I don’t think Allah-Las understood the implications of their performance on June 12, 2017. When they booked this Starline date, they probably thought it was just another show – and to them, maybe it was. After all, the music of Allah-Las reeks of Southern Californian influences. In fact, for those familiar with the band, the name “Allah-Las” may be synonymous with feelings of watching the sunset with friends while lazily lying out on the beach — and I’m not talking about the Lemony Snicket-esque Ocean Beach that seems to be all San Francisco has to offer.
In this sense, it seemed ironic to be celebrating the Warriors legendary 2017 slaughtering of the Cavaliers with a band rooted in beachy sunlit vibes that has absolutely nothing to do with the Bay Area. As I walked to Starline, I commemorated our win with hundreds of fellow fans that had flocked to the streets of Oakland to celebrate the victory. I high-fived everyone in sight, walked in the middle of the street, screamed “Waaaaaaaaaarioooooors” more times than I probably should have, and basked in the glory of being a Bay Area native (and therefore possessing the privilege of calling the Warriors my team).
Eventually, we made it to the venue, and as we stood in line for will call, my friend turned to me and asked, “So how religious is this going to be exactly?” She wasn’t being sarcastic; with a band name like Allah-Las, this was (arguably) an appropriate question. Needless to say, I could tell she wasn’t too excited about seeing a band she didn’t know or care about, especially when we could be literally dancing in the streets with our fellow Warriors fanatics. I was afraid that my mood would drop as we entered Starline, but this proved to be the perfect place to be.
Yes, we were surrounded by moody twenty somethings, few people seemed to be dancing, and I only counted one person in the crowd wearing Warriors gear; but the thoughtful tunes of Allah-Las seemed to provide the perfect backdrop for me and my friend, who were thoroughly intoxicated with the fact that the Warriors had yet another championship for the books. Whether you like sports or not, Starline was clearly the place to be. We danced the night away, owing a part of our elevated spirits to the phenomenal performance Allah-Las had in store.
One thing I appreciate about Allah-Las is how much the band seems to care about their music, and not so much about everything in between. The set seemed to consist of song after song after song, embodying the resilience of a Dad jam band that just won’t quit. Allah-Las traded in set fillers and anecdotes in favor of playing more songs, making it clear their music has the power to stand on its own. It doesn’t matter how familiar you are with their music or how many lyrics you’ve memorized – anyone can have fun at an Allah-Las show purely because the music is so good.
June 12, 2017 is a night I will remember for many reasons; but instead of solely being “The Night the Warriors Beat the Cavaliers (Again),” June 12, 2017 will now be remembered as “The Night I Danced My Heart Out to Allah-Las’s Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind).”