Clairo at House of Blues San Diego

Clairo played a sold-out show at the House of Blues San Diego on October 18th and certainly did not leave her fans disappointed.

The 21-year-old lo-fi bedroom pop singer, Claire Cottrill, has recently blown up after the release of her debut full-length album, Immunity, gaining positive feedback from fans and critics alike. It was only about two years ago since Clairo released “Pretty Girl” on YouTube and took the world by storm. 

Being a huge Clairo fan myself, I was excited to see what type of crowd she would attract to her sold-old show. I have only seen Clairo perform once and it was at Coachella 2019, where the crowd was small and her set was short. While it was clear that the show was all ages, there was a large representation from Clairo’s young fanbase. At first, I was surprised to see so many young teens in baggy pants and oversized graphic-tees, but I realized they matched Clairo’s aesthetic almost perfectly. Regardless of age, the crowd had high energy that radiated throughout the venue. There were smiles all around, and I could tell that everyone in the room wholeheartedly loves Clairo and that they were ready for a memorable night.

First to take the stage was Oakland-based band, Hello Yello. This punk-alternative-rock band came on stage with high energy and even got the crowd moshing at some points. The band recently released their first EP, Love Wins, and played a few tracks before getting the audience ready for what’s to come.

The next opener was Beabadoobee, staring Filipino-British indie singer Bea Kristi. It was no surprise that she is touring with Clairo because they both have a soft 90’s-alternative sound in their music. The crowd roared as Bea took the stage with her two bandmates, playing hits like “Dance with Me,” “If You Want To,” and “She Plays Bass.” Since the band produces soft and somewhat-emo music, their stage presence relayed accurately as they kept a calm demeanor throughout their set.

Clairo, House of Blues San Diego 10/18/19
Photo by: Brittany Roache

Finally, it was Clairo’s turn to take the stage and you could literally feel the energy of the crowd buzzing from wall to wall. When she finally graced us with her presence on stage, the venue shook and the screams seemed to never end. My heart was racing as I stood in the photo-pit, staring directly at one of my favorite female artists of all time.

This is the first (unedited) picture I took of Clario at the House of Blues San Diego. I find this picture special because it captures the raw essence of her beauty and the angelic glow that she constantly resonates.

Opening with her lead song “Alewife” off her debut-album, Clairo draws the crowd in and keeps their attention focused on the music. Some artists like to open their show with a bang, but Clairo needed to start off the night with something emotional and real – and it was perfect.

Throughout the show, Clairo kept the crowd engaged, frequently taking a knee to get face-to-face with her fans in the front. Playing a mix of songs both old and new, it seemed as if the crowd knew the words to everyone. If her fans weren’t dancing, they were in a trance hearing the melodic tones of the young singer’s voice.

Halfway through the show, Clairo paused and did something that left me speechless. Since Cottrill’s rise-to-fame started on the internet, it is only fitting that she made a joke that recently went viral on Twitter. On the count of three, she made the entire crowd sing Kylie Jenner‘s “Rise and Shine” meme. Even if you were unfamiliar with the meme, it left everyone laughing after hearing the audience sing the words “Rise and Shine” in a high-pitch tone.

This interaction was only the beginning of how Clairo chose to engage with the crowd that night. After singing hits like “Flaming Hot Cheeto’s,” “Bags,” and “Sofia,” she asked her band to leave as she brought out a stool and guitar to switch up the mood. Clairo told the crowd that she has only recently started doing this, but she wanted to end her shows by playing an unreleased song that she wrote on tour in Brooklyn. The song was charming and vulnerable, with lyrics stating “if timing was everything, I’d make some more time.”

As she began to close the concert out with the final song off her album “I Wouldn’t Ask You,” the crowd sang peacefully in unison, getting ready to say goodbye to the beloved singer.

After saying goodbye, it only took about a minute of cheering from her fans until Clairo and her band came back on stage for a three-song encore. She started with her hit “4EVER,” which effortlessly got the crowd dancing.

Before singing her biggest hit “Pretty Girl,” Clairo decided to do something different. She asked the crowd if she could bring a few audience members on stage to host a dance party with her, and it didn’t take long for everyone’s eager hands to shoot up in the air. It was a really special moment to watch as Clairo brought five fans on stage, greeted them with a big hug, and danced their hearts out on stage together.

Clairo and fans on stage during “Pretty Girl” – House of Blues San Diego

Clairo officially ended the concert with her song with Mura Masa, “I Don’t Think I Can Do This Again,” and allowed fans to get one final dance in before ending the night. This may have been Clairo’s second time headlining a show in San Diego, but it definitely won’t be her last.

Written by: Brittany Roache
Photos by: Brittany Roache


They Did What? – Shawn Mendes

A series dedicated to what the media does not broadcast about your favorite musical artists. This week I present you, Shawn Mendes.

It is safe to say that you are living under a rock if you have not heard the name Shawn Mendes floating around in pop culture today. You may know him from his hit songs “In my Blood“, “Stitches“, or “Mercy“, or his reputation of being the nice guy with the guitar, or you have heard about him and his new girlfriend Camila Cabello. Either way, I am sure you have heard his name but do you really know the true soul that is Shawn Mendes?

The media often creates a boundary around an artist so they appeal to a particular audience or are always viewed in a certain light. Some people may see Shawn Mendes as just another heartthrob male artist who only sings towards young girls and is not a renowned musical artist with great skill. He is easily marketed in that way but Shawn Mendes adds more to the story than a teen pop heartthrob. I am here to tell you exactly why. He is not all about fame but about the people and fans he can touch in ways only a musician can.

The average person may not know how Shawn Mendes has revealed his true heart to the world, that is why I am here to tell you just how he has done that.

First, let’s talk about how this guy spreads love to anyone and everyone. An aspect of Shawn that only certain people know about is his dedication to helping others. From the very beginning, Shawn has been all about spreading positivity and joy to the world. In fact, just after his very first single, Life of the party, was released he launched a campaign called #NotesFromShawn with Dosomething.org. Shawn wrote this on Instagram back in 2014.

He was advocating for people to spread kindness to others by simply leaving a sticky note with a positive or encouraging note for friends or strangers to see. Shawn said in a Teen Vogue interview back in 2015 that “This campaign is all about the little things. Things as simple as posting a note with ‘You’re amazing’ scribbled on it can really turn someone’s whole day around.” Keep in mind that Shawn just turned 16 when he launched this campaign and barely starting his career, yet he was already using his platform to help others. What 16 year old boy has this mindset?! You may think that his management team told him to start this, but Shawn continues to show what kind of soul he has as time goes on. Fast forward to today. Shawn just recently released his own foundation appropriately named, The Shawn Mendes Foundation. Shawn wrote on Instagram to explain his foundation.

Click here to see the full post and watch the corresponding video.

This is a unique platform because he is giving a voice to his fans and people who want to help change the world.  He is helping people speak their truth who may not have been able to do so before. You can go onto his website to donate to a cause you feel connected to. The Shawn Mendes Foundation works with organizations like the American Red Cross, March for our Lives, Pencils of Promise and many more. Check out the facts over on the Instagram page of what Shawn has already accomplished, while working with the company REVERB, through his foundation. Shawn just changed the game for everyone. Not only is he trying to make this world a better place, but he is sharing his platform with others so they can help too.

Shawn is dedicated to making this world a better place.

Now why does the media not appropriately broadcast this about him? I have no idea. Our world needs to focus on the good and the positivity spread by others. People say there is so much negativity in this world, which is true, but sometimes I think it is how we receive our information and how the media portrays information to us that we get so caught up in the negatives. Shawn might not be the typical artist to get caught up in media but there are still things that receive attention. Now that Shawn has a girlfriend there has been speculation and rumors that his relationship with Camila Cabello is just for PR reasons (false!).

Now that is a completely different topic that you do not want me to get started on. However, this is what the media focuses on. The personal lives of artists that only they should have a choice of if they want to share with the world or not. Media tries to put a negative light on every little thing an artist does. I know it is a part of fame, but the media blow things out of proportion more times than not. Shawn even said in an ET Canada interview “It’s like broken telephone, I say one thing or tweet one thing and a million articles re-write it in a different way. Then by the time you see it, it already went through 50 different platforms and you are reading nothing like what I said.” Shawn shares some insightful thoughts regarding the media and fame. Click here to read and watch the full interview.


Not only is Shawn a kind soul that needs to be cherished forever but he is a talented artist. Music should be for everyone and have no boundaries. Nothing makes me angrier than when someone says that a person is not that talented because of the type of audience they attract. That is again the media putting that in your mind, where did we get the idea that only teenage girls can listen to a good looking talented dude. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone believes that statement but there still are people in the world who do believe that. In addition, there is this slight stigma around you if you listen to a heartthrob male artist and are not a teenage girl. That stigma needs to be broken because everyone should give any artist an opportunity to impress you. People should always listen to music they love no matter what.

There is something different about Shawn.

He sings these hit pop songs but he does it with just him and his guitar or band. There is no added production. Some people may say he is just another Ed Sheeran or John Mayer. In my eyes, he fills a different path from the both of them. He is singing these songs that fill a void in music that only a certain person can fill. Shawn is making these records that have relatable or empowering lyrics with catchy melodies, with these big guitar chords that you can somehow dance or cry to. I feel Shawn is filling many hats with his music. He is the heartthrob male artist no denying that, but he is also a pop idol, singer/songwriter, guitarist, and musician all in one because of all the different music he is producing. He brings a new edge to the pop music world.

There is a connotation that comes with being a male pop star, that I think Shawn is breaking. Often times people believe that pop stars are picked to sing these hit songs because they have this stage presence or can make the song go #1. Shawn is the complete opposite of that. He writes his own songs with a close-knit group of people, his live performances are never lip-synced, and he has more to the story than his biggest pop records. If you do not know what I am talking about please go listen to his albums Handwritten, Illuminate, and his self titled album, Shawn Mendes (in that order),  to see how much he has progressed and you will understand why Shawn is more than a teen pop icon.

How can this guy be so talented, caring, good looking, and successful all in one?

Now you may think this is too good to be true. You may think this guy is just full of himself. Well, I hate to tell you but a person like Shawn exists in the world. Even some of his close peers and friends have expressed their feelings towards him and here are some comments to prove it.

Alessia Cara, who is a fellow Canadian music artist,  just recently toured with Shawn on his world tour and wrote this on her Instagram after her last show opening up for him.

Click here for Alessia’s Instagram and full post

Alessia has a way with words that I think describes Shawn so beautifully. Another comment by Cez Darke, Shawn’s tour manager who is a little bit older than Shawn, says on Instagram:

Click here to see the post and Cez Darke’s Instagram

The love keeps coming. One of Shawn’s favorite musicians John Mayer even said in an interview on air with Andy Cohen that Shawn “is so clear-headed, so clear-minded, he is so earnest in the right way, has a sense of humor in the right way, he has what it takes to go all the way.” One of music’s greatest musicians in the last decade had amazing things to say to the newbie in the industry.

Even people who work with Shawn behind the scenes, like photographers, comment on how nice this guy is.

Click here to see post and for Justin Campell’s Instagram

People who are around Shawn never cease to express how genuine of a soul he truly has. It doesn’t matter how they are interacting, people never have anything bad to say about Shawn. Someone’s true character and integrity as a person truly come out when the cameras are turned off. You can see that with Shawn Mendes. No matter if he is on a red carpet or hanging out with his friends and tour mates, Shawn Mendes is a compassionate human being with genuine care for others.

Spreading love to others is all Shawn wants to do in life.

There needs to be more people like Shawn in this world. Shawn does Q&A’s with fans before every show of his tour. While on tour in LA a fan asked: “How do you want to change the world?” Shawn had the perfect answer of:

“I want to send the most amount of love to anyone all the time. I realize that I am the luckiest person in the entire world because not only have I been given the opportunity to understand how important it is to always be sending love, but I get to stand on stage every night and experience that. I know it sounds deep, but it is really magical.”

Shawn Mendes

How can one not like this man? There are only haters for Shawn Mendes because they are jealous of everything he has done with his life. It is okay, you do not have to be a hardcore fan of his music. However, if you are not a fan of him as a person then I do not know what to say to you. Of course, I do not know him personally but the person he shows to the world is someone with great gratitude for everything he has been given in life. Not many celebrities are able to stay grounded and not let fame affect them as Shawn Mendes has.

In light of what Shawn has done in this world, I encourage everyone who is reading this to spread positivity around you today and be a light. Shawn has this huge platform that can reach millions of people through his music and his fans so you may think it is easy for him to make a difference and you can’t reach anyone. Well, you are wrong. Every act of kindness can make a difference in the world. It is not about the quantity of people you reach but the quality of how you reach people. Spreading love to others is only what we are meant to do on this earth. What is life without human connection and what is life without love? Shawn Mendes oozes love everywhere he goes and that is what needs to be spread in media today.

Written by: Adrienne Murdock

Sunflower Seeds: My Dating Life

Casual dating is exhausting in today’s day and age. I’m an extremely busy woman and I just don’t have time to take on another headache. 

People in modern society seem to be using dating apps for their love lives. I know plenty of men and women who have met their significant other online because they were “hooking up” and after a few months they figured out they liked them. I question this and wonder if the relationship came out of convenience or actual desire for one another. I believe you should live your life how you want and in whatever ways, but I’m just not into the whole idea of this dating apocalypse. 

However, I plead guilty. I have used dating apps from time to time and still consider downloading them when I want attention, but I’d like to think I will meet someone the old-fashioned way. A few weeks ago, I met a guy on a night out. He was attractive, charming, and very polite. The next day he took me out to breakfast at a darling little place on the beach. We spent the day watching dolphins and shared a few innocent kisses. It was merely a weekend fling, but it was refreshing meeting someone without swiping. 

Out of the few boys I met from Tinder I’d say that maybe only one of them was worth my time, and the rest turned out to be horror stories. I’m happy I got out of my comfort zone to meet them, but never again! I do consider my love life to be puzzling, for I don’t really know what I want. For example, one time I thought I was in love with a guy I was fooling around with, but it was just my libido talking.

I think it would be nice to have someone for sappy holidays like Valentine’s Day, or to reach for a soup can on the top shelf, but that’s about it if we’re being honest. I change my mind nearly 1,000 times a day, and I find myself getting bored with people after a few months, so I just don’t know if I could sustain a relationship at this point in my life. I have nothing against one, but I’m very much an independent woman.  

When I was in New York, an older man approached me and told me “you are a beautiful girl, don’t ever limit yourself,” and then proceeded to walk away. At first, I thought it was sweet and a bit strange, but then it resonated with me. I know its cheesy to say, but the world is your oyster. There is so much to do and see, so why limit yourself? I’m not saying that a significant other will tie you down, but I think it is very important to grow on your own. 

I am so happy and grateful for all the experiences I have had. From those experiences I feel like I was able to mature, figure out what I like and don’t like, and get to know myself better. I have a tremendous amount of love and support from my friends and family, and I am just focused on those relationships at the moment. Samantha Jones once said, “I love you, but I love me more,” and she couldn’t have said it better. 

In the Pink: What I’ve Learned From Writing Love Letters

Love letters

Love letters have allowed me to grow my heart, and feel comforted during those times where I feel I have no one else to do so.

A number of weeks ago, I went into Marshalls with a friend and ended up spending money I didn’t have. What else is new, amirightttttt? I used $7 to be exact and ended up subtracting it from my allotted gas money. Wow, you might be thinking. 7 dollars is like two entire gallons of gas and then some if you go to Arco or a similarly cheap station. You must’ve purchased something awesome to be wasting gas money so frivolously.

Yeah! I bought paper.

Specifically, I purchased a bundle of colorful and declarative greeting cards with uplifting and inspiring statements printed on the front sides. They trumpet things like “Your smile lights up the room” and “The world is better with you in it.” At this point, you might now be thinking Giiiiiiiirl, how on earth is that a good purchase? You literally have paper at home and pens and a perfectly functional right hand that could’ve written out those phrases for free.You’re also right.

But here’s the thing, you fiscally responsible creature; I’m writing love letters.

And I need wonderful paper to match.

For the past few months, I have been mailing handwritten letters to my family and friends back home. I moved to San Diego at the end of the summer and am now living the furthest away from my loved ones than I ever have. It’s really only about 100 or so miles, which isn’t a lot to those students who come from the other end of the country or world. I have always been very close to my family and friends, though. We congregate for every holiday, celebrate every birthdays and recognize every little accomplishment with a big dinner out. We have always found excuses to enjoy each other’s company and suddenly, I am not showing up at my sisters’ school functions, or my uncle’s parties and it breaks my heart.

I’ve spent many tearful nights missing my family, and there’s been plenty of times where I’ve come close to packing it all up and leaving this new school without a degree, just so I can be back at home.

I miss being surrounded by people who I love and people who love me.

That’s something I’ve found that no one really talks about when discussing the transition to living at a school away from your friends and family. I went from being surrounded by an unconditional support group to now living among people who honestly don’t care about me. And why would they? They don’t know me. My parents, on the other hand, have adored me since I was a crying alien-looking thing fresh out of the vagina and have loved me every second since. They will love me even when they read that I’ve written the phrase “fresh out of the vagina” which is not how they raised me to speak. Yet, I’m betting they will tell me how proud they are of this post anyhow. I will never find that sort of love anywhere else.

Despite the brutal loneliness that has sucker-punched me in the goddamn face, I can’t quit school. I don’t want to. I’m learning so much and have a hell of a lot more growing to do. But I discovered almost immediately after I moved here that I needed to find a substitute for all that love and affection I’ve become accustomed to. It was taking a serious toll on my mental health to go from a situation of ever-present love to one of indifference and apathy. It’s like The Lumineers sing in that one song: “The opposite of love’s indifference.” I agree, Wesley Shultz, I totally and wholeheartedly agree.

I was in need of some coping tools. And ASAP. Enter love letters.

It took a very long time, but I have discovered that a hand-written love letter is the best conduit of magic. When I began writing said letters, I was skeptical. It felt archaic and a little pretentious. I kept going, though. And after some time, I started to gain some mega spiritual benefits. It’s been so therapeutic and cathartic. I buy the nicest paper, use my very best pens and fold the letters lovingly into crisp envelopes stamped with gorgeous stamps. It’s ceremonial from beginning to end. In these letters, I confess my love to my parents, siblings and friends. I’ve written notes for my cousins and grandparents. Hell, I’ll confess my love to you, too, if you send me your address.

For me, the happiness is in the process. I have shifted my mindset from victim to fortune’s favorite. Instead of focusing on lack, I acknowledge the surplus of love that exists in my life. My goal was once to not feel so far away, but now it’s about expressing my gratitude and affection. It’s nice to tell people I love them. I don’t know what it’s like for them on the other end, but I imagine it’s also nice to hear that you’re loved. I don’t try to create poetry or worry about whether the string of words I’ve chosen fully encapsulate the tenderness in my heart. I just write. I write until my hand cramps and my vision blurs.

I’m happier for it. I don’t feel so victimized by my loneliness. I feel grateful and joyous and alive. So when you think about it, isn’t 7 dollars worth of gas a small price to pay?

Written by: Monica Vigil