Earlier last month I was able to get a precious day off of work to see one of my favorite local SF bands, Bum City Saints, perform at one of my favorite venues, Thee Parkside. As a spectator, the venue is so small and cozy that the shows there truly are an intimate affair. As a photographer, the lighting is extremely low and tricky which makes for some difficult composition, but I love Thee Parkside nonetheless.
Bum City Saints released their newest material this summer, in the form of their six-song LP “Ride The Storm”, and has been incessantly touring around the US promoting the new work. If you have yet to get your hands on a copy, head here to check it out! Additionally, BCS will be performing alongside Street Dogs, Cock Sparrer, and Bouncing Souls (among many more) at the Pirates Press Records 10th Anniversary Party later in October. Anyway, back to the show. The Saints played quite a bit of material from the new LP, while still reminding fans of some favorites from “New Beginnings”. As openers, the energy this band exudes sometimes is not reflected in the fans, as people are still arriving, imbibing, and getting the blood flowing for the rest of the night. It’s a shame, and I can’t wait for the day I see BCS headline an awaiting, packed crowd. For now, I must take my photos as quickly as possible and set the camera down, so I can get some dancing in. Next to the stage was a unknown-as-of-then band called A. Tom Collins.
The Colorado-based jazzy, funky quintet is fronted by pianist/lead vocalist Aaron Thomas Collins, who brings “Randy Newman-esque appeal…saturated with gang vocals, R&B hooks, wild horns and tribal-jazz rhythms.” It was an interesting mix to follow BCS, and a bit more interesting that Real McKenzies were up next. The band was on point, and the horns definitely added a little swanky vibe in the lowlit Parkside. You can check out A Tom Collins’ 2011 album “Oh No” on their Bandcamp page.
One of my fondest memories of seeing The Real McKenzies came a couple of years ago as they graced the stage at the Pool Party at Punk Rock Bowling. There is hardly a better start to a day than with a punken drool party, and in the Vegas sun, the limits are always raised. When I learned that my mates in BCS were to be sharing the stage with Real McKenzies, I knew it was going to be one hell of a night. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for some Celtic punk, and the McKenzies are a thrill to see live. At this point the drinks were flowing as freely as the bodies moving, the sauna of Thee Parkside at critical mass. A great night with great friends.
Check out the complete gallery of shots from all three bands’ performances below.