Thursday, February 25, 2010

Noise Pop 2010 Has a Glamorous Start with Yoko Ono at The Fox Theater

Deerhoof at The Fox

It's hard to believe that it's time for another Noise Pop Festival. Each year it seems to get bigger and bigger and increasingly removed from those early years (it began in 1993) of shows at Bottom of the Hill and photocopied all-access passes.

This year Noise Pop extends out over the course of a week and encompasses a range of venues (from the large, fancy Fox Theater in Oakland to the tiny and funky Artists Television Access in San Francisco) on both sides of the San Francisco Bay.

My Noise Pop adventure began this year with the Yoko Ono show at The Fox Theater on Tuesday night. I'd never been to the Fox before and was taken in by its gilded vintage decor. It was a seated show and the crowds filled both the floor and the large balcony sections. Deerhoof started the show with a rousing set of satisfying pop, with the lovely vocals of Tokyo native Satomi Matsuzaki.

Yoko Ono Peforms

Yoko Ono was up next, backed by The Plastic Ono Band. As the audience awaited her appearance on stage, we were treated to vintage Yoko Ono film footage, ranging from clips from home movies, news stories, performance pieces, and from some of her experimental films. For those not initiated before, this was a great introduction to the history of Yoko Ono as an artist and as a public figure.

As the clips drew to an end, Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band came on stage. For this show, Yoko Ono was accompanied by her son Sean Lennon along with Cornelius, Yuka Honda, and Harper Simon. For the grand finale, Deerhoof, Pika from Japanese band Afrirampo as well as Petra Haden joined her on stage for an all-out all-star jam.

The entire show was riveting, and I was impressed that Yoko Ono continues to evolve as an artist. It was also exciting to see her embrace of younger Japanese artists and I enjoyed seeing how the sounds of all of the participating musicians meshed into one lovely hybrid of styles and sounds.

What a wonderful beginning to Noise Pop.

Also up on the schedule this week: tons of music, music-themed films, art, and the Industry Noise conference on Saturday.

No comments: