It was such an amazing night. From beginning to end, I was amazed by all the talent, passion, and heart I saw on stage. But before I get into the musical performances, I want to first talk about how beautiful the Fox Theatre at Oakland, California is! It was my first time at the venue, and I would have to say it is my favorite out of the others I have went to. When you walk into the theatre, you see a beautiful Fox Theatre sign, which is only a glimpse into the vintage beauty of the building.
Inside, there was a cool lounge where you could get food, and multiple bars are throughout the premises as well as a surprising amount of standing room for guests. You had the choice to sit in the balcony, but I honestly wanted to be as close to the stage as possible.
The concert began at 8 PM, and the first performer was Stu Larsen.
Stu was incredible! He did an acoustic set that was mixed with his original music and covers. One of my favorite singles was “Thirteen Sad Farewells.” I enjoyed the melody, and the lyrics were beautiful. The cover he did was of a song that is personally one of my favorites, “Fix You” by Coldplay. His rendition of the song took my breath away. Stu has a vocal range that I envy and really hope he comes back to the San Francisco Bay Area soon.
The second and final opener of the night was a band by the name of The Once. They are a folk trio, consisting of Geraldine, who is the lead vocalist, and Phil and Andrew, who play a variety of instruments and sing the harmonies. It’s incredible when any band can beautifully harmonize together, and you can sense the passion they have for music. They were funny, and it was apparent that they just loved playing live music for everyone. One of my favorite songs was “We Are All Running” because of the message it contains. It’s a song explaining how we are all one, and we aren’t alone in this scary, messed up world.
So the music I heard thus far is breathtaking, and I am already getting sad that the night is halfway over. Now on to the headliner, Passenger.
This talented, witty, and funny musician is one you have to see perform live. At the beginning of his set, he gave a disclaimer that it was just going to be only him and his guitar and nothing else was better than his acoustic set. No complaints here. In between songs, he also told us a few funny stories and a serious one that touched my heart. One of the funny stories was how people in the airport mistook his road crew member as him. But the kicker was how the real Passenger was asked to be the one to take the photo of them.
On the serious note, he opened up to us on how he quit smoking and how much it affected his life. He told the audience that one night he was off to the store, and on his way he met a man who was smoking and randomly told him that it was the best cigarette he had. At the time, Passenger was at a vulnerable place because he quit smoking, but he wanted to smoke again so bad. So instead of relapsing and buying the cigarettes from the store, he wrote a song about the man he met at that moment.
His set was amazing and brought in a lot of emotion. I never wanted to cry, laugh, and cheer as much in any other concert until tonight. He did perform a few covers and sang one of my favorite songs, “Wrong Direction.” It was a night I would never forget, and luckily it was not over just yet.
Of all the concerts I have been to, I knew that you had to stay after because there’s always an encore. The encore consisted of all the musicians from the night coming together and singing Stu’s song, “San Francisco.” And yes, we all cheered whenever San Francisco was mentioned in the song. But seriously, it was a beautiful piece. One that made you feel like you were driving up the coast to San Francisco with Stu as he wrote the song. This encore provided me with one more captivating musical moment of many to take with me from that night.
You know when you enjoyed a beautiful performance when you don’t know what to say after or how to describe it to people after. Literally, no words can describe this wonderful night, but I did my best. This concert was one of the best ones I have been to, and I hope Passenger, the Once, and Stu come back to the Bay Area. If you want to experience this amazing musical night yourself, I suggest you buy tickets before it’s sold out in a city near you!