Flashback to 15 years ago: When Kilowatt had live shows, and the last one ever was headlined by the Oblivians

I guess I never unsubscribed from the Craigslist “oblivians” search I set up when I was trying to get tickets to their sold-out appearance at Budget Rock a couple years back. This popped up today:

Oblivions Concert Poster – s/n by Alan Forbes – $40 (oakland piedmont / montclair)

Awesome poster for a show by the Oblivians in San Francisco – 1997 for the Kilowatt’s Last Live Show – playing with Vectors and Infections. Signed and numbered by the great artist Alan Forbes (#489/500) The poster is in VG cond., but was stuck on the wall so has small tears in the back corners. The front looks great, only has a few tiny marks and minor edgewear in some spots. measures 23 x 17.25

Trippy that 1997 was 15 years ago, right? And that Kilowatt used to do shows? And that awesome garage rock was happening here well before Thee Oh Sees and Ty? Anyway here comes an Oblivians history lesson…

Here’s their big hit:

And here’s something they might’ve played that night, a gospel-style song from the gospel-style album they released that year:

That ended up being their final studio album. I guess 1997 was a good year to stop doing things you’d been doing for a while.

P.S. Here’s another poster for the same show:

(via Frank Kozik)

UPDATE: Oops, this post is erroneous. Our pal Allison informs us that “Coachwhips played Kilowatt during Noise Pop in 2004.” So I guess never say never, doy.

25 Responses to “Flashback to 15 years ago: When Kilowatt had live shows, and the last one ever was headlined by the Oblivians”

  1. Grizzled Mission says:

    It was nice having a venue with good bookings in the neighborhood. Can’t remember a lot of their shows, but Laughing Hyenas played there, and I’m almost positive Pavement did at least once. I guess with the Mission as such a nightlife destination, they didn’t need to have shows to stay crowded. I always hoped they’d start up again.

    It looks like the 12 Galaxies /Blue Macaw space is unused again. That space should take over SF live music. It’s a great room, in a great location. Get a serious booker in there, and it drinks BoTH’s milkshake. Somebody get on that, OK?

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      GM: Really? I have been really unimpressed by the sound at all the shows I saw at that 12 Galaxies space.. But it could be that if someone bought it and put some money into acoustics and a better PA it would be better. Certainly a great central location.

    • AttF says:

      I agree. While 12 Galaxies was notoriously poorly run, it was one of my favorite venues. I hate to hate on Bottom of the Hill because it is a staple, gets good shows and is run by cool folks, but I always find it to be really uncomfortable as a performer and attendee. It really is one of those places where you are always in someone’s way. 12 Galaxies was fun, comfortable and the sound actually improved toward the end of its run. That said, I really dig Brick and Mortar. I also REALLY miss the Eagle (sniff sniff).

    • 12 galaxies was a GREAT venue because you could pretty much see the band on stage from ANYWHERE inside the place. they really put a lot of thought into viewing angles it seems!

  2. tuffy says:

    I saw The Makers play there the night Princess Di died.

    Here’s some more posters from that era of the kilowatt: http://www.gigposters.com/venue/Kilowatt/

  3. tuffy says:

    So many of the venues from back then the gone – Cocodrie and Purple Onion in North Beach, Paradise Lounge, Transmission Theater, Trocadero, Covered Wagon. Garage rock was everywhere back then.

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      Oh man, I really miss the Cocodrie and the Covered Wagon. They were two of my favorites.

  4. Aaron says:

    Sound of Music, Deaf Club, Club Foot, The Factory, The Farm,

  5. Champagne says:

    I just want to go to burning man.

  6. EricP says:

    The Donnas! always fun at the Kilowatt

  7. nick says:

    i hope you’ve checked out Reining Sound, Compulsive Gamblers and Jack O’ and the tennessee tearjerkers

  8. scum says:

    The owner of The Watt still holds a cabaret license and has done special shows over the years. I miss the old days of hanging on Broadway. The Mab, Rock On Broadway and The Stone. PS, if you go into The Watt and look at the tobacco stained shirts hanging from the ceiling you will see a small selection of the bands that have played there.

  9. MT says:

    The Kilowatt had shows twice a week. Thursdays and Sundays I think. Shows started promptly at 8. 3rd band would be off no later than 11:30. They had an obvious clock on stage and you kept to the schedule. I liked playing/going to a show there and being home by midnight.
    When I heard the owners were ending live music there (they barely wanted it there, hence only twice a week and no music through last call) because they could make more money from just people drinking… I stopped going there. Dave Kaplan used to book shows there and really did a great job.. he moved on to greener pasture being The White Stripes Booking agent….
    Before the Kilowatt, it was a venue called the Firehouse, maybe? – I think it used to be an old Firehouse… saw some shows there.. Bratmobile? Yes. That was like 1993-1994. ish.

    • Rebecca says:

      It’s been a while since anyone’s posted here and I wonder if I’ll get a reply, but it’s been bugging me to no end trying to confirm that I saw either Alice Donut or Ed Hall on New Year’s Eve at the old Firehouse! I remember the band giving the crowd all that glow in the dark paint…it must have been Alice Donut….anyone else remember that? This was the early 90s.

  10. the sessions look like play, they are carefully designed to engage and reinforce children’s social skills by asking After all, in the first six years of life.