Noname at The Observatory North Park

Noname

This past Saturday, March 16th, Noname performed at The Observatory North Park in San Diego.

This was Noname’s last stop of her North American Room 25 tour, celebrating the release of her second album, “Room 25.”

The show started off with another Chicago based rapper, Elton. Before, I had never heard of Elton, although seeing him on stage performing made me want to know who he was. Elton brought a certain charisma that drew you too him. He performed with such energy and mojo that made the crowd want to vibe to his music and incredible voice. Elton got the crowd grooving with him throughout his performance, clapping along to his songs, chanting with him, and snapping to the beat. At one point, Elton even began crowd surfing. Elton displayed a certain amount of control with the audience, talking or moving then the crowd reacting back to him. Towards the end of the performance you could see how Elton brought out the audiences’ energy, as he got the whole place grooving with him.

After Elton, the lights slowly dimmed until all you could see was the luminescent sign on back of the stage shining bright saying, “ROOM 25,” while the whole crowd began to scream waiting for Noname to come out. Suddenly, the music began and out came Noname singing along. She was incredible, and you could see that she was having fun as she performed on stage talking with both the band and the audience. Whereas a lot of artists seem to put on a front, Noname seemed to be genuine, acting like her “true” self.

She performed songs from both her first debut album, “Telefone” and her latest album “Room 25.” She even performed her recently released single “Song 31.” It was beautiful hearing her perform, the amount of talent that she displays as a lyricist and artist is incredible. Hearing her perform her songs and the crowd singing along with her made for a fun Saturday night. Everyone in the crowd grooved along with the music and the amazing flow, talent, and comfort that she displayed on stage made you want to sit back and enjoy the show.

Sadly all great things have to come to an end, after the show Noname left the stage and the theater went dark. Fortunately, she came back to perform one more song after everyone began to scream out “Encore.” After finishing out the night with her last song, Noname said her final goodbye and thanked San Diego for coming out for seeing her that night. And thus marked the end of her North American Room 25 Tour.

Written by: Sam DeLeon

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

Rex Orange County at the Observatory North Park

Rex Orange County brought his signature timeless energy and love to the Observatory North Park.

As I approached the Observatory North Park to see Rex Orange County on November 13, my mouth dropped once I saw how long the line was to enter the venue.  It was fascinating to me to see so many people that were all here for the same artist and who have been touched by his music in some way.

Everyone in the crowd carried positive energy and were talking about what they were most excited for during the show.  I was lucky enough to see Rex during the summer at Mo Pop Music Festival in Detroit, so I felt as if I was familiar with his show and set before it had even started.  However, during his show in San Diego I felt a whole new aroma and experience.

Once the lights went off and the cheering started, an audio recording from a vintage film began to play.  Rex walked out on stage and colorful rainbow lights flashed on, also revealing a backdrop with a picture of a peach.  The opening song was nonetheless “Apricot Princess,” which is on my favorite album of his called, “Apricot Princess” as well.

During the middle of the show, Rex decided to switch moods with the audience and play “No One” by the one and only, Alicia Keys.  I could not believe how amazing this cover was, especially because he made it sound like his very own version of the song. He played his acoustic guitar throughout the show, including during this song, which gave it a unique twist.

After Rex left the stage to prepare for the encore, the crowd cheered “Rex” as loud as they could, waiting for him to make another appearance.  When he came back on stage and the encore had started, Rex told everyone to shout the words to “Loving is Easy” and jump as high as they could throughout the chorus.  

The energy during the entire show was through the roof and everyone in the audience left the venue out of breath.  The show was an hour and a half, but felt as if I was there for barely an hour. I felt connected with the people around me because we were all bonding over the same music together.

 

Check out Rex’s website for more on the artist.

Review by: Kylie Buckfire

FIDLAR at the Observatory North Park

FIDLAR is Zac Carper, Max Kuehn, Elvis Kuehn, and Brandon Schwartzel

FIDLAR brought their loud, SoCal skate punk sound to the Observatory North Park; never-ending moshpits ensued

FIDLAR kicked off the west coast leg of their fall North American tour on October 18th, 2018 here in San Diego at the Observatory North Park. Supporting the Los Angeles punk rock band on this leg were Toronto’s Dilly Dally and Southern California’s The Side Eyes. This would be my first time seeing FIDLAR live, and it absolutely exceeded my expectations.

The Side Eyes had already begun their set when I entered the venue around 8:00. If you consider yourself a punk purist and like the short, hard, and fast songs of the classic punk genre, this is the band for you. Their opening set wasn’t very long, but they managed to get through a surprisingly high number of songs in a short time. The in-your-face attitude of lead singer Astrid McDonald and the band’s energetic stage presence got the mosh pits circling early on in the night.

Dilly Dally was up next, and they offered something different from both The Side Eyes and FIDLAR. The four-piece from Toronto, Ontario (hello, fellow Canadians) have a slower, grungier vibe, and their sway-inducing songs were a pleasant break for us to recharge before the headliner. Their mellower sound didn’t put us to sleep by any means, as mosh pits were still going strong behind me throughout their set.

As Dilly Dally concluded and the stage setup for FIDLAR began to take shape (stacks of old televisions emblazoned with “FIDLAR” in red on their screens, a matching backdrop unveiled at the back of the stage), the crowd began to move in towards the barricade at the front of the stage. Eventually, I ended up dead center and in roughly the second row. I lightheartedly mentioned to my friend that if I had come to the show alone, I definitely wouldn’t be this close, lest I end up sandwiched between tall, sweaty dudes and unable to get out (or see anything). He responded that if that was the case, then I should probably just get out now because he wouldn’t be protecting me. Well, okay. I guess I was on my own. I had flashbacks to my near-death experience at the Frights’ show at the Observatory in August, and braced myself for an even rowdier crowd.

Shortly after, FIDLAR took the stage to an eruption of cheers. They launched right into “Alcohol”, released earlier this year, which sent the crowd into a frenzy. An absolutely perfect opener, with vocalist Zac Carper’s angry, screaming delivery; the unapologetic, “fuck it” attitude of the verses (“And I feel okay and get the fuck out my way/And did you think I wanna hear what you have to say?”), and the eardrum-blasting chorus. I managed to hold my own in the crush of already-sweaty fans, jumping along with them and periodically extracting my ponytail from getting pinched between shoulders. “No Waves,” a track off the band’s self-titled debut record, was met with an even greater energetic response.  I stayed up front for the next two songs before heading back into the actual mosh pit. Being squished in the front is fun for a little while, but I think FIDLAR’s music is best experienced with the ability to jump around and push people.

About halfway through the set, Zac calmed us down for a moment to address something he had been noticing at shows: “sexual harassment, motherfuckers – not cool!”

He proceeded to give the audience permission to punch anyone who was “fucking with [us]” in the face. This was met with loud cheers and nods of approval from everyone in the crowd. Next, Zac proclaimed that there was “too much dick on the dance floor”, and ordered one of the staples of a FIDLAR show: the girls-only mosh pit.

I had been waiting for this. I am a girl, I am a fan of FIDLAR, and I enjoy mosh pits when I don’t feel like someone is going to (accidentally, I think) punch me in the face. This was my time to shine. We girls moved in towards the stage, and the band gave us “Stoked and Broke” for our moment of punk rock girl power. If you ask me, there were still too many dicks in the pit, but what can you do?

New songs from the band’s forthcoming third record, Almost Free, including “Too Real” and “Can’t You See” were well-received by the crowd; everyone already seemed to know the words to “Can’t You See,” a song which had been released less than a week prior. Additionally, FIDLAR played through their well-known favorites, including party anthems “Wake Bake Skate,” “40oz. On Repeat,” and “Cheap Beer.” One of the band’s best attributes is that they know how to cater to the crowd.

As the night (ironically) wound down to “Cocaine,” no one looked any worse for wear. Sure, we were all dripping sweat, shirts had been torn, and phones were lost. Countless shoes had been held up throughout the night as good-natured moshers did their duty to try to locate their owners. And yeah, my friend did have someone else’s blood on his shirt, but you know what? It was all in good fun. This was a FIDLAR show after all, and if you left in the same condition that you came, did you even have fun?

Written by: Andrea Renney