I'd never been to The Uptown night club in Oakland before last Friday, but I had expected it to be a little divey and waaaaay smaller than it actually is. Yes, the venue is, in fact, kind of swanky.
There is a huge bar when you first walk in, with a live feed of what's happening in the adjoining room, playing on a big screen. I found this to be useful in the sense that you can see when the band is setting up, and how near they are to starting the show, and thusly time the purchasing of your cocktail accordingly.
The main room where the bands perform is long and narrow-ish, but with more than enough room to dance, or spectate. There is also an upstairs floor with seating and a view of the stage, as well as a back patio where you can cool down, or puff-puff-puff that cigarette.
As much as San Francisco folk complain about crossing the bridge to Oaktown (me included), it was easy peasy, with BART karma on our side, and the venue being a 30 second walk from 19th St station. That being said, it's still a royal pain in the ass to get back to the city if you're not the sort who turns into a pumpkin and you haven't got a ride.
So I went along to shake my tail feather to two of my favourite local bands, The B-Stars (this was also their CD release party) and Red Meat. I thought the sound was great, and in particular, The B-Stars were spot on with their precision and togetherness. I was not too sure about their 'wet t-shirt contest' (well, actually, I wanted that damn t-shirt!) but they get me dancing every time they play Ink Free Baby of Mine - I just cannot get enough of that song!!!
I think one of the things that I enjoy about their shows, aside from their jingle-jangle harmonies, is that they always have the perfect balance of being laid-back whilst really enjoying themselves onstage. That, and their sharp outfits.
Red Meat were equally entertaining, with not only their music, but their talk of 'National Testicular Awareness Month'. I'm not sure if it actually is (nor do I have the inclination to google it), but the slew of predictable jokes that followed amused me nonetheless.
It was also interesting to see the bass player out of the huge Hairspray style wig and coat that she was wearing the first time I saw them play at El Rio...I hardly recognised her!
Their set was great, and offered me the opportunity to dance (read: blag my way through) a polka and a 2-step! Once I had accomplished this, I felt like my work was done, which was a good thing actually, as it was time to go home and get some sleep before the England vs. USA football match the next morning...