Alright, so videos to follow and all, but in the meantime, here's some pictures and a narrative-style review. Just a side note before I get started: I'd freed up enough space on my iPhone for a bit of video, but I was really unsure just how much was going to fit, so I was a little frugal about recording earlier in the show (sorry R2 fans). When I recorded the main PUTS show, I used all 5 Gb I'd freed up in about 30-40 minutes, so I wasn't able to catch anything else except a bit of the encore (which I was only able to fit because I frantically deleted a bunch of other vids). I was p*ssed that missed recording SF Knights (one, because it was San Francisco, and two, because it was crazy wild this time).
One other note: all the YouTube vids below are unlisted (not searchable) in YouTube, 'cause I'm not sure about how R2 & PUTS about having them public. I know they are more than likely cool with y'all seeing them, I just wanted to make them "less" public. (Thes & R2, if you guys catch this review and DON'T want your videos showing here, let me know and they're gone. Thanks.)
Got to the club 30 min before Slim's doors opened (traffic down I-80 was way lighter than I thought). The only people there so far were some teens, and I could hear some sound-checking going on inside. I asked them if they were there to see PUTS, and they were actually there to see R2; it was Predominance's cousins who lived in the area (later his uncle showed up too). We waited out in the cold for awhile.
The usual crowd SF nightlife wandered by... then a guy rolled up and tried to buy three tickets with fake money (hilarious), and I got to talking with the box office lady while we laughed about it:
"Oh, by the way, is the band here yet?"
"Some of them, I think."
"You should go tell the guy named Thes One that Sactown's outside"
"I don't know if-"
(From behind her: ) "Sactown?"
I look up, and Thes is leaning over the railing behind her, and he puts me on the guest-list and gets me inside. Nice!
Inside, the Slim's crew are moving chairs and tables off the floor, and Thes is setting up the merch table. Everyone is actually already there, and R2 is moving through their sound-check. Thes stocks up the table:
I'd printed up those fake album covers (the ones in the other thread) just to show to the cats to see if they dug 'em. Not even trying to kiss-*ss to the homies, but I'd put a fair bit of work into 'em, and I thought they might get a kick out of 'em. Thes was like "I gotta show these to Mike. Hey, Mike!" Double came over, and they were buggin' on them for a little while. (Thes even suggested they should throw them on stage hanging off the turntables for the show... they didn't do it, but it still was dope he'd mentioned it.)
Anyway, Thes and Double went up to do their sound-check and played Beer and this Steve Miller Band thing they'd thought up in the car on the way to the show... KK had just bought a copy of Fly Like An Eagle, so he busted the spacey intro while Thes was on the portable drum machine.
While PUTS were getting ready, I met the guys from Revolutionary Rhythm, and they were really some superbad, superchill cats. Was really glad to meet 'em. I chatted up Kid Abstrakt and DJ Million Faces while Predominance talked with his fam a bit. I'd listened to their "Just Listen" mixtape in the car on the way up, so I was stoked about seeing them.
PUTS and R2 talked a little bit about stage setup for awhile, and PUTS went backstage to chill for a while, then the doors opened at 8 p.m. Some of the R2 cats held off PUTS fans at the merch table until Thes got back. I hung out with R2 & Thes for a long time, had a couple beers (was feeling Anchor Steam for the night), and chatted with them a little between customers, but then the crowd started getting bigger, so I thought I'd leave mingle for awhile.
After a while, people started getting antsy having only Thes One signing things, so Thes asked if I'd be willing to go backstage and grab Double K. Up 'til that point, I didn't even know that being on the guest-list and having the red wristband entitled me to be able to do that, so I was amped. I said "sure" and made my way through the throng to get back there.
Double was just chillin' on the green room couch, so I got the homie out of there, and he had me grab him a double vodka-cran. He was in good spirits for the night: we were joking around for a while, which was a blast. I jokingly asked him if he wanted a Strongbow (which they were selling), and asked him what happened to K Jackson after he left Ugly Duckling (he said "he got into some hard drugs, man. Did some funk albums and sh*t."). Good times.
Mingled with the crowd a while and met funner than pleather from the boards (another real stand-up cat); he was there with his lady and some friends. Like he said at the time: it was good to put a face to the name. We all chat a lot on the boards, but it's cool to do so in person once in a while.
R2 started their set at about 9:30 or so, and it was an amazing set. My first attempt at recording some of the set got cut off because I accidentally hit the record button again (F*CK!).
They played some stuff I had heard (I remember "What Happen"), some stuff I hadn't (one of the newer ones was BANGIN'...), but the crowd was WAY more alive than I've usually seen for an opener. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the crowd at Slim's was more enthusiatic for R2 than the Mac Miller kids were for PUTS at the Fillmore show I went to in 2011 (which is a crying shame for PUTS, but R2 certainly deserved the response they got this time). Predominance did some of his super-fast rhymes, which the crowd LOVED (it wasn't "Burning Tongue", but something equally as dope). I managed to capture all of "1 Step Ahead".
(still loading as I post this... check back in a while if it's not done yet...)
Because of the R2 set, the place was way more lively and amped up, and there was about a 30-45 min break between bands, so I wandered backstage, and the cats invited me to hang out for a little while. I chatted with Thes while Double smoked out in the next room. I actually asked him about soundboard recording, and he said he's not all that cool with it because the soundboard misses a LOT of the crowd, and without that noise, people on stage can sound really bad or off. Makes sense. He did tell me that he's got some good live recordings from this tour, though. Maybe we'll see some of 'em.
After a while, it was getting close to showtime, and I didn't know if they had some ritual pre-show thing or anything and I didn't want to be overstaying my welcome down there, so I bounced to side-stage and let 'em get ready and all.
They came out and the crowd went wild. I didn't really want to be that *sshole that sits around with his cell phone camera and doesn't enjoy the concert, but started recording from behind-stage and was catching some good visuals, and I also realized that, at this point, the crowd thought I was just a friend of the group, so I probably wouldn't look all that goofy, so I did the *sshole thing 'til my camera ran out of space about 30 minutes in. I caught some good sh*t.
(PUTS first 30 minutes video will take a while to load... I'll post it a little later; check back in a day or two...)
During "Beer", the stage-jumping started, and the Slim's stage manager kept getting ready to break it up, but then it'd die down a while, so he never actually had to go out there. (It was also kind of hard to tell the crowd to stop after Thes jumped too.)
After my camera stopped, they kept going, and played the usual amazing tracks (LA Song, LA9X, Acid Raindrops, SF Knights, etc.). The stage monitors kept cut out at one point, but that wasn't really a problem for the crowd.
During "Acid Raindrops", there was so much bud blowin' going on in the room that the sh*t was THICK. (It was so ridiculous that Thes and Double were talking about it backstage after the show... if they were blown away by it, you know it's bad, haha... my eyes are still burning 24 hours later.) The stage manager didn't seem to like the smoke either, but... that's a PUTS show.
They also scratched Sgt. Pepper's just before the Steve Miller/drum machine thing, and it was great... I tried to catch 'em on video, but I missed (it was around then that I started deciding to delete sh*t to make more room so I could get more video). Thes called the Beatles record a "wrap" though 'cause it was skipping a bit.
For the encore, they played Too Much Birthday and Time To Rock Our Sh*t, then they brought up R2 for a little freestylin' and Hang Loose (with Million Faces doing the scratches). It was fresh.
(I got the PUTS/R2 performance on video too, but it'll also take a while to load... hopefully I'll get them up soon... hang tight for Hang Loose, y'all)
After the show, I gave all five homies a pound, and Thes ran to the merch table ASAP. I went backstage to hang out with Double K and Mil Faces. There was also a Swedish guy down there that I found out later was the promoter from Sweden when PUTS did shows there (he was in town at the time, so he came out).
Then, two other guys walk in. We talked for a while, then Double turns to me and points at one of the guys:
"You know this guy? You know Ethan?"
"I don't think so..."
"You know that track 'The Breakdown', right? This dude was the bassist!"
"(Laughs.) Yeah, man. That's this dude!"
Headnodic was the coolest dude. I hope I didn't geek out too much, but I just started asking him hella questions about PUTS albums, his work on Lifestyle Marketing, Crown City Rockers, Red Line Radio, and all that. Super easy to talk to and just an all-around nice guy. He even tossed me a CD of The Iguana (his new album... listened to it in the car on the way home... very acid-jazz-y and psychadelic), and I got him to sign it later. He told Double and I that Kat 010's in Hawaii now, and Double and him talked about possibly doing bass work on future stuff. (I was just buggin' out.)
By the time we all got back out to the floor, most everyone had left except for a few more people waiting for Double's siggy. I just kicked it and listened to Headnodic and Thes talk about meeting Roger Linn, the pronunciation of "Moog", bandcamp stuff, label's being *ssholes for not giving them the time of day, and other stuff that is probably day-to-day for them but was super interesting to me.
Anyway, it was about 1:00 a.m. and I had a dental appointment at 9 the next morning, so I bounced after a while. But it was a great show and a great night.
I'll try to get those other vids up later!