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SoFA Takes the Heat

Soaring temps couldn't hold down the crowd at 10th and final street fair

By Sarah Quelland

THE STREETS OF DOWNTOWN San Jose buzzed last Sunday (Sept. 30) as close to 6,000 people braved the melting heat to enjoy the final SOFA STREET FAIR. With bands playing in rapid succession on outdoor stages and inside the CACTUS CLUB and the USUAL, there was no shortage of live music. The tricky part was selecting which bands to catch--it was impossible to catch them all.

Despite the heat, INSOLENCE gave a high-energy performance on the Zero stage, entering one by one to guitarist MIKE ROWAN's Hendrixian strains of "The Star- Spangled Banner." With American flags and red, white and blue all over SoFA, it was clear the terrorist attacks still weigh heavily on many minds. BILLY "MECH 1" ROSENTHAL, half of Insolence's tag-team vocal duo, dedicated "Death Threat" to Osama bin Laden: "Death threat comin' from a stranger, danger." It's not every day a mosh pit breaks out in the middle of the street in broad daylight, but voracious Insolence fans were spurred on by the San Jose band's funked-up rasta rap-rock songs.

Though TRUE TO FORM has been broken up for some time, former members have regrouped to form LAVABONE. The new band debuted Sunday inside the Cactus Club. The group features J.C. FRANKLIN on vocals, RON TANIGUCHI on guitar and backup vocals, STEVE SCHMIDT on guitar, KEVIN JACKSON on drums and JUNIOR (he and Jackson are ex-members of PRIMER 55) on bass (bassist LEON MARCELIS filled in for Sunday's appearance). Old TTF fans will be surprised when they hear the radio-friendly mix of songs this area's former thrash-metal princes now deliver. Lavabone takes the sound that bands like CREED and FUEL popularized and gives it a heavier edge.

It wasn't hard for the veteran San Francisco rock band SWARM to win over the crowd in front of the SOFA STAGE, and the guys had an absolute blast. With style, substance and sex appeal, MARK OSEGUEDA is one of the best frontmen in the business. San Jose is notorious for low turnouts and too-cool crowds, but Osegueda praised the audience, saying, "You ain't easy to impress, but that's what we like." In addition to performing songs from its new EP, Devour, Swarm played a new song titled "Water to Wine," treated fans to a song from their DEATH ANGEL days and put the Swarm stamp on BJÖRK's "Army of Me."

After serving for 10 years as the premier celebration of San Jose music, SoFA received a fitting bon voyage. This year's festival may stand as one of the best with the specially reunited SQUEEZE THE DOG, the return of CRACK, punk legends X and their punk offspring NO USE FOR A NAME, skate-rockers CLAY WHEELS, pop-punkers STUNT MONKEY and other noteworthy bands.

MOODFRYE celebrates the release of its auspicious full-length disc, Bottle of Feelings, this Friday (Oct. 5) at the Cactus Club with 5606, TSUNAMI BOMB, AGENT 51 and MY NEW LIFE. Manic Notion canceled. ... The K.G.B. and FIRMÉ have a show this Saturday (Oct. 6) at the INDEPENDENCE HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE. Tickets are $5 advance (408.928.9657 or pammelvin@aol.com) and $10 at the door. The show starts at 7pm.

TRACY CHAPMAN joins NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE, PEARL JAM, R.E.M., BEN HARPER and DAVE MATTHEWS for the BRIDGE SCHOOL BENEFIT Oct. 20-21 at SHORELINE AMPHITHEATRE. ... Local band REMOTER has just been added to SMASH MOUTH's Oct. 24 date at the FILLMORE in San Francisco. ... In addition to the Oct. 29 date at the OAKLAND ARENA, JANE'S ADDICTION and the STEREO MCS play Shoreline Oct. 26. PRODIGY bowed out of the tour. ... NO DOUBT opens for U2 Nov. 15 at the Oakland Arena. ... The Bay Area stop of the SMOKE OUT FESTIVAL scheduled for Oct. 13 at the Oakland Arena has been canceled, but Insolence has been added to the Oct. 6 date at the BLOCKBUSTER PAVILION in San Bernadino. The band is also playing SLIM'S in San Francisco on Oct. 15, and its single "Poison Well" has been added to the new movie The Last Castle.

PLAN AHEAD: BRICKHEAD, SPUN, OUTTALINE and SIX SEVEN, Oct. 4 at the Usual; BATES and POINT BLANK, Oct. 4 at the Cactus; STUNT MONKEY, BIG IN JAPAN, UP SYNDROME and HIDDEN POCKET, Oct. 5 at the LOS GATOS OUTHOUSE; SLOW GHERKIN, ATTENTION and LIMBECK, Oct. 6 at the Los Gatos Outhouse; FISHBONE, FLOPPY RODS, FILL IN THE ___ and NAUGHTY BARNYARD, Oct. 6 at the Cactus.

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From the October 4-10, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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