The Wrecks Concert Review

On November 17, American Pop Rock Band The Wrecks came to San Diego’s House of Blues on Thursday to perform one of their last remaining shows for their long awaited tour, “Back and Better Than Ever”. With Indie Pop band Arlie opening with an amazing set, featuring hit songs, “didya think” and “big fat mouth,” the crowd was immersed and ready to hear more from the energetic band. Arlie frontman Nathaniel Banks delivered incredible vocals while his bandmates danced and elevated the crowd with their contagious energy.

There were groups of dedicated Arlie fans scattered in the crowd screaming along to the lyrics of their songs. Those who didn’t quite know the songs were still bobbing their heads along to the music. Banks even brought out a saxophone in which he performed a chilling yet immersive solo throughout the song “crashing down”. I had never heard Arlie before the show and my favorite song from their set ended up being “water damage” off of their EP “Wait”. I was thoroughly impressed with everything about this band and their attitudes. They are definitely worth a listen. 

Carrying the same attitudes to amp up the crowd, The Wrecks opened their set right off the bat with “Out Of Style”. While drummer Billy Nally electrified the crowd smashing on the drums, singer Nick Anderson jumped around stage while giving his all with his voice. Everyone was smiling and having a good time, band and audience.

Immediately starting off the set with their popular and earliest songs, “Panic Vertigo” and “James Dean,” it allowed the crowd to quickly connect with the band as everyone knew the words. Performing songs off of their most recent album “Sonder,” The Wrecks brought their pop roots to life.

Although the songs on their new album are a little bit softer than the ones off of their debut album “Infinitely Ordinary”, the music doesn’t fall far behind their staple rock sound. At one point, the band grabbed props and costume decor from voluntary fans and performed while looking festive, and what a sight it was to see. Nick Anderson interacts with the crowd so well and it is easy to tell that the band appreciates their fans. I loved the show and hope to see them again in the future with new music.

Concert Review by Anastasia Balmaceda

Surf Curse Show Review

Concert review and photos by Shaeley Hicks

Surf Curse by Shaeley Hicks

On Halloween night, indie rock band Surf Curse took the main stage at SOMA in San Diego. This was the second night on their North America tour and the show had been sold out for weeks. People were amped to spend the thrilling holiday at what soon became coined as “surfaween.” The audience poured into the vast venue all costumed up, buzzing with an untouchable energy.

Hailing in from Nevada, the band originally formed in Reno in 2013. Since then, the band has produced four studio albums, becoming well known for electrifying singles such as “Freaks,” “Disco,” and “I’m Not Making Out With You.” They released their latest album, Magic Hour, on October 7th of this year, quickly embarking on tour thereafter. Magic Hour is a vigorous culmination of the band’s nearly decade-long trajectory. It combines the nostalgic air of Buds with the group’s more contemporary developments in their craft. Hearing it live was spectacular, as the band took the crowd under their spell for their Halloween show. 

Surf Curse by Shaeley Hicks

The opening act was the West End based band Toner. They are scheduled to support Surf Curse for half of their tour, beginning in Las Vegas and ending in San Francisco. Toner’s set was intensifying, laying out the contagious energy for the night. 

At about nine, Surf Curse hit the stage. Donning streaks of black and white face paint, the band dubbed themselves as “surf kiss” for the night, making an entrance to KISS’ “Detroit Rock City.” They opened up the show by playing songs “Christine F” and “Doom Generation” from their 2017 album Nothing Yet. It was a sight to see as the band jumped around on stage and the crowd began to follow suit, running about with an eager restlessness. 

Nick Rattigan of Surf Curse by Shaeley Hicks

The band moved on to playing songs from their new album Magic Hour next with “Arrow” and “Cathy.” At this point in the heat, their costume makeup began dripping down their faces and lead singer and drummer Nick Rattigan exclaimed to the crowd about the products getting into his eyes. However, the show proceeded, as they dived into playing hits such as “Midnight Cowboy” from Heaven Surrounds You. They appeared timeless here, melting their sound over the moshing crowd. 

It is no mistake that the crowd was full of surfers as friends hoisted eachother up into the infinite sea of arms and bopping heads. When the band began to play one of their most defining songs “Freaks,” the crowd began yelling out the lyrics in giddy excitement. Balloons floated in the air, being thrown about as the chorus “I am just a freak!” soundtracked that very moment. People danced about to the nostalgic tune, a song that transports myself back to highschool memories.

Surf Curse by Shaeley Hicks

To close out the set, the band played their powerhouse of a hit “Sugar.” This song is a personal favorite, but its place as a masterpiece was solidified when I saw it live. The band’s guitarist, Jacob Rubeck, shined during this song as he revealed his seemingly effortless talent. I was surprised that the red beret he wore stayed put as he screamed lyrics into the microphone and absolutely executed the ending of the song.

Jacob Rubeck of Surf Curse by Shaeley Hicks

The band went on to perform an encore consisting of songs “Goth Babe,” “Fear City,” and “Disco.” “Disco,” was the perfect end to the night, giving the crowd one last song to jump around to. It was safe to say that Surf Curse created an entirely memorable Halloween, playing a remarkable show for an ecstatic crowd.

FLETCHER: Girl of My Dreams Tour Concert Review

By Sam Christensen

LOS ANGELES — Closing night of her sold out tour and first debut album, “Girl of My Dreams”, FLETCHER (Cari Fletcher) takes the stage at the Hollywood Palladium.

After playing over 100 shows this year, 2022 has proven to be a transformative year for the queer 28-year-old pop-rock artist. She released her first debut album, “Girl of My Dreams” which made its way to #15 albums on the billboard 200, performing 4 sold-out tours around the world and selling over 100,000 tickets. Tonight she performed many songs off her new album, a cover of Britney Spears’ song “If U Seek Amy”, and past singles off of her EP tracks, “you ruined new york city for me” and “THE S(EX) TAPES”. 

FLETCHER posted on her socials before the show, “LA night 1 you were magical. i dreamed about playing shows like this my whole life. i’ve played over 100 shows this year, and tonight is the last one. night 2 bring me every bit of energy you have, i’ll be giving you everything i’ve got.” 

…  and that’s exactly what she did. 

Following an exciting night one in Los Angeles, FLETCHER came on stage just before 9:30 PM for night two, opening with her song, “Guess We Lied…”. Looking as stunning as ever she was dressed in an all-white outfit with her usual fun and flirty top and baggy pants that would be later stripped off to reveal the matching set. 

Fans came prepared with energy and showed FLETCHER just how well-rehearsed they were with the new album. It was a surreal feeling being able to experience how FLETCHER connects with her audience and the confidence she exudes both on stage and in her voice. In her songs like “All Love” and “Her Body Is Bible”, she hit and held high notes all while being supported by her talented band members on stage. 

A crowd filled with so much diversity and love for the artist made for an unforgettable experience. A perfect example of the fans’ dedication to FLETCHER took place after an interlude of the artist opening up about her struggles with mental health and performance anxiety. The artist was talking about how she found her place on the stage and provided words of wisdom to fans inspired by her healing journey. A smooth transition to the next song, “For Cari” is based on her self-love journey and celebrating herself. As the first couple of chords strummed on guitar, the fans in the front five rows all held up signs with a baby picture of Cari (FLETCHER) with the phrase “This one’s for her ♡”. Immediately after she noticed the signs, the artist burst out into tears and stepped back from the mic.

As a fan in the crowd, it was a very emotional moment and I caught glimpses of those around me tearing up as well. The room filled with cheers to show support and she returned to the mic to say “You guys are gonna pull out my baby pictures and then expect me not to bawl my eyes out? We gotta run this back real quick”. With the signs still being held in the air, the song started over again with the audience serenading along the way. 

Fletcher performing “For Cari”

A night packed with love, music, and emotion made for a special conclusion for the “Girl of My Dreams” tour. Being able to attend her show was a dream come true for a longtime fan like myself. It has been fulfilling to see how she has grown over the years with her music and newfound self-love. I am eager to see what the future holds for the artist as these sold-out shows will most likely lead her to book bigger venues. Things are just getting started for FLETCHER. 

Claiming Cal Coast: Omar Apollo

Stopping in San Diego for his third show of “The Prototype Tour,” Omar Apollo (Omar Apolonio) takes the stage at Cal Coast Open Air Theater.

Beginning his musical career on SoundCloud, Omar Apollo has since remained in the music industry for seven years. During the span of these seven years, Apollo has released five albums, and tonight, performed at least one song off each album. The stage design, the assisting band, and the fans created an unforgettable experience throughout the night. 

Having some free time before the show, Apollo was spotted throughout San Diego State University. Fans caught him playing football, and those who were lucky enough were able to get a photo with the musician. After activities settled down, fans gathered throughout the venue and settled in their seats to witness opener Rayvn Lenae.

Entering the stage at 9:00 PM, Apollo was dressed in black from head to toe with matching sheer black gloves. Omar Apollo kicked off his set with a song specifically from his newest album, “Ivory”. Fans immediately erupted into screams and pulled out their cell phones to capture the moment. Apollo grabbed his guitar and strummed the tune to his song “Useless”. Apollo has voiced his love for his fans throughout his concert, and during tonight’s show, sung in both English and Spanish. Throughout his concert he switched languages to perform some of his popular Spanish songs; “En El Olvido,” “Dos Uno Nueve,” and “Frío”. 

Working his way through his expansive discography, Omar Apollo did not shy away from performing songs that contained features not present at the venue. A few songs of Apollo’s contain features from artists such as Kali Uchis, Ruel, and Daniel Caesar; however, their verses were performed by Apollo and a unique spin was added to highlight his vocals. 

There was no consistent flow to the show, Apollo kept his fans on their toes. The show would go from soft love songs to sped up rock, fluctuating moods throughout the show. Couples could be seen swaying to “Petrified,” then jumping to “Tamagotchi” a few moments later. Apollo has very passionate fans singing every word to his songs; they even caught his attention at the beginning of the show.  

I have been a fan of Omar Apollo’s work for quite some time, and it was an amazing experience to see him live. He is eagerly excited to share his music in a live performance rather than just streaming services. Seeing fans gather and hearing them scream to his music creates a whole different experience and gives life to Apollo’s music. On behalf of LiveNation and KCR College Radio, I am ecstatic to have had an opportunity to cover Omar Apollo at the Cal Coast Open Air Theater.