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.

Jack White Bill Graham Civic Auditorium August 15, 2018 Photos by David James Swanson. Touring in support of his Boarding House Reach album, Jack White started to mess with the audience even before he hit a note. First off, there were no phones allowed inside the concert hall for the show. Phones were ‘checked’ upon entrance, and were only allowed to be used in designated areas outside of the hall. As such, this provided a throwback concert vibe inside. With no devices to incessantly check, people were actually talking to each other. Spread on top of the technological nakedness was…

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sWeezer/Pixies Shoreline Amphitheater, Mt. View August 7, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. There is something magical about outdoor summertime shows. The happy alignment of good friends, good weather, and great music tends to leave an indelible mark on our memories, and can lighten the load of our daily burdens. So much so that it may even help you forget (even just for a few hours) that half of the state is on fire. Such was the scene on this warm August evening at the Shoreline, where Weezer and the Pixies were about to offer a brief escape to wax nostalgic…

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Taylor Swift Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara   May 11, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Taylor Swift allowed some 100,000+ fans into her Reputation tour universe as she headlined a sold-out weekend at Levi’s Stadium. This came to the delight of throngs of her fans clamoring to see her, and to the scorn of those frozen in the gridlocked south bay rush hour commute. No matter what one might think of Taylor Swift (or Tay-Tay as some fans call her) it is undeniable that she is one of the most successful and polarizing characters in popular music. To many she epitomizes what…

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Dead Meadow The Chapel April 20, 2018 Photos by Elizabeth Gohr. San Francisco is known for its fog, but usually it is the fog socking in the Golden Gate Bridge or rolling over Twin Peaks. On this day however, neither of those classic scenes are the reason for the haze over the city by the Bay.  The reason instead is that April 20, 2018 was the first recreationally legal 420 celebration in San Francisco. Besides the obvious (puff…puff…give), what is be the best way for stoners to spend this landmark day in the city?  Get super-baked and go see Dead…

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Judas Priest The Warfield April 19, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. SFFD was on high alert on Market Street as Judas Priest torched the Warfield just in time for the recent 420 celebrations. The founding fathers of heavy metal delivered the goods to a wall-to-wall packed house of rabid rockers, putting on a heavy duty show with a buzz-worthy anticipation befitting the return of metal god Rob Halford and the current incarnation of the Priest. Touring in support of their latest recording Firepower, Halford and company (drummer Scott Travis, bassist Ian Hill, guitarist Richie Faulkner, and guitarist Andy Sneap) wasted…

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Roger Daltrey Fox Theater, Oakland March 15, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner Roger Daltrey has always been a rebel, constantly doing things on his own terms. From his early days growing up in London he has chosen to go his own way, back then swerving away from the prospects of higher education and directly into the path of the oncoming freight train of rock history. Fast forward to 2018, the now 74-year old Roger Daltrey still calls his own shots. In a somewhat unorthodox way to break the seal on his 2018 live performances, Daltrey chose to rock out in…

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Anderson East The Fillmore March 2, 2018 All photos by Jill Gerstenberger. Anderson East has a pedigree that seems primed for country music success. His girlfriend is acclaimed country singer (and Grammy Award winner) Miranda Lambert, he started his music career in Music City U.S.A. (Nashville, Tennesee), and he has written music with country stars Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson. With that background, it would seem to be a no-brainer that East would forge his fame by tapping into the rich country music passion of his southern roots (he was born in Alabama).  However, given his gift of a powerful,…

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Mike Patton The Chapel February 9, 2018 All photos by Elizabeth Gohr. Mike Patton, perhaps the hardest working man in the Bay Area underground music scene, brought his latest creatively eccentric, eclectic, electric show to the stage at The Chapel for a sold-out weekend of hip-hop /electronica weirdness. A bespectacled Patton, sporting a t-shirt that read “Surrounded By Idiots,” strolled onstage with his cut creating cohort (and fellow Bay Area underground legend) DJ QBert to a roar from the assembled crowd. As Bay Area music fans already know, observing Patton onstage is usually a very strange occurrence. Whether it is…

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K. Flay The Fillmore Auditorium January 17, 2018 All photos by Jeff Spirer. It is quite an amazing thing to see a burgeoning musical act grow up before your eyes. That is exactly what has happened for those who have watched the rising star of K.Flay, especially after witnessing her tear up the stage at her recent Fillmore performance. It seems like it was just the other day that she was playing Stanford house parties and small clubs for drink money. Then after getting some notice from her self-produced mix tapes and catching the ear of the record industry, it…

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Michael McDonald Fox Theater, Oakland November 16, 2017 Photos by Raymond Ahner. From the minute Michael McDonald and his band took the stage in front of an almost full house at the Fox Theater in Oakland it was apparent that all in attendance were in for an intimate ‘in your living room’ type of performance. The usually open floor was filled with comfortable high-backed chairs, and the predominantly 50s and up crowd settled in as McDonald and his 6-piece band began the set with ‘Yah Mo B There.’ With this performance of the 1983 Grammy winning single (penned and recorded…

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Fu Manchu Slim’s November 7, 2017 All photos by Pollen Heath. The only thing that would have made the recent Fu Manchu show at Slim’s more of a spectacle would be if a half pipe were to have popped up out of the middle of the floor. The veteran Orange County band of stoner/skater/surf punks rolled a nearly two-hour set of hard driving rock designed to be blared from the car stereos of muscle cars and surf vans.   Comprising Scott Hill (guitar / vocals), Brad Davis (bass), Bob Balch (lead guitar), and Scott Reeder (drums), Fu Manchu has been…

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Earthless The Chapel October 26, 2017 All photos by Ruchita Lalmalani There are few trios that can levitate a room for two hours by playing instrumental soundscapes, but that is exactly what Earthless recently did to the Chapel and all who packed into the Valencia Street music hall. Have hallucinogenic music….will travel. Under a pulsing sky of psychedelic color gel clouds and a projected archway proclaiming their name, Earthless, quietly sauntered onstage to the shouts and cheers from the assembled crowd. That entrance would be the last thing they did quietly all night. Lighting the fuse of the evening, Isaiah…

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Depeche Mode Oracle Arena, Oakland October 10, 2017  All photos by Raymond Ahner. After 37 years as a band, 14 studio albums, and a number of times around on the rock and roll rollercoaster, 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees Depeche Mode (DM) are on a mission to start a revolution. To create a conduit for this rally cry, the iconic band from Essex, England brought their Global Spirit Tour to a sold out Oracle Arena. Ordinarily a raucous October sellout at Oracle Arena would mean Steph Curry and the Warriors are embarking on another journey toward an…

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L7 Slim’s September 27, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Mirror, mirror on the wall…who is the squarest punk band of them all? Well L7 of course…that is if the mirror is shattered and jagged and musically as dangerous in 2017 as it was in back in 1990. Though not really fitting, the punch you in the face quartet from Los Angeles made up of Donita Sparks (vox, guitars), Jennifer Finch (bass, vox), Suzi Gardner (guitars, vox), and Dee Plakas (drums) were lumped into the ‘grunge’ genre of artists that ruled the airwaves in the early 90s. They may have…

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The Magpie Salute The Fillmore September 8, 2017 All photos by Jill Gerstenberger. The recent Magpie Salute appearances at the Fillmore were a class reunion of sorts for former members of the Black Crowes and their fans. Led by the rekindled guitar combo of Rich Robinson and Marc Ford, The Magpie Salute (TMS) played a fiery and familiar set that tapped heavily into the vein of their blues-drenched rock and roll influences. TMS, a world class 10-piece act led by former Black Crowes members Robinson, Ford, and bassist Sven Pipien, is pulling no punches about what type of band they…

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Kings of Leon Shoreline Amphitheater August 22, 2017 Bands that don’t evolve eventually stagnate and dissolve. Even those that are fortunate enough to attain the pinnacle of musical success, having a single or an album register high on the charts, will experience a precipitous fall in an eye blink if they do not evolve….hence the term one hit wonder. While evolution by itself does not guarantee that popular acts will maintain their status in the pop music stratosphere, those bands that stay active and evolve will usually build enough of a brand to keep themselves relevant for a career. Kings…

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Primus Greek Theater August 18, 2017 All photos by Jeff Spirer. “We need to embrace this jewel of the Bay Area!” Those were the words from Primus bassist/vocalist Les Claypool to describe the fantastic Berkeley Greek Theater, the venue at which Primus unfurled a mind bending set bridging the past to the future. Those words could easily be used to refer to the band itself, as Primus is a true Bay Area treasure. Charging out the East Bay underground in the mid-80s with an unbridled sound fusing funk, metal, and prog rock, and mixing it with a circus-like sensibility, Primus…

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The Revolution The Fillmore July 12, 2017 In a scene that could have been extra footage from the Prince’s 1984 cult movie classic Purple Rain, fans milled around outside the entrance of The Fillmore in San Francisco, waiting to get a dose of ‘Purple Rain’ from The Revolution. Adorned in various configurations of purple….lace, leather, sequins, and a requisite ‘party people’ attitude that only Prince fans can bring, it was a fashion show of epic proportions that would have done his Purple Badness proud. Looking closely at this backdrop, the only clues to the fact that we have fast forwarded…

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All Them Witches The Chapel May 10, 2017 All photos by Jeff Spirer. Given the current climate of ‘fake news’ and alt-right conservatism running rampant through many parts of the country, the headline of a coven of witches taking over a Chapel would cause alarm with religious zealots and conformists and send them into a fear mongering frenzy. However here in San Francisco the thought of All Them Witches (ATW), the beguiling psychedelic-stoner-blues quartet from Nashville, casting musical spells at the Mission’s hidden live music gem The Chapel, is an occasion to be celebrated. The only cause for alarm would…

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The Mind of a Misfit in San Francisco San Francisco has long been regarded a mecca of cutting edge artists, drawing mad geniuses and immensely talented misfits from across the country and around the globe to spread their wings and realize their full potential. When Kat Robichaud, landed in San Francisco by way of the North Carolina, little did she know that she would find within herself the Darling Misfit that has blossomed into the most innovative and refreshing talent in the San Francisco underground. Onstage she drips enormous natural talent wrapped in glitter. She has an easy yet booming…

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