Dodie at the House of Blues

On October 9, 2019, English singer-songwriter Dodie brought her fairy-like presence to the House of Blues for her “Human” tour.

Better known to some as “doddleoddle,” Dodie began on YouTube posting original songs and covers, mainly with her ukulele, or her “extra limb.” I have been watching her since about 2012 or 2013, and she has been one of my main and longest inspirations when it comes to music and songwriting. It has truly been an honor to be able to watch her grow and grow alongside her, and finally, see her perform in concert.

Dodie started out her set upstage with beautifully hopeful “Arms Unfolding” going into “Monster” as she finally ran to the front. I wish I could describe the happiness that the fans at the barricade radiated as Dodie came closer. I could feel that this moment was important for them, too, which made the show even more enjoyable.

Dodie has a certain aura to her that beckons you to pay attention, while still staying soft and effervescent.

“Sick of Losing Soulmates” and “She” are some of her slower songs, and I think they pack the most punch. In these two she tells very personal stories through her lyrics, wrapped up in melodic guitar plucking, that leave you in somewhat of a trance. Especially if you can relate to them, these songs will most certainly strike a chord in you, while maintaining a sense of airy beauty while you listen. They can serve as sometimes painful reminders that we are indeed “human” and have to deal with losing people in different ways, and possible struggles with sexuality; but just like “She” says, it can feel “oddly good to hurt.” Having Dodie performing them herself in front of me added another level of ‘personal’ that I never thought could be unlocked; because of that, I’d say these two songs were my highlight of the night.

Another highlight was the lighting.

I’m always one to appreciate more than just the performance itself, and Dodie’s show definitely did not disappoint. I loved the string lights that decorated the stage, the neon “dodie” sign in the back, the rainbow lighting, and how the spotlights changed to focus on which musician had a special part (cello, violin, etc.). That being said, every member of her live band was amazing as well and each felt important, especially when they came to the front for their solos. Dodie was accompanied by guitarist (and another one of my favorite singer-songwriters) Orla Gartland, bassist Pete Daynes, drummer Ross Craib, cellist Sophie English, and violinist Will Harvey.

Listen to Dodie here.

Written by: Emerson Redding
Photos by: Emerson Redding



Big K.R.I.T at the House of Blues

Another week, another concert to cover. This makes me a very happy person. On Thursday, October 3, 2019, I had the privilege of covering the hip-hop legend Big K.R.I.T (Justin Lewis Scott) at the House of Blues.

Trust me when I tell you that this dude has been in the rap game for a long time and is a walking legend. Starting his career more than 14 years ago, he has a list of accomplishments that are staggering.

As a prominent protestor of many of the racial issues that America faces today, he has become a symbol of motivation for movements like #BlackLivesMatter.

He has performed and spoken multiple times at the BET Hip Hop Awards, and even received three nominations for “Rookie of the Year” and “Best Mixtape” in 2011, where his career really started to pop off. 

Big K.R.I.T has elements in his music that show roots to some of the more classic elements of hip-hop, such as deep soulful beats and tongue-twisting lyricism. Collaborating with big artists such as J.Cole and Lil Wayne attests to his impact and respect within the hip-hop scene.

With all of this said, I was super excited to see this man live and get some fire pictures of him! Unfortunately, I was running a little late to the show at House of Blues San Diego. I arrived at about 9 p.m (the time when the headliner usually hits the stage) and picked up my media pass. 

Literally, at the exact second I walked into the main room, Big K.R.I.T. walked on stage to start his performance. Photographers are only allowed to take pictures in the photo pit for the first three songs of the performance, so I hustled my way to the front immediately. The timing could not be more perfect, because if I was even ten minutes later, I would have missed my opportunity to cover the show.

As soon as Big K.R.I.T took the stage, you could tell he had been doing this for a long time. His energy was through the roof. I looked back at the crowd to see all of the audience in the front row singing every single word. He clearly had a bunch of loyal fans. 

He continued the next three songs that I saw with that same energy, moving and bouncing around the stage, rapping his lyrics with a passion that is rare to see. 

After three songs, security booted me out, and that is all that I saw. Being able to see a legend like Big K.R.I.T up close was really great, and I am happy with the photos that I got. 

Big K.R.I.T will continue his “From the South with Love” tour until his last show on November 16th, in his hometown of Atlanta, GA. Check out his music here.

Written by: Justin Neeley
Photos by: Justin Neeley

Vampire Weekend at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre

On Thursday, October 3, 2019, Vampire Weekend returned to San Diego after six years for a sold-out show at the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre, with support from Soccer Mommy.

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 Bride here.

Written by: Emerson Redding
Photos by: Emerson Redding

The Greeting Committee and Bombay Bicycle Club at the Observatory North Park

The Greeting Committee brought high energy opening for Bombay Bicycle Club at the Observatory North Park on September 27, 2019.

This show was my third time seeing The Greeting Committee, and in the largest venue yet. My favorite thing about The Greeting Committee has always been their stage presence; which has not been lost at all from a 400 capacity venue, to the 1,100 capacity Observatory. Even from the very back of the venue, the band’s energy and movement make you feel as much a part of the action as the members themselves.

Opening with a cover of the intro of Nirvana’s “Aneurysm” leading into powerful “She’s a Gun”; as singer Addie Sartino ran on stage to join guitarist Brandon Yangmi, bassist Pierce Turcotte, drummer Austin Fraser, and touring guitarist Noah Spencer; The Greeting Committee immediately brought the message that the night was going to be an electrifying one. 

Next was “17“, followed by “Dancing To Nothing At All”. “Dancing” is one of my all-time favorite live tracks because it starts out slow and somber before picking up and having a killer saxophone solo by Pierce while Addie takes over on bass. Pierce kept his saxophone for “You’ve Got Me”, which kept the crowd excited and intrigued. New song “What If Tomorrow Never Comes” feels more emotional and raw, similar to older “Birthday Song” and “I Don’t Mind”.

Another favorite thing about The Greeting Committee is their ability to connect.

One of my favorite moments of the night was seeing two friends embrace each other during “Hands Down“, a song about “the joy that comes from unconditional, ever-present loves, whether that takes place in a family or romantic setting”. During this song, I am always reminded of my best friend and feel like they’re right next to me even though they’re on the opposite coast. Between the song itself, the band’s performance of it, and fans’ interactions in the crowd, “Hands Down” evokes some of the sincerest feelings about favorite people. 

During the last song “Don’t Go”, the band took a pause after the bridge while Addie asked “please San Diego, take one giant step forward…please San Diego, this show is going really well, I think we all know what’s about to come” before performing the strong last chorus and rocking out until the very end. 

While The Greeting Committee captured attention, Bombay Bicycle Club held it. 

Compared to opener The Greeting Committee, headliner Bombay Bicycle Club was definitely calmer. Most of the crowd was there for Bombay, and most likely have been established fans of the British indie rock band for many years. Just performing songs that people haven’t heard since their last tour five years ago, or ever, made for an entrancing show from the band. As I looked around the crowd, I saw only 10 cell phones out at once; San Diego was in awe of Bombay Bicycle Club. 

Classics like “Always Like This“, “Luna“, and “Shuffle” had an obvious response of familiarity from the crowd, and new song “Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)” and unreleased songs “Is It Real” and “Everything Else Has Gone Wrong” provided a renewed but still familiar feeling of fulfillment within the crowd as Bombay Bicycle Club went on to perform a show that solidified them as one of the best indie rock bands, entering a new era that will further prove that.

The Greeting Committee has a new EP I’m Afraid I’m Not Angry out October 17. Bombay Bicycle Club’s new album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong will be released January 17. 

Check out The Greeting Committee’s current releases here, and Bombay Bicycle Club’s here.

Written by: Emerson Redding
Photos by: Emerson Redding