SFO3, BEFORE DARK

Corner 11th/Folsom, going to Slim'sCloser to Slim'sEven closer to Slim'sStaring Slim's in the face

11th and Folsom, San Francisco. 8pm on a Friday night. Way too early for a raging set of searing rock 'n roll originals. But fate has cast its fickle vote, and Porcelain plays at 8:15.

Of course, if you have to pick an 8:15 slot to get fated into, this is the one. SFO3 Showcase at Slim's. Opening for Portashrine, Van Gogh's Daughter. and Protein. Did I mention this is at Slim's?

This is a band's venue. Drink tickets? Try "stocked cooler of Anchor Steam in the dressing room". Very cool sound people. A sound system that gives out everything it gets and then some. Plus, this is at Slim's.

 SFO3 show band list


No Slam DancingNo Stage Diving

The signs inside point to an anticipated crowd who will be at one with the Porcelain ethic of participatory chaos. Unfortunately, it's tough to get the crowd in a moshing, surfing mood when you're all still digesting dinner.

It's difficult to say what is more striking about the Porcelain set--the perversely focused energy crowbarred into each chunky, churning tune, or the haunting new musical facets provided by recently-penned pieces woven seamlessly into the set list.

NickChris, lost in his drumsSteve

They bring the new and the old, loud and hard.

Rattle Rattle Shake

On You

I Don't Believe

What Does That Mean

The set ends as abruptly as it began.

There is a small scuffle as frenetic new fans elbow in to sign up for the Porcelain mailing list.

Chris, striking the drum set

 But the band doesn't notice. This may be Slim's, but there's still one minor detail to address: striking the set. This is all going to seem funny when you're negotiating with the roadies' union somewhere down the career path, but right now it's a labor-intensive landing maneuver after a thirty minute rocket ride. Get the gear out of the way, and fast. At least the stage manager is cool enough to offer his assistance.

Portashrine drum head

Portashrine follows the band, and kicks out some solid rock 'n roll.

Their theatric approach to confessional rock gets the crowd hopping.

Van Gogh's Daughter tear the lid off of their set and pour it on hard and loud. This crew has control of this mass.

Many in the crowd wonder aloud just what makes the all-female ensemble stand in such stark contrast to their all-male bill mates. "Genitals" is the consensus response.

Van Gogh's Daughter

Protein

Protein shut down the show with funk, junk and attitude fueled with skunk.

Coming from a long and hallowed line of "P" bands that pump up the bass, they wear their heritage well--Les Claypool would feel right at home in this bottom-end bombast.

You get the sense the lead singer has seen at least 1 Suicidal Tendencies video, but it hasn't really scarred him. Yet. And yeah, these boys are on their way up.


It's somewhere in the middle of these sets that you realize the fun is just starting for Porcelain. The gear is in the van, the van is on the road. The dressing room waits. Time to sort it all out, tear off the tape, toke in the moment. It's like Miller time, only that's not what's in the cooler and nobody drinks that shit anyway.

Dressing room doorChris, tearing off the tapeSteve, passing off the toke

You take in the minor details in the ceiling. You empty the cooler of all but its most inert beverages. You laugh about being downstairs at Slims, in the dressing room, because this is Slim's.

Dressing room ceilingRaided coolerFanatics outside the dressing room

And then you head over to the Paradise to catch some other SFO3 bands.

SFO3 show pass

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