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Fall Concert Highlights in Silicon Valley

In Music
Tegan and Sara Harmony by the Bay

Tegan and Sara glimpse their future at Harmony by the Bay on Sept. 29 at Shoreline.

Silicon Valley hosts a strong lineup of fall concerts with some of the biggest names in pop, indie rock and electronic music and the debut of SVSX.

Wobbleland
Aug. 31, 7pm; San Jose Civic; $50-$70. Some fans of Wobbleland have expressed disappointment that this year’s lineup isn’t loaded with the same dubstep star power as one that took San Francisco by storm in 2011. But they’re missing the point—nobody on that bill was famous yet outside of the electronic underground. Wobbleland is an underground party designed to let thousands of scantily clad fans get their spines rocked by these artists before they become phenoms. This year’s rave will pump untold decibels of bass into the San Jose Civic courtesy of headliner Flux Pavilion. Flux is best known for his Bassnectar-type dubstep anthem “Bass Cannon,” but fans of Kanye and Jay-Z are more likely to recognize his track “I Can’t Stop,” which was sampled on their “Who Gon Stop Me” album last year. The rest of the Wobbleland roster, aside from maybe Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs, comes straight from the underground: Zomboy, Barenoize, Bare, Grizzly, NastyNasty, Megalodon and more.

VivaFest!
Sept. 8-16; downtown San Jose; Sept. 16 HP Pavilion show, 7pm, $30 and up. Creative director of VivaFest!, Dan Guerrero, has brought an epic vision and a flair for spectacle to what started out a couple of decades ago as a folksy tribute to the well-known but poorly understood Mexican mariachi tradition. Guerrero is the kind of producer who believes that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing bigger, so it’s no surprise that the centerpiece of his show this year has Gigante in the title. I mean, the organizers of any festival celebrating Mexican culture would be beside themselves to have Latin music star Lila Downs; Chicano Cali favorites Ozomatli; Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, which was responsible for popularizing mariachi internationally in the 1980s; and legendary cantina chanteuse Paquita la del Barrio. But Guerrero has wrapped all four of them into one show at HP Pavilion on Sept. 16, “Domingo Gigante: A Night of Stars.” The festival will also feature their yearly free Outdoor Feria del Mariachi the same day on HP’s arena green. Besides the Super Sunday extravaganza, there will be a film series, historical walks, mariachi and dance workshops, and more.

SVSX
Sept. 22; downtown San Jose
The South Bay music scene thrives off the intersection of underground culture and high-tech empire. It’s no surprise that in the land of start-ups, the music revolution of the last few years has been born in the garages and on the laptops of a new generation of talent. The Silicon Valley Sound eXperience—SVSX—is a showcase for that revolution, supporting the local music scene with stages on which to make the next advance. This debut year will feature the first SVSX music awards and a club crawl brimming with the best and brightest on the South Bay scene. Artists like Will Sprott, whose unique songwriting and arrangements with the Mumlers opened the floodgates to the wave of eclectic and sometimes unclassifiable bands that have risen up here in the last few years. Like Anya and the Get Down, whose mash-up of rock, reggae and dubstep threatens to break big at any moment. Like Careless Hearts, the Shitkickers and the other bands scheduled to perform. They are all the sound of the Silicon Valley experience.

Harmony by the Bay
Sept. 29, 2pm; Shoreline, Mountain View; $49.50-$79. The Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa was known for a weird mix of performers; last year’s bill featured the Flaming Lips, Primus and breakbeat master Chango B, along with bluegrass and Afrobeat. In March, organizers announced that, after 33 years, money woes had done in the three-day festival, at least for the time being—and then surprised everyone with the debut of this South Bay spin-off festival, a joint venture among Harmony’s organizers, KFOG and Live Nation. Pared down to a one-day, two-stage setup, HBTB attempts to carry over the eclecticism of its namesake, with alt headliners Kimbra, the Shins, Tegan and Sara, plus reggae-rockers the Dirty Heads, bluegrass fixture Alison Krauss, electro-tribal strangesters Beats Antique and reggae legend Jimmy Cliff.

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