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. 

Upcoming Shows in San Diego

San Diego is home to some great venues like The Observatory and Soma, so it’s not a surprise that there are some great upcoming shows in 2020.

First, The Observatory in North Park, my personal favorite, holds 1,100 people, so it’s a pretty intimate experience. Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:  

  • Hippie Sabotage: February 27th
  • Dr. Dog: February 28th
  • Olivia O’Brien: February 29th
  • Grouplove: March 23rd
  • Third Eye Blind: March 16th
  • COIN: April 3rd
  • Lovelytheband: May 16th
  • Airborne Toxic Event: July 1st

Next, Music Box in downtown San Diego. This venue holds 700 people, which creates an even more intimate experience than the Observatory. Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:

  • Drama: February 27th 
  • Marc E. Bassy: March 17th
  • Goody Grace: May 14th
  • Nombe: June 5th
  • Peach Pit: June 17th

House Of Blues is also located downtown. The main room holds up to 1000 people, and the Voodoo Room holds 300 people, with a very cozy setting. Here’s who’s on the schedule so far: 

  • Sleeping With Sirens: April 24th 
  • Slenderbodies: May 20th
  • Azizi Gibson: May 22nd
  • Cub Sport: May 30th

Next up is Soma, located in the Midway neighborhood, near the San Diego Sports Arena. It holds up to 2,700 people, and they’ve got some great shows coming this year! Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:

  • SOBXRBE: February 29th
  • Nghtmre: March 5th
  • The Growlers: March 6th
  • Hockey Dad: April 4th
  • Yeek: April 10th 
  • TV Girl: April 24th 
  • Kaytranada: April 28th
  • LP: May 7th
  • Foals: May 19th

One of the bigger venues in San Diego is Pechanga Arena which holds up to 14,800 people. Due to its large capacity, some huge names are coming this year. Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:

  • Blake Shelton: March 6th
  • Tame Impala: March 9th
  • Celine Dion: March 31st
  • Justin Bieber, Kehlani, Jaden Smith: May 26th
  • Camila Cabello: August 11th
  • The Lumineers: August 25th 
  • Harry Styles: August 30th

Next up, Petco Park in downtown San Diego, home of the San Diego Padres. This venue can hold up to 42,000 people! Here’s who’s on the schedule so far: 

  • M3F Fest: Bon Iver, Rufus Du Sol, Stick Figure, The Growlers, LANY, Local Natives, San Holo, and more! March 6-8
  • Green day, Fall Out Boy, Wheezer, The Interrupters: July 24th
  • KAABOO: Lineup to be announced soon. Last year it included artists such as Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, Mumford and Sons, Duran Duran, The Black Eyed Peas, Onerepublic, Mark Ronson, Sublime w/Rome, Silversun Pickups and more: September 18-20

Lastly, Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre, located right in the heart of San Diego State! It can hold up to 4,600 people. And if you can’t afford to go, you can always stand outside the gates and listen 🙂 Here’s who’s on the schedule so far: 

  • Kesha: May 2nd
  • Russ: May 6th
  • Alicia Keys: September 11th
  • John Legend: September 25th
Written by: Delaney Weidner

Hozier at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre

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.

Listen to Hozier here.

Written by: Emerson Redding
Photos by: Emerson Redding

Lana Del Rey at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre

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. 

Final thoughts? 

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.

Written By: Nina Capuani