* Original post with full HTML at rachelannc.tumblr.com.
ZZ Ward is an up-and-coming blues, rock, and hip-hop fused singer-songwriter who has all the boyish appeal, womanly angst, and frontwoman stage-presence to make it big in today’s music market. Her music has been featured on the nation’s #1 teen TV-show, Pretty Little Liars, and has thus received much positive attention from fans and critics alike. Her cool blue-eyed-soul is what draws people to her, and her blues-upbringing, all with her guitar, harmonica, and blues-band behind her, is sure to make every audience feel good on any night she performs.
Just opening up her Down and Dirty Shine Tour this September, she graced the second night of her tour at the historic Fillmore theater in San Francisco.
Here’s a video she posted onto Vine of her soundcheck:
Having arrived to the venue at around 6:30pm, I had some time to eat and view the venue before the show started at 8:00pm.
The new Bay Bridge had just re-opened and, of course, I had to take a picture of it! I also made a stop with my brother to eat at the Prime Dip down the street of the Fillmore, and I don’t think I’ve had that good of a sandwich in so long! The crab was delish.
Mind you, I haven’t been to this venue since I was 15-years-old and I saw Meg & Dia perform on their Take Action Tour of 2009. Being there again definitely brought back a lot of memories, from when I so squeamishly got scared of approaching the band when they were only a few feet away from me, chatting it up with friends. Oh, how the times have changed!
Here’s the Upstairs Poster & Food Room of the Fillmore. There was a guy playing some music up there who was also giving out some free CDs of his music. I think I was about the only one listening to him…
James Bay was the first opening-act of the show. I have to say, he was quite the surprise since he only came out by himself with his two guitars–one acoustic-electric, one electric. The girls seemed to swoon over this British man, as he also spent his birthday that night at the Fillmore. He was surprisingly a lot of fun to listen to and has some great tunes. He’s got an amazing voice and the amount of power and sound he puts into his guitar playing makes it sound as if there are two guitars playing back-up for him. He was definitely a favorite of the night and warmed us all up perfectly. We all had a good time, no? And he was also meeting fans and handing out free EP demos after his set? What a charmer! I had been so excited to chat with him about his guitar and asked what he used, though it was so difficult to understand him! I had also asked to take a funny picture with him, but he couldn’t understand either and we were taking a while, so we just smiled… Boring!
A country jam-band from Nashville called The Wild Feathers were up next, and I think by then the mood had died down a bit as we all loved James Bay and now just wanted ZZ Ward. But, you had to give props to these guys. They looked like they were having so much fun up there, and they definitely knew how to rock and jam out with their instruments. It wasn’t more about what they were saying, but more of how they were making everyone feel and rockin’ out. They were fun.
After a long while, my brother and I started getting really tired because it took a long time for ZZ Ward to finally be up. But, man was the wait worth it! She woke us all up again and brought so much energy, charisma, and natural charm to the stage. She’s a talent that needs to be experienced itself, but, let’s just say…
I haven’t really been to a concert like this before–with so much blues and hip-hop kind of music going on; a whole African-American blues band rocking out beautifully to their instruments; a frontwoman ad-libbing and almost-rapping and singing with power and even playing her harmonica. She definitely paid a lot of attention and dues to her band–which I loved–because they definitely brought her performance to another level! The instrumentation was genius and I totally respect the level of craftsman and musicianship these dudes have. ZZ Ward definitely has good taste in music, and it showed.
This was my favorite quote by ZZ of the night. It pretty much wraps up how much fun she was having, and how much she cared about us having a good time and feelin’ good…
ZZ’s energy was so infectious, and you could tell she was having the time of her life up there. She was all smiles even though she was saying some nasty things up there (in terms of her music, mind you). And, the title of her tour couldn’t have fit her style even more. Her music was definitely down and dirty with its blues-roots, but there was tons of shine to make up for it with her pop-power vocals and femininity.
It was so much of a fun night that I even decided to pick up her CD because I was so in love with her sound, even after I had already brought her vinyl LP (because it’d make a great poster!). I got so many freebies as well, from James Bay’s EP, that random upstairs dude’s CDs, and a Fillmore Fall Concert Schedule poster. Good stuff, eh?
Even though there were a bunch of older drunken ladies bumping up against me dancing their butts off with glasses in hand, ZZ Ward made us all feel good in that room that night. And, as this was pretty much my 3rd or 4th concert this summer, this was also the first one that I actually paid for. And my goodness, it was worth it!
And because my computer’s hard drive is too full and I haven’t been able to upload all of the concert videos I took, here’s a temporary video concert compilation I did on Instagram. Enjoy!