Images by Bryan Derballa
I may have complained all day on Saturday about the noise at The Creators Project at Fort Mason in San Francisco, but the one thing I really wanted to hear was the Yeah Yeah Yeahs—the louder the better! The trick was keeping my ass awake until they went on at 10:45pm.
I arrived at 4pm, checked out some exhibits (see my Gizmodo writeup here), took a break for dinner with friends at A16 (delicious), then went back and saw more exhibits. That’s when I finally got to see Life on Mars Revisited. I was super excited about this one—a short film of outtakes filmed by Mick Rock in the ’70s and re-imagined by filmmaker Barney Clay.
We were corralled into a room with giant projections of Bowie on every wall in all his Life on Mars glory. Which despite the neck-craning necessary was an impressive sight. A few minutes into the film, chest-collapsing noises boomed from a rectangular box that I happend to be leaning against in the center of the room. That’s when I realized it was a massive speaker. Bowie’s blue eyeshadow and pink lips flashed. His jagged teeth wanted me for dinner. His multi-colored eyes glared like a feral cat’s. My friend grimaced emphatically. This was the reason for the “no one with epilepsy allowed” signs. I tried to maintain my composure. I was immeasurably relieved when it all stopped and we were released from the chamber. I am not qualified to write an actual review of such a thing because I do not understand it. So I will leave it at that.
Moving on, we checked out a few other exhibits and eventually, around 10:30, I was the last one standing. But I was determined to see Ms. O! I waited in line in the bone-chilling bay wind. Once inside, my V.I.P. bracelet allowed me to get very close to the stage. Exciting! The band finally came out. Karen O was wearing the outfit you see above PLUS a zebra-striped full-length cape, if you can even imagine. Their first song was, gratifyingly, the one that had been on repeat in my head all day: Gold Lion. But my perfect view was inevitably short lived, as it always is for a shorty such as myself. A tall young woman with yellow hair drawn up into a banana clip blocked my view of Ms. O. Concerts. The fourth or fifth song was Maps, the other song I very much wanted to hear (though I hadn’t hoped to hear it from the mouths of 15 tone-deaf banana-clipped young women, and how is it possible that track is nearly a decade old?!). I was satisfied. I shoved my way out of the crowd and made my way to the car. Mission accomplished!