DLD Rocks San Diego

On Monday, May 29, I had the opportunity to cover the concert of a band that exemplifies perseverance, determination and of course, passion. Few Mexican bands get to go on tour in the United States, but DLD is one of them. During an intimate interview on their tour bus, the members of the band, Francisco, Erik, Edgar, Keno and Sergio, agreed on one thing: the essence of DLD goes beyond what words can define.

DLD was formed in the late ’90s in The State of Mexico with the name Dildo. After they gained popularity, especially in the US, they had to come up with a more appropriate, kid-friendly name for the band. However, they did not want to radically change the band’s identity; so they abbreviated their former name to DLD. Despite this change, the band still considers Dildo to be their authentic name.

Some people may argue that DLD is a purely alternative rock band, while others may say that they play pop rock. These assumptions are neither right nor wrong. The truth is, according to the band, DLD enjoys playing a little bit of everything, which  is what makes them so unique and powerful as a group. As a result, DLD has attracted a heterogeneous audience that ranges from young teenagers to grown adults – all of whom sing along, together, at the band’s shows. The amazing audience in San Diego was no exception.

This was not the first time that DLD performed in San Diego. However, this occasion was particularly special since they are promoting their sixth album “Futura.” “Futura” is an album significantly different from their previous records. It was recorded in Cancun, Mexico, a heavenly place where the band felt like they were more connected to nature. This allowed the group to create more fresh and breathtaking songs. When I asked the group which track was their favorite, they could not agree on one particular song, because the album has so much variety.

The DLD US Tour started in El Paso, where they performed at the Neon Desert Music Festival. San Diego was their second destination. They also performed in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

People started to get in line outside The Casbah around 7 p.m., even though the concert began at 10:30 p.m. DLD opened with “A Distancia,” a song from their album “Primario,” released in 2012. Before they started playing, Francisco (the lead singer of the band) said to his fans, “We’re gonna f*ing rock The Casbah… I’ve always wanted to say this.” After these words, an amazing night, full of contagious energy, began.

As the night went on, the audience got fired up listening to their favorite songs from the album “Futura,” which included “Estaré,” “Sigo Siendo Yo” and “Las Cruzadas.” However, the mood changed suddenly as soon as the band started performing “Reencuentro,” a song dedicated to a former band member who passed away. The narrative of this song and the emotion with which DLD played it touched the hearts of the whole crowd at The Casbah, who sang along.

The band left their most famous hits, such as “Mi Vida” and “Todo Cuenta,” for the second half of the concert. The last song they played was “Por Siempre,” magically closing the concert in a way that left the audience craving more.

The concert that DLD gave to their public was more than just a night of rock.  It was a night where people could escape from reality and let the music flow into their veins and their hearts.

It is hard for me to recount the numerous times that DLD thanked their public for their unconditional support. This proves that DLD is not only talented, but also humble and grateful. The band made it clear that without the support of their fans, the Futura US Tour 2017 would’ve been impossible.

DLD is now crossing borders, and there’s no stopping them.

Check out DLD more here, on their website.

Stööki Movement

If you haven’t heard of Stööki Sound, then they should be first on your playlist this semester. Originally from London, DJ Lukey and Jelacee of Stööki Sound have curated their unique style by using elements from UK bass, hip-hop, and trap. Stööki has collaborated with DJs such as Mr. Carmack and TroyBoi, and is currently touring around the world. They recently came out with a new EP, entitled Ösiris, which features grime music, a genre similar to UK garage and hip-hop, as well as the duo’s novel sound.

Stööki came to San Diego in December, to open for Baauer on his Aa tour. They played at Bassmnt, a venue known by locals for consistently hosting great electronic acts. Bassmnt is appropriately named, because you have to walk down a flight of stairs to enter the club, which has a cool underground warehouse feel to it. The venue contains a concert area and a bar.

The energy that Stööki Sound brought was incredible. Right away, they played hard hitting songs that got the crowd pumped. For songs like “My G’s,” Jelacee would stand on top of a table and rap while Lukey was mixing. The duo played music from both popular and underground artists. The most memorable moment, however, was how the crowd reacted when Stööki dropped their song “UPPERS,” and then proceeded with the remix of “UPPERS” by QUIX.


The Interview

We had a chance to talk to Jelacee and Lukey about their vision and direction after their performance. But, first, we asked for advice worth passing on to students (like us) who are looking at career paths in music.

stookisound__osirisep_artwork

Art from the duo’s new EP Ösiris – provided by Stööki Sound

They responded, “Jump on your college radio station, get your name out there, and from there you can build. With the Internet, it’s easier to reach a wider audience. I’d advise new producers to not copy someone else’s sound. A lot of new producers think that if they copy something that’s been done, they’ll get big as well. It’s a game of patience. It looks like someone’s blown up overnight, well [some] will say it took 5 years to blow up overnight. Just be patient. Work on your music. Work on your style. Work on your production and the rest will follow.”

When we asked Stööki what drove them to find their distinct sound, they explained, “London is known for curating and creating new sounds and not following what everyone else is doing. We had that in us from the start. We’ve always wanted to create something we can call our own, a movement. That’s why we called it the Stööki Movement.” The greater movement, simply called Stööki, is defined, by their website, as “a movement that transcends through Sound, Vision and Play. As a collective, we Design, Produce and Curate.”

Stööki just released a new label, Ö.N.E Worldwide. When asked to describe the label, they said, “The label was more of a home base for us. Eventually once we have the resources, we want to help other talented people grow naturally and more organically. Stööki Sound is looking to keep growing the movement, get more people on board and have people say ‘oh you guys are different’.” Lukey added, “This is the first year of doing new things like establishing a new label, a platform, a new EP. It’s all about setting up for next year.”

Overall, Stööki Sound put on an amazing show. We would definitely see them again if they came back to San Diego, and you should too.

Featured photo provided by Stööki Sound

Neighborhood Jams: Finch

Happy December, readers! It is now officially the holiday season so gather around the decorated fireplace, grab a cup of marshmallows (with just a splash of cocoa), and let’s talk about this week’s neighborhood jam band that is Finch! Now Finch has a lot of projects in the making right now, and it’s pretty exciting to see what’s in store for the next couple of months. But they just released an album that was a complete surprise to fans.

Finch is originally from Temecula, California, not too far from San Diego State University. The members of the band are Nate Barcalow, Randy Strohmeyer, Alex Linares, Daniel Wonacott and Alex Pappas, and together they are releasing a new, but old, album. This post-hardcore band did a surprise release of their album Steel, Wood And Whiskey, an 11-song album featuring acoustic versions of songs from throughout their career. It’s almost like a best of album because you will be able to hear some Finch classics like What It Is To Burn, Letters To You, Fireflies, and my personal favorite, Without You Here. The album just came out, and you can listen to it here for free. The album is a pay-what-you-want digital download. I highly recommend donating a couple of bucks so you can truly appreciate these acoustic tunes.

Now I mentioned that they were cooking up a couple of surprises. Along with the release of Steel, Wood, And Whiskey the band will go on a five-stop promotional tour where they will play both acoustic and a full electric set. Souvenirs and Casey Bolles will join the guys for all five shows – which are actually just around the corner! They are performing at:

Dec 10 – Los Angeles at The Troubadour
Dec 11 – San Diego at The Irenic (Buy tickets here!)
Dec 12 – Bakersfield at B-Ryders
Dec 13 – Las Vegas at Backstage Bar
Dec 14 – Phoenix at The Crescent Ballroom
I am particularly interested in this new album because they are bringing back their classics but in a totally new revamped way. I love acoustic versions of songs, and Finch has got it down. I can only imagine that December 11th’s show here is going to be filled with anticipation as the band plays acoustically, and the audience waits for lead singer Barcalow to start belting out those lyrics. After this mini tour the band will then enter the studio this winter to begin recording their 4th full-length album that will be released in 2016. I can’t wait to hear some brand new tunes – maybe they’ll give us an early holiday gift and play a new song or two at their show. I can only wish!
Photo Credit: Finch

Neighborhood Jams: New Found Glory

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you are all gearing up for Thanksgiving tomorrow and a nice lil’ break from exams, papers, and everything school related. This week’s neighborhood jams is really special – last Sunday Yellowcard and New Found Glory ended their 6-week tour HERE in San Diego to a sold out crowd at the House of Blues downtown… and let me tell you, it was more like a party than a concert.

Veteran pop-punk rockers Yellowcard and New Found Glory were both co-headliners for the tour and Tigers Jaw opened up for them. Tigers Jaw is an indie-rock band from Scranton, PA consisting of Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins.  Lead singer and guitarist Walsh resembled the same vocal and lyrical earnesty that the headliners are known for. Yellowcard closed out the night’s show after playing well over an hour. The band featured many songs from their 2003 album Ocean Avenue, and the crowd sang each lyric with so much passion. Lead singer Ryan Key and violinist Sean Mackin performed some acoustic, low-key versions of songs with just a keyboard and violin – it was truly beautiful. Now before Yellowcard took the stage, New Found Glory got the crowd pumped up.

While the stage got ready for New Found Glory I couldn’t help but notice the sold out crowd making their way closer and closer to the stage – everyone wanted to be as close as possible. The band opened with Resurrection, Understatement, and Hit or Miss. It was great to see them perform songs from older albums, like their 2002 album Sticks and Stones and also their newest album Resurrection: Ascension which was released October 9th of this year. The crowd went wild for every song; crowd surfers were lifted and sent soaring towards the stage; there was never a dull moment. Lead singer Jordan Pundik constantly kept the crowd entertained, jumping and running from one side of the stage to the other. Pundik seemed to always have his hands reaching out to the crowd. A great characteristics that I noticed about New Found Glory was their dedication and love towards the fans – you could really tell that they wanted to please the crowd with their tunes.

One of my favorite songs, which is also their single from their latest album Resurrection: Ascension, has a real special guest – Hayley Williams from Paramore. Together they have the hit song Vicious Love, and when New Found Glory’s lead guitarist Chad Gilbert and drummer Cyrus Bolooki broke out Vicious Love‘s melody the crowd lost it. There was so much energy on the stage and in the audience – you couldn’t help but feel like a true rock ‘n roller. When New Found Glory ended their set with one of their most famous songs My Friends Over You there was not a still body in the room. Everyone was jumping up, singing loudly, and then basking in confetti shooting off from the stage. This concert was one of the best concerts of my life – I don’t know if it was because it was their last show of the tour, or if because my high school self was full-fledged that night. But I didn’t want their set to end. Thank you, New Found Glory for sharing your rock ‘n roll talents, and if you guys are ever in need of a new confetti shooter person – let me know.