Hozier gave a powerful performance that evoked moments of catharsis from the crowd at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre on Saturday, October 26, 2019.
The stage was basked in red light as Hozier and his band members appeared. Accompanied by Rachel Beauregard, Jessica Berry, Cormac Curran, Rory Doyle, Emily Kohavi, Kristen Rogers, and Alex Ryan, Hozier began the show with “As It Was” followed by “Dinner & Diatribes”.
Behind the band, images of protests and fighting for rights were shown during “Nina Cried Power.”
The song is “a thank you note to the legacy of artists from the 20th Century whose work still inspires us” and would not be the first instance of protest music during the night. Hozier played his new song “Jack Boot Jump,” after politely asking the crowd to not record it and just “be present.” The rest of the band members left, leaving only Hozier and Doyle on drums for this “not subtle” song inspired by the protest music of Woody Guthrie and named after George Orwell’s quote “‘if you want to imagine the future, imagine a jack boot stomping on a human face forever”.
While Hozier’s newest album, and namesake of the tour, Wasteland, Baby!, is beautiful and had the crowd singing all night, his old material is what gained the most excitement.
Songs like “Someone New” and “Jackie and Wilson” from his first album seemed to receive the most reactions. Personally, these were some of my favorite songs of the night because his first album as a whole is special to me so it was quite fulfilling to finally hear some songs from it live.
Classic “Take Me to Church” was the last song before the encore and probably the one with the most overall energy to “end” the show. For the actual end, Hozier performed “Cherry Wine” and “Work Song”, and the stage was now adorned in vines to complement the beautiful feeling created by these songs musically.
Hozier made a point throughout the show to thank the people helping him; introducing the band members with a spotlight, saying their names whenever he had a chance, listing members of the crew, and displaying their pictures after the show as a final thank you.
Lana Del Rey came back to sunny San Diego for The Norman F-king Rockwell! Tour on Friday, October 11. The last time she was in town was in February 2018 when she performed at the Valley View Casino Center for her joint tour with Kali Uchis.
I arrived at the Theater a bit early, so I had some time to relax and grab a drink. I loved the atmosphere because everyone was dressed in very feminine and 60s inspired outfits to fit the Lana Del Rey aura. After chatting with some friends, I eventually found my seat. The stage was beautifully set up with lights and vines hanging. There were two swings, one on each side of the stage.
Before I knew it, the show began with her song “Norman F-king Rockwell” She set the tone with this song since it was the Norman F-king Rockwell! tour after all. She moved on to “Bartender” which was one of the songs that was just released a few months ago in August. I really enjoyed this song because the song is about a flirty relationship with a bartender. I found that to be rather relatable.
After a few more songs she sang one of my favorites, “Born to Die” and I believe this was a crowd favorite too. Almost everyone in the crowd was singing along and there was not a look of boredom in sight. She kept the show flowing and played the Sublime cover, “Doin’ Time” I have always enjoyed this song, so Lana made it 10x better by covering it. She ended the show with a Californian classic, “Venice B*tch” The entire night was great, for there wasn’t anything I would change. She put on a magnificent show.
I have always liked Lana, but now I absolutely love her. Her music brings out so many emotions that made the show feel even more intimate. She went down into the pit a few times to give out autographs and take photos with some fans. I loved that she engaged with her fans at the show and made them feel like were a part of it. Lastly, I was in awe at how good she sounded. I have been to a decent amount of shows and she had one of the best live performances. Her voice is incredible, for she sounded like the angel she is.
Rock n’ roll was alive and thriving on Wednesday, October 9 when rock icons Stone Temple Pilots brought the house down with help from Rival Sons at SDSU’s open-air theatre.
I walked into the Cal Coast Theater to the sound of the opener, the Warbly Jets whose best song was “Alive.” True to its name it really woke the crowd up and brought a whirlwind of energy to the arena. Followed by the Warbly Jets was the Rival Sons.
During the lead up to their opening song, they had a dog skeleton with a beating heart going to the beat of the first song “Back in the Woods.” The crowd was thrown into a frenzy and was headbanging for the rest of the Rival Sons’ set. I couldn’t take my eyes off the guitarist Scott Holiday during their set either. He had the look of a younger Johnny Depp that instead of acting, took up music at a young age. The singer, Jay Buchanan, had an electric stage presence and felt like he was straight out of the 80s. As the set went on, they played their hits such as “Pressure and Time” and “Electric Man.” To finish off their set they closed it with a bang starting with “Do Your Worst” followed by “Keep on Swinging.” These closing songs captured the force of the crowd and channeled it all into Rival Sons’ rock and roll attitude. Their army of fans were headbanging and throwing out rock and roll salutes.
After the Rival Sons’ magnetic energy, 90s rock icons the Stone Temple Pilots followed suit with an equally powerful performance. They opened their set with “Silvergun Superman” and “Wicked Garden.” My Dad, a rock and roll connoisseur, came with me to the event remarked how even with a different singer than the original, the energy STP brought still felt the same as it did back in the 90s.
Towards the middle of the set they brought out Rival Sons drummer Michael Miley to play for them during “Plush” and they brought out Jay Buchanan to co-vocal STP’s hit song “Interstate Love Song.” This performance was a special tribute because San Diego was the last show of the tour and they wanted to end it with something to remember. STP ended their set with “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart.” After the lights went down the crowd was begging for more and we got it. STP came back out and performed “Piece of Pie” and “Sex Type Thing.” Overall, I was surprised by how good the Warbly Jets were considering I hadn’t heard of them before the concert and was thrilled with how much rock and roll energy that Rival Sons and STP were able to bring to San Diego.
Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride Tour is special in that every show has a different setlist, and said setlist is nearly 30 songs long.
The band started out their San Diego show with “White Sky” from their second album, Contra, followed by “Unbelievers” from their third album, Modern Vampires of the City, and “Bambina” from their newest album, Father of the Bride. Within the first few songs, three out of their four eras were represented, and proved that a fan from any time would love the show that was about to come.
One of the first energetic moments from the crowd was during “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” as the whole theatre screamed the famous lyrics “Is your bed made? Is your sweater on?” which really kicked off the night and saw everyone in the crowd begin to get lost in the performance.
Vampire Weekend also performed Contra’s “Taxi Cab” which had not been performed since 2010, and received a massive reaction of excitement from the crowd. That excitement continued as they next played “Sunflower”, one of the early-released songs off Father of the Bride.
Some of Vampire Weekend’s most famous songs; “Diane Young”, “Cousins”, and “A-Punk” introduced not only an increase in energy from the crowd but also in the stage design as the gigantic blow-up globe behind the band finally began to rotate. Another surprise in the stage design was when multiple flags decorated with various symbols of this Father of the Bride era dropped from above the stage.
After coming back out for the encore, the band took requests from the crowd. “Hannah Hunt” was requested by a man in a cowboy hat who was waving a shirt around pretty much the entire show, which eventually gained him notice from frontman Ezra Koenig. Another fan requested “Ottoman”, and then the requests ended with “Campus”, which Ezra dedicated to the SDSU students in the audience.
The night ended with intense “Walcott” and kept the crowd screaming every word until the very last one.
Listen to Vampire Weekend’s newest album Father of the Bridehere.
Written by: Emerson Redding
Photos by: Emerson Redding
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