It’s poised to be a hot one in the Bay Area this Labor Day weekend. Luckily, in San Francisco, coastal breezes should keep temperatures from climbing into the triple-digits.
There’s plenty to do outside between now and Monday, but if you are looking to stay cool, you’ve also got options. On National Cinema Day, which falls on Saturday, Sept. 3, you can snag movie tickets for as low as $3.
Also, while it may be hot, those who have not decamped to Burning Man will find that San Francisco may feel a bit emptier than usual. About 8,000 city denizens are expected to make the trip to Black Rock City over the weekend. That means it’s an optimal time to book a reservation at a tony restaurant or head to the museum.
Read on for our rundown of Labor Day Weekend events in San Francisco.
Thursday, Sept. 1
Oakland Arena, 7000 Joe Morgan Way
7:30 p.m. | $99+
Earlier this year, Kendrick Lamar dropped his long-anticipated fifth studio album, Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers. This week, the Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper comes to town in support of the record. Tickets are still available for the Thursday, Sept. 1, show at the Oakland Arena, where he will be joined by his younger cousin, Baby Keem, and Tanna Leone. (NV)
Bimbo’s 365 Club, 1025 Columbus Ave.
8 p.m. | $39.50-$40
Stylistically, vocalist/keyboardist/songwriter Gary Numan is the musical equivalent of the Four Points National Monument. The leader of the late ’70s band Tubeway Army (which had the cult hit “Are ‘Friends’ Electric” in 1979) and a solo artist by the turn of the ’80s, he’s been embraced by fans—and practitioners—of technpop, new wave, dance rock and even industrial. He’s also collaborated with an unexpected variety of musicians, including Japan’s guitarist Rob Dean and late fretless bassist Mick Karn, Queen drummer Roger Taylor and keyboard pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre. Come for the 1979 hit “Cars” and stay for selections from 2021’s Intruder, which matches grand soundscapes with era-appropriate sober lyrics. (YK)
SFMOMA, 151 3rd St.
Through June 25, 2023 | $0 – $25 (included with general admission)
Chairs are normally utilitarian pieces of furniture, but SFMOMA’s Conversation Pieces elevates the humble armchair into the upper regions of high art with a showcase of whimsical seating designs curated by Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, SFMOMA’s Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design, and Los Angeles-based interior architect Alexandra Loew. From a throne-like armchair made out of leather and plastic to a Royal Chaise by Memphis Group designer Nathalie Du Pasquier with serious ’80s vibes, these 45 works of furniture take the art of seating to a whole new level. (CJC)
Haight Street Art Center, 215 Haight St.
Through Oct. 30 | Free
Haight Street Art Center showcases the fantastical work of famed UK album artist Roger Dean and his daughter Freyja, who followed in his painterly footsteps. Visitors may recognize hints of Dean’s album covers like those he designed for the rock band Yes in the exhibit’s paintings, which have the vibe of an alien world à la Avatar or a fantasy realm à la Lord of the Rings. The exhibit features more than 50 works by father and daughter, including paintings, sculptures and other media. (CJC)
Friday, Sept. 2
Sigmund Stern Grove
Friday, 10:30 a.m. | Free
San Francisco famously has more dogs than kids—and French Bulldogs have a special place in the canine family. With their docked tails and large “bat ears,” they have become so popular in recent years, that some owners have had their beloved pooches taken from them at gunpoint. This Stern Grove meetup brings together Frenchies from across the city to socialize and play. (BF)
Bimbo’s 365 Club, 1025 Columbus Ave.
Friday, 7 p.m. | $35
You’ll recognize the lyrics even if the samba beat is unfamiliar. Aptly called Nouvelle Vague, which translates to “new wave” in French, this musical collective has been covering hits from the late ’70s and early ’80s in the bossa nova style (also meaning “new wave” in Portuguese) since 2003. Their catalog is a rhythmic wandering through the angstiest love songs of the New Wave canon—think “I Melt With You” and “Teenage Kicks.” Their latest album, Curiosities (2019), had a decidedly more punk slant, with renditions of the Gun Club’s “Sex Beat” and Richard Hell’s “Blank Generation.” The band’s co-founder, Marc Collin, opens the show with his Cure tribute side project, Strange As Angels, featuring Chrystabell on vocals. (SH)
1353 Bush St.
Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m. | $12
Did you know that there is a hotel in San Francisco dedicated to musicians? The Music City Hotel is a meeting place for touring musicians and music fans. Its design was inspired by those who brought the Summer of Love to San Francisco, the jazz, rock, and hip-hop eras, and even the Beats. Located inside the hotel, the San Francisco Music Hall of Fame Gallery has two floors of famous artwork, history and educational placards written by contributors to Rolling Stone magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle and other publications. Explore the extensive gallery of Bay Area music legends and take an interactive journey through time. (MM)
The Chapel, 777 Valencia St.
Friday – Saturday, 9 p.m. | $28
SoCal lowrider soul trio Thee Sacred Souls just released their much-anticipated debut self-titled album on Daptone Records and now they’ll be playing a pair of record release shows in San Francisco. From hipsters to cholos, Thee Sacred Souls have been stealing hearts since forming in 2019 and dropping vintage-sounding throwback grooves. Singer Josh Lane’s voice has a gravitational pull that when coupled with drummer Alex Garcia and bassist/guitarist Sal Samano’s backdrops, channels ’50s and ’60s nostalgia. Two local bands are set to open the nights in The Greg Loiacono band (of The Mother Hips) and chicano-psych rockers Bolero. This weekend’s shows also serve as the kick-off for The Chapel’s dandy series of 10th Anniversary concerts. (AS)
Saturday, Sept. 3
Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St
Saturday, 6 p.m. | $25
Sixty-four years ago, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo premiered to a room full of exhilarated San Franciscans at the Stage Door Theater, now August Hall. Shot on location in the city, viewers caught familiar glimpses of the Legion of Honor, Mission Dolores and the Palace of Fine Arts, along with a constellation of scenes scattered across downtown San Francisco. The psychological thriller returns to the silver screen in 70mm at the Castro Theatre on Saturday. Diane Baker, star of Hitchcock’s Marnie, will introduce the film, and the show will culminate in a twist ending, which may happen on or off the screen. (SH)
Saturday – Sunday | Free
Since 2001 the San Francisco Zine Fest has promoted DIY publishing in the Bay Area by showcasing work from local creatives to a growing audience. This year’s fest will feature over 200 exhibitors and a series of events—including picnics, happy hours and live zine readings by artists. The event will also celebrate Bay Area local guest of honor Avy Jetter who draws and self publishes a horror comic book series Nuthin Good Ever Happens at 4 a.m. Zines have been a popular form of self-expression and communication for socially outcast and marginalized communities since the 1930s. These groups used zines to discuss a variety of subjects, including poetry and social justice. (MM)
Arguello to 4th
Saturday, Noon | Free
Saturday Art Walks celebrate a different San Francisco neighborhood every month with a free street festival highlighting local artists, musicians and creators. In September, Clement Street will be the focus with vendors and booths lining the street from Arguello to 4th. (JZ)
Sunday, Sept. 4
Kapwa Gardens, 967 Mission St.
Sunday, Noon | Free
It’s still Summer, the sun is out, and so are the Burners. So why not take advantage of the opportunity to get out? You can explore the city, eat and drink without long lines and shop locally. Summer Jamz at Kapwa Gardens is a great place to begin. Hosted by SoMa Pilipinas, this free live outdoor event will feature a handful of music performances, DJs, comedians and spoken word artists. It’s also a fundraiser for SoMa businesses and emerging entrepreneurs. (MM)
Monday, Sept. 5
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, 1195 Evans Ave.
Monday, 11 a.m. | Free
The real challenge at the Sazon Latin Food Festival will be figuring out how many pupusas, arepas, maduros, yuccas frita and tacos you can reasonably fit on one plate. Latin Food Festivals hosts this admission-free feast at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, featuring live music and a dozen local food vendors hailing from every corner of Latin America and the Caribbean, including La Cocina entrepreneurs Victoria Lozano of Venezuelan pop-up Andina and Havana-born chef Lilian Duran of Clandestina Cocina. Come for the empanadas, stay for literally everything else. (SH)
The Chapel, 777 Valencia St.
Monday-Wednesday, 8 p.m. | $35-$37 (SOLD OUT)
With a trio of consecutive sold-out homecoming shows, Osees (née Thee Oh Sees/Ohsees/Oh Sees/OCS) could theoretically play a show or even two in a larger venue than The Chapel. But the Mission neighborhood venue’s long, rectangular layout is perfect for the now-SoCal-based quintet and its furious dual-drummer-propelled shows with all of the crowd’s energy all projected forward towards the bandstand. John Dwyer and his comrades have famously switched up genre explorations over the years, à la Sparks and Everything But The Girl. These shows promise to explore the band’s punk roots, and the capacity crowds are likely to respond in kind. (YK)
3rd St & Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland
Monday, Noon | $40
From old school to new school, there is no better yearly celebration of the Bay Area’s influence on hip-hop than Hiero Day. Put on by Oakland’s Hieroglyphics crew, the annual festival finally returns in its full-blown form for the first time since 2019 and it’ll be going down just off of Jack London Square. This year’s lineup truly looks like a split between timeless acts and the next big thing. Rap legends like Kool G Rap, Masta Ace and The Grouch are on the bill, along with surging acts like Vallejo’s LaRussell, Oakland natives AG Club, and forceful East Bay crew Grand Nationxl. Speaking of crews, the famed Hieroglyphics collective will of course be putting it down with every member in attendance (Del, Souls of Mischief, etc..) as is the yearly tradition. And this year also features a special tribute performance to late Zion-I rapper, Baba Zumbi. (AS)
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