with support from Joesef

Photos and Review by Jennie Book

The crowd at the Bill Graham Civic got a real treat on September 9th when Jungle showed up on stage for their San Francisco “The Volcano World Tour” tour stop. Dancing commenced, musical genre boundaries were pushed, and the sold-out crowd of fans took “Keep Movin’” to heart as they never stood still through the 25-song setlist.

The show kicked off with an explosive rendition of “Us Against the World,” setting the energy bar high from the get-go. Then came a seamless transition into “Candle Flame,” with Erick The Architect making an appearance on a colossal screen at the back of the stage. The light show was dynamic, with a stark graphic style that backlit everyone into fiery reds and oranges, with some smoky whites and blues throughout, and a “JUNGLE” sign prominently looming over the stage to establish dance dominance, as if we didn’t already know.

Onstage was an arsenal of drums, samplers, synthesizers, keyboards, guitars, and percussion instruments played by Jungle’s two main men, Tom McFarland and Joshua Lloyd-Watson, and the rest of the talented crew was rounded out by Lydia Kitto, a flute and keyboard and vocals maestra, plus a guitarist, drummer, and a keyboardist/percussionist. The overall sound in the venue was tapestry-rich and filled the 8500 capacity hall with sonic happiness for hours.

The set covered timeless classics like “The Heat,” “Heavy, California,” and “Back on 74” and contemporary cuts like “Holding On” and “You Ain’t No Celebrity” from their current 2023 album Volcano. The piped in big screen guest appearances continued with a captivating video spot by rapper Bas during “Romeo.”

The playful, dancey, always moving night was a big hit with the diverse San Francisco crowd, which was filled with kids, grandparents, and everybody in between. Jungle is a super talented band that knows how to give their fans a good time – just be sure to buy that embroidered black hoodie at the top of the show because if you don’t it’ll be sold out by the end.

Opener Joesef got the already standing crowd moving when he and his band opened for Jungle, playing a great set with good energy as the sold-out crowd rolled in. Songs like “It’s Been A Little Heavy” and “Does It Make you Feel Good?” were mixed in with some quick funny anecdotes from him in his Scottish brogue, and his talented four-piece band looked like they were having a great night. The Bill Graham crowd will likely be adding Josef to their playlists after spending that time with him live.