The Warfield

The Warfield

The Warfield, also known as The Warfield Theater, is a 2,300 seat music venue located at 982 Market Street, San Francisco, California. It was built as a vaudeville theater in 1922. [cite news|url=|publisher=San Francisco Chronicle|title=Battle of the Bay Area concert promoters|author=Joel Selvin|date=2008-07-03]


In the 1920s, The Warfield was a popular location that featured vaudeville and other major performances, such as Al Jolson. More recently The Warfield had an appeal as a rock concert venue because it has more intimacy and better sound quality than an arena, yet has an occupancy of over 2000 persons. Like many historic theaters its main floor had the seats removed in the 1980s for general admission and dancing. Prior to the removal of the seats, Joe Strummer of The Clash once refused to play unless the first two rows of seats were removed to allow for dancing. [ Frogs & Oysters: A Les Claypool Interview] Mike Powers, "", 1/26/01, Retrieved January 26 2008]

The Warfield served as a home for the Grateful Dead for many years. In 1980, the Dead played 15 sold-out shows there, featuring both an acoustic and two electric sets. The shows were a celebration of the band's fifteenth anniversary and done as a show of appreciation for their loyal fans. These, along with a sold-out 15 night run at New York's Radio City Music Hall were recorded for release as two double albums; one, all acoustic called "Reckoning", the other, electric, called "Dead Set". Jerry Garcia also made the Warfield a second home, performing a record 88 times there with his various side bands, when not touring with the Dead.

Bob Dylan played 14 shows at the start of his first Gospel Tour in November 1979, and again 12 shows in November 1980 during his "A Musical Retrospective Tour" at the Warfield.

As is common with large music venues there are a great variety of musicians scheduled. In 2001, the thrash metal band Slayer recorded a home video there and released it as "War at the Warfield" in 2003. In 2002, The Pet Shop Boys performed at the Warfield. In 2005 Nine Inch Nails performed. In 2006, Guns N' Roses played two sell-out shows. In January 2007 Fall Out Boy played at The Warfield as part of the Friends or Enemies Tour. Queens of the Stoneage also appeared at The Warfield in 2007. Serj Tankian held a performance there in 2008 as part of his solo tour. Also, Angels & Airwaves along with The Color Fred, Ace Enders, and Meg & Dia played there on March 10th, 2008 An example of musical variety is the line-up for April 2008. My Chemical Romance held two shows at the venue in April 3rd and 4th with supporting act Billy Talent and Drive By. April 5th Les Claypool played the last night of his national tour there while the following week Panic at the Disco, Phantom Planet, The Hush Sound, and Motion City Soundtrack opened their national Honda Civic Tour there. Norwegian black metal act Dimmu Borgir played there on April 14 2008.

In May 2008 the Warfield changed management. The final show with Bill Graham Presents performance by Phil Lesh ran until 3:30AM, May 19th. The venue was closed pending renovations by new lessee, Goldenvoice/AEG LIVE. The venue was scheduled to reopen in September 2008, with George Lopez to give the first performance. The line up of Between the Buried and Me, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Children of Bodom played at The Warfield on September 21, 2008.


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