Author: Andy Lindquist

Andy grew up in the suburbs of the east bay and became fascinated with the local music scene from an early age, attending his first concert at the ripe age of 14. Since then he has stayed active in the local metal scene, going to countless shows and playing in his own thrash metal band, Invection. In addition to music, Andy has always had an interest in writing and public speaking, eventually graduating with a BA degree in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley. Andy is also an avid runner and running coach, with a USA Track and Field master coach certification. When not attending concerts or track meets you can find Andy running on many of the picturesque trails around the east bay area.

Smashing Pumpkins Oracle Arena August 27, 2018 Photos by Pollen Heath When it was announced that after years of speculation that founding guitarist James Iha would be reuniting with Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin and going on a tour that consisted of classic songs from their first five albums, Smashing Pumpkins fans were undoubtedly excited at the prospect. On a Monday night at Oracle Arena, the group, plus bassist Jack Bates and lead guitarist Jeff Schroeder, played a masterful thirty-song set that lasted for an astounding three hours. Armed with one of the most impressive stage sets in recent memory,…

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Slayer SAP Center, San Jose August 26, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. There was a sense of finality in the air as Slayer began their headlining set at the SAP Center in San Jose on Sunday night. The legendary thrash metal band is currently in the midst of their final tour and Sunday’s stop was the final date on the second North American tour leg. While the band has stated that the tour will continue until 2019 and that they may return to Northern California, for many fans, there was a feeling that this may be the last time they…

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Deafheaven August Hall August 14, 2018 Photos by Pollen Heath. Bay Area metal band Deafheaven came to San Francisco on Tuesday night to play a triumphant show in front of their hometown fans. The band is currently touring in support of their recently released record, the excellent Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, and the gibr-piece wasted no time in rolling out material from that release, opening with the sprawling epic of “Honeycomb.” The song demonstrates all of the musical facets of Deafheaven: blinding guitar runs, atonal screams, blasting drums, and heavy bass. What makes a Deafheaven song so unique are the…

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Coheed & Cambria/Taking Back Sunday Greek Theater, Berkeley August 9, 2018 Photos by Pollen Heath. Few bands in the rock world have developed such a devoted following as Coheed & Cambria, and that was evident from the opening notes of their first song at the Greek Theater on Thursday night. The group is currently preparing to release a new album this fall, and they opened the night with a blistering version of the lead single from the upcoming record, the ferocious “The Dark Sentencer.” While the song has only been out for a few weeks, that did not stop the…

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Composure Real Friends Fearless Records     Pop-punk group Real Friends return for their 3rd full-length record, Composure, which sees the band tackling deeper, personal lyrics that deal with mental illness. With a focus on self-conscious lyrics and plenty of powerful backing music, the band has reached a career high point. Armed with a clean production that gives each instrument room to breathe, Real Friends sketch out an impressive set of pop-punk-emo songs that stand on their own. Singer Dan Lambton has taken his vocals to another level on this record, combining a direct and emotive delivery to go with some…

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Ordinary Corrupt Human Love Deafheaven Buy Album As one of the few metal bands to break out into a wider fanbase than the underground black metal scene, Deafheaven has had plenty of detractors over the years. This only intensified with their breakthrough release, 2013’s Sunbather, a combination of shoegaze atmospherics with brooding vocals and punishing blast beats. That record was hailed as a masterpiece by plenty of non-metal fans, and thus the fan backlash began. The band followed Sunbather up with the fury of New Bermuda, an album that pushed the extremes of their sound: it was simultaneously more metal…

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Sleep Warfield June 7, 2018 Photos by Elizabeth Gohr. Legendary doom metal band Sleep came to the Warfield on a Thursday night to deliver a bludgeoning and massive ten-song set that spanned their entire career, showing that they are just as powerful as ever when it comes to performing live. While many bands use a wall of amplifiers as props (with many of those amps not containing any speakers/electronics), Sleep made use of the vast majority of their backline, with guitarist Matt Pike’s amps requiring five separate microphones. The resulting sound was an overwhelming wall of distortion, which, coupled with…

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor The Fox Theater, Oakland May 29, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Post-rock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor (GY!BE) came to the Fox Theater on a Tuesday night to perform an epic set comprised of some of the most gripping and captivating music the group has ever played. For GY!BE, songs take on the form of extended set pieces, with every song clocking in at over ten minutes. These songs are more akin to classical music movements than your typical pop song. The band performed in near total darkness, while a giant screen behind them projected film…

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Modest Mouse Fox Theater, Oakland May 24, 2018 Photos by Elizabeth Gohr. Alternative rock titans Modest Mouse brought their expansive sound to the Fox Theater on a Thursday night, playing an extra long set with material that spanned their entire career. As the band has grown and adapted over the years they have expanded their lineup, adding additional percussionists, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists, and a viola player to the band. This expansive group of players gave many of the songs extra depth and detail, particularly older material. The band opened the night with the classic “The World at Large” from 2004’s…

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Soulfly and Nile UC Theatre, Berkeley May 16, 2018 Photos and review of Skinlab by Pollen Heath. Metal fans were treated to an astounding display of punishing grooves and heavy guitar riffing on Thursday night at the UC Theatre as both Nile and Soulfly put on a fantastic show. Soulfly headlined the night, with a tight and precise set that spanned the band’s entire recorded output. The band wasted no time going for the throat with the vicious opener “Frontlines,” a song punctuated by Max Cavalera’s aggressive de-tuned guitar riffing and gruff vocals. Soulfly songs are an assault on the…

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At The Gates To Drink From the Night Itself Century Media Records Four years after their stunning comeback record At War with Reality, At the Gates have returned with another stellar collection of melodic death metal, To Drink from the Night Itself. Recorded with super metal producer Russ Russell (whose has worked with Napalm Death and Dimmu Borgir), To Drink from the Night Itself is an incredible blend of piercing metal and dark, brooding neo-classic music, resulting in the year’s best metal record. Russel gives the entire album an old school death metal feel, keeping the record from sounding bloated…

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Slayer, Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, Testament Papa Murphy’s Park, Sacramento May 13, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. There are few musical artists out there that can deliver the kind of raw, visceral power as Slayer. It is why the group is one of the most beloved in all of metal and music in general. So, when the band announced that this world tour would be their last before retiring, they knew they would have to go out with a bang. If their recent Sunday night show was any indication, this is going to be one hell of a farewell…

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Alice Glass and Zola Jesus The Independent April 29, 2018 Photos by Jonathan Pirro. Alice Glass brought her powerful live show to The Independent on a Sunday night, ripping through a set of her new solo material along with some classic songs from her work in Crystal Castles. Backed with an array of pulsating strobe lights, the visual effects were a perfect complement to the soaring vocals and squelching synths. Glass opened the set with the icy “Forgiveness,” a song that rode a series of distorted synth lines along with some furious drumming. What makes Glass such a captivating artist…

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A Perfect Circle SJSU Events Center, San Jose April 18, 2018 Photos by Elizabeth Gohr. Sandwiched between weekend performances at Coachella and the release of their latest record, Eat the Elephant, A Perfect Circle came to the Events Center at San Jose State on a Wednesday night to wow the audience with an impressive seventeen song set that spanned their entire recorded output. As the lights dimmed, the drummer took his position on the drum riser, playing a snappy drum beat as Greg Edwards took his spot on the opposite side of the stage to play a dreamy piano figure…

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Iconic visual artist Derek Hess, known for his work designing album artwork for the likes of Unearth, In Flames, Converge, and Sepultura, is embarking on a book tour for his release, 31 Days in May: A Visual Journey. The book is a collection of art that focuses on mental illness, specifically Hess’ own battles with alcoholism and bi-polar disorder. What started out as a series of social media posts last year quickly blossomed into a full-fledged book. Hess will be having a signing at San Francisco’s Loved to Death Art Shop on Sunday May Sixth. SF Sonic sat down with…

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Eat The Elephant A Perfect Circle Buy 15 years after the release of their last album of original material, A Perfect Circle has returned with the captivating Eat the Elephant. As one would expect from a collaboration between Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel, the record is a diverse mixture of sounds, taking a more subdued and introspective look at the world at large. Fans who are expecting a return to the furious alt-metal of past releases will be mildly disappointed as many of these songs are based on stripped-down piano arrangements. This is the case on the title track…

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Erase Me Underoath Fearless Records After an 8-year Hiatus, Underoath is back with an incredible comeback record, the furious Erase Me. Recorded with super-producer Matt Squire, the album continues the band’s blend of post-hardcore fury and blistering metal, with many of these tracks containing massive walls of guitars and dark synths. This became apparent from the opening notes of the furious opener “It Has to Start Somewhere.” Anchored by a tight drum performance from Aaron Gillespie, the song alternates between harsh and grinding metal and more anthemic rock. What is most surprising are the tight arrangements in these songs: despite…

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Russian Circles Great American Music Hall March 29, 2018 All photos by Elizabeth Gohr. Russian Circles put on another one of their mind-blowing live shows to the delight of the sold-out crowd at the Great American Music Hall on a Thursday night. The trio of bassist Brian Cook, guitarist Mike Sullivan, and drummer Dave Turncrantz have developed into one of the most interesting and captivating live bands in the rock/metal underground: combining raging heavy metal, atmospheric post-rock, and deep electronic textures. The stage was packed from side to side with amps, pedals, sequencers, synths, and whatever else was necessary for…

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L&K Bottom of the Hill March 22, 2018 Local act L&K came to the Bottom of the Hill on a Thursday night to deliver a tight and powerful set that consisted mainly of material from their latest record, Promised Land. The group blended gritty, driving rock and roll with an excellent sense of dynamics: effortlessly utilizing loud/quiet dynamics to give their material an epic sense of grandeur. This was evident during the band’s first song, the blistering “Man From New Mexico.” The track began with a cascading series of guitar lines from Konane Cramer while vocalist Leah Walters slowly built…

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The Sword The Fillmore Auditorium March 26, 2018 All photos by Elizabeth Gohr. Over the course of their storied career, Austin-based rock/metal band The Sword have developed a reputation as a fearsome live unit, and this was the case when the group came to The Fillmore on a Monday night. The group specializes in an evocative blend of swinging blues-rock and rollicking heavy metal, along with plenty of subtle grooves and dreamy keyboard-drenched passages. The band stormed out of the gate with the old classic “Maiden, Mother, & Crone,” a blistering slap of grooving heavy metal from their second album…

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