Mini Review: Oxbow, Negative Trend @ Eagle Tavern, 9/20/09

When I say I’m a live music addict, I’m not fucking around.

So when my friend asked me if I wanted to go check out this band at the Eagle Tavern yesterday, of course I said yes! Plus, this little writeup in SF Weekly intrigued me.

I had never been to the Eagle Tavern before…it’s notorious for being in the area where bald hairy men in leather go to meet other bald hairy men in leather….a bear bar, if you will. I’ve got nothing against bears, its just….not HRC’s scene.

It’s actually a cool space- there’s a large outside area with lots of nooks and crannies. The actual space for live music is a bit awkward though as the bar take up much of the floor space.

The first band offended my ears, so we didn’t watch most of it. The second band, Negative Trend, was much more fun. They are a local punk band that has been around for a long time. They played a set of mostly covers…which included ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’….one of my all time fave songs. Their cool looking logo adorned a banner behind them and all of their shirts- I was surprised at the effort behind this cohesive look. It was a fun set.

I really wish that I had seen Oxbow somewhere else. The avant garde rock within the context of this tavern made for an interesting dynamic…but perhaps that was part of the allure of the set. They started in the middle of the tiny floor; we could just barely see the singer’s head and the top of an upright bass. The sound was raw as the singer was without mic for this portion, speaking into the faces of those right in front of him.

After a couple of songs, they moved to the stage. Where at another venue, I might have gotten lost in the shrieks and discordant notes of the set, I kept getting distracted by the bartenders (one of which had crazy tattoos and piercings and wore a belt that said ‘tasty cakes’ along the back) and patrons in the back of the bar. A fight broke out mid set, and a bartender jumped over the bar to run after the guys….haven’t seen that in a while.

Distractions aside, it was an interesting set and I’m glad I was able to witness it as they don’t play very often. As for seeing shows at the Eagle Tavern in my future….maybe not.

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