Photo by Jennifer Maerz
There were so many reasons why last night's Pulp show at the Warfield was perfect for San Francisco. Among them ...
- People were aching for it. The last time the droll Brit pop band played here was a 1996 gig at Bimbo's. That performance was around the time, frontman Jarvis Cocker told us from the stage, that he was writing the song "Disco 2000," back when the year 2000 felt like "the future." He then made a bunch of funny sci-fi sounds before reminding us we're still getting around by "cable car, bus, and taxi."
- All those years away just made the love for Pulp grow fonder. The Pulp uberfan getting hassled for dancing in the pit next to me complained to his friend, "I waited 17 years for this show! I didn't come here to stand still! I came here to dance!" There was plenty of pogoing around to all the hits the band pulled out from their massive collection: "Common People," "Something Changed," "This is Hardcore," "Like a Friend," and on and on...
- Jarvis Cocker specifically is still quite alluring after all these years. He swung and massaged the microphone, cocked and shook his hips while planting his feet on the speakers, and generally came on to the audience with full rock star intensity. I loved it. It was enough to make one (woman? I'm just assuming here) throw her black bra on the stage – which Cocker picked up without missing a beat and spent a good amount of banter time smelling.
- The cable cars weren't the only SF tourist attraction Cocker talked up. He told us he'd hit City Lights Bookstore earlier in the day, grabbing a book by French surrealist poet Jacques Prevert translated by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He read a couple lines about feeling burdened by the world before tossing the book out to the crowd, one of many little morsels he tossed out last night, but the only one I really wish I'd caught.
Overall, it was an awesome show, one that brought back so many memories of going dancing at Popscene (back when it was at the Cat Club and I didn't feel like a chaperone being around so many 18 year olds), where so much great Brit Pop funneled into San Francisco ears. Really, this was such a awesome place to love UK rock 'n' roll in the '90s, when bands like Pulp, Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride, Oasis, the Verve (and on and on) were getting big and taking the stage at the Warfield, while their vinyl was being spun in the clubs by DJs like Aaron Axelsen and Omar. It was great to return to that world of stylishly raunchy rock 'n' roll with such a stylishly raunchy San Francisco crowd.