Nicotine makes her California debut with captivating spoken word at The UC Theater in Berkeley on March 1 at the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.  Estefany Gonzalez
Nicotine makes her California debut with captivating spoken word at The UC Theater in Berkeley on March 1 at the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.  (Estefany Gonzalez )

At Noise Pop 2019, the Opening Acts Stole the Show

At Noise Pop 2019, the Opening Acts Stole the Show

Each year, Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival turns the Bay Area into a musical playground where badge holders can catch as many Noise Pop-presented concerts as their hearts desire. With shows scattered throughout small venues and renowned concert halls in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, the week-long shebang (which wrapped up on March 3) can be a custom-tailored experience for each attendee.

For its 26th year, Noise Pop featured more than 150 artists, including big-name acts like Beirut, Princess Nokia and Petit Biscuit. It also highlighted underground and local acts. In true Noise Pop tradition, the fest encourages music discovery by pairing acts in a way that allows different types of artists and fanbases to cross-pollinate.

While the headlining acts did not disappoint, this year's opening acts stole the show. Describing herself as an "Afro-Latina, queer songbird," Nicotine delivered a jaw-dropping, colorful performance with lounge-inspired music and spoken word that transported the UC Theatre crowd into a Prohibition-era speakeasy before headliner Yuna took the stage. Helado Negro had the crowd at Oakland's Fox Theater swooning to his Spanish-infused indie pop. Before headliner Beirut took the stage, the audience demanded an Helado Negro encore. And though The She’s were first on the bill the night Albert Hammond Jr. headlined The Independent, an enthusiastic crowd showed up early to catch San Francisco's favorite "all female rock 'n' roll quartet."

With multiple concerts happening on the same night and a plethora of sold-out shows, it’s impossible to catch everything the festival has to offer. Below is a photo recap with this year's highlights.

The She's kick off night three of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival with a packed hometown set opening for Albert Hammond Jr. at The Independent on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.
The She's kicked off night three of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival with a packed hometown set opening for Albert Hammond Jr. at The Independent on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )
The She's kick off night three of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival with a packed hometown set opening for Albert Hammond Jr. at The Independent on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.
The She's kicked off night three of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival with a packed hometown set opening for Albert Hammond Jr. at The Independent on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Electronic artist Will Wiesenfeld dazzles the crowd with witty stage banter and dance tunes during Baths set at Great American Music Hall on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.
Electronic artist Baths, aka Will Wiesenfeld, dazzled the crowd with witty stage banter and dance tunes at Great American Music Hall on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Electronic artist Will Wiesenfeld takes a moment to explore Great American Music Hall before Baths headlines on night three of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.
Electronic artist Baths took a moment to explore Great American Music Hall before he headlined night three of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Same Girls mix groovy funk notes with punk-rock vibes at Bottom of the Hill on night two of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.
Same Girls brought punk-rock vibes to Bottom of the Hill on night two of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival on February 26, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Super Unison's Meghan O'Neil belts out powerful post-punk vocals on night two of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival at Bottom of the Hill.
Super Unison's Meghan O'Neil belted out powerful vocals on night two of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival at Bottom of the Hill on February 26, 2018. (Estefany Gonzalez )
King Woman’s Kristina Esfandiari returns to the Bay to perform a rose tinted set with her solo project Miserable on night two of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival at Bottom of the Hill.
King Woman’s Kristina Esfandiari returned to the Bay Area to perform with her solo project, Miserable, on night two of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival at Bottom of the Hill on February 26, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Kristina Esfandiari gears up for a headline set on night two of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival at Bottom of the Hill.
Kristina Esfandiari geared up for a headlining set on night two of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival at Bottom of the Hill. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Spiritual Cramp takes a post soundcheck break outside of Oakland's Starline Social Club on day four of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.
Spiritual Cramp took a post-soundcheck break outside of Oakland's Starline Social Club on day four of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival on February 28, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Yuna sports a '90s inspired look backstage before performing sweet R&B tunes at The UC Theater in Berkeley on night five of the the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.
Yuna sported a '90s-inspired look backstage before performing sweet R&B tunes at The UC Theater in Berkeley on night five of the the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival on March 1, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Saul Williams performs electric freestyle poetry at the Brava Theater on night five of the the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.
Saul Williams performed electric spoken-word poetry and freestyles at the Brava Theater on night five of the the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival on March 1, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Slenderbodies perform a late night dance-driven set at 1015 Folsom on night five of the the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.
Slenderbodies performed a late-night, dance-driven set at 1015 Folsom on night five of the the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival on March 1, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Helado Negro's Zach Condon smiles as he receives a standing ovation after his opening set at Oakland's Fox Theatre on the sixth night of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.
Helado Negro's Roberto Lange smiled as he received a standing ovation after his opening set at Oakland's Fox Theatre on the sixth night of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival on March 2, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )
The crowd at the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.
The crowd at the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Beirut fuses indie-rock and world music seamlessly at Oakland's Fox Theatre on the sixth night of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.
Beirut fused indie-rock and Eastern European folk music seamlessly at Oakland's Fox Theatre on the sixth night of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival on March 2, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Princess Nokia gets up close and personal with her fans at The UC Theatre on the sixth night of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.
Princess Nokia got up close and personal with her fans at The UC Theatre on the sixth night of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival on March 2, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )
The crowd at the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.
The crowd at the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival. (Estefany Gonzalez )
Princess Nokia powers through technical difficulties with intimate a cappella versions of songs from 'A Girl Cried Red' at The UC Theatre on the sixth night of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival.
Princess Nokia powered through technical difficulties with intimate a cappella versions of songs from 'A Girl Cried Red' at The UC Theatre on the sixth night of the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival on March 2, 2019. (Estefany Gonzalez )

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