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There are few artists I would see in a large venue today. I would see Neil Young in a large venue if Crazy Horse was backing him. Other than that I prefer a venue ranging from a size 50-1500 people. The more intimate the better.
Speaking of an intimate setting, my bride took me to see Oh Sees (no more "Thee") last week at the Great American Music Hall. Not only was it a brilliant show, it was without a doubt, the loudest show I have ever been to. Even guitarist/lead singer John Dwyer was heard to ask if that show wasn't louder than the previous night's? I'm seeing them again in December at The Chapel. Get your tickets before they sell out.
best venue in SF:
Last night I was lucky enough to catch what has been marked as the "Last Polka" of the great SF punk-polka band, Polkacide, at Bottom of the Hill. After 30+ years they're hanging up their lederhosen. I spent a good 30 minutes in the polkapit. and boy did I feel it. The four original members are grandparent age now, and I'm guessing that having 10 people in the band makes it difficult to make the scene too often. I'm hoping for an annual reunion at the very least.
On a completely unrelated note, my bride Catherine gave birth to our little boy, Bodhi Miles Hell this past Thursday! We couldn't be more excited about this fella coming into our lives. I'll be taking a few weeks off from my show so I can be home with the little fella, fitting him with black t-shirts and guitar picks, and singing to him my favorite Melvis and Grateful Dead tunes. I can't wait to have him and Little Lauson Hell both in the studio with me in the years to come.
Check out the playlist below. There's a live Tom Petty tribute, new music from Ty Segall and Oh Sees, as well as Boris. Lots of great live treats in there as well.
Hell's Kitchen Radio with John Hell
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Pan: Ty Segall
Plastic Plant: Thee Oh Sees (September 28, 2017 Great American Music Hall, SF, CA)
Jack the Ripper: Link Wray
Young, Gifted and Black: Aretha Franklin
Radebe: Johnny Dyani
Dead Flowers: Townes Van Zandt
Rise Up With Fists: Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
American Girl: Tom Petty (April 23, 1977 The Record Plant, Sausalito, CA)
Even the Losers/The Waiting/So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Bob Dylan (June 26, 1986 HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN)
Something in the Air: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Keys to the Castle: Thee Oh Sees
Dystopia-Vanishing Point: Boris
Ride Into the Sun: The Velvet Underground
My Favorite Things: John Coltrane (October 26, 1963 Tivoli Koncertsal, Copenhagen)
I Loved Another Woman: Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac (June 9, 1968, Carousel Ballroom, SF, CA)
When Prince died I shared this video everywhere. Now that Petty has left us I think it bares reposting.