• BottleRock 2018 Day 1: Muse and 11 other sets we loved on Friday

    BottleRock 2018 Day 1: Muse and 11 other sets we loved on Friday

    NAPA — Muse electrified BottleRock Napa Valley during the first day of the annual festival with a blistering set chock full of the band’s biggest hits from throughout its 20-year-old catalog. Muse defined what it means to be a modern stadium rock band, mixing complex riffs, solos and rhythms…
  • RIFF Rewind 1986: RUN-DMC, Bon Jovi and... Metallica (yes, again)

    RIFF Rewind 1986: RUN-DMC, Bon Jovi and… Metallica (yes, again)

    Welcome to 1986! The music scene is shifting yet again. Hip-hop is becoming popular. Metal is getting harder. And hair rock is about to reach its zenith. I was tempted to make this another double-length entry since the longlist has 21 songs on it, but really I just…
  • REVIEW: The Wonder Years lead the UC Theatre through <em>Sister Cities</em>

    REVIEW: The Wonder Years lead the UC Theatre through Sister Cities

    BERKELEY — The Wonder Years shook the UC Theatre grounds Wednesday with an energized 18-song set. Halfway through its tour, the Philadelphia pop-punk group was in the midst of promoting LP Sister Cities, released last month. Fittingly, the band opened with “Pyramids of Salt,” off the 2018 release. Under…
  • BottleRock: The Wrecks are the go-getters rock music needs

    BottleRock: The Wrecks are the go-getters rock music needs

    A band’s success requires skill, work ethic and a couple of lucky breaks. All three propelled The Wrecks into festival circuits with only two EPs under their belts in as many years. Frontman Nick Anderson, bassist Aaron Kelley, guitarists Nick Schmidt and Westen Weis, and drummer Billy Ninety…
  • 11 Under-the-radar acts to catch at BottleRock Napa Valley

    11 Under-the-radar acts to catch at BottleRock Napa Valley

      With a lineup ranging from The Killers and Bruno Mars to Snoop Dogg and Earth, Wind & Fire, few festivals can match BottleRock’s crossover appeal. Looking beyond the headliners reveals a diverse array of up-and-comers waiting to break big. At BottleRock, Napa becomes the perfect place for…
  • BottleRock: Australian Dean Lewis out to make 'Waves' in the U.S.

    BottleRock: Australian Dean Lewis out to make ‘Waves’ in the U.S.

    Being the next big thing in Australian pop music machine comes with expectations and pressures. The country has been spitting out singer-songwriters with regularity seemingly month-over-month, from breakout major label success stories like Vance Joy, artists like Amy Shark, Tash Sultana, Mallrat and countless others waiting to break…
  • Rock'n Vino: Sounds, sights and culinary delights of BottleRock 2018

    Rock’n Vino: Sounds, sights and culinary delights of BottleRock 2018

    BottleRock Napa Valley returns to the Napa Valley Expo Memorial Day Weekend for the fifth annual incarnation of what has quickly become one of Northern California’s preeminent music festivals. This year’s BottleRock lineup boasts one of its strongest to date, featuring headlining sets from Muse, Bruno Mars and…
  • REVIEW: Franz Ferdinand turns the corner on tour-closer in Oakland

    REVIEW: Franz Ferdinand turns the corner on tour-closer in Oakland

    OAKLAND — Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos casually strolled onto the Fox Theater stage, following his four bandmates, stepped onto a speaker and looked out onto the gathered fans of his band, many of whom had been around since the band’s beginnings circa 2002, and reached out his…
20th Street Block Party returns Aug. 18