SAN FRANCISCO — Taking the stage in a custom LA Galaxy jersey with her name printed on the back, Snail Mail began her show at The Fillmore Thursday with a noisy and spastic jam build up.
Baltimore native Lindsey Jordan and her band then seamlessly opened with her 2018 cut “Heat Wave,” with Jordan’s voice fragile and smooth, yet forcefully immediate. Bassist Alex Bass, drummer Ray Brown and a tour keyboardist then kicked in, adding grungy ’90s melodies, with a style that has been described as Liz-Phair-meets-the-Replacements.
As Snail Mail broke into “Pristine,” her mass of fans began to sing along. Jordan seemed like she was doing a fine job at playing it cool but quickly broke into a wide grin during the song. You can’t blame her. When you’re 19 years old, playing the legendary Fillmore and everyone in the audience is singing your song, you pretty much have to acknowledge the occasion. In addition to playing songs off her critically acclaimed album, Lush, Snail Mail played “Dirt,” “Slug” and “Thinning,” off 2016 EP Habit. The set also included “Golden Dream,” “Deep Sea” and “Full Control,” with many singing along.
At the end of the show, Jordan performed “Anytime” and “Stick” by herself. While tuning her guitar for the last song, she said she doesn’t do encores, told fans to not drink and drive, and a story about these signs around her neighborhood that say “Safe Driving Is My Favorite.”
Snail Mail was preceded by New York City’s Black Marble, whose set felt like deconstructed Joy Division with songs like “Iron Lung,” “Frisk” and “Golden Heart.” The duo filled the room with throwback basement goth synths and serene melodies that pretty much forced fans to sway.
Black Marble’s 45-minute set combined melodic nostalgia and a deep, shadowy reverb with a pop structure. After tackling tracks from 2018’s fantastic It’s Immaterial, the duo continued with songs from 2012’s A Different Arrangement, including the record’s title track.
Utah’s Choir Boy opened the show with a mix of Cure-like riffs and gothic ’80s vibes. Songs like “Two Lips” and “Blood Moon” featured vocals not unlike Morrissey alongside gorgeous soundscapes.
Frontman Adam Klopp’s vulnerable singing drew a surprising amount of attention from early-arriving fans. His emotive performance wrapped around the rhythms of bassist Chaz Coztello.