I just returned from a very nice vacation trip to San Francisco (California), and I made it a habit to at least take a look at what the local nightlife has to offer whenever I visit a new city. In this case, Pendulum were playing at the Fillmore just a day after my arrival, and I simply couldn’t resist to buy tickets.
I had already heard them live once in 2008, shortly after they had released their album “In Silico”, and they are definitely a great live band. By the way, the hoodie that I bought at that concert is still one of my favorite hoodies and it is one of the very few pieces of band merchandise that I got in my life.
Anyway, going to a concert in a new city is always an adventure. The Fillmore is a beatiful venue, and when walking around you could really feel the history of this place: The walls very covered with beautiful and very unique concert posters as well as photos of famous artists that have played here. That certainly gets you in the right mood for a great concert.
Innerpartysystem were opening for Pendulum, and even though I hadn’t heard of them before, they were definitely a good choice. With a live setup that includes two knob twiddlers and a live drummer, they create a rough, bass-heavy blend of Techno, Breakbeats, DnB and Industrial sounds. Their sound was close enough to Pendulum’s to be a good opener, but still distinct enough to be interesting. I will keep an eye on them.
The DJ that filled the gap between Innerpartysystem and Pendulum also did his job well. With a mix of House Mashups, Nu Skool Breaks, Dubstep and DnB, he already had the crowd dancing before Pendulum even entered the stage. And when they finally did, there was almost no one who didn’t move.
Having seen Pendulum live before, I more or less knew what to expect. Pendulum are one of the few bands who are able to balance electronic sounds and Rock very well. Compared to their albums, their live performance feels a bit more like Rock, but it still has all the raw energy that makes their music special. My personal highlight was their version of “Voodoo People” by The Prodigy that benefits a lot from the live guitars and drums.
They played all the hits and a lot of tracks from the new album, so neither old nor new fans should have been disappointed. Judging from the quite young crowd, I would assume that Pendulum have made a lot of new friends with their latest album.
One little thing that I really liked was when they did a little MIDI guitar solo part between two songs to show that what they are playing was indeed live and not mostly pre-recorded like many other electronic live acts do it.
A great concert that was concluded with a very nice gift: On exiting the Fillmore, every guest received a Pendulum poster for free. Now that’s what I call fan service!