Author: Mark Paniagua

Mark Paniagua is a bay area native who grew up on the SF music scene as a musician and sound engineer. Playing local clubs since the late 80's in bands such as Ringchildren, Sorrow Town Choir, and Fuzzbucket, Mark is an accomplished bassist and vocalist. He has also played and performed in a number of rock musical productions with Buzz Skycastle crew, including Jesus Christ Superstar, Pink Floyd's The Wall, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Abigail the Rock Opera.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Levi’s Stadium July 29, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner. No matter when or where they play, one thing that is certain at a Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) performance is that it will always be a colorful, high-energy party full of love riding high on a powerful blend of funk/thrash/alternative/punk rock electricity. That is exactly what RHCP delivered when they recently showed up to Levi’s Stadium to perform in the Bay Area for the first time since a late 2017 performance at the Bill Graham Civic to benefit North Bay Fire Relief. Speaking of fire (which…

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Kraftwerk Bill Graham Civic Auditorium July 7, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Kraftwerk, the seminal electronic dance band from Dusseldorf, Germany, brought their multi-media “3-D” experience to the Bill Graham Civic for a show that was over two years in the making due to COVID delays. Currently consisting of founding member Ralf Hütter as well as Fritz Hilpert, Henning Schmitz and Falk Grieffenhagen, the pioneers of Euro dance music hit the stage donning Tron-style track suits and assumed their positions behind four ‘music terminals.’ The effect was more akin to a stage setting for a political debate than a dance…

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Primus San Jose Civic June 19, 2022 Photo by Randy Johnson Bay Area music fans got a healthy portion of home cooked progressive rock at the San Jose Civic as local rockstar mad scientists Primus swept through the south bay on their A Tribute to Kings tour, paying homage to their childhood heroes Rush. The impact that the visionary prog rock trio from Canada had on Primus bassist and band leader Les Claypool was very evident as he re-counted his first concert experience, which was seeing Rush at the Cow Palace. “I can remember back to my first concert….1978….Rush… on…

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Tears for Fears Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View June 2, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Tears for Fears have been in hibernation for some time, but proved they are back and in prime form, recently landing in the bay area to play the Shoreline Amphitheater in support of The Tipping Point (released in February) which is their first studio album in nearly eighteen years. Bucking the trend of 80s/90s hit makers that band together on nostalgia tours, playing condensed sets and leaning heavily on older hits in their collections, Tears for Fears has shown that they still have a DIY hunger…

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Pearl Jam Oakland Arena May 12, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner (IG – raymond_ahner) Flannels and hoodies, and ball caps…oh my!  Such was the uniform of choice for most fans that congregated to see Pearl Jam storm Oakland Arena and deliver on shows that were delayed years due to pandemic restrictions. Even so, COVID still had a grip on the performances, as drummer Matt Cameron (formerly of Soundgarden) contracted the virus and had to sit out the Bay Area performances. Instead of postponing again, the grunge (hate that label) pioneers chose to carry on. Using a revolving door of drummers…

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Paul McCartney Oakland Arena May 8, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner (IG – raymond_ahner) Turn me on dead man. That is exactly what the legendary Sir Paul McCartney did to the Oakland Arena, playing a nearly three-hour set to the delight of a Mother’s Day full house. Apparently, McCartney tickets were a popular Mother’s Day gift as there were scores of mothers in attendance either on a mother/child date, or with the full family in tow. Playing the exit show for his quick two-show Bay Area weekend, McCartney along with bandmates Rusty Anderson (guitar), Brian Ray (guitar/bass), Wix Wickens (keyboards),…

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Journey and Toto Chase Center March 31, 2022  Photos by Raymond Ahner (IG: raymond_ahner) The old and the new collided at the state-of-the-art Chase Center in San Francisco as Journey and Toto teamed up to crack open a time capsule of what many born after the 80s would term “dinosaur rock.” While it is true that if you squinted your eyes and tilted your head it could lead you to believe that this was an epic Thursday night at the Cow Palace in 1982, concertgoers were brought back to 2022 as they had to present IDs and vaccination cards to…

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Planet Booty The Independent November 26, 2021 Photos by Nicole Baptista. Friday night booty calls were loud and proud on Divisadero, and that was because Oakland rump shakers Planet Booty invaded The Independent. Celebrating a homecoming show which culminated their YES tour, and the re-awakening of live music in the Bay Area, Planet Booty had anticipation buzzing throughout the hall and had the collective booties  (many adorned in shimmer and spandex) of those in attendance shaking and bouncing from the moment they danced their asses on stage. On an unstudied look, it would be easy to dismiss Planet Booty as…

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Rebellion Angelo Moore & Del the Funky Homosapien Angelo Moore, the talented, animated frontman of the legendary LA funk/punks Fishbone is back in a big way with the new single “Rebellion” (Ropeadope Records). Working with an all-star cast (dubbed The Brand New Step) which calls on the might of members of Ween and Thievery Corporation, as well as legendary bay area rapper Del The Funky Homosapien,  “Rebellion” is a blatant call to action given the political implications of the ever growing and ever agitated BLM movement. Considering the government’s glacial progress on race relations in this country in the wake…

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Volume 1: The Impact on the Bay Area Music Community Will I ever see a live show ever again? Seriously, was the acoustic show Feb 26 at Berkeley’s Cornerstone (to see William DuVall and Sacramento’s rising star Katie Knipp) the last local live music show I will ever see??? The thought fucking freaks me out. It has been over 6 months now since live music was abruptly put on hiatus, and like many traumatic losses in life there is a delay in fully grasping the magnitude of what exactly just happened. After seeing the country temporarily succeed at abating the COVID-19 virus through…

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It has been over a month since the term ‘social distancing’ has become more commonplace than the terms ‘live music’ or ‘rock opera.’ Sadly, that trend shows no signs of changing anytime soon, that is unless we start to change the discussion. With that in mind, let’s flashback to a time where the San Francisco live music scene was thriving, and a small musical theater company that partnered Buzz Productions, Skycastle Music, and Lunar Eclipse Records was lighting up San Francisco stages with stellar performances of a series of rock operas that defined the era’s fertile musical underground from 1998…

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William DuVall The Cornerstone, Berkeley February 26, 2020 Photos by Phil Kampel It’s a rare opportunity to see someone who has performed as a major tour headliner do their thing in an intimate setting about the size of a school gymnasium. William DuVall provided that opportunity at The Cornerstone in Berkeley, stripping it all down to just his voice and his acoustic guitar to the delight of those in attendance. DuVall, who is most widely known as the singer/guitar player counterpart to Jerry Cantrell in the dark and heavy-handed Alice In Chains, is taking a respite from rock stardom to…

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Tool SAP Center, San Jose January 14, 2020 Photos by Elizabeth Gohr SAP Center in San Jose continued a brilliant start to their 2020 live music series as it hosted the genre blurring legends Tool for a tour de force performance that floored the sold-out arena. Throughout its career, Tool has defied musical labels in an industry that will gladly pigeonhole artists for the sake of being able to market them better. Metal? Prog? Math Rock? Alternative? Rock? Punk? Industrial?  Technically, Tool can check each of the boxes. When considering the band, they are equal parts grotesque awkwardness and rare,…

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Dead & Company Chase Center December 30, 2019 Photos by Elizabeth Gohr Dead & Company (Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann – joined by John Mayer, bassist Oteil Burbridge, and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti) sent 2019 out in fine fashion by hosting perhaps the most festive parties in San Francisco this holiday season. Performing at Chase Center, the city’s shiny new gem of a venue, the now four-year-old offshoot of the Grateful Dead turned their Fall Fun Run into a musical séance for their New Year’s Run. Coaxing the ghosts of Grateful Dead past to come together…

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Thievery Corporation Fox Theater, Oakland December 11, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner Thievery Corporation (TC) blew through The Fox Theater in Oakland bringing with them their inimitable mash up of Latin inspired trip-hop, highlighted with a gang of electro-gypsy grooves that left the packed crowd spellbound. It was a superior performance that felt more like an old school house party which bounced the Fox and heated the crowd on this cold, wet evening.  There was a feeling of excitement in the room which was hazed by a mix of drunken dancing, marijuana smoke, and laid back, sultry beats twisted up…

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Slayer Oakland Arena November 26, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner from a performance in August 2018 at SAP As the howling wind and heavy rain raged outside Oakland Area, metal fans inside were treated to a spectacular spectacle of heavy metal from Slayer, along with openers Primus, Ministry, and Phil Anselmo & the Illegals. For many of the fans in attendance, this would be the final time they would see Slayer, as the final leg of their farewell tour was winding down, and while other bands in the past have reneged on their retirement, one got the sense that this…

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King Diamond The Warfield Nov 29, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner  King Diamond resuscitated the long-distance bond to his Bay Area fans by being wheeled onstage via gurney to a set that resembled a decrepit and broken-down insane asylum basement above which hung a flickering neon-pink upside down cross. This was the first appearance for King Diamond (ex-frontman of black metal pioneers Mercyful Fate) and his monstrously talented band (Andy LaRoque – guitars, Mike Wead – guitars,  Matt Thompson – drums, Pontus Egberg – bass) since storming the stage at the Warfield in 2015, and it was one that the…

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Morrissey Bill Graham Civic Auditorium October 3, 2019 If I were to ask you who would prompt fans to stand in line over night in anticipation of seeing a performance the next evening, artists such as Taylor Swift, or the Rolling Stones, or Justin Timberlake would immediately come to mind. The odds are that you would not answer Morrissey, but that was exactly the scene at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. While Greta Van Fleet was playing inside, about twenty Morrissey fans were lined up across the street in Civic Center Plaza, smoking cigarettes, and some playing cards as they…

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The Who Chase Center Oct 9, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner Amidst some serious uncertainty as to whether or not front man Roger Daltrey would be able to perform, The Who invaded the state-of-the-art Chase Center, becoming the latest in a parade of top shelf superstars to help indoctrinate the pristine new bayside venue. Playing for the first time since September 25 in Houston when the band had to stop mid-set as Daltrey had experienced voice issues, the 75-year old singer and his band mates were not deterred. After a two-show hiatus (skipping Denver and Dallas) The Who super-charged fans…

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Greta van Fleet Bill Graham Civic Auditorium October 2, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner Rock wunderkinds Greta Van Fleet (GVF) returned to San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic just a bit more than a year after initially playing the City with the mantle of ‘rock and roll saviors’ squarely thrust upon their slight shoulders. However, this time around, hipper to the world of rock stardom and with a year’s worth of maturity under their collective belt, they seemed a lot more comfortable in their own skin, not so much feeling the weight of having to prove themselves as the next Led…

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