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. 

Dayglow-In’ The Dark: An Exclusive Interview with Dayglow

By Jennifer Perez

Stopping in San Diego for his third show along the “People in Motion” tour, Dayglow (Sloan Struble) has an exclusive on-site interview with me on behalf of KCR College Radio. He discusses the People in Motion Tour the creative process, inspirations, and different aspects that go into making a Dayglow tour.

Do you have any advice for college students or aspiring young musicians?

“You know…I dropped out of college my first year, so I don’t know if I necessarily have advice for college students. Maybe college aged people? I don’t know. I mean like, geez, have fun. Learn how to, like, be giving as much as you can, I guess. I feel like when you’re in college it’s really easy, in like good ways and bad ways, to really live in your own head and in your own world. You’re like working on yourself and that’s really good. But I think the best way to work on yourself is like, do stuff for other people. And I’ve learned that in good and bad ways, you know, like in hard ways or like, I’ve been selfish sometimes or something. Um, so yeah, just learn how to be a part of a community of some sort. I don’t know. If I had to give advice other than that, I’d be like, I have no idea.”

Moving on to your tour, which you just started, you were in Mexico and were there any favorite stops that you had over there?

“Yeah, I love being in Mexico, such inviting fans, good food, good people, such fun. It’s all you can really ask for. I mean, Mexico City is like one of my favorite cities to go to. I think it’s so creative, and lively and fun. Anytime I go somewhere that’s primarily not English speaking and then they know my music, that’s just crazy to experience. So that was cool. But all of Mexico is fun, man. It’s really fun.”

Any favorite dishes in specific?

“Mexico City I think specifically has a really good Tacos al Pastor…Makes me sick every time, but I always eat it. It’s worth it.”

Last week you released “People in Motion” and what inspired this album and do you think there has been any change in sound or inspiration with this specific release?

“I think the sound will definitely change. I think with every record that I make, I try to have a new feeling and I want every album to feel like its own world. So nothing on Harmony House could have been on Fuzzybrain or vice versa. And so the same goes with People in Motion. Inspiration, this record, I got to experience a lot of live music before I put it out. Before Fuzzybrain and Harmony House, I really didn’t have much touring. A lot of that energy of live music in the context of live music fueled People in Motion. It’s kind of like an album meant to be played live and experienced together.”

Is there a song off of People in Motion that’s your favorite to perform?

“We’re playing most of it tonight and it’s all pretty fun. I think Second Nature is really fun. I’ve programmed the show for quite some time and everything kind of has different versions. Some songs transition to go in and out of each other. Second Nature is really fun. It’s our encore. We get asked to play it a lot.”

In your song, Deep End, which is my favorite off of the album. You say, “show me how to let it go like flowing water.” Being an artist of your caliber comes with negativity. How do you suggest to anybody to deal with negativity or something that they wanna get over?

“You know, it’s hard I think. It’s definitely a challenge for me, or anyone who makes positive or happy feeling music. It’s kind of met with skepticism sometimes. It’s like, are you faking it? To any degree, any artist has to be a version of themselves. When experiencing negativity, I would just say to surround yourself with good people and you’ll experience less of that. Sometimes that means surround yourself with a few people. It’s something I’ve learned and I just have a couple friends and people that I keep in contact. I’m definitely people pleaser. I’ve learned how to shorten that list and really be with the people that I trust, just for my personal life, you know, cause then if that’s all checked, then I can be nice to strangers as well.”

Fuzzybrain featured “Can I Call You Tonight” and “Hotrod,” which are two of the top streaming songs from that album. Do you wish another song or songs off that album got more attention?

“I don’t know if it’s me just responding to the way things are or already knowing this when I released it, but I knew it was gonna be those two songs. So it’s really encouraging when that [referencing the popularity of “Can I Call You Tonight” and “Hotrod”] happens and that they are so popular. I didn’t think they were gonna be as popular as they are. But man, off Fuzzybrain, it’s such like a cult following album, which is cool. Most people like all the songs, which is amazing to me. There’s no really other bedroom pop albums from that era that I’ve heard people like as a whole, which is really encouraging that I kind of came out of that trend. I feel like I get way more love than I think I would on any song, so I love it.”

Are there any artists that inspired “People in Motion” or are there any specific artists that inspire your music?

“I love Phoenix, they’re one of my favorite bands. I love MGMT, Tame Impala, just like indie bands. You know… People in Motion, specifically, I wanted it to feel really energetic and lively and I didn’t really go into it with any direct inspirations. Like I tried to give myself no rules, um, to see what would happen. And I leaned more into my electronic tendencies and, uh, like dance music. A lot of synth driven stuff. And one of my favorite artists that does that is LCD Soundsystem, which is one person, his name’s James Murphy. I think that inspired the record quite a bit. Like specifically Deep End or Second Nature came from that energy of like electronic music that’s repetitive, but it doesn’t feel annoying. Hopefully not.”

Having those inspirations, are there any artists or bands in particular that you want to have featured on any forthcoming albums?

“LCD Soundsystem would be a great collab. That would make me feel like a cool person. So much of the integrity of what Dayglow is, is the fact that I just do it alone. It would have to be really special to be a collab in the future. I thankfully have so many friends now that are musicians and kind of like the same circle as me. One of my best friends is Boy Pablo, Nico. Nico and I hang out whenever, I mean he lives in Norway, but like every time we see each other it’s like this huge reunion. Like we really hang out. It’s like we collaborate as friends, but as musicians, I don’t know if I could ever do a song with them. Cause it just kind of feels, I don’t know, like it would feel weird. So I don’t know collaboratively what I would do. Harry Styles. We’ll go with that.”

With that collaboration in mind, you spoke about being active in the creative marketing process. Are there any pieces of merchandise that you created that have yet to be released?

“Not that have yet to be released. We have like, all new merch tonight for this tour. I personally designed one of the items, it’s like the “Proud participant of the People in Motion Tour.” It looks like an old like P.E. t-shirt. I kind of made it last minute and it’s the worst selling item we have right now. So, I think we’re gonna end that, and find a new shirt.”

From Fuzzybrain to now, have there been any dramatic changes in the process of you specifically creating music or what you use to create music?

“Yeah, I mean, I’m always trying to find new gear and fun instruments and synths and stuff to have in my studio, just to play around with. But the process is still the exact same. It’s me and my house, just working on music all day, every day, and just tweaking it over time. Same thing is Fuzzybrain, really. Other than that I just have more access to gear, but I’m still teaching myself how to use it all and everything. So it’s just what I’ve always wanted to do and I’m sticking to it.”

On the topic of change, do you think the set list or any parts of the tour are gonna change over time?

“Yeah, I want every tour to feel like its own thing. I really hope that I can just emphasize and get people to come to shows and like come see the live show. Cause to me that’s like the whole point, you know? That’s why musicians exist and nowadays it’s like, there’s so many different versions of musicians. There are people who are crazy famous on Instagram and they make their money that way, you know? But then if they go on tour, they kind of struggle to sell tickets in a small venue or something. I wanna be those people where it’s like, I don’t really care about Instagram, I don’t really care about all this stuff, but if I can get people to like the live experience, then that’s cool. 

What I want to do with every tour that I have is have it feel really, really well crafted, almost as if it’s like a Broadway show or something and approach it from that perspective where it’s like, this is the show, we’re gonna take this exact thing and bring it to every city. I think it’s kind of comforting to know that we’re doing the same thing for a lot of different people.

All that to say, maybe I’ll change it, but now there’s so many moving parts or it’s really hard to add songs. Who knows maybe.”

If you were to interchange songs, are there songs that you would like to swap or you have some that didn’t make it (the set), but you would like to change it?

So we’re playing 19 songs tonight, which is like a pretty long set and really tiring. I try to make it really quick and flow fast. With that being said, I still had to cut some songs. This is a little hard to do. I think the set list has gotten out, and like future shows people are messaging me like “please add this.” Fair Game, we’re unfortunately not playing that and Crying on the Dancefloor. Those are the two that I love that I had to cut and I knew that’s gonna happen, but I was like, I’m already playing 19 songs. I have to give myself a little break.

Would you swap any of the ones that are on the set list to end up playing those two?]

Maybe. We have like this video wall behind us and stuff. We have to pre-program all these visuals and so I don’t know, we’d have to rearrange it a little bit, but, you know, it’s not, it’s not too late. We’re early on in the tour, but I don’t know.

I would like to thank Dayglow and his team for setting aside time to conduct the interview. As well as In2une Music, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I am looking forward to see what the future holds for this band.

Sabrina Carpenter is so “VICIOUS”

See what she did “October 13th, at 10:15.” Stopping in San Diego for her tour “emails i can’t send,” Sabrina Carpenter kicks off her show with opener “girlhouse”.

Sabrina Carpenter started off as an actor best known for her break-out role on Girl Meets World, but she has shifted to musical pursuits. From the release of her first album “Eyes Wide Open,” Sabrina Carpenter has added a total of six different albums under her expansive discography. With her most recent release, “emails i can’t send” has become the star of this tour. The stage is set with her band and a custom drum set with her initials “SC” in gold cursive as a red illuminated heart takes center stage alongside Carpenter. Carpenter opens an unforgettable night on the piano at the Observatory, North Park. Fans pull out their phones and burst into screams as they sing along to her hit tracks. Moving from a slow-paced song of heartbreak, to a viciously upbeat set, Sabrina Carpenter moves swiftly from performing songs from her newest album to “Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying,” which stems way back to her first album, released in 2015.

Sabrina Carpenter has extremely dedicated fans as some camped out over nineteen hours to catch a glimpse of the songstress. Each fan was seen passionately screaming her lyrics for the entirety

of the setlists, while others danced with friends and fellow fans. To feed the dedication, Carpenter had a segment in the midst of her show dedicated to fan interactions, hoping to give them advice on hardships and heartbreaks that she has experienced. Following her brief dedication to her fans, Carpenter shifted to performing a cover of Madonna’s famous single, “Like a Virgin”.  

Additionally, she performed another top streaming song “Nonsense” of her newest album. Adding additional ending lyrics that pertain to each city as the song winds down, Carpenter improves adding, “You’re face alone could get me preggo, Millie Bobby Brown leggo my eggo, I’m in motherf***ing San Diego” at the end of her track “Nonsense”. Fans are sent into a spiral of screams in response to Carpenters’ freestyle.      

Sabrina Carpenter wraps up the night with “Fast Times,” alongside thank you’s to her fans and crew.

The crowd refuses to disperse as Sabrina Carpenter calls her show to a close. Fans persistently call for Carpenter to return to stand for an encore of her hits “decode” and “because i liked a boy”. Sabrina Carpenter returns, performing an encore that sends fans into a frenzy, and red heart-shaped balloons descend from the roof and blanket the crowd below. 

Growing up as a fan of Sabrina Carpenter’s music and shows, being able to see her perform in person was an entirely different experience. Definitely, nostalgic. Her stage presence radiated throughout each fan in attendance at North Park. I am genuinely grateful for the experience to attend and photograph the “emails i can’t send” tour on behalf of KCR.  

Celebrating Billy Joel Concert

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of seeing “Celebrating Billy Joel” at the Magnolia in El Cajon. A cover band for one of the most iconic songwriters/rockstars of the last decade, the band did an amazing job of encapsulating his timeless songs. They had the audience, including myself and my sister, singing along the entire time, leaving my voice strained by the end of it. 

Speaking of the audience, I was probably one of the youngest people there. If you think I’m lying just look at the picture above and notice all the gray hair I captured from my pre-show picture. I have been a Billy Joel fan for many years and I absolutely loved the show. I can’t imagine what the old-timers thought as they have most likely been listening to Billy for years. While the audience was on the older side, the band themselves were surprisingly young.

Led by lead singers Rob Stringer and Alex Dee who hail from England, they lit up the stage. Not only could the duo make you think you were actually at a Billy Joel concert, they surprised me every few songs by playing a different instrument that they had yet to play yet. Alex started off the concert singing “Everybody Loves You Now”. His booming voice filled the room and left me with goosebumps. He played piano as he sang and got the crown invested immediately. Rob took over next singing and playing piano for “I’m Moving Out”. The change in singers was surprising and awesome all at once.

The two were great, bouncing off of each other the whole show. At one point they changed positions mid-song. Alex and Rob switched singing/piano positions as they sang “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”. 

I have been to multiple Billy Joel concerts and what I love most about them besides the singing is the amazing bands Billy has joined. Alex and Rob had just that with a group from Charlotte, NC. The saxophone player stood out to me most. Rhi Dewey played tenor, alto, and soprano sax, and she tore it up with every single one. She had a solo during “New York State of Mind” that blew me away. I used to play saxophone and hearing her play made me wish I stuck with it. She was the highlight of the show for me. 

Overall this was such an amazing concert and a phenomenal atmosphere. The band made it seem like a true Billy Joel show singing some of his greatest hits and killing all of them! They gave us an encore of “Uptown Girl” and “Piano Man” that ended the show perfectly. 

If you ever have a chance to listen to Billy Joel music… do it!