Julia Michaels at House of Blues San Diego

If you want to have a great time at a concert dancing and singing the night away – Go to a Julia Michaels Concert!

You truly won’t regret it. Both Julia Michaels’ energy and her audience’s energy filled the room. I can honestly say that her concert was one of the most fun ones I’ve been to simply because she had the loudest crowd.

Julia Michaels performing at House of Blues San Diego

Julia Michaels sold out her 9th headlining show for her Inner Monologue Tour at House of Blues San Diego on April 20, 2019. She is a very busy artist as she is also currently touring with P!nk on her Beautiful Trauma Tour at the same time as her Inner Monologue Tour.

Many of you may know Julia Michaels. However, if you’ve never heard of her, then you’ve most likely heard her hit single, “Issues.” Before that, Michaels was writing hit singles for other artists such as Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar,” Nick Jonas’s “Close,” and many more.

What is interesting about Michaels is she’s an intricate person – I’d describe her as a beautiful badass with her signature feminine floral dresses and her tattoo sleeves and nose ring. She has a very distinctive and different sound than most artists and her voice is easily recognizable.  Michaels is also a very open musician, which was the concept behind her “Inner Monologue” – those thoughts that she has that people don’t see from the outside. The stage represented what you see on the outside – everything is happy with smiley faces and flowers, but you listen to the lyrics and realize everything isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Michaels attempted to make her tour relatable by letting her fans know that it’s okay to go through depression or anxiety.

Julia Michaels made it clear that it was a judgement free zone and safe space for everyone to let go and sing and dance. Her music has a feel good vibe to it, and it was so much fun letting loose and relieving stress by screaming along to her songs. Additionally, her songs hold a lot of emotion and truth, so it naturally felt as though this was a place to just let everything out.

Julia Michaels has such a strong connection with her audience, she wanted to get as close to them as possible.

At one point, Michaels’ security carried her into the audience as she finished “Happy,” followed by a cover of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You,” and then a ukulele rendition of her own song “Apple.” She also sat on the edge of the stage pointing out her audience’s posters and making eye contact with fans. I even heard from some fans that the meet and greet took two hours because she’s so genuine and her conversations with each individual were long and personal.

I love how you could tell the audience truly admires Julia as they all had matching floral dresses and sneakers similar to Julia’s. But despite their elegant appearance, they were definitely one of the loudest audiences I’ve ever heard in a venue. Sometimes, you couldn’t even hear Julia because the audience had so much passion and energy! It’s amazing when songs from concerts become your new favorites because of how amazing and fun they sound live – and for me those songs were“Into You” and “Happy.”

I loved getting the opportunity to see Julia Michaels. Her message she imparted that you shouldn’t be afraid to be yourself and let your feelings out deeply resonated with me. If you want to have one of these fantastic nights with an amazing artist, make sure to go see Julia Michaels on her Inner Monologue Tour.

Review By: Alexandra Will
Photos By: Alexandra Will

Movements at the OC Observatory

Movements performed a sold-out show at the Observatory Orange County on Friday, April 19.

With alternative rock groups alongside Movements including Drug Church, Trash Boat, and Boston Manor, Movements managed to put on a memorable act that shows their growth as musicians as well as their appreciation for their loyal hometown fans.

Orange County’s Observatory, in comparison to the North Park location, was a bit too claustrophobic for my liking. For one, the venue was entirely general admission but consisted of terraces that spaced out the crowd into awkward sections. Second, the pit was simply too tiny for the number of people wanting to mosh, crowd surf, and just have that full concert experience. The crowd was stuffed like sardines but this did not put a damper on their energy for the openers. Unfortunately, I missed Drug Church and Trash Boat’s sets, but Boston Manor’s performance easily made up for it and got me excited for the rest of the concert.

An Emo and pop-punk band from across the pond, Boston Manor is hands down one of my favorite groups to watch live. Henry Cox is an excellent frontman with the vocal abilities to match which showed in their opener “Flowers in Your Dustbin” from their latest release Welcome to the Neighbourhood. Backed by talented musicians, Cox kept the crowd moving with their hits like “Halo” and “Lead Feet,” angst-driven anthems that warmed up fans for the main event.

Movements exploded in popularity upon releasing their debut album Feel Something in 2017.

Since then, they’ve toured with big-name players in the scene such as Knuckle Puck, Citizen, Turnover, and The Story So Far. The band opened with “The Grey” which describes the feeling of slipping into a cold and lonely depression. Frontman Patrick Miranda, who is open about his struggles with anxiety and depression, is unafraid to speak on mental health issues in his lyrics. Next up was a fan favorite “Colorblind” which had the audience pushing, shoving, and loudly singing along. Miranda is known for his colorblindness, consistently making note of it in other songs like “Deep Red” which is a personal favorite of mine. This song starts off with a catchy bassline, worked by Austin Cressey, that punches through the guitars and vocals. The chorus is ear-wormy in and of itself with a break down that allowed the band to let loose on stage.

Movements is a SoCal band that grew up in Rancho Santa Margarita who, despite their rise to fame in the scene, have not forgotten their roots. This show specifically was a sign of gratitude to the fans that have stayed with them all these years. Patrick reminisced to the time they opened for the band Basement in the same venue. In 2015, they performed in front of 300 people. Today, they sold-out a well-known music venue, playing in front of an audience who truly cares about their art.

The end of the show was bittersweet. Movements came out to a crowd chanting their name and finished with the classic “Daylily.” As the song reached its crescendo, Patrick raised the mic to the audience as they sang “‘I think it’s time you had a pink cloud summer'” back to the band. The group felt at home and living the dream.

Written by: Rica Perez

BlackPink at the Los Angeles Forum

You heard it here first, ladies & gentlemen. Your local K-Pop fan of 10 years has finally attended her first K-Pop/BlackPink concert; what a shocker.

Lucky for me, I was able to fight off ticket prices of over $600 to see BlackPink. I’m sure the name of this group sounds familiar to a few individuals, but if you aren’t certain, I’ll explain.

BlackPink is a 4 member girl group in South Korea from the notorious, YG Entertainment. They began their debut as a group in 2016 with their hit song, “Boombayah.” The members include: Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa. What makes this group so unique, besides their girl crush concept, is where these girls are from.

Jisoo comes from South Korea, but the other 3 girls came from different areas. Though Jennie was born in Korea, she was raised in New Zealand. Rosé was born in New Zealand, but was raised in Australia. Lastly, Lisa was born & raised in Bangkok, Thailand, which makes her the first non-Korean K-Pop artist from YG Entertainment.

But enough about their background, let’s get to the fun part: the concert.

First of all, buying tickets for this concert made me feel like I was on fighting grounds with resale ticket sellers as they were trying to sell tickets in the highest level of The Forum for $600 dollars a seat. Like most people, I decided to wait it out…but not without complaining, of course. By the following week, I was able to snatch the cheapest tickets of $110 per seat, to which I was grateful I memorized my debit card number by heart.

Fast forward to last week April 17th, it was time for me to get ready. Like most fans, I had owned a BlackPink t-shirt and pin to show that I was part of the fandom known as Blinks.

The Official BlackPink light-stick with people entering the venue

One thing that most people won’t tell you is that K-Pop concerts use something called a light-stick for fans to interact with their idols. Now, this particular light-stick for BlackPink had an interesting feature. Besides the fact that this light-stick looks like a toy hammer, guess what; it squeaks like one too!

Side view of the Official BlackPink light-stick

As I go up the flights of what I like to call “cardio central”, I get to my seat in the middle row of nosebleeds. Being able to have my seat near the aisle was by far the luckiest thing in the world because I didn’t have to worry about bothering people to get out of the row and I had space to dance the whole time.

Before they set the stage, there were screens showing their music videos and blasting the songs to the fans to prepare them for their idols appearance. Not going to lie, hearing a collective scream of fan girls & boys really made me feel like I wasn’t at their level.

After exiting the concert, fans discover this small gem

By the time the concert began, I was excited to see what song they would play to start the night and lucky for me, it was one of their more well-known songs called, “DDU-DU DDU-DU.”

The rush of adrenaline was one thing, but it honestly felt like I was dreaming.

I’ve practically waited for this moment for 10 years and to finally be attending the concert for a group I enjoyed so much…you have no idea how much shock I was in. The peak of my night was hearing the 4 girls talk to the fans about how excited they were to perform in Los Angeles for the first time. Even though they performed at Coachella that previous weekend, they reassured fans they would sing every song.

Each one of them performed a solo act on stage to show their talents & creativity in front of us. Jisoo covered Zedd’s “Clarity”, Jennie sang her solo release, “Solo”, and Rosé sang a variety of songs from YG Entertainment’s past artists Taeyang & Park Bom. Though, the moment we were waiting for was Lisa’s dance solos which she danced her viral dance cover of Jason Derulo’s “Swalla”.

Of course, BlackPink sang all the songs from their newly released album, Kill This Love. With songs like, “Don’t Know What to Do,” “Kick It,” “Hope Not,” and “Kill This Love,” these girls performed with such professionalism, elegance, and vibrancy. By the end of the night, BlackPink ended the In Your Area Los Angeles Tour stop with the song, “As If It’s Your Last.” I personally didn’t want this night to end as I was enjoying myself so much. Luckily, BlackPink surprised us for an encore of their songs, “DDU-DU DDU-DU” & “Stay.” Though it didn’t make it any easier to prepare myself to go back to San Diego afterwards.

After their encore, the group takes a photo to commemorate this moment in Los Angeles

So, what’s my opinion & what’s my life like now after this concert? Honestly, it’s changed my life in the extent of post-concert depression of almost a week now.

One last photo to save on my phone and in my mind forever

But in all honesty, I felt like I was welcomed and treat respectfully by everyone at the concert. I was worried that I would have encountered fans who were boisterous or ignorant, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, I felt like I belonged in a sea filled with pink BlackPink light-sticks. This concert was a reminder as to why I loved K-Pop for so long.

Now that I have returned back to reality, I have plans for my next concert…but let’s just hope I can afford it first.

Written by: Sofia Gomez

Bad Suns at the Observatory North Park

Bad Suns

The Bad Suns’ 2019 Mystic Truth Tour brought them to the Observatory North Park during April 3rd this year alongside Carlie Hanson.

Before the Bad Suns’ set began, 18 year old Carlie Hanson opened the venue with some entertaining, uplifting energy followed by passionate music coming from her band.

When her time was up, it was setting up time for the stagehands. It was quite clear that although the instruments for the band were there the set was not ready beforehand. This lead to waiting for the main show to start, but that is expected usually when seeing a band that is constantly touring. When the set was ready and the light tests were done, out went the lights and the show began.

Shortly afterwards, a couple notes began playing and the Bad Suns walked on stage to their designated spots amazed the audience. Their passion for music and the sound that they create go in hand with each other, and is demonstrated even better when seen performed.

As someone who was not fully aware of their songs and progress, I definitely saw myself having a good time at the concert alongside all these die hard fans who were singing and dancing their hearts out along Christo Bowman (Lead Singer of Bad Suns). There was never a single mistake through their entire performance, which was fantastic to see.

In conclusion, this band did a great job at creating the environment fans wanted, there wasn’t a second where they were not going mental over the sounds being emitted. If you ever get the chance to see these young indie legends perform, I would say take it because you will be in for a modern rock experience.

Written by: Santi Vidal