancing on there for several minutes. METZ are musically very tight, very loud, and kind of a standout based on the performance alone. For those who were there to see METZ, they were not left disappointed.

DIIV @ Slim’s

DIIV from New York were hard to pin down live and came off as of the strangest bands to take the stage that evening, wearing odd attire that looked like sherpa rain gear with a ski mask. Half the band had their hair strategically covering their faces most of the night. Aside from their odd appearances, the music was worth a closer listen, alternating from dreamy psychedelic to almost post-punk new wave.  One of their guitarists was having some trouble on stage, but aside from the occasional fall, the music was definitely a treat. METZ was a hard act to follow, but DIIV showed the importance of the music.

BRMC @ Converse Represent

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are the hometown heros returning to one of their favorite San Francisco venues and their love of the smaller club shows is undeniable. As a tight three piece, they’ve been around long enough to have a full catalog of hits and singles to give a brief yet satisfying 12 song set of new and old. Opening the set with “Rival” and “Let the Day Begin” from their recently released Specter at the Feast album, BRMC manage to bring an alternating sense of urgency and calm to an audience that would line up hours before the venue even had a line.

Closing the show with “Whatever Happened to My Rock n’ Roll (Punk Song)?” is always an appropriate ending for a great evening that treated fans to more music and swag than they usually get at a normal concert. Kudos to Converse, Slim’s, and all the bands for pulling off a great evening of excellent music and fan participation. Hopefully, the other shows will be just as good and well-received!

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Copyright 2013 Liane Chan