We Followed Thee Oh Sees to a Packed, Last-Minute Show in Oakland

Thee Oh Sees
White Mystery
Cum Stain
Aug. 25, 2015
Ghost Town Gallery

Better than: Seeing this lineup at an already “intimate” venue like Leo’s or The Great American Music Hall.

“This place reminds me of a frat house in Berkeley, with less shitty bros.”

[jump] Thee Oh Sees were originally supposed to play Leo’s in Oakland, but the venue had to cancel the show due to last Friday’s bogus shutdown. I had tickets to this show because it was slightly cheaper than the Great American Music Hall shows, and Leo’s is a great venue to see that now-larger band you might like. It was moved to Ghostown Gallery in Oakland, which when internet-searched pops up with a defunct MySpace page and a Yelp page filled with reviews from 2011. A majority of people who bought tickets for the Leo's show definitely did not go, probably after they saw that this “venue” might not exist or were concerned about the size of it.

My friend and I decided to go when we stumbled upon this Instagram post from one of the drummers, Dan Rincon.

We paid $7 at the door to enter what looked like an abandoned warehouse. After going up about 3 flights of stairs we found a small room that had a stage, it looked to be about a quarter of the size of the Great American Music Hall. You could see the looks of wonder on everyone's faces as they looked at the size of the room and how close to the ground the stage was. Wandering through the house we stumbled upon an outdoor patio filled with signs reminding patrons to be quiet because they had “bad neighbors,” and to not tag the space. The patio slowly began to fill up with mostly broke young adults, kids who work on Haight Street, Oakland punks, and some lost hipsters. Conversations occurred between all these individuals discussing how cool the space was, when they found out about the show, and how many thought they would not get in. Among the people wandering the space were members of all the bands including John Dwyer; fans spoke with him briefly (many too excited to say much) saying things like: “thank you for moving the show,” “this space is SO SICK,” and “I’m so excited!”

Thee Oh Sees finally took the stage around 11:35 p.m. and you could smell the excitement in the form of stale High Life. The group launched into its first song and the crowd exploded; kids were jumping off the small stage, throwing themselves into each other, and climbing on top of every other person they could. The set consisted of a large amount of songs from the band's newest album Mutilator Defeated at Last which features intense beats composed and played by two separate drummers. Thee Oh Sees were constantly interacting with the crowd, since people kept getting pushed on the stage, and you could tell the band were having a blast. The chandelier hanging from the ceiling was constantly spinning from getting kicked and was destroyed before the show was even over. Dwyer thanked Ghostown Gallery for coming through last minute, and the crowd for still coming to the show and packing in every space possible. All the attendees had smiles on their faces, all were excited to be there, and definitely could not wait to tell their friends what they missed out on (myself included).


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