Traveling all the way from Nashville, indie-band WILLIS, touched down in San Diego, California during their nationwide spring tour. Taking place in the famous House of Blues Voodoo Room, fans lined up outside on the windy streets of Downtown San Diego prior to doors opening to secure their spots by the barricade of the 250 capacity room. The room is so intimate, as soon as I entered the venue, I ran into the band by the bar. Literally – I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings. 

Dynamic duo of Toledo jumped onto stage with only their guitars, a drum machine they had purchased that day, and no set-list prepared. Toledo is the definition of go-with-the-flow.  With big smiles on their faces throughout the whole performance, it was clear how happy and genuinely excited they were to be performing their original music for a crowd of new faces. 

Toledo opening for Willis at House of Blues Voodoo Room in San Diego on March 26, 2024 (Photo/Vanessa Chan)

A few moments after the house lights came down, five-piece band, WILLIS, were quick to jump onto the stage. The crowd quickly came rushing towards the barricade as excitement filled their bodies. Kicking off the night with “I Don’t Want To,” the crowd took their phones out to record without any hesitation. 

With their setlist consisting of new songs and old, the crowd was genuinely appreciating each and every moment. It’s moments like these where I remember that everyone at concerts are there for the same exact reason – to listen to some good ol ‘music. As fan favorites such as “Fight the Vegans,” “Lay Low,” “Ballad of the Basement,” “CJ’s Van,” even the staff working at the venue were dancing around enjoying the vibes. 

WILLIS at their headline show in San Diego on March 26, 2024 (Photo/Vanessa Chan)

With the night coming to a close, the iconic beginning of “I Think I Like When It Rains” started to play. Even though we barely get any rain here in San Diego, we do enjoy watching the rain fall from our window. In unison, the crowd roared as they instantly knew what was about to go down. Lead singer, Murphy Billings, even  joined the fans down by the barricade before parting ways. 

Murphy Billings of WILLIS performing “I Think I Like When It Rains” in San Diego on March 26, 2024. (Photo/Vanessa Chan)