I went to the Fillmore on Thursday night with JB, Gleason, and Ashley to see Kevin Morby. I was into his album City Music when it came out last year, so I was excited to finally see him live. Of course, it’s also hard to pass up a show at the Fillmore. It’s by far my favorite venue to see live music, not only in San Francisco, but anywhere. Beyond the history of the place, it’s actually a very satisfying venue to see live music. The quality of the sound is consistently great, and you can get a great view of the band from just about anywhere.
The Fillmore is an unassuming venue from the outside. I don’t even think it has a marquee anywhere. It originally opened in 1912 and is best known for being the center of the psychedelic rock universe in the mid-60s under legendary promoter Bill Graham. Bill died a few decades ago, but Bill Graham Productions still puts on the shows there.
The main venue is on the second floor and the first thing you’re greeted with when you walk upstairs is Bill Graham’s famous bucket of apples. This is a tradition that dates back to the 60s heyday, and an original sign above the bucket encourages everyone to “Have one or two….”
If only that bucket could talk…
The venue holds about 1100 and was originally built as a ballroom dance floor. There are a dozen or so enormous chandeliers hanging on the ceiling above the floor that add a sophisticated vibe to the room.
There’s a nice bar room off the side of the main room. It’s hardly ever crowded here.
Kevin has a tight band and they put on a solid show. My only criticism is that all of his songs are slow, and by the end of the set I was kind of ready for him to pick up the pace a little. The best part for me was his hot shit lead guitarist named Meg Duffy. She was gnarly. I was also a little late arriving at the show and didn’t get to hear him play his best song, City Music. I assumed he would have closed the show with it, but he actually played at the beginning of the set.
Kevin Morby’s gear on stage at the end of the night.
The crowd funneling out of the venue toward the stairs.
It must have been a sold out show because I was handed a poster on my way out. I can’t say this is my favorite rock poster of all time, but it’s always nice to get a free souvenir.
I enjoyed that red delicious Fillmore apple when I got home.