Noise Pop Review: Radical Face tells stories at the Fillmore

Radical Face

Photos: Alessio Neri

SAN FRANCISCO — “Sorry, we’re not exciting. You knew what you were getting.”

Ben Cooper, the prominent speaker and member of Radical Face, was comically candid as he settled in on stage at The Fillmore Sunday. Cooper’s self-deprecating humor aside, he and the four supporting bandmates put on a captivating show.

Cooper’s reserved demeanor was a stark contrast to his performance. As soon as each song began, Cooperand the  supporting cast became enveloped in their music. Although the majority of their catalog consists of softly strummed folk, the band showed great intensity during its more energetic pieces.

When the band finished “A Ship in Port” fervently, the musicians congregated together around the drummer and joined in on a group smashing session that resulted in broken high hat cymbal.

Cooper, a former aspiring writer, has always had a penchant for storytelling. He has spent the last eight years working on a series of records called “The Family Tree.” These four albums began as a desire to create a musical story of Cooper’s family history. He continued this literary direction during the show as he gave brief background on each song before playing it. Some stories were more convoluted than other.

Cooper explained how “Winter is Coming” follows the story of a family that kidnaps the personified season of summer and is then saved by winter. These brief commentaries gave a more meaning to an already gripping performance.

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