Top 10 Most Unforgettable Sets of 2015 From the Bay to LA

In the inaugural year of the existence of the Bait Shop, we went to a lot of shows and witnessed hundreds of bands perform. This is our Top 10.

Between the two scenes of LA and the Bay Area, we debated what our favorite shows were this year. Where some swallowed us in grandeur and satisfied our nostalgia, others consisted of getting downright sweaty in the mosh pit. But the shows that made the list were those that we couldn’t get out of our heads for weeks, and they were also the shows where we experienced a lot of “firsts.” Perhaps, these were some of your unforgettable shows as well.

Julie’s Picks (Bay Area)

The Coathangers at Rickshaw Stop

What could be more rad than to celebrate Julia Kugel’s birthday with a set by my favorite punk garage rockers at my favorite venue in SF? The high intensity trio brings their signature chaos to every show and this one was no different. Coathangers_topshow-5

Thee Oh Sees at The Chapel (Night 2 of Residency)

All I remember is leaving practically deaf, soaked in sweat, and decked with bruises. No complaints though.

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Together Pangea at 924 Gilman

Even after seeing these guys perform several times over the last few years, their sets do not get old. It was my first show at the Gilman and I also discovered how legit White Reaper is. Man, the kids go wild for that Pangea

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Jenny Lewis at The Fox Theater

This was my first set shooting in a pit and since she’s one of my favorite women in music, the pressure was high. Nonetheless, I accepted that I would be emotional wreck by the end because I’ve been a Jenny devotee since the Rilo Kiley days.

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Viet Cong at Rickshaw Stop

Viet Cong sold out their show at Rickshaw Stop in like a day but I fortunately snagged my ticket early. I just recall being lost in the blare, with everyone around me equally zonked into oblivion. It was also the second show I shot for the site.

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James’ Picks (LA)

Sleater Kinney at The Palladium

Seeing one of my all-time favorites perform after years of being “broken up” was one of the true highlights of this year, not to mention being able to photograph them at the same time. (Thanks Sub Pop!)
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Sloppy Jane at Lot 1 Cafe

What started out so innocently with a toothbrush, turned into a special, near-fatal experience I had while watching the ever-so-amazing Sloppy Jane. Unaware of my deathly allergy to nuts*, a frenzied Haley Dahl proceeded to douse herself in a mixture of peanut butter and jelly before slinging chunks of it at the crowd. Gotta love her antics.

(*Note that I didn’t get a proper document of this as I immediately had to bounce, but I’m sure someone did. We’ve also been reassured that this won’t happen again so all you dweebs with allergies like me can safely see them play in the future.)

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The Buttertones at The Last Waltz

The Last Waltz was this Halloween epic at The Worble’s last warehouse show that included SadGirl, Wild Wing, Vaguess, Tongues, and more, but it would be during The Buttertones set around one in the morning when things really got wild.

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SadGirl at The Smell

A hard one to recap. I re-discovered how much I loved The Smell. I broke a lens that night, it was literally kicked off, read about it here. Theo Cohn of Wild Wing filled in on bass. It was lit.

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Thee Oh Sees Charity Event at Teragram Ballroom

This was the last show I shot of 2015. We had seen all three bands and their side projects multiple times throughout the year, but never all at once. Dwyer is a mad man. Faces were melted. It was for a good cause, too.

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Lastly, our honorary mention goes to…

La Luz at the Echoplex

Having just released one of our favorite albums of the year, Weirdo Shrine on Hardly Art, LA was one of the first stops to hear the new material live. Other than Lolipaooza 2, this was one of the few shows that we shot together (pic by Julie) and this was one that neither of us could leave out of our respective lists.  We couldn’t be more proud of that post.