Arts and CultureSF Bay Area

Black Lips, Guitar Riffs and Cocktail Sips at The Chapel

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By Patricia Colli

The Black Lips @ The Chapel.  Photos by Patricia Colli

After a long hiatus without concerts, indoor venues finally reopened this month in SF and I went back to the mosh pit, where I belong, to see The Black Lips at The Chapel, one of my favorite venues in the city with the best drinks, awesome sound system and the friendliest staff!

Everyone was asked to wear a mask and show proof of vaccination, so people were comfortable enough to mask off while sipping on their cocktails and Tecates during the show.

I’ve seen them perform 3 other times (twice in Brazil and at Burger Boogaloo in Oakland) but this was the first time with their new formation, Cole Alexander (guitar and vocals) and Jared Swilley (bass and vocals) are the only founding members, Joe Bradley left amicably handing the drumsticks to Oakley Munsun, Jeff Clarke is on the guitar and Zumi added the saxophone and her beautiful voice to the band.

Their vibe is still dirty rock’n’roll to its best but with a touch of country inspired by Johnny Paycheck (check out Tales from the Tour Bus by Mike Judge), stories from country music (check out Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast and even a beautiful Velvet Underground cover of “Get it on time”. With amazing references and more than 20 years making music, their show was everything I could wish for, they played old hits like “Dirty Hands”, “O Katrina!” and “Bad Kids” to the joy of all the old punk kids in the crowd and kept the energy up until the very end, mixing older and newer songs to their set list.

The mosh pit got wild and steamy like it should be!

Overall they’re a great band to watch live and their newer members added a special flair and new blood to their repertoire.

It was a warm night, the Mission was packed with people, there were other concerts happening in the city: Toro y Moi announced a few days ago a show at the open stage at The Chapel that sold out in 2 minutes and Metallica played a surprise concert at the Independent.  It felt like the good, old pre-pandemic times!

Checkout The Chapel SF Calendar Here.

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