Concert Review: Cuco at North Park Observatory

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and all we have left is our feelings. Thankfully Cuco was there to fill the void in our hearts.

The up and coming artist, Cuco, brought out those emotions live at the North Park Observatory on Wednesday February 13. With Cuco’s “Shows de San Valentín“, he was able to play at a few select cities in Southern California to bring the fans what they really want: a night to ‘simp out’.

Cuco, or Omar Banos, is a 20 year-old Chicano singer from Hawthorne, California who has created several sad boy tunes such as, “Lo Que Siento“, “We Had to End It“, & “Dontmakemefallinlove“. With songs like these, you can expect to cry or have your own personal simp hour.

With that said, I was looking forward to see what Cuco would bring during his San Diego stop.

Concert sign outside the North Park Observatory

After a long line of fans and rain pouring onto attendees, it was safe to say that this concert would bring strong emotions. Having been a longtime fan, I was excited to finally see an artist who represents my culture and my taste in music.

While this night was much more focused on Cuco, he did not shy away from playing songs like, “Summertime Hightime” and “Lucy” with KWEST which brought out a more rap-emphasized part of the night. One of the best aspects of this concert was that one of the openers, KWEST, played the piano for Cuco during his set. Everyone on the stage seemed like great friends with each other and they are partook in creating an amazing experience for concert goers.

At one point during the show, Cuco had announced that he was feeling ill & still in pain from a past car accident, but reassured his fans that he still wanted to jam out that night.

One of his more well-known songs, “Amor de Siempre,” is a song entirely in Spanish which set the tone for the night. The lyrics for this song really emphasize the feeling of falling in love with someone and having them on your mind wherever you go. During this moment, I watched as everyone in the crowd sang their heart out because of how sentimental the song made them feel, especially the couples who were celebrating an early Valentine’s Day. Honestly, having the opportunity to hear my favorite song in my native language was a dream come true.

If you’ve heard at least one song by Cuco, you should know anout his famous trumpet solos; to my excitement, he played beautifully for all his fans.

Cuco serenading his audience with his song, “Sunnyside” at North Park Observatory

With the night slowly coming to an end, Cuco played his hit “Sunnyside” to bring the love back into the venue for all lovers to enjoy. Luckily, we were able to hear one of his most unique & hilarious song called, “CR-V“, which was dedicated to his own car. Just imagine how amazing it is that an artist can create a song about their car and make it relatable enough for everyone to end the night with a big smile on their face.

Once the night ended, I couldn’t help but feel so relaxed from a night of “summer love” and “summer heartbreak” jams. The artist, Cuco, showed his fans how talented he is with his smooth vocals, especially while feeling ill. If there’s one thing I can say after seeing Cuco last week, I would say that his performance really set a high expectation for other artists that fit this type of genre.

If you’re interested in listening to Cuco’s music, I must prepare you ahead of time by saying, break out a box of tissues before you hear “Lo Que Siento,” because you’re going to either miss your ex, cry, or both.

Written by: Sofia Gomez

A NGHTMRE Before Xmas at the Observatory North Park

Although Halloween has passed, it was most definitely a NGHTMRE before XMAS at the Observatory North Park.

The American EDM DJ/producer NGHTMRE, made his anticipated NGHTMRE before Xmas tour stop in San Diego the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, bringing a crowd of headbangers to break their necks to the electrifying drum and bass, trap, bass house and dubstep bass lines.

Coming from a college student who was glad that Thanksgiving break was finally here, Wednesday night felt more like a weekend night out with NGHTMRE providing the sounds such as his classic “Street,” to his “GUD VIBRATIONS” collaboration with Slander, to his more recent work with The ChainsmokersSave Yourself.”

He definitely brought the atmosphere to the crowd with the LED panels behind him displaying his zombie, pumpkin head skeleton and demon visuals, the synchronized lights and strobes flashing right in front of your face and even the vibe he would put out either by talking into the mic, or just him moving and dancing to his own music.

As all other DJs/producers, NGHTMRE had some in developments (IDs) that he teased the crowd with. One that stood out was his surprising collaboration with A$AP Ferg. Although he completely stopped the music and brought the room to a blackout to announce the collab, Ferg’s voice is definitely one you cannot mistaken.

As he starts playing the track, you start hearing Ferg rap over the beat and into the buildup, adding to the intensity when all of a sudden, the beat drops. Right away, you realize the utter filth of bass, brass and synthesizers that was just unleashed to your eardrums; filth that you want to be released already but probably will not happen until another six months from now (EDM DJ/producers take a long time to release their work).

Overall, NGHTMRE did not disappoint and brought some light to the souls of the undead and told his story of the NGHMTRE before XMAS.

Review by: Gustavo Cristobal

DaniLeigh and Teyana Taylor at the North Park Observatory

DaniLeigh and Teyana Taylor Release A Year’s Worth of Pent Up Sexual Energy Within Two Hours.

Traveling to San Diego as part of the Keep That Same Energy tour, DaniLeigh and Teyana Taylor’s performance at the North Park Observatory was an absolute visual phenomena. Despite drama surrounding the tour, fans needn’t have worried, as all the performers brought their A-game in delivering what was undoubtedly the sexiest performance the Observatory will see this year.

Bringing out an assortment of DJs and performers throughout the shows two and a half hour runtime, the show never let up once it began. Although the performers seemed more present than the crowd itself, each performer managed to distinguish themselves in their sets. While Jade Novah’s performance lacked the same visual flair given to DaniLeigh and Teyana Taylor, Novah’s performance was nevertheless great. Accompanied by a few musicians, Novah’s onstage romp filled the room with a mix of trap beats and live instruments. If nothing else, the rapper asserted her identity as an artist to soon be reckoned with.

Surprisingly, DaniLeigh’s performance was actually more defined by the dancing rather than the music. The 23 year old performer was clearly utilizing all her skills to put on the best performance possible; everything from the visuals to the musical elements was fantastic. Complete with a choreographed dance routine and support from a backing DJ alongside her own singing, DaniLeigh left no stone unturned in her quest for a perfect performance. Her skill as a performer is not to be understated, as songs such as “Lil Bebe” resonated with a youthful energy that only young musicians can create. And her choreography was something else — witnessing something that well rehearsed is a feat you rarely see in younger or newer artists.

As much as I could praise DaniLeigh, Teyana Taylor was the absolute sensation of the show. Honestly, her performance was so enthralling that the crowd must’ve been too entranced to remember how to move. And it’s probably due to the fact that visually, Teyana and her crew were absolutely stunning. With a variety of outfits which left little to the imagination, their style was something you’d glimpse out of the flashiest fashion magazine. Aided by the perfect unity in which they moved across the stage, every moment was breathtaking from start to finish. Even the improvised moments of the set managed to set jaws on the floor, as Teyana (literally) seduced a female audience member, vogued with possibly the most fabulous man alive, and sang to her child.

And that’s not even mentioning how the music was! Reinforced with multiple musicians, each were merely pawns in Teyana’s seduction of the audience. Songs such as “WTP” pulsed with same heart-pounding energy as the digital recording, whereas slower songs such as “Gonna Love Me” and “Issues/Hold On” maintained their melodic intimacy. Meanwhile “Rose in Harlem” closed the set with one of the best closers I’ve ever seen, as the previous performers gathered once more on stage amidst a flurry of lights, bodies, and noise in what was nearly an overwhelming experience.

If this is what future performances from these artists can look like, then people better keep them on their radar, if they’re not already there. They exhibited, for lack of better words, a true visual feast for the senses!

Interview with DaniLeigh

DaniLeigh Lays Out Her Heart For Us at the North Park Observatory.

DaniLeigh is a fresh, young artist from South Florida signed to Def Jam Records. With an extensive background within the entertainment industry, DaniLeigh is proving to be a force to be reckoned with. Upon hearing that she was appearing alongside Teyana Taylor as part of the Keep That Same Energy tour, Peter Swan and Christian Le immediately drove out to the North Park Observatory to chat with Dani before the show.

 

You went from a background dancer to gaining a huge following and going on tour with Teyana Taylor. Is there any real technique to how you’ve gotten your internet following?

I’ve been on Instagram for a while now, and I’ve just been posting videos of me like, either dancing or singing and stuff. But I really gained a huge following when I did the “In My Feelings” challenge. It kind of went viral for me, so, that was my big spark for the jump in followers.

He mentioned you touring with Teyana Taylor, but I think you’re basically a jack of all trades; you’re a singer, dancer, songwriter, model, you’ve directed a [Prince] music video, and even acted a little bit. What made you focus on becoming a singer, because it seems like you’re talented in so many different areas?

I think I just love music so much and I think music is just the…what’s it called, the “middle of everything” for me, you know what I mean? And it’s dope that I get to express my story through music. I think music is the platform for me to showcase everything I do.

How has touring with Teyana been?

Good! She’s cool, she’s a great performer, it’s very chill, it’s real cool. Everybody’s dope and the concert’s get sold out so that’s a plus for me.

So you’re on tour right now, is this your first time in San Diego performing or…?

Have we ever performed here? No, I think it’s my first time.

Well welcome to San Diego. Going back to your following, you have a special name for your fans: what is it?

DaniLions.

DaniLions! Well, I do have some alternate names if you care to hear them?

Sure!

So, I’m thinking the DaniMonds, like diamonds, or the DamnDanis.

DaniMonds… like diamonds?

Yeah!

Oh… [everyone laughs] 

Let’s go back to your background. You’ve been a background dancer for a lot of music videos too, but the one that stood out to me was I found out you were actually a background dancer in a Romeo music video.

Yeah, [laughing] that was when I was like 16!

What was that like, because I used to see him, he had his own Nickelodeon show, he was in Like Mike, and I’m just thinking “this dude’s so cool!”

Yeah, that was fun. That was when I first moved to LA.

Oh really? That’s awesome!

Mhm. Did you watch the video?

Yeah, it was alright. He does his thing. I don’t want to compare music now, but him back then versus you now? There’s definitely a clearer and better person.

Yeah [laughing].

As he’s said, you’ve been doing just everything for a long time now. You first started just doing YouTube videos when you were about 14. Now personally, I’m not proud of the stuff that I put on YouTube when I was 14. Is their anything that you like to look back on and laugh at?

For sure. I think I couldn’t sing at all when I was 14, so all my YouTube videos are all private now, but they’re fun to watch cause, y’know, I was a shy little girl.

Hey, are you hungry Peter?

I could eat.

You know what, I’m feeling Curly Fries right now.

[DaniLeigh bursts out laughing]

You know, while we’re on the subject, can you tell me anything about Curly Fryz?

I love curly fries! I want some right now… I mean I was in a group back then, and that was our name.

Do you feel like being in that group helped you at all?

Definitely! We were very self-sufficient, we weren’t signed or anything, so we did a lot of independent work. Like, I learned how we did our websites, we wrote video treatments, we were super D.I.Y, so I learned a lot.

So other than this interview, what’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Last night.

Last night?

There was a little baby girl. I was singing to a little baby, and it was so crazy! I posted it on my page, so you guys can see it there.

Anyways, you’re pretty talented, but your family’s pretty talented too. You have a brother and a sister who also do music?

Yeah, my little sister, she’s 15, she’s in a girl group, but she’s a crazy singer. She’s super good. And then my brother’s a rapper, he’s pretty fire.

And your brother, did he used to be a barber too?

Mhm. And he still cuts hair too.

Maybe if I come to LA I’ll look him up.

Yeah, he’s nice.

I’ve been looking for a haircut actually…  But you’re signed onto Def Jam, and you’re on a US Tour. Do you feel like you’ve made it?

No.

No? What’s next for you then?

Yeah what’s the plan?

The plan is “The Plan,” my album dropping, did you know that? [laughs] In October, I’ll be dropping my album, so after that’s out, I feel like that’s what’s going to make me feel more “on.” But I don’t feel like I’m there yet.

Okay, so he’s already mentioned your YouTube covers, but I have a related question. Which artist would you want to cover one of your songs, and which song would it be?

To cover one of my songs? Drake should cover Lil Bebe.

Wow, no hesitation there! [laughs] So my final question for you is, what’s the tallest tree you could climb, and are you able to prove it?

Yeah for sure, probably like a 14 inch stalk [bursts out laughing].

That’s not even higher than the chair you’re sitting on!

That’s my answer.

And last but not least, do you have anything to say to your fans?

I love y’all fans so much!

Be sure to check out DaniLeigh’s work on Spotify, Apple Music, or SoundCloud.