Bay Area Concert Buzz: July-August

Bay Area Concert Buzz: July-August

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Loving music is a requirement for working at Blackfire Research. As a smart home entertainment solutions company, we’re listening to music all day while testing wireless speakers, surround sound systems, music streaming applications, and more. Although we specialize in perfecting wireless home entertainment, there’s plenty of excitement to experience outside the home. One of the best aspects about being located in San Francisco is the immense access to all the live concerts, shows, music festivals, and events that the Bay Area has to offer. And, believe me, there’s a lot. Here’s a list of some upcoming concerts near the City by the Bay we’re excited for this month.

 

On Saturday July 22, the hugely successful and highly acclaimed hip-hop duo, Run the Jewels, are taking the stage at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. In the wake of their third album, “Run the Jewels 3,” they’ve been selling out venues and headlining summer music festivals. With their political lyrics, they’re widely viewed as the future of hip-hop. For ticket information, click here.

 

On Sunday July 30, legendary folk rock singer, Neil Diamond, will be performing at San Jose’s SAP Center as part of his 50th Anniversary World Tour. Presented by Live Nation, the world tour is in celebration of the artist’s astonishing career: from selling over 125 million albums worldwide, to multiple Grammy wins and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Neil Diamond and his music has helped shape the American landscape over the past half century. For more information, check out this link.

 

 

The Band Perry will be coming to the Bay Area and performing at two different outdoor venues this summer. The first, at Mountain Winery in Saratoga on Tuesday August 1st; and the second, at Wente Vineyards in Livermore on August 3rd. Both venues will serve as a perfect background for an evening with the unstoppable pop-country trio. Their popularity and massive industry success leaves other country stars shaking in their cowboy boots.

 

At the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Friday August 4th, the most talented and sought-after rapper in the business, Kendrick Lamar, will be gracing the stage to what is sure to be a spectacular night of hip-hop. Lamar is coming to the Bay as part of THE DAMN. TOUR, celebrating his latest album, which went straight to No. 1 and was certified platinum. For more ticket information, click here. And check out my review of DAMN. here.

 

Finally, Hans Zimmer, the Academy Award winning composer behind over 150 film scores including “The Lion King,” “The Dark Knight,” “The Pirates of the Caribbean” series and “Inception” has been on tour this year. To the surprise and delight of many music and movie fans, he was even a headliner this year at the largest summer music festival, Coachella. Now, Zimmer is scheduled to take on the Greek Theatre in Berkeley on Wednesday, August 9th. Get your tickets now before they sell out! And don’t forget to bring some popcorn.

What concerts or events are you most excited for this month? Let us know in the comments below!

On this Day in Music History: July 6, 1964

On this Day in Music History: July 6, 1964

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Brought to you by Blackfire Research….On this day in 1964, the film “A Hard Day’s Night” starring Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and John Lennon of The Beatles premiered at The Pavilion Theatre in London. The film was produced and released during the height of “Beatlemania” and was made in the style of a “mockumentary,” which followed the band as they headed to London from their hometown of Liverpool to play a show, dodging screaming hordes of fans along the way. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards – one for Best Screenplay and one for Best Score (Adaptation) – and earned an estimated $11 million worldwide. “A Hard Day’s Night” is cited as one of the most influential musical films of all time, serving as inspiration for the American television program “The Monkees.” It also catapulted the popularity of British spy-comedies of the late 1960’s, and is often viewed as a precursor to the modern music video.

Top 5 Movies to Watch in Surround Sound

Top 5 Movies to Watch in Surround Sound

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You did it: you finally purchased that surround sound system for your TV you’ve been eyeing. Now it’s time to show it off to all your family and friends at your next movie night. But what should you watch? Don’t think too hard, because we’ve compiled a list of 5 of the best movies for surround sound. Hold onto your popcorn!

  1. Saving Private Ryan

Regarded as having one of the most realistic battle sequences shot for the silver screen, Spielberg’s 1998 Oscar-winning, WWII drama opens with the Allied invasion of Normandy. Your surround sound will impress with all the explosions, yelling, and general chaos present throughout the entire film, not to mention, the touching score by celebrated composer John Williams will have you and your guests grabbing for the nearest box of tissues.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82RTzi5Vt7w

  1. Moulin Rouge!

We “can-can-can’t” think of a better musical to watch in surround sound than Baz Luhrmann’s 2001, Moulin Rouge! This love story takes place between a poet and a courtesan during the Bohemian revolution of Paris in 1900. With its large scale, rapid choreography, paired with a mixture of original and contemporary tunes, this film dazzles both visually and audibly. In surround sound, you’ll also hear the many, whimsical sound effects that punctuate the film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1K8JpovOw4

  1. The Dark Knight

From the opening bank robbery scene to the finale’s voice overs and score, Christopher Nolan’s second film in his Dark Knight Trilogy is a cinematic masterpiece, and surround sound only makes it better. You can hear the madness behind Heath Ledger’s wavering vocal inflections, the crackling of fire as it envelopes the screen. With epic chase scenes, psychologically vexing dialogue, and Hans Zimmer’s grim composition, surround sound will transform your living room into Gotham.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yqvbv-SB4bg

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road

If it’s action you’re looking for, George Miller certainly delivers in this 2015 postapocalyptic sci fi thriller. Considered to be one of the greatest action films ever made, not only is it basically one long chase scene, but the earth shattering sound effects will have your whole house shaking. Winner of Best Sound Mixing and Sound Editing at the 2016 Academy Awards, Mad Max: Fury Road puts your eyes, and ears, into hyperdrive. You better buckle up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IJ8_Jf891k

  1. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

The final installment of Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which won 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Jackson), Best Original Score (Howard Shore) and Best Original Song (Into the West), is at the top of any audiophile’s list of favorite films. And there’s good reason: from Aragorn’s meeting with the Army of the Dead at Dunharrow, to Pippin’s haunting song for Steward Denethor, and, the climactic, crackling fires and bubbling lava of Mount Doom, (not to mention, the numerous, epic, battle sequences) this film was made for surround sound and will have you whispering “my precious” to your speakers each night before you go to bed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pis3veqKl8k

Are you an audiophile whose favorite movie didn’t make the list? Have any other recommendations for great films to watch in surround sound? Add yours below in the comments!