Author: Jill Gerstenberger

Jill has been involved with the San Francisco Bay Area music scene since the mid 80's when Metallica and Exodus were playing Ruthie's Inn and the hair and metal bands had taken over Broadway at The Stone and the Mab. She remembers seeing Smashing Pumpkins and Jane's Addiction at the I-Beam and being at Bill Graham's annual Grateful Dead shows at the Civic. She has done a variety of jobs from usher, event coordinator, stagehand, sound engineer, PR and even spent a year interning for the Giants and 49ers television crew. She currently does finance during the day but her lifelong passion is photography and photographing live music in particular. When she's not working or out taking photos at shows she spends time with her dogs who she adores.

In the second of our series presenting photography from SF Sonic photographers, here is a slideshow of photos by Jill Gerstenberger. Jill has been photographing for SF Sonic since before it was SF Sonic and has been a staple on the San Francisco concert scene for year.

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Maceo Parker SFJazz December 29, 2018 Photos by Jill Gerstenberger. The 2018 concert season ended on a high note as Maceo Parker and his band put on a fantastic show at SFJazz. Parker, who’s known as the king of the funky saxophone, has played with all the legendary leaders of funk music including James Brown, George Clinton in Parliament-Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins and Prince. He’s appeared on albums from numerous artists including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Keith Richards, De La Soul, Bryan Ferry, and Jane’s Addiction. Since the 1990’s, Parker has toured under his own name and recorded eleven solo records…

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Kurt Vile Fox Theater, Oakland December 12, 2018 Photos by Jill Gerstenberger. Kurt Vile seems an unlikely rockstar but you couldn’t tell that to the packed house at his December show at The Fox Theater in Oakland. Largely influenced by Neil Young, Tom Petty, and John Fahey, Vile has created a unique sound that combines an upbeat banjo-picking guitar style with droning self-effacing poetic lyrics.  The 38-year-old singer songwriter has had a prolific writing career while remaining largely under the radar and is out touring his eighth studio album Bottle It In with his backing band The Violators. Vile started…

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Camp Fire Benefit Great American Music Hall December 19, 2018 Photos by Jill Gerstenberger The Bay Area music and artist community came together before the holidays to raise money to benefit the victims of the Camp Fire in Butte County at the Great American Music Hall. Organizer Daniel James Burke, of the band Flannel, was directly affected by the fire when his mother, father, and brother lost their homes on November 8th and he decided he wanted to do something to help. Other organizers were Rob Ready and PianoFight, Tricycle Records, and Slim’s. The show was a mix of bands, spoken…

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The Damned Regency Ballroom October 31, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner.  The Damned are always phenomenal to see live but their Halloween show at the Regency Ballroom was next level cool. The guys clearly love playing in San Francisco and they love Halloween as well and the results were magical. Singer Dave Vanian looked absolutely amazing dressed as the vampire Count Orlok from the 1922 silent horror film Nosferatu. Wearing a floor length Victorian black overcoat and pointy ears, he slipped in and out of character from being the vibrant singer of a punk rock band to creepy overlord waggling…

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MC50 Regency Ballroom October 4, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. When we saw that MC5’s Wayne Kramer was bringing his Kick Out the Jams: The 50th Anniversary Tour to San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom as MC50, we knew we had to go. Very few bands have had as much influence on other musicians as the MC5, whose leftist political antics and anti-establishment music and lyrics were innovative and precursors to punk and metal music. Formed in Lincoln Park, Michigan in 1964, they were influential in the Detroit music scene of the 70’s along with Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Ted Nugent,…

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Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper Shoreline Amphitheater, Mt. View August 28, 2018 Photos by Jill Gerstenberger. Rod Stewart just might be the coolest rockstar out there. At the very least, he left us enamored after his recent show at The Shoreline Amphitheater. With an incredible career that has spanned five decades and has included stints with The Jeff Beck Group, Faces, and a solo career that has netted sixteen top ten singles in the US and 62 in the UK, he has sold over 100 million records worldwide, won a Grammy, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,…

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Brian Setzer Mountain Winery, Saratoga June 5, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. High up on a mountain in Saratoga past a winding hilly road and rolling vineyards, Brian Setzer brought his Rockabilly Riot tour to the Mountain Winery’s concert venue. Formerly the Paul Masson Mountain Winery, the stadium is unique in that every seat seems to have a great view and the stage backdrop is the original vine-covered stone winery that is now a historical landmark. Vocalist/guitarist Setzer is a three-time Grammy winner best known for being the lead singer and band leader of rockabilly group The Stray Cats, who…

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The Kooks Warfield Theater June 14, 2018 Photos by Jill Gerstenberger. The Kooks brought their beachy feel good vibes to The Warfield recently and had the typically aloof San Francisco crowd acting warm and fuzzy. The English pop rock band is a lot like their hometown of Brighton in the UK; a little quirky, hip, and fun. Formed in 2004, guitarist/vocalist Luke Pritchard, drummer Paul Garred and guitarist Hugh Harris met in The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in Croydon. They met bassist Mike Rafferty when they all moved to BIMM Music Institute. A year later, they recorded…

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Tower of Power Fox Theater, Oakland May Photos by Jill Gerstenberger. The Fox Theater buzzed with excitement as they hosted two sold-out shows by Tower of Power, who celebrated their 50th anniversary in their hometown of Oakland and kicked off a North American tour. With queues lined down the block well before show time, local TV crews were on-site doing coverage for the evening news while longtime fans reunited with each other with handshakes and smiles in front of the venue. The day before, the R&B/Funk/soul/jazz band were celebrated at Oakland’s City Hall in a ceremony that declared May 31st…

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Pink Oracle Arena May 18, 2018  Photos by Jill Gernstenberger. Pink brought her Beautiful Trauma show to the Oracle Arena in Oakland and it was nothing short of amazing. The artist, whose real name is Alecia Beth Moore, has sold over 40 million albums worldwide, won three Grammys, a Brit Award, seven MTV Music Video Awards, and in 2009 Billboard named her the Pop Songs Artist of the Decade. In 1995 she was a founding member of the all-girl R&B group Chance but went on to record a solo album in 2000, Can’t Take Me Home, which went double platinum…

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John 5 and The Creatures DNA Lounge April 25, 2018 John 5 and The Creatures put on an awesome show at The DNA Lounge as their tour made its way through San Francisco recently. Guitarist, John 5, whose real name is John Lowery, hails from Grosse Point Michigan and is simply one of the most mind-blowing guitarists out in music today. The list of artists he’s worked with includes some of the biggest headlining rock bands in the world such as Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, David Lee Roth, Paul Stanley, Rod Stewart, and Rob Halford. While he has…

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The Darkness Regency Ballroom March 31, 2018 All photos by Jill Gerstenberger. The Darkness are proving to be a force to be reckoned with if their recent show at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco is any indication. While many people are bemoaning the death of rock ‘n’ roll and the sea of current bands is filled with bland plaid shirt wearing Zeppelin sound-a-likes, The Darkness are creating their own unique brand of kick ass rock ‘n’ roll inspired by early Queen, Thin Lizzy, and AC/DC. While their music is tight and filled with heavy guitar riffs and pounding drums,…

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ZZ Ward Regency Ballroom March 7, 2018 All photos by Raymond Ahner. ZZ Ward brought grit and sexiness to The Regency Ballroom with her modern take on blues, which is roots-based mixed with a touch of hip-hop flair. Decked out in a fedora, patent leather mini skirt and thigh high boots she didn’t resemble your typical blues artist but that didn’t deter her from singing and playing the guitar with style and belting it out on the harmonica like a seasoned pro. Out on tour promoting her latest chart topping album, The Storm, Ward is gaining attention from critics and…

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Booker T Jones The Independent March 3, 2018 All photos by Jill Gerstenberger. Booker T Jones brought on the soul at four sold out shows over two nights at The Independent in San Francisco. Best known for being a master of the Hammond B-3 organ, he’s also founding member and front man of the funk/R&B instrumental group Booker T and the MG’s. Formed in 1962, Booker T and the MG’s were the house band for Stax records and played as the backup band on hundreds of recordings for many singers including Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Albert King, and Wilson…

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Otis Taylor Biscuits and Blues February 18, 2017 All photos by Jil Gerstenberger. Otis Taylor put on a brilliant performance at Biscuits and Blues recently with some of the most compelling blues music we’ve heard in years. If the line down the block was any indication, there was an electric buzz in the air that people going to see something special which was made even stronger when the crowd from the earlier sold out dinner show was trying to buy tickets to see the performance again. Taylor, who was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1948, is a multi-instrumentalist who sings,…

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X Regency Ballroom December 30, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. X finished off their 40th anniversary tour with a phenomenal set at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on the night before New Years Eve. Formed in 1977, the legendary punk band never received wide mainstream success but were groundbreaking in their use of rockabilly, poetic lyrics and off kilter harmonies from vocalist/bassist John Doe and his then girlfriend vocalist Exene Cervenka. Their debut album, Los Angeles, was produced in 1980 by Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek and was well received by critics and the media. In 1981 the…

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Brian Setzer Orchestra The Warfield December 24, 2017 All photos by Jill Gerstenberger. The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s annual Christmas Eve show at The Warfield is becoming a must-see holiday favorite for San Franciscans. The venue, which is just a block and a half from the Powell Street BART station, helps you get intp a festive mood on the walk there, with the cable cars surrounded by lighted trees at the turnaround, magical window displays in the stores, and last-minute holiday shoppers bustling around with their packages. Inside, the packed crowd looked more like they were attending a fancy holiday cocktail…

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Vintage Trouble The Fillmore November 16, 2017 All photos by Jill Gerstenberger. Vintage Trouble put on a kickass rock ‘n’ roll show at The Fillmore on a November Thursday night. Formed in Los Angeles in 2010, the band combines rhythm and blues, hard rock, and soul in a style reminiscent of early 50s and 60s bands like The Rolling Stones, Otis Redding and The Yardbirds. Ty Taylor is a fantastic front man resembling a modern-day James Brown who stagedives. Under the management of the legendary Doc McGhee, the band toured outside of the U.S. and decided to grow their fanbase…

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Fantastic Negrito UC Theatre, Berkeley October 14, 2017 All photos by Jill Gerstenberger. It’s not often you see an up and coming artist that has that “it” factor that leaves you feeling like you’re seeing something magical, but Fantastic Negrito did just that at a recent performance at the UC Theatre in Berkeley. Fantastic Negrito, whose real name is Xavier Amin Dphepaulezz, doesn’t really fit the mold of and up and coming artist. He’s in his late 40’s and plays a blend of roots blues, soul, and hard rock that isn’t getting a lot of airplay these days. In truth,…

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