Concert Review: Vacations at the House of Blues

Vacations and opener, Harmless, shared a blissful and lively night with the crowd at the House of Blues on Mar. 4, 2022.

Last Friday (3/4), I had the opportunity to go see Vacations at the Voodoo Room in the House of Blues. After waiting almost two years to tour, Vacations kicked off their first U.S. tour in Los Angeles and then made their way down to San Diego for their third show. This Australia-based indie-pop/rock band was a staple in my early high school years, specifically during 2018-2019, so I was excited to see them live and experience some nostalgia. 

The venue completely took me by surprise; the inside was highly decorated with detailed beaded walls and paintings from local artists, which gave off a fancy but rustic feel. Doors opened at 7:00 and even though my friend and I got there around 6, we were just a row behind the barricade. Side note: I’m from the Bay Area, and one thing that always catches me by surprise down here in San Diego is how late everyone arrives at concerts! In San Francisco, people are lining up at 4:00 for an 8:00 show. 

Harmless photographed by: Sofia Dell’Aquila

Opening for Vacations was indie-pop artist Harmless who was not only talented but super entertaining. He was cracking jokes, referencing popular memes, and even whipped out some choreographed dances with his guitarist in the middle of songs. Because of his interaction with the crowd throughout the entire show, you felt like you knew him personally by the end of the set! I had never previously heard of his band, but I knew the last song that he played, “Swing Lynn,” which went viral on the internet a couple of months ago. 

Vacations photographed by: Sofia Dell’Aquila

Vacations came on promptly at 9:00 and opened with their song “Moving Out” from their sophomore album Changes. Their romantic and melancholy lyrics mixed with whimsical instrumentals had the whole room dancing and swaying. The room swirled with soft pinks and blues, perfectly corresponding to the playful and lighthearted aura that their music gives off. Later, they played some songs from their 2016 album Vibes and their 2020 album Forever in Bloom, such as “Home” and “Lavender”. Though there were a lot of technical difficulties, the band made the most out of their spare time by talking with fans in the crowd and expressing their excitement to be touring again, and in a new country nonetheless. They even passed some time by playing the “Cowboy Bebop” theme song and the “Neon Genesis Evangelion” closing song, which totally caught my friend and me off-guard because we love those shows. After getting a new guitar, they continued and played my favorite song “Telephones” with dimmed lights, further amplifying the intimacy that the song already projected. 

Vacations photographed by: Sofia Dell’Aquila

Reading the excitement of the room, the band decided to skip the encore pause and just go straight into their last songs. They ended the night with their hit song “Relax” and then took a big audience photo for the art project that they were working on while on tour. Overall, the energy throughout the entire night was amazing, and seeing Vacations live was a great way to revisit some positive memories from my younger teen years.

Written by: Sofia Dell’Aquila

Concert Review: Ritt Momney’s Sunny Boy Tour at the HOB Voodoo Room (3/11)

Last Saturday (3/11), I was lucky enough to catch Ritt Momney’s Sunny Boy Tour, supported by artists Hannah Jadagu and Shane T, live at the House of Blues Voodoo Room. The walls of the venue are adorned with unique folk-style art, the Voodoo Room (located in downtown San Diego) is one of my favorite spots. And with a capacity of only about 150 people, the coziness of the venue made for an intimate, yet still electrifying set. 

The show opened with alternative/indie artist Shane T’s set — hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Toriscelli has a bit of a blues influence in his sound. With his profound vocals, Toriscelli caught my attention right away. For the rest of his set, my attention was fixated — his song “Simple Man” was definitely a favorite of mine, with its candid lyrics and dreamy guitar. It’s also important to mention that T belted his heart out during each song, which made his performance feel that much more impactful. Toriscelli was truly a crowd favorite, as for the rest of the show some fans continued to shout his name as he supported Mitt Romney on guitar. 

Next up was the angelic Hannah Jadagu, originally from Mesquite, Texas. Upon walking on stage, she immediately lit up the room with her warm presence. But her somewhat reserved demeanor on stage fell away at the first strum of her guitar. Jadagu’s wide-ranging set of bedroom pop originals and lively mashup cover of Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied” and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” had the crowd in a wave of emotions, singing and dancing, completely captivated by the band’s performance — which, I have to say, Jadagu and her bandmates seemed to blend beautifully together, crafting zestful, alluring energy which seemed to radiate into the crowd. 

Ritt Momney photographed at the House of Blues Voodoo Room on March 11, 2022.
Photo Credit: Olivia Flores

And at last, headliner Ritt Momney — fronted by SLC’s own cat-beanie-adorned Jack Runner — entered the stage. Switching from instrument to instrument, Runner’s dynamic set had me engaged and wanting more. Performing an array of originals from the newly-released album “Sunny Boy” and some older songs from “Her and All My Friends” (2019), Ritt Momney had a diverse crowd (which included everyone from young teenagers, to millennials, to even some middle-aged adults) singing, dancing, and even crying along to the music. Because of his down-to-earth presence, Runner truly shocked me with how much energy and gusto he put into performing each song. Not even a minor nosebleed incident on stage could stop Runner — with rolled up bits of bloodied tissues in his nostrils, Runner pushed on and gave a performance impossible to forget. 

Singing at the top of his lungs in the rawest and most honest fashion, moving around the stage, and interacting with the audience, Runner’s passion shined through — nothing about that set was half-assed. I’ve been to shows before that feel dry and disconnected, sensing that the band cares little about the quality of their performance, and it feels terrible. But with Ritt Momney, that wasn’t true — I can honestly say that Jack Runner left his heart on that stage. 

After the show, I had the chance to meet Runner and give my thanks for a great show — he was incredibly kind and humble, greeting everyone who came up to him with a smile and never saying no to a picture or an autograph. So, make sure to catch Ritt Momney (as well as Jadagu and Toriscelli) the next time they’re in your area — or you just might miss some magic.

Written by: Olivia Flores

It’s Festival Season: 2020 Music Lineups

Looking for one weekend to see a ton of great artists? Let’s analyze some 2020 music festival lineups. Most of these are in California, with a few exceptions in case you want to travel a bit. 

Coachella: Indio, CA, April 10th-12th & 17th-19th

There’s nothing like Coachella, surrounded by desert mountains and endless palm trees. On the lineup is Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott, Frank Ocean, Calvin Harris, Rex Orange County, Brockhampton, Flume, Disclosure, DaBaby, Lana Del Rey, and more!

Rolling Loud: Miami, Florida, May 8th-10th

Downtown Miami with some great performers, what could be better? On the lineup is ASAP Rocky, Travis Scott, Post Malone, Playboi Carti, DaBaby, Sheck Wes, Blueface, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi Vert, Tyga, YG, and more!

Lovers & Friends: Los Angeles, May 9th

New festival “Lovers and Friends” in downtown LA is a great way to see some amazing artists in some sunny weather! On the lineup is Ms. Lauryn Hill, Usher, TLC, Jhene Aiko, Summer Walker, Megan Thee Stallion, Nelly, Sean Paul, and more!

Lightning In A Bottle: Buena Vista Lake, CA, May 20th-25th

Get groovy in the desert and camp with your friends this Memorial Day weekend! On the lineup is Kaytranada, Sylvan Esso, Griz, Big Wild. Doja Cat, James Blake, Bob Moses, Justin Martin and more!

Bottlerock: Napa Valley, CA,  May 22nd-24th

Ready to drink some wine, look at some art and jam out to some classics? If so, this one is for you. On the lineup is The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Nicks, Miley Cyrus, Anderson.Paak, Khalid, Zedd, Janelle Monae, Of Monsters and Men, Empire of the Sun, and more!

Governors Ball: New York City, June 5th-7th

If you’re looking to get away, this is the place to be. On the lineup is Tame Impala, Missy Elliott, Flume, Vampire Weekend, Stevie Nicks, Solange, Miley Cyrus, Ellie Goulding, Rufus Du Sol, H.E.R., Summer Walker and more!

Bonnaroo: Manchester, Tennessee, June 11th-14th

Again, a bit of traveling, but the artists are well worth it. On the lineup is Tool, Miley Cyrus, The 1975, Glass Animals, Lizzo, Flume, Oysterhead, Tame Impala, Lana Del Rey, Vampire Weekend, Leon Bridges, and many more! 

Written by: Delaney Weidner

2019’s Best Future-Bass Releases (So Far)

As the year begins to fly by, the stream of new music shows no signs of slowing down. Especially on the Future-bass front:

Each new year brings change and excitement. So far in 2019, the normalization of electronic music continues. When EDM first came to be, many people were unfamiliar with the genre and would gather an immediate opinion about it. Over the recent years, EDM has become more and more mainstream, especially at SDSU. As a music fanatic myself, I was originally drawn to electronic music because of its experimental sounds and creative approaches to push musical boundaries. Now, as the world of electronic music grows, so do the sub-genres within it. While all electronic sub-genres are great in their own ways, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite future-bass releases of 2019 thus far. Future-bass features modulated synthesizer bass sounds, and has been described as “the child of melodic dubstep and chilltrap.” I am drawn to this sub-genre because it focuses heavily on the melody and provides a feel-good bounce that is bound to warm your heart.

With that out of the way, here are my favorite future-bass releases from 2019 (so far)!

 

Sober Rob – Right Now (ft. blackbear)

With blackbears smooth rap verses and Sober Rob’s incredibly unique production abilities, this has to be one of my favorite songs of the year thus far. Blackbear has blown up in the past few years, and Sober Rob deserves that same amount of fame and attention. The build-up in this track is one-of-a-kind, featuring a creative drop with chop-and-screw styles that will blow the minds of any listener.

 

Fix Me – Cuco and Dillon Francis

The moment I saw these two names collaborating for a track together, I was interested. Cuco is a Mexican-American singer-songwriter that is famous for his bedroom-produced songs with an indie flare. His unique “sad-boy” sound combined with Dillon Fancis’s talented production skills created a beautiful track and I can’t seem to get out of my head.

 

1993 – Manilla Killa

Kicking off his new album with a bang, Manilla Killa sets the tone for his entire album through this incredible song. Named after the album itself, this instrumental track has a captivating build-up, fun energy, and lots of vibes. Make sure to check out the rest of his album for some more feel-good electronic music.

RL Grime & Graves – Arcus

After a long-awaited release, this collaboration surely did not disappoint. RL Grime and Graves are two amazingly talented producers, and this song will bring chills to any electronic music fan. This song was first featured on RL Grime’s famous Halloween VII mix, and stirred up many conversations across the EDM fan base.

 

Whethan – GOING UP

This up-beat jam is the perfect song to be heard at a festival or around friends who want to dance. GOING UP is the epitome of 2019’s future bass sound, and I am excited for this sound to carry into the rest of the year.

 

What So Not – We Can Be Friends ft. Herizen

Opening with an off-beat drum line, I was initially confused by this song. It is so unique, yet still holds true to What So Not’s signature sound. The more I listened, the more I became obsessed. Herizen kills the vocals, and it’s easy to hear the emotion in her voice, making this track extra special.

 

Gill Chang – One For You (feat. glasscat)

This new song from Gill Chang has clever chord progression and clean production. The beat breakdown in this track sounds more Pop than Electronic, but it is a cute song that would be best enjoyed with friends on a sunny day.

 

Robotaki – All I Can Do

This is the first single off Robotaki’s upcoming EP with Foreign Family Collective, where he shares his struggles of coming to terms with the end of a relationship. Robotaki says “when it’s suddenly over, you start asking questions that ultimately don’t have answers. Sometimes, all you can do is move on.” This is a beautiful track that pulls from electronic and indie styles of production, making it a unique and relaxing tune.

 

Hex Cougar – Silence ft. Sara Skinner

Opening with chords that will put you in a trance, Hex Cougar will send you off to space through this single song. Sara Skinner has a beautiful voice that relaxes listeners, just before Hex throws in a creative, choppy beat drop.

 

Pronouncedyea – sweater weather (pronouncedyea remix)

Now this one really hit me in the feels. This is a brand-new remix of another old song that will warm the hearts of any fans of The Neighbourhood. Pronouncedyea has been one of my favorite producers from some time now, releasing moderately fast-paced music with chopped vocals and pretty beats.

 

These are only a few of my personal favorite releases over the past two and a half months, but I have to give recognition to all the incredible artists I didn’t include in this article. Soundcloud is always a great place to find new electronic music, especially if you’re a fan of future-bass. After reflecting on my favorite releases of the year, I can tell that we have some great things ahead for the rest of 2019.

Written by: Brittany Roache